Circle of Greats: 1918 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 66th round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG).  This round adds to the ballot those players born in 1918, a group that includes some guys who were pretty good at baseball. Rules and lists are after the jump.

This round’s new group of 1918-born players joins the holdovers from previous rounds to comprise the full set of players eligible to receive your votes this round.

The new group of 1918-born players, in order to join the eligible list, must have played at least 10 seasons in the major leagues or generated at least 20 Wins Above Replacement (“WAR”, as calculated by baseball-reference.com, and for this purpose meaning 20 total WAR for everyday players and 20 pitching WAR for pitchers).

Each submitted ballot, if it is to be counted, must include three and only three eligible players.  The one player who appears on the most ballots cast in the round is inducted into the Circle of Greats.  Players who fail to win induction but appear on half or more of the ballots that are cast win four added future rounds of ballot eligibility.  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 Tuesday, August 5, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:59 PM EDT Sunday, August 3.

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 1918 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-1918 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 twelve 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 1918 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.

There is one 1918-born player who makes the ballot despite having played in only nine major league seasons, based on a career Wins Above Replacement total over 20. That’s Whitey Kurowski, who overcame a childhood injury that badly damaged his right arm to last nine years in the majors, including several years as a star third basemen for the Cardinals during and after World War II, until the arm finally gave out.

Holdovers:
Whitey Ford (eligibility guaranteed for 6 rounds)
Kenny Lofton (eligibility guaranteed for 6 rounds)
Craig Biggio (eligibility guaranteed for 3 rounds)
Ryne Sandberg (eligibility guaranteed for 3 rounds)
Minnie Minoso (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Roberto Alomar (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Kevin Brown (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Roy Campanella  (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Dennis Eckersley (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Harmon Killebrew (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Ralph Kiner (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Eddie Murray (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)

Everyday Players (born in 1918, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Mickey Vernon
Ted Williams
Pee Wee Reese
Bobby Doerr
Don Kolloway
Frank Baumholtz
Jim Russell
Snuffy Stirnweiss
Whitey Kurowski

Pitchers (born in 1918, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Bob Feller
Bob Chipman
Jack Kramer
Eddie Lopat
Marv Grissom
Randy Gumpert
Red Munger

Leave a Reply

210 Comments on "Circle of Greats: 1918 Balloting"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Jeff Harris
Guest

Williams, Brown, Alomar

Dr. Doom
Guest

An easy one for me.

Ted Williams
Bob Feller
Kevin Brown

RJ
Guest

How are you dealing with war years Doc? I’m currently mulling over Pee Wee Reese, and leaving him off my ballot would definitely not be an easy decision for me.

Dr. Doom
Guest

You’re right, RJ! I totally missed that Reese was on there. I noted it in LAST round’s voting, but totally forgot when the time came this time ’round. Here are the players that I have as number 3-9, by peak-adjusted WAR:

KBrown – 71.9
RSandberg – 71.1
KLofton – 67.9
RAlomar – 67.8
CBiggio – 66.6
PReese – 66.0
EMurray – 64.7

So the question is: do I think Reese’s War years were worth more than 6 WAR? The answer is, “Undoubtedly.”

First time ever (I think) amending my ballot:

Ted Williams
Bob Feller
Pee Wee Reese

Thanks to RJ!!!

RJ
Guest

No problem Doc! I genuinely wanted to know if you had a reason for leaving Reese off; turns out you’re just a scatterbrain like the rest of us. 🙂

Andy
Guest

Ted Williams, Bob Feller, Kevin Brown

Steven
Guest

Ted Williams, Bob Feller, Pee Wee Reese.

