Ted Williams’ transcendent performance as a hitter allowed him to lead this talent-laden ballot’s vote count from beginning to end. Ted becomes the 66th inductee into the High Heat Stats Circle of Greats. The voting concluded with the Splendid Splinter having appeared on 69 ballots, breaking Greg Maddux’s record of 68 votes in a single COG round.  More on Ted and the voting after the jump.

Highest OPS+ in a Career to Date, Debuted In the Majors Over the Last 100 Seasons (min. 100 PA)
1. Ted Williams 190
2. Barry Bonds 182
3. Lou Gehrig 179
4. Rogers Hornsby 175
5. Mickey Mantle 172
T6. Jose Abreu and Mike Trout 169
T8. Albert Pujols, Mark McGwire and Jimmie Foxx 163
11. Yasiel Puig 162
12. Stan Musial 159

Fangraphs’ statistic wRC+ is much like OPS+,  both are batting rate stats adjusted for home park factor and league hitting performance and are calibrated to a league average of 100. The main difference is that OPS+ is based on OPS, with its slightly crude equal weighting of on base percentage and slugging percentage, while wRC+ is based on a more subtly weighted runs created formula. Ted’s advantage over the rest of the world (excepting only Babe Ruth) is even greater using wRC+ than using OPS+:

Top wRC+ in a Career to Date, Debuted In the Majors Over the Last 100 Seasons (min. 100 PA)
1. Ted Williams 188
T2. Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby and Barry Bonds 173
5. Mickey Mantle 170
6. Mike Trout 167
T7. Jose Abreu and Yasiel Puig 164
9. Albert Pujols 159
T10. Stan Musial and Jimmie Foxx 158
T12. Mark McGwire and Johnny Mize 157

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As many High Heat Stats readers may already be aware, Ted is the all-time career leader in on-base percentage:

Top 5 MLB Career OBP (min. 1,000 PAs)
1. Ted Williams .482
2. Babe Ruth .474
3. John McGraw .466
4. Sliding Billy Hamilton .455
5. Lou Gehrig .447

But maybe you were concerned that Ted’s preeminence on that list was an artifact of his playing his home games in Fenway Park his whole career. No need to worry. Ted still leads (though by a narrower margin) even if we look only at games played in visiting parks; however, Baseball-Reference currently has home-road split data only back to 1914, so we can’t yet be sure how the 19th century and Dead Ball Era guys would rank in the road game OBP measure.

Top 5 MLB Career OBP in Road Games (min. 1,000 PAs) (1914-2014)
1. Ted Williams .467
2. Babe Ruth .466
3. Lou Gehrig .447
4. Ty Cobb .445 (does not include the earlier third or so of Cobb’s career)
5. Barry Bonds .440

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Most Walks Per Plate Appearance, MLB History (min. 1,000 PAs):
1. Ted Williams .206
2. Barry Bonds .203
3. Max Bishop .200
4. Babe Ruth .194
5. Ferris Fain .184
6. Eddie Stanky .183
7. Roy Cullenbine .1782
8. Gene Tenace .1780
9. Jack Crooks .1763
10. Eddie Yost .1759
11. Mickey Mantle .175

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Because Williams lost almost five full seasons of major league play due to his military service, his career counting stats are missing what might have been a huge chunk of statistical achievement.

Most WAR Runs Batting (Rbat) through age 23 season:
1. Ted Williams 295.7
2. Mel Ott 235.7
3. Ty Cobb 205.9
4. Mickey Mantle 178.0
5. Jimmie Foxx 177.3
6. Albert Pujols 168.8
7. Eddie Mathews 165.5
8. Mike Trout 162.8 and counting

Williams then was in the military for his age 24, 25 and 26 seasons.

Most WAR Runs Batting (Rbat) age 27 to 30 seasons:
1. Ted Williams 324.1
2. Lou Gehrig 320.7
3. Babe Ruth 279.2
4. Stan Musial 27.7
5. Rogers Hornsby 256.8
6. Ed Delahanty 238.8
7. Albert Pujols 237.5
8. Miguel Cabrera 235.1

Williams missed the last half of his age 31 season with an injury (see discussion of the 1918 balloting below), and he was back in the Marines for most of his age 33 and 34 seasons. Even for this arguably greatest of all baseball hitters (despite the lost seasons, he still comes out with the third highest Rbat total in MLB history, behind only Ruth and Bonds) there remains a substantial elegiac element of “what-might-have-been” to his career.

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Notes on this round’s voting:

– In addition to the record-breaking 69 votes for Ted Williams, two other born-in-1918 players received high levels of support. Bob Feller was named on almost 60% of the ballots, well more than needed to start a big cache of protected eligibility rounds. And Pee Wee Reese, despite coming in third in the voting, topped the 25% level that not only brings him back next round but keeps him off the bubble. All together, 134 votes were cast for guys born in 1918, which didn’t leave very many votes for the holdovers.

– In the first inning of the 1950 All-Star Game, Ralph Kiner hit a line drive that Ted Williams broke an arm in catching. That cost Williams the rest of his 1950 season. Well, Ted got some revenge this round as Kiner fell well short of the votes he needed to stay on the ballot, a result in part of the huge number of votes that Williams garnered. Kiner will need help from future Redemption Round voters to get back on the ballot.

– Although Kiner was the only holdover who will fall off the ballot, several others will use up one of their stash of protected rounds, having fallen below the 10% support level this week. Whitey Ford drops from six protected rounds to five, Ryne Sandberg and Craig Biggio drop from three protected rounds each to two, and Minnie Minoso lands on the bubble next round. Ford and Minos received fewer votes than they had in any previous round, while Sandberg had his lowest total in 40 rounds and Biggio had his lowest total in 55 rounds.

–Craig Biggio, by the way, has been on the ballot for so long that he has now received more votes in total than anyone else, having passed John Smoltz last round for that peculiar distinction.

– With Feller and Reese joining the holdovers, and Kiner dropping off, our holdover number increases from 12 this round to 13 next round. The number of holdovers who are on the bubble (i.e., subject to falling off the ballot immediately if they receive less than 10% support next round) remains steady at seven, as Minoso replaces Kiner in that group.

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The full spreadsheet showing this round’s vote tally is here: COG 1918 Vote Tally.

The vote summary for recent Circle of Greats voting rounds is here: COG Vote Summary 2 .  An archive with details of the 1968 through 1939 rounds is here: COG 1968-1939 Vote Summary .  In both cases, raw vote totals for each past round appear on Sheet 1 and the percentage totals for each past round appear on Sheet 2.

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A spreadsheet listing the full membership to date of the Circle of Greats, along with some of their stats, is here: Circle of Greats Membership . You can also find that same link any time by clicking on “Circle of Greats” at the top of the High Heats Stats home page.

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