Circle of Greats 1901 Part 1 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 89th round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG).  This round is the first of two adding players born in 1901 to the list of candidates eligible to receive your votes. Rules and lists are after the jump.

Players born in 1901 are being brought on to the COG eligible list over two rounds, split in half based on last names — the top half by alphabetical order is added in this week’s round and the bottom half next week.  This round’s new group joins the holdovers from prior balloting to comprise the full set of players eligible to receive your votes this round.

The new group of 1901-born players, in order to join the eligible list, must, as usual, 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). This new group of 1901-born candidates joins the eligible holdovers from previous rounds to comprise the full list of players eligible to appear on your ballots.

Each submitted ballot, if it is to be counted, must include three and only three eligible players.  As always, 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.

In total there were 14 players born in 1901 who met the “10 seasons played or 20 WAR” minimum requirement. Seven of those are being added to the eligible list this round (alphabetically from Guy Bush to Flint Rhem).  The seven remaining players will be added in next week’s round.

All voting for this round closes at 11:59 PM EDT Tuesday, March 31st, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:59 PM EDT Sunday, March 29th.

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 1901 Part 1 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-1901 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 fourteen 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 1901 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.

Holdovers:
Harmon Killebrew (eligibility guaranteed for 9 rounds)
Carl Hubbell (eligibility guaranteed for 3 rounds)
Mickey Cochrane (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Rick Reuschel (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Al Simmons (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Paul Waner (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Kevin Brown (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Roy Campanella  (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Dennis Eckersley (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Wes Ferrell (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Minnie Minoso (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Graig Nettles (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Luis Tiant (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Dave Winfield (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)

Everyday Players (born in 1901, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Johnny Cooney
Heinie Manush
Taylor Douthit

Pitchers (born in 1901, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Freddie Fitzsimmons
Guy Bush
Fred Heimach
Flint Rhem

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177 Comments on "Circle of Greats 1901 Part 1 Balloting"

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Dr. Doom
Guest

Here’s my vote:

Mickey Cochrane
Kevin Brown
Al Simmons

Bryan O'Connor
Editor

Most Wins Above Average, excluding negative seasonal totals:

Brown 43.3
Waner 40.8
Reuschel 40.6
FerrellW 40.1
Hubbell 39.8
Simmons 37.6
Tiant 37.5
Nettles 35.7
Eckersley 34.3
Killebrew 33.0
Winfield 31.1
Minoso 30.6
Cochrane 29.5
Manush 20.5
Campanella 19.2

Brown, Waner, Cochrane

JEV
Guest

Hubbell, Campanella, Simmons

David Horwich
Guest
Here’s the breakdown of current CoG membership by position: C – 6 (Bench, Berra, Carter, Dickey, Fisk, Piazza) 1B/DH – 11 (Bagwell, Foxx, Gehrig, Greenberg, E Martinez, McCovey, Mize, Molitor, Murray, Thomas, Thome) 2B – 10 (Alomar, Biggio, Carew, Gehringer, Gordon, Grich, Morgan, J Robinson, Sandberg, Whitaker) SS – 11 (Appling, Banks, Boudreau, Cronin, Larkin, Reese, Ripken, Smith, Trammell, Vaughan, Yount) 3B – 6 (Boggs, Brett, Mathews, B Robinson, Santo, Schmidt) LF – 6 (Bonds, Henderson, Musial, Raines, T Williams, Yaz) CF – 6 (DiMaggio, Griffey, Lofton, Mantle, Mays, Snider) RF – 8 (Aaron, Clemente, Gwynn, R Jackson, Kaline, Ott,… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Thanks for posting this! It’s a nice reference to have, even with players whose positions are hard to define. For example, you didn’t mention Stan Musial, who played more games at 1B than anywhere else, but played more games in the OF than the IF. And among OF positions, while he played the most in LF, he was a majority RF in his three best seasons – 1943 (123/155 G), ’48 (81/155 G), and ’49 (123/156 G). He may not be as tough to categorize as Molitor or Rose, but he’s even tougher than Banks or Carew, in my opinion.… Read more »
David Horwich
Guest
Indeed, I didn’t list all the debatable cases, and of course this list isn’t the only way to think about it; some may prefer to list players at all the positions at which they spent substantial time, for example, while others may not care about positional distribution in the first place. Myself, I care some; not to the point of saying “we don’t have enough third basemen, let’s elect some more third basemen just to balance things out”; but enough that if it came down to a choice between 2 players of comparable value, one of whom played 3B and… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
I do think positions have a little bit of relevance when it comes to catchers, though. Their career values are definitely stunted by the position they play. The most WAR by any catcher is by Johnny Bench (75). Here are the number of players at each other position with 75+ WAR: 1B – 7 (4 modern + Brouthers, Connor, and Anson) 2B – 6 (not including Lou Whitaker at 74.9!) SS – 7 3B – 7 (5 modern + Davis and Dahlen) LF – 5 (incl. Rose) CF – 6 RF – 7 (incl. Musial) P – 27 (22 modern… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
We do have Pudge coming in 1972, and a few catchers on the redemption list that could have a borderline case. The best that I can think of off the top of my head would be Joe Torre, Ted Simmons and Thurman Munson. Torre’s WAR of 57.6 looks solid for a catcher, but his last 7 years he never caught. Looking at his WAR after 1970 (the last year in which he caught a game) it was 41.6 with a yearly average of 3.8. That’s solid HOF territory, but borderline for COG. Hartnett has a smaller WAR total but seems… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest
I do think it’s important that we keep a few things in mind about positional distribution. The first is that assuming we fall at least approximately in line with the HOF’s roughly 30/70 pitcher/position player split that works out to a little more than 80 position players or roughly 10 at each position. However I don’t think that means that to adhere to that as any kind of rule. There are reasons that some positions may have more great players than others. In the early era of the game third base was viewed as a defense first position and second… Read more »
Jeff Harris
Guest