Bill Johnson
Guest

Killebrew, Williams, and Feller.

bells
Guest
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… Read more »
Francisco
Guest

Ted Williams, Bob Feller, Pee Wee Reese

latefortheparty
Guest

Ted Williams
Kevin Brown
Ryne Sandberg

Mike HBC
Guest

::sigh::
Williams, Feller, Reese

Ajnrules
Guest

Ted Williams
Bob Feller
Kenny Lofton

Gary Bateman
Guest

Williams, Feller, Alomar

BillH
Guest

to plagiarize bells ” I’ll vote for the best player and the best players I’m worried about dropping off”

Williams
Murray
Alomar

Owen
Guest

Feller, Williams, Lofton

Andy
Guest

Williams
Feller
Alomar

RonG
Guest

Williams, Feller, Campanella

Richard Chester
Guest

Williams, Feller, Ford

I just discovered that you can do a PI search by the first and/or last letter of a player’s first and/or last name. Just for the heck of it I searched for players whose first and last names ended in “z”. I found two such players, Fritz Mollwitz and Fritz Von Kolnitz. And they were teammates on the 1915 Reds. I also found that this year’s Yankees are the only team to have 5 starters whose names all ended with “a” and started at least 4 games. Ah, the amazing things you can do with the PI.

Doug
Guest
This year’s tidbits. – Mickey Vernon’s 43 doubles in 1953 would be the high-water mark for the 35 and older crowd for 25 years, until Pete Rose’s 51 double season in 1978 at age 37. Who are the only players older than Rose with a 50 double season? – Ted Williams’ 1949 season of 150 runs, 150 RBI and 150 walks is unique in baseball history. Think about that – try driving in 150 runs when you’re walked more than 20% of the time you come to the plate. – Bob Feller’s 1946 season marks of 371 IP, 348 strikeouts,… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Answer to the Snuffy Stirnweiss question: Ty Cobb, George Sisler and Charlie Gehringer.

Doug
Editor

Correct.

The only 19th century player to do this was Ross Barnes in 1873.

Hartvig
Guest

I was certain that Willie Wilson was one of the answers but it turns out that his 79 stolen bases in 1980 was only good enough for second place behind some flash-in-the-pan named Henderson.

JasonZ
Guest

The randomness of 90 disqualifies Jeter because
of the injury in 03.

Even so, at least 84 runs scored for 17
consecutive seasons.

Not Ripken either.

Stumped.

Is it Alan Trammel?

JasonZ
Guest

So Alan Trammell exceeded 90 runs three
times his entire career.

And I misspelled his name too.

Not my finest moment.

RJ
Guest

It’s A-Rod right?

Doug
Guest

A-Rod is correct.

Luis Gomez
Guest

For the Eddie Lopat question, I´ll say Whitey Ford never appeared on a Yankee loss.

For the Baumholtz/Robinson question, I´ll guess Ichiro.

Richard Chester
Guest

For the Lopat question: Ford, Gomez, Pettitte. Gomez never appeared in a loss.

Doug
Guest

Absolutely correct.

Lopat appeared in a loss only once, in game 3 of the 1952 series.

Doug
Guest

Ichiro is correct.

Richard Chester
Guest

The Kolloway question: Jorge Cantu had exactly one season of 100+ games at each of 1B, 2B and 3B.

Doug
Guest

Cantu is correct.

The other player with one 100 game season at both 1st base and 2nd base is Denis Menke, who also had five 100 game seasons at shortstop and two at 3rd base.

Richard Chester
Guest

Looks like Fed Norman is one of the two pitchers for the Randy Gumpert question.

Doug
Editor

That’s correct.

Richard Chester
Guest

Boom-Boom Beck is the other.

Doug
Guest

The fun fact about Beck is that he faced Al Simmons in his (Beck’s) career debut and also twenty years later in Simmons’ career finale.

Jeff Hill
Guest

I’d have to think Bonds’ 01′ season was one of the closer recent seasons to Ted’s 49′ of 150*3. 129r/137RBI/177BB…that’s besides Ted’s 42′ and 46′ seasons of course that barely missed the mark.

Ruth missed it twice…21′ by 5 walks and in 27′ by 13.

