Circle of Greats: 1922 Part 2 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 61st round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG).  This round completes the addition of those players born in 1922.  Rules and lists are after the jump.

Players born in 1922 are being brought on to the COG eligible list over two rounds, split in half based on last names — the bottom half by alphabetical order this round, while the upper half was brought on in the previous round. This round’s group of 1922-born players 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 1922-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 11:59 PM EDT Sunday, June 22, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:59 PM EDT Friday, June 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 1922 Round 2 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-1922 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, and alphabetically when the future eligibility number is the same.  The new group of 1922 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 20 players born in 1922 who met the “10 seasons played or 20 WAR” minimum requirement.  Ten of those are being added to the eligible list this round (alphabetically from Ralph Kiner to Gene Woodling).  The ten players further up in the alphabet were added in the previous round.

Sandy Koufax (eligibility guaranteed for 15 rounds)
Whitey Ford (eligibility guaranteed for 4 rounds)
Kenny Lofton (eligibility guaranteed for 4 rounds)
Willie McCovey (eligibility guaranteed for 3 rounds)
Craig Biggio (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Minnie Minoso (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Ryne Sandberg (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Richie Ashburn (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Larry Doby (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Harmon Killebrew (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Eddie Murray (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)

Everyday Players (born in 1922, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Del Rice
Gene Woodling
Wes Westrum
Ralph Kiner
Sam Mele

Pitchers (born in 1922, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Hoyt Wilhelm
Bill Wight
Jim Wilson
Morrie Martin
Mel Parnell

135 thoughts on “Circle of Greats: 1922 Part 2 Balloting

  1. 1
    Voomo Zanzibar says:

    How lucky was Gene Woodling to get purchased by the Yankees from the PCL before the ’49 season. Five rings for Eugene.

    And after the ’54 season was part of an 18-player trade with the Orioles. You don’t see those anymore.

    Had to feel good, at the end of his career, to be a midseason acquisition for the ’62 Mets. Probably figured he was there to turn them around.

    • 34
      Doug says:

      Woodling wasn’t the only Yankee to finish his career with Casey and the ’62 Mets, being joined by Bob Cerv who was acquired 11 days later (a third Yankee on that club, Marv Throneberry managed to hang on until a month into the ’63 season).

      Woodling appeared for the ’61 Senators and Cerv for the ’61 Angels, so both had consecutive seasons playing for an expansion team in its inaugural year. Hal Woodeshick is the only other player who can say that.

  2. 2
    Voomo Zanzibar says:

    When Kiner retired:

    394 Ted Williams
    369 Ralph Kiner

  3. 3
    Voomo Zanzibar says:


    Richie Ashburn
    Kenny Lofton
    Hoyt Wilhelm

  4. 4
    Hartvig says:

    I’m going to have to ruminate on our newcomers for a while before I decide what to do about them.

    Career wise, Kiner sort of reminds me of Albert Belle. He did serve in the military from ’43 to ’45 and did lead the league in home runs in his first season as a major leaguer at age 23. But he also hit only 2 home runs in 176 PA’s in the high minors before he was called up to the military in ’43 so it’s hard to imagine that he lost more than one season to military service. He’s also similar to Charlie Keller, who put up 6+ WAR before and after going into the military and I’d be surprised if he gets much if any support for the COG. It is true that advanced defensive metrics see Kiner as a pretty bad fielder- not as bad as say Frank Howard or Dante Bichette or even Belle but still pretty bad- but he did hit a lot of home runs and get on base a lot. Still, my first inclination is to say pass.

    Wilhelm is a totally different story. He spent 3 years in the military during WW2 but didn’t reach the majors until 1952 so it’s hard to imagine that happening much if any sooner. While he was utilized in a way that made him more valuable than modern relievers I have to wonder if he wouldn’t have been much more valuable as a starter. In the 3 seasons that he did start 10 or more games he did well to extremely well and put up 7.6 WAR in the only season he started more than 11 games. But that’s not how we was used and as good as he was in relief for as long as he was I’m not sure he rises to the level of the COG.

    I think that Kiner & Wilhelm are both Hall of Famers but it’s going to take some convincing for me to vote for the for the COG.

  5. 5
    koma says:

    Sandy Koufax, Whitey Ford, Craig Biggio

  6. 6
    BillH says:

    Murray, McCovey, Ford

  7. 7
    Francisco says:

    Sandy Koufax, Ralph Kiner, Hoyt Wilhelm

  8. 8
    Mike G. says:

    Lofton, McCovey, Sandberg

  9. 9
    Dr. Doom says:

    Wow! The holdover stash is REALLY whittling down! I know this was inevitable, but it’s surprising. For example, I never thought Koufax was going to sniff my ballot, yet he’s sitting just one spot outside it (of course, he’s also tied with Ashburn and Biggio for that 4th spot, but whatever). Anyway, here’s my vote:

    Ryne Sandberg
    Kenny Lofton
    Willie McCovey

    (And a special congratulations to Mike G. above for also having a “correct” ballot!)

  10. 10
    MJ says:

    Kenny Lofton, Ryne Sandberg, Whitey Ford

  11. 11
    Steven says:

    Sandy Koufax, Willie McCovey, Whitey Ford.

  12. 12
    donburgh says:

    Craig Biggio, Kenny Lofton, Ralph “Seven consecutive National League home run titles” Kiner

  13. 13
    JEV says:

    Koufax, McCovey, Killebrew

  14. 14
    PP says:

    Tough choices: McCovey, Minoso, and I suppose I’m coming around to Lofton

    Looks to me like Kiner in a full career would have ended up with 65 or so WAR, as many homers as Stretch in about the same number of plate appearances, though it’s tough to ignore all that black ink. I’m picking Stretch.

