COG 1970 Results: Early Spring As Voters Advance Thome Day Celebration

Jim Thome was never a mass-market superstar, and wasn’t one to attract controversy — he had a reputation as one of the nice guys in baseball. Neither was his COG support controversial, as the voters embraced him strongly in his first round of eligibility, quickly making him the 82nd inductee into the High Heat Stats Circle of Greats. More on Jim and the voting after the jump.

Most Career Regular Season Walks, All-Time, Major League Baseball
1. Barry Bonds 2,558
2. Rickey Henderson 2,190
3. Babe Ruth 2,062
4. Ted Williams 2,021
5. Joe Morgan 1,865
6. Carl Yastrzemski 1,845
7. Jim Thome 1,747
8. Mickey Mantle 1,733
9. Mel Ott 1,708
10. Frank Thomas 1,667

Most Career Regular Season Home Runs, All-Time, Major League Baseball
1. Barry Bonds 762
2. Hank Aaron 755
3. Babe Ruth 714
4. Willie Mays 660
5. Alex Rodriguez 654
6. Ken Griffey 630
7. Jim Thome 612
8. Sammy Sosa 609
9. Frank Robinson 586
10. Mark McGwire 583

Jim Thome is currently 7th on both of the lists above. The only other players besides Thome on both of these top 10 lists are Barry Bonds and Babe Ruth. Among the others on the Top 10 Walks list, Rickey Henderson is 139th on the home runs list, Ted Williams and Frank Thomas are tied for 18th, Joe Morgan is 179th, Yaz is 37th, Mantle is 16th and Ott is 24th. From the Top 10 Homers list, Aaron is 27th on the walks list, Mays is 22nd, A-Rod is 53rd, Griffey is 42nd, Sosa is 156th, Frank Robinson is 25th and Mark McGwire is 40th. The only player besides Bonds, Ruth and Thome who is in the top 15 on both the all-time homer and all-time walks lists is Harmon Killebrew, who is on neither top 10 list but is 11th in homers and 15th in walks.

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Most Post-Season Home Runs For a Single Franchise, Other than the Yankees
18, Albert Pujols for the Cardinals
17, Jim Thome for the Indians and David Ortiz for the Red Sox
14, Nelson Cruz for the Rangers
13, Jim Edmonds for the Cardinals, Chipper Jones for the Braves and Manny Ramirez for the Red Sox

The only guys with more post-season homers for the Yankees than Thome had for the Indians have been Bernie Williams with 22, Derek Jeter with 20 and Mickey Mantle with 18.

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Highest OPS Against Right-Handed Pitching, Expansion Era (1961-2014) (min. 500 PAs)
1. Barry Bonds 1.084
2. Jim Thome 1.034
3. Todd Helton 1.001
4. Lance Berkman .995
5. Larry Walker .993

Highest SLG Against Right-Handed Pitching, Expansion Era (1961-2014) (min. 500 PAs)
1. Barry Bonds .626
2. Jim Thome .608
3. Larry Walker .586
4. Carlos Delgado .582
5. Mark McGwire .581

Highest OBP Against Right-Handed Pitching, Expansion Era (1961-2014) (min. 500 PAs)
1. Barry Bonds .458
2. Wade Boggs .433
3. Joey Votto .430
4. Jim Thome .426
5. Todd Helton .425

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Most Rbat in a Season, American League, since 2002 (OPS+ in parens)
1. Jim Thome (2002) 70.1 Rbat (197 OPS+)
2. Mike Trout (2013) 67.6 Rbat (179 OPS+)
3. Alex Rodriguez (2005) 65.9 Rbat (173 OPS+)
4. Alex Rodriguez (2007) 64.8 Rbat (176 OPS+)
5. Miguel Cabrera (2013) 64.7 Rbat (188 OPS+)

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Most Rbat in an Age 39 Season
1. Barry Bonds (2004) 106.4
2. Ted Willams (1958) 47.2
3. Hank Aaron (1973) 37.6
4. Babe Ruth (1934) 36.9
5. Jim Thome (2010) 31.7

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Notes on this round’s voting:

–This round had 18 holdovers eligible for your votes, and it seemed likely that the number would be reduced for the next round.