Bagwell in 99′ posted 143/126/149

Only 11 times has anyone reached 150BB.

PP
Guest

’49 was also the year Williams famously lost the batting title to Kell, and his 3rd triple crown as well, by .0002

Richard Chester
Guest

Interest in the quizzes has seemed to have died out so here are some answers.

Marv Grissom question: Ellis Kinder
Red Munger question: Ricky Bones
Bob Chipman: Darren Dreifort and Jim Hannan

David Horwich
Guest

The answer to the Mickey Vernon/Pete Rose doubles question is Tris Speaker and Luis Gonzalez, both age 38 when they hit 52 doubles.

Doug
Guest

Richard,

No guesses on the Jim Russell question?

As a hint, the player Pittsburgh traded was MVP the next year while the future manager they acquired lasted less than a season as skipper.

Richard Chester
Guest

The Pirates traded Bob Elliott to the Braves for Billy Herman. Herman lasting less than a year as manager was the giveaway. I just searched the list of Pirate managers and looked for a season with more than one manager.

no statistician but
Guest

Whitey Kurowski isn’t the first to appear in the COG balloting—but he may be the first who isn’t better known to younger HHS contributors—to have his name appear in what song? Many more will follow in the next few ballots.

no statistician but
Guest

No takers on my quiz? Or is it too easy?

David Horwich
Guest

I suppose you’re talking about “Van Lingle Mungo”?

That’s the only baseball-related song I know that features lots of different names (not that I’m any kind of expert on baseball-related songs).

no statistician but
Guest

Give the man a prize.

Hartvig
Guest

Since I’m sure I’m not the only one who hadn’t heard this in a while

http://youtu.be/nKzobTlF8fM

Luis Gomez
Guest

Never heard that before. What I actually have heard before, is a song written and performed by former infielder Tim Flannery. In this song he mentions a few former major league stars.

Richard Chester
Guest

There was also a song called Willie, Mickey and the Duke. And also there was Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio.

Josh
Guest
my vote is: Ted Williams, Bob Feller, and……i’ll try to keep Ralph Kiner alive I can’t decide on my third between Ford, Kiner, Doerr, and Reese, so I might as well go with the guy on the bubble who needs the most help. this ballot includes 4 surefire HOF in Williams, Feller, Doerr, and Reese. but we shouldn’t discount Eddie Lopat or Mickey Vernon as quality players. Mickey Vernon is one of 10 regular hitters to appear in 5+ all-star games at the age of 35 or older. The other 9 include 7 hall of famers, Pete Rose, and Barry… Read more »
koma
Guest

Craig Biggio, Dennis Eckersley, Ted Williams

PaulE
Guest

Alomar, Feller, Williams

Arsen
Guest

Ted Williams, Bob Feller, Dennis Eckersley.
Every time I look at Williams Baseball Reference Page I’m amazed. His 1.096 OPS and 190 OPS+ at the age of 41 caught my eye this time. He probably could have come back in 1973 at the age of 54 and been a pretty good D.H.

PaulE
Guest

Alex Rodriguez scored 90+ runs in 8 consecutive seasons in Seattle & Texas while playing SS

Hartvig
Guest
PeeWee Reese missed his age 24 thru 26 seasons to WW2. At age 23 he produced 5.7 WAR. Three years later he returned from the service and produced 6.0, a figure he topped the following season. Every year he played from 1942 until 1955 he produced at least 4 WAR. If we only credit him for 4 WAR for each of his missed season that would still give him 68.3 WAR. If we credit him with 5 WAR for those seasons- a number he topped every year but 1 between 1942 &1955 but one (OK, 2 actually but 1 was… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest

Whoops- missed Rafael Palmeiro with his 71.6 career WAR.

bells
Guest

Reese’s WAR is 66.3; wouldn’t giving him 4 WAR for 3 missed years give him 78.3 total, and giving him 6 WAR make it 84.3? For me he’s a no doubter, but he’ll have to wait 2 rounds until Williams and Feller are in.