  15. 15
    Hartvig says:

    McCovey, Sandberg, Doby

  16. 16
    ATarwerdi96 says:

    Hoyt Wilhelm, Willie McCovey, Ryne Sandberg

  17. 17
    Andy says:


  18. 18
    Yippeeyappee says:


  19. 19
    Richard Chester says:

    Kiner, Koufax, Ford

  20. 21
    Andy says:

    Koufax, Biggio, Ford

  21. 22
    Luis Gomez says:

    Minoso, Koufax, Kiner.

    Voomo´s list in comment # 2 made me vote for Kiner.

  22. 23
    latefortheparty says:

    Ryne Sandberg
    Kenny Lofton
    Willie McCovey

  23. 24
    Chris C says:

    Biggio, Sandberg, Edgar. (Wait, Edgar got elected? Wooohooo!)

    Biggio, Sandberg, McCovey.

  24. 25
    PaulE says:

    Kiner Sandberg McCovey

  25. 26
    Voomo Zanzibar says:

    and for your cherry picking consideration…

    Sandy Koufax’s 4 year peak: 36.5 WAR
    Wilbur Wood’s 4 year peak: 35.4 WAR

    Sandy outside of peak:
    16.7 WAR

    Wilbur outside of peak:

    • 28
      Hartvig says:

      One difference however is that while Koufax put up those numbers in a remarkable-by-todays-standards 1193 innings, Wood did his in an eye-popping 1390+. And that does slightly dilute the impact that they had within the individual seasons when compared to Koufax.

      Still, it is somewhat remarkable the difference in support that they’ve received, especially when Wood’s career was also cut short by an injury.

      • 68
        mosc says:

        This assumes bullpens ready and willing to serve for both guys who were well above average. I don’t think that’s the case. Wood’s innings saved a lot of reliever use in an era when relievers were as a whole fairly average (not anymore). I’d vote for wood. I think I did? I don’t see calling Koufax “wood-like” as an insult. My support is not mutually exclusive.

    • 44
      David P says:

      Voomo – I agree with the comments you’ve been making re: Koufax. Unfortunately, even in COG voting, things like name recognition and fame carry weight. And Koufax obviously has a lot more of those things than Wood or some of the other pitchers you mentioned in the last vote.

    • 69
      Artie Z says:

      Doom and I had some back and forth on Koufax vs. Wood in the 1925 part 2 balloting.

      I’ll excerpt some of my own comments:

      “In quite possibly the only time this has been uttered in history (ed. note: Now Voomo has uttered this), Koufax looks a lot like Wilbur Wood. Well, except that he doesn’t. What do I mean?”

      (Insert Voomo’s comments about Koufax’s and Wood’s peak and career WAR numbers).

      “Except Wood ain’t Koufax. Koufax racked up 78 black ink points (12th all-time); Wood racked up 21 (still not bad at 91st all-time). Koufax won 3 pitching triple crowns. Wood twice lead in wins, but those were years he started 49 and 48 games. Wood’s black ink comes from those two years in wins, as well as games started and games pitched (in his relief years). Koufax … well, he lead in everything – wins, ERA, Ks, Win Pct., GS, CG, SHO, IP, WHIP, H/9, K/9, K/BB. I think that, possibly along with the Dodgers’ success, also distinguishes Koufax in the minds of the baseball viewing public.”

      As a new comment, of the 11 pitchers ahead of Koufax in black ink, Feller pitched the least amount of innings, and he pitched about 1500 more innings than Koufax. Even the other “short” career, high peak pitchers behind Koufax in black ink (Walsh, Vance, and Pedro) pitched 500 more innings than Koufax.

      My response to Doom’s comment about Koufax and his home park (which I believe certainly helped him win some, but nowhere near all, of that black ink):

      “He (Koufax) led in fewest H/9 in 1961 (and finished 2nd in 1958 and 1960) when the Dodgers were NOT playing in Dodger Stadium. He led in Ks and K/9 and K/BB in 1961. As early as 1957 he began finishing in the top 10 in Ks, and by 1958 he was basically in top 10 in K/9 (he’s not on the 1959 leaderboard because he only pitched 153.33 innings, but he had 10.2 K/9 and could have pitched another 40 innings without striking anyone out and still led the league). And these figures are all before he turned 26.

      He struck out 382 in 1965 – that was 106 more than Bob Veale, who was second. In 1966 he was 65 ahead of Bunning, and his ERA was a half run below Cuellar. In 1964 he finished 27 Ks behind Veale (in 50 less innings) and a quarter of a run better than Bob Shaw in ERA. I’m not sure it matters what park he was pitching in for some of those league leading figures (granting that there are some instances, like his 1965 ERA title, 2.04 to Marichal’s 2.13 that he may not have won playing in a pitcher’s park).”

      Koufax was dominant. If we were a Fangraphs WAR using group we wouldn’t be having a discussion about Koufax vs. Wood – Koufax has a 57.9 to 37.2 career WAR advantage. I’ll admit that I’m not a fan of Fangraphs pitching WAR, but I think that difference in WAR speaks to the difference in opinion between the two players.

  26. 29
    RonG says:


  27. 30
    no statistician but says:

    Mel Parnell—not forgotten now, but undervalued. He was unique: a Red Sox lefty who won big at Fenway Park and did worse on the road. He kept the ball low and forced a lot of ground balls. Lost time to WWII, I’d say, and never fully recovered from a HBP arm injury. His record against NY was 12-6 at Fenway, 4-10 at the Stadium. In 1953 he shut the Yankees out 4 times, twice in each park. Bill James ranked him 100th all time among pitchers in his 2001 Abstract.

