Circle of Greats Round 79 Results: The COG’s a Go/For Lou Boudreau

The last time the Cleveland Indians won a World Series, their shortstop, Lou Boudreau, was both the indisputable MVP of the league as well as the team’s manager. Boudreau has come very close to COG induction in the past, and this vote was in doubt until the last day of balloting. But in the end it was indeed Boudreau who earned induction as the 79th member of the High Heat Stats Circle of Greats. More on Lou, and the voting, after the jump.

Most Wins Above Replacement (“WAR”, Baseball-Reference version), 1940-1949
1. Ted Williams 65.8
2. Lou Boudreau 59.8
3. Stan Musial 57.5
4. Hal Newhouser 56.3 (combined pitching and hitting WAR)
5. Joe Gordon 45.6

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Most WAR in a Season By a Shortstop
T1. Honus Wagner (1908) and Cal Ripken (1991) 11.49
3. Robin Yount (1982) 10.5
4. Lou Boudreau (1948) 10.38
5. Alex Rodriguez (2000) 10.35

Boudreau’s OPS in that 1948 was an impressive .987, 13th highest all-time for a shortstop. But his road OPS that season was over-the-top astounding at 1.129 (compared to an .830 OPS in home games). Here are the top 5 road OPS seasons in games at shortstop (min. 50 games played at short on the road), since 1914:

1. Alex Rodriguez (2000) 1.135
2. Lou Boudreau (1948) 1.129
3. Nomar Garciaparra (2000) 1.051
4. Arky Vaughan (1935) 1.035
5. Robin Yount (1982) 1.030

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Career “MVP Shares” is a Baseball-Reference stat that adds up the share of MVP votes that a player collected over his career.
Most Career MVP Shares As a Shortstop (counting only seasons the player played primarily shortstop)
1. Alex Rodriguez 3.16
2. Derek Jeter 2.77
T3. Lou Boudreau and Ernie Banks 2.66
4. Cal Ripken 2.31
5. Luke Appling 1.99

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Most Games Played (Regular Season and Post-Season Combined) For the Cleveland Indians Since 1905
1. Lou Boudreau 1,566
2. Jim Hegan 1,536
3. Omar Vizquel 1,535
4. Tris Speaker 1,528
5. Joe Sewell 1,520
6. Ken Keltner 1,519

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Notes on this round’s voting:

–I was kind of rooting for Eddie Murray to pull off an upset win this election, just so I could use the phrase “Murray Christmas!” in the headline for this post. But there you go, I least now I’ve gotten in the text. This was Murray’s 59th appearance in a regular induction round, but the first round in which he has appeared on more than a third of the ballots cast.

–Prior to this round, Luis Tiant had never appeared on more than 11 ballots in a round, had averaged just nine votes a round (81 total votes over nine rounds), and had fallen off the ballot entirely for a period of 25 rounds. Suddenly this round he appeared on 17 ballots, for the first time earning a break from the bubble by topping the magical 25% support level (with room to spare!) that earns him an extra round of guaranteed eligibility.

–The holdover count for next round will remain at thirteen. Boudreau moves up into the Circle, while Wes Ferrell (a very fine pitcher who as a hitter had the same OPS+ as his contemporary, Hall of Fame outfielder Lloyd Waner) replaces Boudreau on the holdover list.  In addition to Tiant and Murray, Harmon Killebrew also topped 25%, and adds yet another round of eligibility to his considerable stash.  The “bubble” count next round will remain steady at four players, with Tiant moving off it but Ferrell replacing him.

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The full spreadsheet showing this round’s vote tally is here: COG 1908 Vote Tally.

The vote summary for recent Circle of Greats voting rounds is here: COG Vote Summary 2 .  An archive w ith 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.

Another COG data spreadsheet showing each season a COG member played in the majors, along with the team he played for that season and his baseball-reference WAR (overall WAR for everyday players, pitching WAR for pitchers) for the season, is here:
Circle of Greats Seasons

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Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
7 years ago

All-time vote-getters update! Craig Biggio – 763 *Roberto Alomar – 660 John Smoltz – 658 *Eddie Murray – 630 Kenny Lofton – 608 Ryne Sandberg – 607 Edgar Martinez – 507 Lou Whitaker – 493 Whitey Ford – 382 *Harmon Killebrew – 379 Bobby Grich – 376 Sandy Koufax – 375 Tony Gwynn – 346 Willie McCovey – 336 *Kevin Brown – 271 Juan Marichal – 268 Tom Glavine – 262 Alan Trammell – 239 Mike Mussina – 233 Curt Schilling – 224 Nolan Ryan – 220 Ron Santo – 217 Lou Boudreau – 216 Tim Raines – 213 *Minnie… Read more »

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
7 years ago

“He was the greatest shortstop I ever saw. He was afraid of nobody. He was a great manager, teammate and friend. Just a great man. There is not a more gracious man than Lou Boudreau.” – Bob Feller

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
7 years ago
Reply to  birtelcom

And Johnny Sain did not strike out much either. His K/PA rate in 1948 was 3/132 or 2.27%, third best among all players with at least one K. Number one was P Murry Dickson with 1/101 for a hair under 1%.