Hartvig
Guest
Ha! That’s what I get for posting when I wake up at 3 am and can’t sleep… The saddest part is that after I typed everything up that little warning bell in the back of my mind went off so I looked at the numbers a second time and decided for a second time that I had them “right”… So at 4 WAR per season he moves up on the list into a tie for 65th, at 5 to 60th and at 6 to a tie for 52nd. And yeah, I have to agree that Teddy Ballgame and Rapid Robert… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
I show Pee Wee with 66.3 actual WAR, which means if you spot him 4 WAR for his 3 missed seasons (a very conservative estimate that he probably would have exceeded barring injury), he ends up with 78.3, or 81.3 if you give him 5 each (again, not an especially optimistic estimate). I think that makes him pretty much a COG lock. Feller works similarly. Without the war credit, it’s questionable whether he’s better than some of the modern holdovers given weaker pre-integration leagues etc. But with any reasonable war credit it’s clear he should be a lock. The same… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Doerr benefited greatly from playing at Fenway Park. His home tOPS+ of 125 is the highest for players with 3000+ PA. His OPS at home was an excellent .928 but on the road it was a so-so .716. He hit 3 HR in 499 AB at Yankee Stadium. Even Phil Rizzuto hit HR at a greater rate than that at the Stadium.

mosc
Guest
OK, war years aside the hard pill to swallow for me is that Reese was a productive offensive player. But I really do believe OWAR mostly gets the math right and his OWAR is an eye-popping 55.6… ignoring a healthy 117 RFIELD. I guess we have to recall the era that Reese played in. Shortstops couldn’t hit worth a lick and stolen bases were down. Still, he ran the bases as well as anybody and swung a competitive bat, leveraging his speed with a healthy walk rate. He had so many good hitters behind him over the years that getting… Read more »
Mike G.
Guest

Williams, Brown, Eckersley

dr. remulak
Guest

Biggio, Williams, Feller.

aweb
Guest

Williams, Brown, Killebrew

Mo
Guest

Williams, t
feller
ford

KalineCountry Ron
Guest

Ted Williams
Bob Feller
Whitey Ford

MJ
Guest

Ted Williams, Bob Feller, Pee Wee Reese

Hub Kid
Guest

Ted Williams, Pee Wee Reese and Bobby Doerr.

As far as I can tell Doerr did everything well (my favorite stat is his 89 career triples), and then retired young.

oneblankspace
Guest

Biggio
TWilliams
and the Feller who pitches for Cleveland
http://youtu.be/eGjngdJc614

JasonZ
Guest
That Feller was something special, and I don’t mean in regards to baseball. From his obit in the NYT… It was Dec. 7, 1941. I was driving to my meeting with my Cleveland Indians bosses to hash out my 1942 contract, and out it came on the radio: the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. The last thing on my mind right then was playing baseball. I immediately decided to enlist in the United States Navy. I didn’t have to — I was 23 and strong-bodied, you bet, but with my father terminally ill back in Van Meter, Iowa, I was… Read more »
David Horwich
Guest

My copy of “My Turn At Bat” is packed away, but my recollection is that in it Williams complained rather bitterly about being recalled to active service for Korea. Does anyone have a copy at hand to check?

oneblankspace
Guest

Snippets from a goOgle Books search of “Korea” in My turn at bat : the story of my life / by Ted Williams ; with John Underwood

can be found at

http://goo.gl/4v5KQl

See especially p. 174 ff.

David Horwich
Guest

Thanks for the link!

PP
Guest

It appears he wasn’t a fan of undeclared wars, Korea, Vietnam…

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

I don’t have a copy of’ My Turn At Bat’ in front of me, but I do recall that while didn’t he publicly express his displeasure at being recalled into the armed forces for the Korean War, he did resent being called back.