  28. 31
    Mo says:

    koufax ashburn kiner

  29. 32
    J.R. says:

    Ford, Biggio, Killebrew

  30. 33
    Doug says:

    Tidbits time.

    Del Rice’s career total of only 20 triples is the second lowest among all players with triples in 13 or more seasons. What player has the lowest total?

    Gene Woodling is one of only eight outfielders with 4 qualifying seasons of 2.5 WAR and 120 OPS+ aged 34-37. Five of the others are named Cobb, Speaker, Ruth, Mays and Aaron.

    Wes Wesrtum‘s career walk rate of better than one per 6 PA is second only to Gene Tenace among catchers with 1500 career PA.

    Ralph Kiner started his career with 7 straight seasons leading his league in home runs, besting by one Babe Ruth‘s previous record run. The longest streak since has been 3 seasons, accomplished by 4 players. Who are they?

    Sam Mele is the last player with 90 RBI in a season (1951) with 5 or fewer home runs. There were 96 such seasons from 1901 to 1950.

    Hoyt Wilhelm is the leader in career games pitched aged 30+, and aged 40+. He is also the only pitcher to lead his league in ERA as both a starting pitcher (1959) and as a reliever (1952).

    Bill Wight is the last pitcher with a SO/BB ratio below 1.0 and a HR/9 ratio below 0.5 in a career of 1500 IP. Like Wight, Herm Wehmeier‘s 1500 IP career also ended in 1958 with a SO/BB ratio below one, but with a higher HR/9 ratio of 1.05, one of only two such pitchers.

    Jim Wilson has the fewest IP aged 24-28 (only 8.1) of any pitcher with a 1500 IP career that began before his age 24 season, a quirk made more surprising in that those seasons came after the war, and after a rookie season of 144 IP (then again, with 5.5 BB/9 in that rookie year, maybe it wasn’t so surprising that he needed more time in the minors to perfect his craft).

    Morrie Martin is the only pitcher with a season (1953) finishing more than 80% of 40+ relief appearances while also logging 10 or more starts.

    Mel Parnell is the last retired pitcher with an official no-hit game in the final season of his career. What other pitchers have done this since 1914? Hint: Morrie Martin was the opposing starter in one of the games.

    • 35
      Hartvig says:

      I got Schmidt & Killebrew on my original guess but thought Sosa & McGwire were the other 2. Right time frame, wrong league.

      • 36
        Doug says:

        Two out of four is pretty good.

      • 39
        Dr. Doom says:

        A Mariner and an ex-Mariner round it out: Griffey and A-Rod. Thanks for the huge hint, Hartvig!

      • 40
        Dr. Doom says:

        Also, Hartvig, McGwire isn’t a TOTALLY bad guess. Although he didn’t lead the NL in three consecutive years, he DID lead the majors three years in a row! He hit 65 to lead the NL in 1999, the famous 70 in 1998, and he hit 58 in 1997. However, in the middle of that season, he was traded across leagues from Oakland to St. Louis, so his name rarely shows up on leaderboards for that year (was 9th in the NL with 34; tied for 22nd in the NL with 24). So maybe you deserve a little more credit than you thought you did!

        Other consecutive three-time league HR champs, pre-Kiner:
        Mel Ott, 1936-1938
        Chuck Klein, 1931-1933
        Hack Wilson, 1927-1929
        Gavvy Cravath, 1917-1919; 1913-1915
        Home Ruth Baker, 1911-1914
        Harry Davis, 1904-1907

        In case anyone’s interested in the players to lead the MAJORS three years in a row (or more), they are:

        McGwire (1997-1999)
        Schmidt (1974-1976)
        Kiner (1947-1952)
        Ruth (1918-1921, 1926-1929)
        Cravath (1915-1917)

        This makes Kiner the ONLY man to lead MLB in home runs five years in a row or more (and he did it six consecutive seasons, just for good measure)!

    • 43
      Richard Chester says:

      Here are some other pitchers who threw no-hitters in their last season, including a couple before 1914.
      Mal Eason
      Addie Joss
      Tex Carleton
      Ed Head
      Bobo Holloman ( Of course his first season was also his last and he’s the one whom Morrie Martin opposed).

      • 48
        Doug says:

        Right you are, Richard.

        Holloman, of course, is the only pitcher to throw a no-hitter in his first career start and only career CG.

        Head and Carleton had their final season no-hitters after not playing in the majors the year before. Head’s came in his first game of that season, and Carleton’s in his second.

        I hope Johan Santana doesn’t join the list. He was about to join the Orioles when he tore his Achilles last week. Hoping he makes it back next year.

    • 65
      Doug says:

      The answer to the question of fewest career triples among players with triples in 13 seasons is 18 for David Ortiz. Del Rice has the second lowest total of 20.

      Ortiz had two triples last season so he may yet tie or surpass Rice.

      • 66
        Hartvig says:

        Dagnabbit. After I posted about the home runs and was on another website it occurred to me that the answer might be Ernie Lombardi and after I was done I was going to check it out- which of course I completely forgot to do.

        Wasn’t too far off on my guess- Schnozz only had triples in 12 seasons and hit a total of 28 for his career but 9 of those came in a single season. And while I was checking that out it also occurred to me that Smokey Burgess might also have been a good guess and I wasn’t far off the mark there either- he had 33 over 13 different seasons.