–But the ballots cast this round successfully spread the votes so widely that there will again be 18 holdovers in the next round. Dizzy Dean fell short of the 10% support level he needed to remain eligible and will drop off, but Dizzy is replaced by Jim Edmonds, who was nudged over the 10% level with some late support and will join the holdover list. The number of holdovers “on the bubble” will also remain where it was at nine, with Dean also replaced by Edmonds in that subcategory of the holdovers.

–Although the votes were widely spread among the large group of holdovers, voters were still able to give Jim Thome a strong victory, appearing on an impressive 44% of the ballots cast, while also giving Luke Appling more than enough support (appearing on a third of the ballots cast) to earn another extra round of guaranteed ballot eligibility. That gives Appling a larger stash of guaranteed eligibility than anyone except Killebrew and Alomar.

–With Dean under 10% and Appling over 25%, that left 16 other holdovers — each of those appeared on more than 10% but fewer than 20% of the ballots cast this round.

–After a few lower-turnout rounds over the winter holiday season, a more normal 66 ballots were cast this round. 66.4 ballots has been the average number of ballots cast per round through the 82 rounds of Circle of Greats voting thus far, so the 66 votes cast this round was quite normal indeed.

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The full spreadsheet showing this round’s vote tally is here: COG 1970 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
5 years ago

All-Time Vote update! Craig Biggio – 763 *Roberto Alomar – 694 *Eddie Murray – 659 John Smoltz – 658 Kenny Lofton – 608 Ryne Sandberg – 607 Edgar Martinez – 507 Lou Whitaker – 493 *Harmon Killebrew – 417 Whitey Ford – 382 Bobby Grich – 376 Sandy Koufax – 375 Tony Gwynn – 346 Willie McCovey – 336 *Kevin Brown – 293 Juan Marichal – 268 Tom Glavine – 262 Alan Trammell – 239 Mike Mussina – 233 Curt Schilling – 224 *Minnie Minoso – 223 Nolan Ryan – 220 Ron Santo – 217 Lou Boudreau – 216 *Roy… Read more »

RJ
RJ
5 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

You’re right Doc, Thome has comfortably the lowest vote total and percentage of any first ballot entrant. Bottom five percentages (total votes in brackets):

Jim Thome: 43.94% (29)
Brooks Robinson: 56.25% (36)
Fergie Jenkins: 57.89% (33)
Reggie Jackson: 58.33% (35)
Bert Blyleven: 58.46% (38)

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
5 years ago
Reply to  RJ

Thanks for looking that up, RJ. I figured as much, obviously, but it helps to have it confirmed! I think it’s also fair to say that, if we ranked these five entrants by their COG worthiness, Thome would also be in fifth place by a comfortable margin, so it stands to reason that his total would be lowest.

Hartvig
Hartvig
5 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

I don’t see a great deal of difference between Thome and Jackson. Jackson had some value in the outfield and as a baserunner in his younger days but even adjusting for the time Jackson spent in Oakland and the lower run scoring environment of the 70’s Thome makes up for much of that with the bat in his hands. I think ☛REGGIE!☚™ is better but certainly nowhere near 33% better (based on his getting about 1/3rd more votes than Thome). Yes the year Reggie was on the ballot he was up against a number of future COGer’s but all of… Read more »

Lawrence Azrin
Lawrence Azrin
5 years ago

I thought that Dwight Evans and Jim Edmonds had no chance to stay on the COG ballot; I am glad to be proven wrong.

@1/ Dr Doom – what ‘shenanigans by late voters’ are you referring to? – I simply waited till near the deadline to vote, which is perfectly within the rules.