They may have been called the “greatest generation’, but that doesn’t mean that 100% of them supported US participation in a major war 100% of the time. There were conscientious objectors and those who opposed war in every conflict the US has fought in, including WWII.

JasonZ
Guest

You are correct Lawrence.

Regardless, Teddy performed in Korea, and the fact that
he resented it and did it, only increases my admiration.

I will admit that my “greatest generation” comment is
probably tainted in the sense that I should not over
romanticize it, which I did.

no statistician but
Guest
Re Bob Feller: About 11 years earlier than Feller and 20 miles further south in Iowa someone many people associate with American patriotism was born. He is the image of the WWII fighting man, but only the image, since all his battles were filmed in studio lots or “on location.” Feller is the reality, just a modest “gun captain” on a battleship that saw action in many of the important battles in the Pacific 1943-45, supporting the taking of various islands with shell bombardment, etc. As a gun captain, Feller seems, logically, to have been in the thick of that… Read more »
RJ
Guest

There a song by Drive-By Truckers with the refrain, “I never saw John Wayne on the sands of Iwo Jima”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJqX0zC00gU

JasonZ
Guest

Ok, a few things need to be said here.

The portrayal of John Bernard Books is an
orgiastic feast of the senses.

John Wayne in the Shootist=Ted Williams in 1960.

Katherine Hepburn saying “Mr. Books,” is a treat for 2/5 of the known head holes.

Finally,

“little Opie Cunningham,”* as Gillom, performs
a little “eye for an eye” justice, then throws away the gun in disgust.

A dying eye agrees and approves.

A fifty year career concludes.

*Thanks to the great Eddie Murphy.

Steve
Guest

Ted Williams, Whitey Ford, Bob Feller

JEV
Guest

Williams, Feller, Killebrew

Bryan O'Connor
Editor

Most Wins Above Average, excluding negative seasonal totals:

Williams 95.3
Brown 43.3
Feller 39.4
Lofton 39.3
Sandberg 38.8
Alomar 37.1
Biggio 36.3
Eckersley 34.3
Murray 33.7
Reese 33.4
Killebrew 33.0
Minoso 30.6
Ford 29.3
Doerr 28.9
Kiner 27.0
Campanella 19.2

I just learned that Feller once had a -4.4 WAA (-2.9 WAR) season. Tough to justify throwing that out there every four of five days. He’s still an all-time great, of course.

Williams, Brown, Feller

Abbott
Guest

Williams, Feller, Murray

Luis Gomez
Guest
Williams, Miñoso, Alomar. A few things caught my attention while reading Williams´ numbers. First, he didn´t made the All Star team during his rookie year, which everyone knows, is one of the all time greatest rookie seasons ever. What I´m not sure if everybody knows (at least I did not), is that he batted .400 on two occasions other than his famous 1941 season, albeit two shortened ones due to military service. Another thing is that after hitting well over .300 for 17 straight seasons he batted .254 in his next to last year, but rebounded nicely to .316 in… Read more »
RJ
Guest
Luis, I had a look at the six outfielders selected ahead of Williams for the 1939 All-Star game, and it’s not such a strange decision. Ted’s .306 batting average at the break was actually second lowest of the group, and his OBP and OPS were middle of the pack. He did lead in RBI and doubles, but I’m guessing there’s a sort of incumbent effect that prevented Williams from cracking the team without obviously superior numbers. It’s difficult to see why William’s centerfielding teammate, Doc Cramer, got the nod at RF ahead of him though. Cramer led the Splinter in… Read more »
David P
Guest
RJ – I did a bit of digging and this is what I found: “It is hard to fathom today, but as he rose to the majors Ted was universally regarded as a screwball. Joe McCarthy, the AL squad’s manager, decided to teach the brash kid a lesson. He selected Doc Cramer, the Red Sox center fielder, to start the game in right field and passed Williams over entirely.” http://ourgame.mlblogs.com/2014/06/30/gehrig-williams-and-the-1939-all-star-game/ Back in 1939, the managers were responsible for selecting the whole team. At least the selection of Cramer makes some sense. It was his 3rd straight All-Star game and 4th… Read more »
Lawrence Azrin
Guest

@56/LG:

In 1959, Williams had neck troubles almost the whole year. To quote the SABR biography “… he developed a very troublesome stiff neck during spring training that saw him wear a neck brace and have a very difficult time trying to overcome it. He never truly got on track… “.