  31. 37
    opal611 says:

    For the 1922-Part 2 election, I’m voting for:
    -Ryne Sandberg
    -Craig Biggio
    -Eddie Murray

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

  32. 41

    B-R career saves leaders when Wilhelm retired (1972), including pre-official saves:

    Wilhelm 227
    Roy Face 193
    Ron Perranoski 179
    Lindy McDaniel 160
    Stu Miller 154
    Ted Abernathy 148
    Don McMahon 147
    Dick Radatz 122
    Al Worthington 110

    My 1922b vote:
    Hoyt Wilhelm
    Orestes Minoso
    Craig Biggio

    • 51
      birtelcom says:

      The AARP ballot: average age of these three at their last game in the majors: 48 years, 317 days.

      • 52

        I don’t know about that. I was 20 years and about 250 days when I first got an AARP card in my name. And my father does not have the same first name as I.

        • 57
          Dr. Doom says:

          Me, too! I don’t remember the exact age I was, but I was DEFINITELY in college at the time. Oh AARP.

  33. 42
    Gary Bateman says:

    Ford, Minoso, Wilhelm

  34. 45
    wx says:

    Sandy Koufax, Richie Ashburn, Willie McCovey

  35. 46
  36. 47
    Bill Johnson says:

    Killebrew, Wilhelm, and Kiner

  37. 49
    Scary Tuna says:

    Killebrew, Wilhelm, and Kiner.

  38. 53
    T-Bone says:


  39. 54
    David Horwich says:

    Ralph Kiner is already assured of continuing on to the next ballot, so perhaps this comes too late to make a difference, but anyway –

    As youall probably know, when the Pirates acquired Hank Greenberg prior to the 1947 season, they moved the left field fence at Forbes Field in some 30 feet. Greenberg hit 18 of his 25 home runs at home that season. The change in dimensions would seem to have benefited Kiner, too – here are his home/road HR totals for his full seasons with the Pirates from 1947 on:

    1947: 28/23
    1948: 31/9
    1949: 29/25
    1950: 27/20
    1951: 26/16
    1952: 22/15

    total: 163/108

    Kiner hit 60% of his HR at home from 1947-1952. By way of comparison, Mel Ott and Chuck Klein both hit 63% of their HR at home; Billy Williams hit 58% at home, Ernie Banks 57%.

    Given that Kiner tied for the league lead in HR in 1947, 1948, and 1952, and had only a 2-HR lead over the second place finisher (Hodges) in 1951, it seems to me reasonable to presume that if not for the moved-in fences his career record wouldn’t have that impressive-looking streak of black ink in the HR column, and if that were the case I suspect he would never have made the HoF.

  40. 55
    David Horwich says:

    Biggio, Murray, Sandberg

  41. 56
    Darien says:

    Lofton, Sandberg, and Killebrew.

  42. 59
    aweb says:

    Lofton, Biggio, Killebrew

  43. 60
    Bix says:

    Kiner, Koufax, McCovey

  44. 61
    Dr. Doom says:

    This seemed like the most appropriate thread to post this, for those who haven’t heard:

    RIP Tony Gwynn

    You will be missed.

    • 70
      mosc says:

      Chewing tobacco, horrible. Just horrible. We will surely miss his keen insight on hitting which endured long after his bat speed.

      I remember when Strasburg was getting drafted they asked Gwynn what he thought and how simply having him stand in the batter’s box watching a pitcher’s stuff was far better than any scouting report.

      • 74
        Voomo Zanzibar says:

        Really sad to hear this.
        And bizarre to think of someone who was perceived as so ‘clean’ did himself in with a filthy habit.

        I had the fortune of seeing Gwynn in his very first game as the Head Coach for San Diego State. This was in Tempe, versus ASU.

        Sat right behind the dugout, and was so very impressed with just the way he carried himself, the small ways that he interacted with his players and the umpires. Always one of my favorite baseball people.

        His son was on that team. I believe he was a freshman.
        Clearly had a fast-track-to-the-majors swagger about him.
        Junior had a big game, and after scoring (again) to put SDS up big later in the game, gave it to the ASU fans who had been razzing him:

        “We bustin’ yo azz.”

        And he totally said it ebonically like that.
        ASU promptly came back from I believe 5 down and won the game.
        Gwynn Sr. was just the picture of class throughout.

        • 83
          Artie Z. says:

          Not that I’m a fan of chewing tobacco, but the CNN story (in the health section, not the sports section) on Gwynn states:

          “There is no scientifically established link between smokeless tobacco and salivary gland cancer, according to the American Council on Science and Health. Doctors don’t know what causes salivary gland cancer, but the Mayo Clinic lists old age and radiation as known risk factors.”

          Before I get jumped on for being an idiot, because OF COURSE smokeless tobacco causes cancer, it’s the link between smokeless tobacco and Gwynn’s particular type of cancer (salivary gland cancer). Even states:

          “Although we know a few things that can raise a person’s risk of salivary gland cancer, it’s not clear exactly what causes most of these cancers.”

          Under the risk factors, states:

          “Tobacco and alcohol can increase the risk for several cancers of the head and neck area, but they have not been strongly linked to salivary gland cancers in most studies.”

          It’s like the Lyle Alzado story – Alzado himself blames all the stuff he put in his body, but doctors never found any evidence linking what he put into his body and his particular disease (I forget if it was cancer). Alzado wanted something to blame, when really the best explanation was bad luck. It’s the same with Gwynn, even though basically every report other than the one in CNN’s health section states Gwynn also blames the chewing tobacco.

          This is a case where we might want to listen to the doctors who have studied something rather than people who attribute bad luck to some habit they had.

    • 79
      birtelcom says:

      Sadly, our first COG inductee to pass away after having been inducted.