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
5 years ago
Reply to  Lawrence Azrin

I did not mean shenanigans in a derogatory way. I meant it like “hijinks” “tomfoolery” – perhaps even “careful planning.” It was, frankly, impressive. I didn’t mean anything untoward went on – just that it was unexpected.

Lawrence Azrin
Lawrence Azrin
5 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

@1/ Dr Doom – Any implications of possible negative connotations, deprecations, or any other ‘…tions’ in your statement above of:
“… It took some shenanigans by late voters to make it happen…”
are heretofore withdrawn.

Doug
Editor
5 years ago

Left unsaid in Thome’s stats against RHP is how poorly he fared against southpaws. Thome’s platoon differential is easily the worst among left-handed batters with 2000 PA against lefties. Here’s that top 10 list. Rk Player Split G OPS OPStot Diff PA PAtot 1 Jim Thome vs LHP as LHB 1493 .766 .956 -.190 2901 10313 2 Carl Yastrzemski vs LHP as LHB 1456 .692 .841 -.149 3416 13992 3 Tony Oliva vs LHP as LHB 840 .690 .830 -.140 2066 6880 4 Brian Giles vs LHP as LHB 1070 .763 .902 -.139 2220 7836 5 Jim Edmonds vs LHP… Read more »

Hartvig
Hartvig
5 years ago

While I didn’t feel Thome was the best candidate on the ballot I do feel he is COG worthy so I’m fine with the outcome. It also sets up a nice head-to-head battle between Appling and Cronin (and perhaps others). In one sense I’m happy that so many of the bubble candidates made it thru since there are 5 & maybe 6 of them that I think are possibly worthy but on another I’m a little worried since that also makes it fairly unlikely that many if any at all will see enough support to get off the bubble prior… Read more »

John Autin
Editor
5 years ago

It’s amazing how much I learn from birtelcom’s headline puns. I had always said his name “TOE-mee.”

Also amazing is how unsung Thome was. He only made 5 All-Star teams — didn’t make it in 2001-02, when he totaled 101 HRs and a 183 OPS+.

David P
David P
5 years ago
Reply to  birtelcom

Actually the Indians only had two representatives in 2001 (Goonzalez and Alomar) and one in 2002 (Vizquel). 2001 seems pretty easy to figure out. Nearly half (15 of 32) of the All-star slots were filled by Mariners (8) and Yankees (7) which means that lots of teams only got one representative. And that one representative was often a 1b/DH type (Clark for Detroit, Giambi for Oakland, Sweeney for KC, Vaughn for TB). Olerud was voted to start at 1st, likely due to Ichiro-mania. 2002 was the year the Indians fell apart, going 74-88 (39-47 at the All-Star break). So they… Read more »

David Horwich
David Horwich
5 years ago

I’ve been wondering how long we’ll continue with the every-3rd-year 2-part elections. To summarize the situation: The 83rd round of voting is underway. We’re currently aiming for 119 players in the CoG, so after this round we’ll have 36 more slots to fill. If we were to have no 2-part elections, from 1905-1875 would comprise 31 elections. Here are the significant CoG-eligible players born prior to 1875: 1874 Lajoie, Wagner 1873 Wallace 1872 F Clarke 1870 Dahlen, G Davis 1867 C Young I suppose you could throw Joe McGinnity (b. 1871) in there if you wanted to, maybe a couple… Read more »

Michael Sullivan
Michael Sullivan
5 years ago
Reply to  birtelcom

I feel that we ought to arrange it so that there are a few open elections after we’re done with all the birth years to give the borderline guys from the last set of birth years a fair chance. Otherwise we’re artificially limiting the number of them that can possibly get in by however many elections exist after them. For instance, suppose we decided to hold elections in exactly those birth years: 1874, 1873, 1872, 1870-71 and 1867-1869, and those were the last ones we held. Well what if the electorate thought that both Dahlen and Davis should go in,… Read more »

mosc
mosc
5 years ago
Reply to  birtelcom

I think the year to year flow of this thing is inherent to the process and I would hate to see it end in a “random round number 3” featuring the third round after adding in basically every player eligible and having a mosh out of it. I’d sooner see a 1866 and 1865 round and just not introduce any new players, though I’m not sure how much better that is.