Even in his worst year of 1959, he had above-average walk and HR rates, and thus an OPS+ of 114.

The main reason he came back in 1960 was that he didn’t want his final season to be so disappointing.

Luis Gomez
Guest

RJ, DP, LA: Thank you all for sharing that information.

Although I´ve read before about Williams´cockiness, it never occurred to me as a reason for the manager to left him out of the AS team.

On his next-to-last season, I kind of imagined an injury would have played an important part of it, but just wasn´t sure.

It really helps to know the whole context in which each story is developed.

Doug
Editor

Williams, Feller, Reese

wx
Guest

Ted Williams, Bob Feller, Ryne Sandberg

Doug
Editor

Just noticed that in the Yankees 12-11 win over Texas, J.P. Arencibia became just the second player to lose a game with 4 XBH and 7 RBI, and the first to do so in a 9-inning contest (Roberto Clemente did it in 1967 in a 10-inning game).

Arencibia is also the only player with more than 10 total bases in his career debut game.

oneblankspace
Guest

No wonder I hadn’t heard that name before.

Matt G.
Guest

Ted Williams
Bob Feller
Eddie Murray

As much as I would put Kevin Brown as my third, I couldn’t ever forgive myself if Murray fell off.

OK, I could, but it would take a week or two at least.

David Horwich
Guest

I seem to recall there was a provision by which a player who received 75% or more of the vote was to receive 6 additional rounds of eligibility. Is that still in effect, or has it been dropped? Feller might be the first to benefit from it, if it’s still a possibility.

TJay
Guest

The Splinter, Feller, Pee Wee.

PP
Guest

I’ll take a Pee Wee, that Feller over there, and I forget The Kid’s real name, but him too

David Horwich
Guest

The ballot @ 42 hasn’t yet been tallied.

David P
Guest

Williams, Reese and Murray.

Artie Z
Guest

Ted Williams, Feller, and Murray

Scary Tuna
Guest

Williams, Feller, Killebrew.