      Because we’ve proceeded backwards in time, starting with the more recent birth years, a large majority of our inductees to date are, happily, still with us. COG inductees who have passed away: Clemente, Mantle, Mathews, Santo, Robin Roberts, Snider, Gary Carter, and now, way too soon, Tony Gwynn. Have I overlooked any?

  45. 62
    Low T says:

    Lofton, Sandberg, and McCovey

  46. 63
    Mike HBC says:

    Koufax, Ford, and barely Biggio- I might be moving into the Sandberg or McCovey camp.

    • 67
      Hartvig says:

      Based on current voting, it’s not out of the question that one of those camps may have moved on before you get there.

      Of course at this point there at least half a dozen or so guys still in contention and I’d be surprised if anyone wins this round going away.

  47. 64
    Abbott says:

    Murray, Biggio, McCovey

  48. 71
    mosc says:

    Koufax, Ford, Doby

  49. 72
    Artie Z says:

    Koufax, Murray, and … I have no idea. After deliberating and making comparisons, I’ll choose Ashburn.

    The redemption round winners, and influx of the late 1910s talent, can’t get here soon enough. If Koufax (possible) or Murray (unlikely) wins, my ballot next round will very likely be: Murray (or, in the unlikely event Murray wins, Koufax), Spahn, and redemption round winner even if it is someone I didn’t vote for.

  50. 73
    Dr. Remulak says:

    Biggio, Koufax, Ford.

  51. 75
    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 – 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):

    Lofton 6
    Sandberg 9
    McCovey 15
    Murray 18
    Ashburn 20
    Biggio 23
    Koufax 29
    Killebrew 30
    Doby 38
    Ford 38
    Minoso 38

    Hmm. This is getting interesting. With Martinez disappearing off the top of my ballot, McCovey moves on (as he’s seemed to on a LOT of ballots this round). But, the difference between 3rd and 6th isn’t so great, and of all four of those guys, I’m inclined to give Biggio more credit than the others because of his versatility in the field, and for his significant time as catcher which I still find to be more valuable than simple WAR factors can encapsulate. So he moves on to my ballot for what I think is the first time ever.


  52. 76
    Nick Pain says:

    Murray, Lofton, Biggio

  53. 77
    Joel says:


  54. 80

    Most Wins Above Average, excluding negative seasonal totals:

    Lofton 39.3
    McCovey 38.9
    Sandberg 38.8
    Biggio 36.3
    Ashburn 33.9
    Murray 33.7
    Killebrew 33.0
    Koufax 32.3
    Doby 32.2
    Minoso 30.6
    Ford 29.3
    Wilhelm 28.7
    Kiner 27.0

    I thought Smoltz and Martinez stood head-and-shoulders above the other long-time holdovers. I don’t know what to do now that they’re both in. Was Mariano Rivera so much better than any other relief pitcher that he should be the only reliever in the CoG? Should 500 home runs before Balco be automatic? Are we properly evaluating Kenny Lofton now that we have the right metrics to account for everything he brought, or are we overpraising him because he was underappreciated for so long? Should the pioneering black Major Leaguers get a bonus for the adversity they overcame? I don’t know the answer to any of those questions, so I’ll throw my darts at…

    Koufax, Wilhelm, McCovey

  55. 81
    jajacob says:

    lofton, sandberg, mccovey

  56. 82
    Hub Kid says:

    Koufax, Doby, Ashburn

    I guess I am falling into the ‘peak’ camp for Koufax, after some hesitation- a peak as great as Koufax’s is just enough to amount to a great career in my book.

    One might call it the Koufax line, although it looks like Koufax might be the only player on the right side of it.

  57. 84
    jeff hill says:

    Lofton, Kiner, Ford

  58. 85
    Voomo Zanzibar says:

    Somewhat surprised that the
    2nd greatest relief pitcher of all-time is limping along in 8th place.

    And this reliever was no new-fangled one-inning-wonder.
    He logged over 2000 innings.

    Here are some career numbers for Wilhelm and Koufax.
    Who is who?

    2324.1 IP
    2254.1 IP

    1.106 WHIP
    1.125 WHIP

    • 86
      no statistician but says:

      Here are some other stats that may give you an idea why those who were around in Wilhelm’s time didn’t think as you do:

      Career passed balls: Koufax 13; Ford 21, Rivera 17; Gossage 13; Wilhelm 270.

      • 87
        Voomo Zanzibar says:

        Man, those are just Nasty Points.

      • 88
        David Horwich says:

        VZ @ 85 –

        Comparing Wilhelm to Koufax is not exactly apples-to-apples, though, is it? – since one was (mostly) a reliever averaging 2-3 innings a stint, the other a starter averaging 7+ innings a start in his peak years.

        nsb @ 86 –

        I was curious to see if Wilhelm yielded an unusually high number of unearned runs compared to other knuckleballers – turns out, he did:

        Unearned runs as a percentage of total runs allowed:

        Wakefield 11.7%
        J Niekro 11.7%
        Hough 12.4%
        Candiotti 13.0%
        P Niekro 13.9%
        Wood 14.6%
        Wilhelm 18.2%

        ML average in Wilhelm’s day was around 11-12%; these days it’s more like 8%. I don’t know if Wilhelm’s higher percentage is somehow related to his being a relief pitcher.

        • 89
          Voomo Zanzibar says:

          I’m just trying to really flesh out the Koufax conversation before we actually elect him. I’ve always been as seduced as anyone by Koufax’s numbers.

          But here we’re considering his value versus players who produced at a high level for 2-3 times as long as he did.