Gary Bateman
Gary Bateman
5 years ago

While I enjoy the civil discourse provided on HHS, I’m not a regular contributor to these conversations. I do have to express my displeasure about Thome being selected before Roberto Alomar, though. I liked Thome when he played; he was always considered one of the good guys in baseball, but I don’t think he compares with Alomar as a player. Thome was able to continue playing as a DH, accumulating WAR, which ultimately puts him ahead of Alomar in that category. But is you compare their age 20-36 seasons (which is Alomar’s career), Alomar actually has more WAR (66.8 to… Read more »

David Horwich
David Horwich
5 years ago
Reply to  Gary Bateman

I hope Alomar makes it, too – I’ve voted for him more often than any other player (41 times and counting).

When he fell off the ballot I feared he was going to be passed over, but I think he’s actually in pretty good shape now – he has enough eligibility stored up to ride out the heavy wave coming up in 1903, and he seems to have a fair base of support (which is how he built up the eligibility in the first place).

Artie Z.
Artie Z.
5 years ago
Reply to  Gary Bateman

Gary – while I’ve been a big supporter of Alomar (I may have voted for him more than David has – I would guess I’ve only voted for Eddie Murray more often than I have Alomar), I think you are shortchanging Thome a bit with that analysis. Alomar was a regular at age 20; Thome was not a regular until age 23-24 (he played 98 games at age 23 in the strike year so I’ll count him as a regular then). Using Thome’s age 23-39 seasons to match up with Alomar’s 20-36 seasons, Thome has 69.9 WAR to Alomar’s 66.8… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
5 years ago
Reply to  birtelcom

Birtelcom @21, that drop-off was almost inexplicable, especially since there were no specific injuries the first two years. It’s almost as if he forgot how to play at a high level. I don’t recall there being any allegations of PED use. Random musing–Bill James once noted that, after Wade Bogg’s 1992 season (where he hit .259 at the age of 34) that when a player is used to performing at a very high level, a sudden and unexplained failure can be hard for them to process. Boggs left as a free agent, and got back on track with the Yankees.… Read more »

David P
David P
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike L

Alomar’s drop off is strange. Except maybe it’s not. Just looking at OPS+, if you eliminate his 2001 season then the drop off doesn’t seem that strange. Without 2001, then the dropoff is a bit more gradual, from 140 OPS+, to 114, to 90. And less extreme what Ryne Sandberg did from ages 32-34 (145 to 109 to 83). So maybe the question isn`t why he dropped off so suddenly but how was he able to put together such a huge 2001 season? As for him not being in the COG, I think he suffers from the same problem that… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike L

Could have had a milder form of the dreaded Carlos Baerga Syndrome. 19.8 BWAR through his age-26 season in 1995. Out of baseball for the 2000 and 2001 seasons, then returned for 2002-2005. In the eight seasons he played in after 1995, he amassed -.3WAR. Wow

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike L

Jimmie Foxx was washed up after age 33.

PaulE
PaulE
5 years ago
Reply to  birtelcom

birtelcom, the heroes of our youth often, and more often than not, faded severely at age 33 or 34. Bobby Bonds Dick Allen, Ron Santo are afew off the top of my head. Probably a general lack of off-season conditioning had a lot to do with it. Maybe Alomar slept late and ate poorly while waiting for spring training? Or just failed to make adjustments at the plate as his bat slowed. Mike Schmidt once claimed if he really wanted to hang on, he could DH, stand on top of the plate like Don Baylor, and hit 30 homers and… Read more »

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