Jeff Hill
Guest

The greatest hitter who ever lived…
K.Lofton
K.Brown

David Horwich
Guest

Campanella, Murray, Reese

bells
Guest
There’s no play index for the CoG voting, but I’m pretty sure the 43rd vote is the latest vote to break a unanimous ballot. I guess that’s a feather in the cap for Teddy Ballgame. David, can I ask why you’d vote for Reese, who already has ten votes, and not someone like Eck, who has 3 and is on the bubble? It seems like your strategy is to vote for guys who you think need your vote to stay on the ballot; but if this is a ‘straight’ vote (3 best players), I’d totally love to hear your reasoning… Read more »
David Horwich
Guest
As a strategic voter, I do vote to keep players on the ballot, but only if I think they ultimately belong in the CoG – I don’t vote to keep players on just for the sake of keeping them on. Of the 7 players on the bubble, there are only 3 I think definitely belong: Alomar, Campanella, and Murray. I’m 50/50 on Killebrew, and dubious at best about Eckersley. Kiner, no, and I just don’t like Brown. So I didn’t vote for Eck ’cause I consider him a marginal candidate, and I don’t vote for marginal candidates. Alomar looks pretty… Read more »
bells
Guest
I have the exact same thought process, except I reserved one vote for who I thought was the best player instead of using all 3 on keeping guys on. I’m forgetting about Lofton, Sandberg and Biggio for now because they have eligibility stored and this is such a big ballot year; I think everyone on my list (detailed in my vote post) belongs down to Murray, and maaaaybe Eck. I personally don’t see it for Campy, that’s the only difference. I’m definitely not voting for Killer or Kiner to save them, although I think one time I voted for Killebrew… Read more »
David Horwich
Guest
I will occasionally vote for the best player, but most of the time I’m voting “full strategic” these days. As for Campanella, I wasn’t initially sold on him, but after some consideration decided he belongs. He had some great years at a key position for a very successful team (and a couple of stinker years, too, true); add to that a “catcher adjustment” and “segregation adjustment”, and I think he makes it Positional scarcity is another minor factor: we currently have 5 catchers in the CoG, my guess is that 3 more (Cochrane, Dickey, Hartnett) will make it, that’d give… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
It’s instructive to look at Teddy Ballgame with the same idea as Feller and Reese. What if he hadn’t been called away for the war in his prime. Looking at Williams’s record — the two years before he’s called up for WWII he has 10.6 WAR in each. The year after he comes home he gets 10.9 and then 9.9. It really looks like he loses close to 30 WAR expected over those three years. And that’s not all. When he goes to Korea, he plays just 6 games in 1952, so almost a lost season, and then 37 games… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
If hitting were the only aspect of play that mattered, Williams might have been the best of all time. I think Bill James called it very close between him and the Babe. But hitting isn’t the only aspect of the game that matters, even leaving out pitching. Williams was an indifferent baserunner, a sporadic fielder early on—meaning, his mind wasn’t in the game half the time—and a poor one later. He had demons that haunted him in a negative way, so that very few people considered him a team player, although he apparently was liked by some of his fellow… Read more »
JasonZ
Guest
NSB: The origin of the Teddy Ballgame nickname is interesting. What follows is the version I believe: Following is from “My Turn at Bat”, Williams’ autobiography. Teddy Ballgame I got from a kid. A friend of mine, a photographer named Fred Kaplan, brought his little boy to a game at Fenway Park. He couldn’t have been more than two years old at the time, but it made an impression on him. A couple of years ago Fred was going to the park again and the boy wanted to come, too. “Why,?” Fred said. “Who do you want to see/” “I… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest

What you’re really saying is that Williams promoted the nickname himself after his career was over. Why am I not surprised?

Artie Z.
Guest

And yet, if this article is accurate (it is in the Boston Globe, so I get there might be bias in favor of Williams), I’d rather hang out (or, I suppose, have hung out) with Williams rather than DiMaggio:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/12/03/ted-williams-and-joe-dimaggio-opposites-many-respects/8kx3PnWvZfi2e9yPsRwpsI/story.html

brp
Guest

Donnie Baseball
Johnny Football

bells
Guest
One of my favourite passages I read the first time I read the BJHBA was in his ranking of left fielders, he ranked Musial ahead of Williams. In his justification (I don’t have the book here to quote but I remember well enough) he started by saying that as stats get more and more advanced, it becomes clear that Williams, and not Ruth, is the best offensive player of all time (this was in 1986, I think). But then he went on to detail how much more valuable Musial was on the basepaths, in the field, in the clubhouse. The… Read more »
Lawrence Azrin
Guest
@91/MS, 93/nsb; Excellent point, nsb; while hitting is of course the main component of value for a position player, the other stuff matters – often, a lot. While a LFer is the second-least important defensive position, defense and baserunning can still add significantly to a LFer’s value. For this reason (referencing MS in #91), I cannot put Ted Williams in the All-Time Top 5 of position players, although he’s certainly in the Top-10: MY ALL-TIME RANKING of MLB POSITION PLAYERS: 1) Babe RUTH 2) Willie MAYS 3) Honus WAGNER 4) Barry BONDS 5) Ty COBB 6) Hank AARON 7) Ted… Read more »
wpDiscuz