          2 cup o’ coffee years
          4 putting it together years
          2 all-star years
          4 HOF years

          That is a tough apples-to-oranges
          comparison to a player like Craig Biggio,
          who performed at an all-star level
          for the first 11 seasons of his career
          (at three different up-the-middle positions)
          and then continued
          to be a productive (offensive) player
          for another half decade.

          For Koufax
          we are putting tremendous value in:

          4(+2) years
          World Series Performance, and

          I understand that what
          we are doing is not purely statistical.

          There is emotion in being
          a truly addicted baseball fan.

          And it is valid to vote/not-vote
          for Koufax/Kevin-Brown just because.

          Just sayin’.
          Sandy’s not leaving the ballot.
          We’ve got another year to talk about this.

          • 90
            John Autin says:

            Pardon the hijack, but speaking of Sandy … Clayton.

          • 92
            David Horwich says:

            VZ @ 89 –

            It is indeed hard to compare Koufax to just about anyone; he was quite the unique apple.

            I find myself wondering not so much about what might have been if his career hadn’t been terminated by injury, but instead how his career would have developed if he hadn’t been a bonus baby and could have spent time in the minors honing his craft.

            I’m one of those in the “not sure he belongs” camp, but I’m strongly considering throwing him a vote this round, in hopes of getting him elected & freeing up votes for others (the Artie Z gambit, if I may); especially since we’re going to have a crowded ballot next round, what with 3 redemptionists joining Kiner & Wilhelm and 10 of the current holdovers.


            As for Wilhelm, what continues to puzzle me is why he wasn’t kept in the starting rotation after his fine 1959 season. He started 1960 in the rotation (more or less) and got knocked around some the first couple months, so I guess that was enough to convince Paul Richards he’d be better off in the ‘pen.

          • 93
            David P says:

            David H – On the surface it may seem strange that Wilhelm was pulled from the rotation.

            But take a closer look at those Baltimore teams from 58-60 under Richards. No starter made more than 29 starts for Baltimore during those years.

            That’s quite amazing in my opinion. Sure the schedule was only 154 games but most teams were still using 4 man rotations. Richards though appears to have been doing something else entirely.

            Since most of the starters made 5+ relief appearances during those years, it doesn’t appear that anyone was injured. It looks like Richards was just flexible in terms of how he used pitchers. Some guys started more, some guys relieved more but everyone pitched in however they were needed by Richards.

            I have no idea if Richards was considered a good manager. But at least he was willing to try something different.

            Looking back to when Richards managed the White Sox in the 50s you see a very similar pattern of pitcher usage. And he was also the manager who made Goose Gossage a starting pitcher for a year.

            And here’s what his SABR bio says: “He calculated on-base percentages before that statistic had a name (he called it “batting average with bases on balls”), was the first manager to enforce pitch counts to protect young arms, and invented a huge catcher’s mitt to handle knuckleball pitchers.”

  59. 91
    Voomo Zanzibar says:

    I’ve convinced myself.

    R. Ashburn
    K. Lofton
    H. Wilhelm

    Craig Biggio
    Kenny Lofton
    Holt Wilhelm

  60. 94
    Kirk says:

    Minoso, Doby and Wilhelm

  61. 95
    Josh says:

    Whitey Ford, Ralph Kiner, Hoyt Wilhelm

  62. 96
    Lawrence Azrin says:

    For the win:
    – Willie McCovey

    Stay on the COG ballot:
    – Minnie Minoso
    – Larry Doby

  63. 97
    Matt G. says:

    McCovey. Koufax. Murray.

    That sure wasn’t where I thought I would end up, but there you have it.

  64. 98
    Brendan Bingham says:

    Ashburn, Killebrew, Wilhelm

  65. 99
    brp says:


  66. 100
    Dr. Doom says:

    Looks like everyone on the backlog is safe except Doby (who needs one more vote, if not two or three, depending on how many more votes we get – if we get 19 more voters, Minoso would need another vote, too).

    Wilhelm will be added to the backlog.

  67. 102
    Lawrence Azrin says:

    Bringing back the glut at second base:
    – Roberto Alomar

    A couple semi-sentimental Red Sawks choices:
    – Luis Tiant
    -Dewey Evans (read out loud just the first names of the last two)

  68. 105
    paget says:


  69. 106
    David Horwich says:

    What the heck…please change my vote from:

    Biggio, Murray, Sandberg


    Biggio, Koufax, Sandberg

    • 108
      birtelcom says:

      Interesting. Could be a big-impact vote change.

      • 111
        David Horwich says:

        We shall see.

        Although I’m lukewarm about Koufax, I figure he’s getting in sooner or later, what with the consistent support he receives, and the many rounds of eligibility he has stored up. So, it might as well be sooner, that’ll free up some votes for next round’s significantly more crowded ballot.

  70. 107
    MikeD says:


  71. 109
    Doug says:

    Wilhelm, Kiner, Murray

  72. 112
    --bill says:

    Koufax, Kiner, Wilhelm

  73. 113
    Jeff B says:

    McCovey, Murray and Killebrew

  74. 114
    bstar says:

    Koufax, Biggio, Lofton

  75. 115
    robbs says:

    Triple talk got me wondering. Has any player led a league for a year in all four types of hits i.e. singles doubles triples and homers in his career? Thinking power speed guy who maybe hit a lot of singles also? Frank Robinson? I would even settle for doubles triples and homers.

    Koufax Lofton McCovey

    • 116
      no statistician but says:

      Ty Cobb led in HR just once, singles six times, doubles three times, triples four times, hits eight times. Lou Gehrig never led in singles, but he led in hits once, doubles twice, triples once, HR three times.

      There might be others.

      • 119
        Richard Chester says:

        In 1946 Stan Musial led the NL in hits, singles, doubles and triples. His 16 HR was good enough for 6th place, 7 behind leader Kiner.

    • 118
      bstar says:

      Ty Cobb came really close in 1911, leading the AL in singles, doubles, and triples, but his 8 HR missed the league leader by 1. He pulled the same trick in 1917 but was three HR short of the league leader that year. (Cobb did in fact lead the AL in HR one season – 1909).

      Rogers Hornsby is another good guess, but surprisingly he never led the NL in singles. Too many XBH, I guess.

      Another guy to lead in three categories: Nap Lajoie in 1901 AL (singles, doubles, HR, but a distant 14th in triples).

      Sniffing around, it looks like it’s going to be difficult to find anyone besides Ty Cobb who had black ink in all four categories at least once in their career.

      • 120
        Artie Z. says:

        The only person I see to have black ink in all 4 categories at least once in his career (other than Cobb) is Roger Connor (sort of). He led the NL in singles in 1885, doubles in 1892, triples in 1882 and 1886, and led the Player’s League in HR in 1890 (this is the “sort of” – but there were a good number of good players in that league so I’m counting it).

        Sam Thompson, Delahanty, Bottomley, Medwick, and Mize (in addition to Gehrig) led in the XBH categories at least once in their careers.

        P. Waner, Brett, Brock, Manush, and Pinson led in the non-HR categories at least once.

        There may be others. I basically just went down the seasonal leaders list for triples and picked players I thought might have led in HR (or doubles and singles). I don’t see anyone who led in singles, triples, and HRs but not doubles.

        • 122
          bstar says:

          Artie, Sam Crawford is yet another to lead in all XBH categories at least once.

        • 123
          Richard Chester says:

          Leaders in triples and HR in the same season:
          Mickey Mantle 1955
          Jim Rice 1978
          Tommy Leach 1902
          Harry Lumley 1904
          Jim Bottomley 1928
          Willie Mays 1955

        • 125
          Doug says:

          Can add Musial, Slaughter, Molitor, Edd Roush, Larry Doyle and Ross Barnes to those who led in all but HR at least once. Barnes led in 1B, 2B and 3B in 1876.

          Players to lead at least once in all but triples.
          – Hugh Duffy, Nap Lajoie, Tris Speaker, Tommy Holmes

          Players to lead in all but doubles.
          – Jim O’Rourke

    • 121
      bstar says:

      robbs, I did find a guy who led in all four categories, but it was in the American Association in 1887. That man was Tip O’Neill, The Woodstock Wonder. Playing for the St. Louis Browns, Tip had black ink in 12 separate categories that season, 13 if you include singles.

      Fun link here:

      • 124
        Doug says:

        Actually, while Tip led in 1887 in doubles, triples, HR and Hits, he didn’t lead in singles that year. But, he did lead in singles in 1886 and 1888.

        • 130
          robbs says:

          Thanks to all for the lightning quick responses to one of my random curiosities. The Vada Pinson mention from Artie Z in 120 reminded me of a story in spring training. Some time around mid to late nineties (?) Vada is coaching the Tigers and in the clubhouse after a game mentions casually something about his playing days from a specific game. The young Tiger (Robert Fick maybe?)says “Oh, did Mr. Pinson once play in the major leagues”? Unlike I would have done, Mr. Pinson did not throw him against the wall and make him memorize his very good, if not COG or HOF worthy, career. Check out the similarity scores by age and he’s in some pretty good company (Mike Trout at age 20!)Cedeno Kaline Clemente after…
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  76. 117
    Voomo Zanzibar says:

    Positive Koufax statistic:
    (in part because he was badass, in part because he retired at peak)

    314 Starts
    40 Shutouts

    That’s 7.85 starts per shutout.
    Pitchers, since 1920, with less than 8 starts per shutout:

    314 Koufax
    239 Mort Cooper
    184 Spud Chandler
    107 Babe Adams
    97 Lou Fette
    61 Guy Morton
    58 Steve Swetonic
    53 Hi Bithorn
    43 John Hiller
    41 Ken Burkhart
    37 Milo Candini
    29 Dave Leonhard
    26 Satchel Paige
    24 Arnold Carter
    23 Whitey Wilshire
    21 Terry Leach
    19 Jack Salveson
    18 Scott Neilsen
    17 Jim Wright
    16 Karl Spooner

  77. 126
    Michael Sullivan says:

    Even though I almost agree with David Horwich, I cannot bring myself to vote for Koufax. My strategic line in the sand (as a highly strategic voter in general) is that I haven’t yet ever put in a vote for someone that I was pretty sure I wouldn’t put in my own personal COG. So I’m not going to start now.

    Looks Sandy is going to win anyway, so I’m hoping that those new votes will head toward good candidates that need the support.

    Kiner and Wilhelm are interesting new candidates. Kiner is in some sense the Koufax of batters. Short career with a great peak. The difference is, while he was the league leader in HR for 7 years, he was not the best batter over that span, trailing massively behind the two inner circlers he shared time with (Musial and Williams), and Jackie Robinson is close enough in batting power to be behind in WAR. Now those are two clear cut inner circle, and one probable, so trailing behind them isn’t necessarily a problem for your COG case generally.

    But we’re looking at Kiner as a guy who didn’t do enough over his career, but had such a great peak we should consider him anyway. And not only is he behind Koufax in WAR, his peak is nowhere *near* Sandy’s. Koufax had 4 years at a level that only a couple other guys in the history of the game ever reached for that long, and *nobody* had a clearly better 4 year span. Not Wlater Johnson, Not Cy Young, not Randy Johnson, Not Pedro, not Maddux, not Clemens. Nobody. Kiner doesn’t have that chit. His best identifiable peak is a 5 year span from 1947 to 1951, and during that time, he trailed Williams and Musial in both rbat and WAR, and just barely beat Jackie Robinson in WAR. That’s just that time. That’s not putting him up against Williams or Musial’s best 5 year stretch, let alone all other great batter’s 5 year stretches. That 5 years is extremely good, but the great inner circlers almost all have a 5 year stretch that is better, and often clearly better.

    It’s not enough to make me think seriously about leaping him over guys with 15-20 more career WAR, who are only behind by 4-5 wins in their 5 year peaks. That doesn’t make sense to me.

    With Koufax, you have a more impressive (if shorter) peak, and he’s 6 WAR closer to the career value standard.

    If I can’t vote for Koufax, there’s no way I can support Kiner. I put Kiner in my personal 200 player hall, but he’s questionable. Koufax is on the hall rating borderline for such a hall (as evidenced by his 100 HR and nearly last in Adam’s hall of stats, but he just *obviously* belongs in a 200 player hall. No question at all in my mind, even though I don’t vote for him here.

    I think you have to believe that Koufax is an obvious COG choice to think Kiner is even borderline.

    No Kiner for me, and I think I’ve seen enough bad stats, that I’m passing on Wilhelm as well.

    I’ve also decided that Ashburn is just outside my COG, so I’m stopping supporting him unless not enough of my redemption candidates come back and he becomes the least of evils down the road.

    So my vote is:

    McCovey, Lofton, Doby

    • 129
      Voomo Zanzibar says:

      Nobody had a better 4 year stretch than Sandy?
      I’ll look at WAR per IP:

      Koufax (1963 – 1966)

      1193 IP
      36.5 WAR
      32.68 IP per WAR

      Pedro Martinez (1997 – 2000)

      905 IP
      37.6 WAR
      24.06 IP per WAR

      Randy Johnson (1999 – 2002)

      1030 IP
      38.3 WAR
      26.89 IP per WAR

      Lefty Grove (1930 – 1933)

      1147 IP
      36.3 WAR
      31.59 IP per WAR

      Greg Maddux (1994 – 1997)

      889 IP
      33.1 WAR
      26.85 IP per WAR

      And old school………….

      Walter Johnson (1912 – 1915)

      1423 IP
      51.1 WAR
      27.84 IP per WAR

      This almost works for any 4 year Big Train stretch from 1910-1919.
      Only his puny 6.8 WAR in 1917 derails it.
      And he racked up 1.2 WAR as a hitter that year, just a few ticks over his average for the decade.

      And new school……..

      Clayton Kershaw (2010 – 2013)

      901 IP
      26.1 WAR
      34.52 IP per WAR (not quite)

    • 131
      David Horwich says:

      MS @ 127 –

      This is as strategic a vote as I ever expect to cast; in the past I’ve only voted for players on my personal “yes, definitely” and “probably” lists. While I wouldn’t (otherwise) vote for Koufax, I don’t really have a problem with him getting in, so I’m bowing to the inevitable.

  78. 127
    Mike L says:

    Once again some difficult choices.
    Sandburg, Ford, and for the first time, McCovey.

  79. 128
    Aidan Mattson says:

    Murray, Koufax, Ford

  80. 132
    Hartvig says:

    And with just hours to go Koufax has a 27 to 24 vote lead on McCovey for inclusion in the COG.

    Other matters that could be decided in the final hours:

    Wilhelm is 1 vote shy of the 25% necessary to gain 1 ballot eligibility guarantee BUT 2 votes could put Biggio, Sandberg & Kiner below the 25% level as well (depending on how people vote, of course).

    Doby & Ashburn are both 1 vote shy of the 10% level necessary to move forward to the next round

    If there are 6 or more votes Ford could also fall below 25% and 8 or more Minoso could fall below 10%, altho I think it’s unlikely we’ll see that many…

  81. 133
    Insert Name Here says:

    It’s been a very busy week for me, so as I am just not getting around to voting on the last night I am able to do so, I am going to start by developing my ranking of candidates for this round and then (within the same comment) reconsider which players to vote for based on the current vote tally.

    Initial ranking of candidates (developed without looking at spreadsheet) :

    1. Kenny Lofton (6.8 WAR/162 during 1992-99)
    2. Sandy Koufax (7.8 WAR/season during 1961-66)
    3. Larry Doby (6.2 WAR/162 during 1948-56)
    4. Ryne Sandberg (6.2 WAR/162 during 1984-92)
    5. Craig Biggio (5.8 WAR/162 during 1991-99)
    6. Willie McCovey (6.7 WAR/162 during 1963-70)
    7. Ralph Kiner (7.1 WAR/162 during 1947-52)
    8. Harmon Killebrew (5.3 WAR/162 during 1959-70)
    9. Minnie Miñoso (5.7 WAR/162 during 1951-59)
    10. Eddie Murray (5.7 WAR/162 during 1978-86)
    11. Richie Ashburn (5.3 WAR/162 during 1951-60)
    12. Mel Parnell (5.0 WAR/season during 1949-53)

    Now, after looking at the spreadsheet, I’ve decided to be “that guy” and cast saving votes for Doby and Ashburn. Since Koufax’ lead is slim, I’ll keep my vote for him too, dropping my would-have-been-a-vote for Lofton.

    So, to make this clear, I’m voting for Koufax, Doby, and Ashburn.

  82. 134
    RJ says:

    Lofton, Miñoso, Doby. I’m sort of underwhelmed by the current crop (in our absurdly high standards kind of way).

  83. 135
    David P says:

    Not much I can do here except give a few players another round of eligibility. So…


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