Killebrew, Waner, Simmons

Abbott
Guest

Winfield, Cochrane, Hubbell

MJ
Guest

Rick Reuschel, Paul Waner, Kevin Brown

David P
Guest

Cochrane, Tiant, Nettles

Brent
Guest

Waner, Cochrane and Simmons

Richard Chester
Guest

Simmons, Waner, Hubbell

Dr. Doom
Guest

Yes, it’s REALLY early, but we have a three-way tie for first at 5 votes apiece for Cochrane, Simmons, and Waner. It would be really fun to see a down-to-the-wire battle, wouldn’t it?

Gary Bateman
Guest

Simmons, Waner, Minoso

Chris C
Guest

Cochrane, Waner, Eckersley

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

It looks like Johnny Clooney is one of only two players to play at least 150 games at both Pitcher and Centerfield.

The other is Hal Jeffcoat

mosc
Guest

Ankiel didn’t make it? Checking… nope. Only 51 pitching appearances. He was over 200 IP but not over 150 appearances. Oh well.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Manush, 9 year peak

.343 / .385 / .504 / .889 / 129

202 Hits
40 doubles
13 triples
9 .HR
92 RBI

Average on the bases and in LF
4.3 WAR

Black Ink for 3 franchises during peak.

Richard Chester
Guest

Manush is one of two players to lead his league in HBP in each of his first two years in the majors. David Eckstein is the other.

J.R.
Guest

Killebrew, Hubbell, Winfield.

Mo
Guest

Reuschel Hubbell Cochrane

latefortheparty
Guest

Al Simmons
Mickey Cochrane
Graig Nettles

JasonZ
Guest

Heinie Manush is the only player to have his name rhythmically pronounced over and over, as fast as is reasonable, in an Edmund O’brien film.

Why?

Because when this is done, it sounds just like a train.

Name the film.

bstar
Guest

Obliging Young Lady is the film. I love old movies but I haven’t seen that one.

KalineCountry Ron
Guest

Al Simmons
Mickey Cochrane
Heinie Manush

opal611
Guest

For the 1901 Part 1 election, I’m voting for:
-Dennis Eckersley
-Dave Winfield
-Paul Waner

Other top candidates I considered highly (and/or will consider in future rounds):
-Simmons
-Killebrew
-Brown
-Reuschel
-Tiant
-Nettles
-Hubbell

mosc
Guest

Al Simmons > Paul Waner

Waner was only a slightly better hitter when you include the power difference between the two, especially on a rate basis. Waner managed 10% more PA’s which is a lot of their RBAT difference. Simmons played some CF and rates as a better defender and because of that his peak is higher (he has all the tools). He exceeded 7WAR 3 years in a row, Waner never reached that level. Simmons has the highest and second highest RBAT season of the two players as well. Their career WAR’s are not that different.

Simmons. (Ferrell and Campanella too)

David P
Guest
Mosc – Your #31 reads like a foregone conclusion, hunting for evidence to support it. Let’s look at their respective peaks. Waner’s was basically ages 23-36, whereas Simmons’ was 22-37. This works well because it equalizes the plate appearances (9275 vs 9261). Simmons has a slight edge in overall WAR (69.5 vs. 67.8) whereas Waner has a slight edge in WAA (38.8 vs 36.4). Simmons, as you’ve already pointed out, had the higher peak, having the three highest WAR and WAA seasons. But Waner balances that out by having a longer peak. Waner has the edge in seasons of 4+… Read more »
mosc
Guest

I read your reasons why you think Ferrell is over-stated by WAR I just don’t agree with it.

NYEAR25
Simmons: 5.17
Waner: 4.89

Richard Chester
Guest

mosc: I ran the NYEAR25 numbers on my spreadsheet and my numbers for Simmons and Waner did not quite match yours. On the 1970 COG Balloting blog in your post 76 you showed a detailed analysis for Harmon Killebrew. Would it be possible for you do do the same for Waner or Simmons so I can determine where the differences lie? Also how come you do a 25 year period when the player’s career is less than that? Why not just run his actual career?

mosc
Guest

Sure. Lets hope this formats right…

Waner
Best N Start Total Avg Normalized
1 1927 6.9 6.9 6.9
2 1927 13.7 6.85 6.9
3 1926 19 6.333333333 6.866666667
4 1926 23.8 5.95 6.6
5 1926 28 5.6 6.38
6 1927 33.2 5.533333333 6.2
7 1926 38.5 5.5 6.028571429
8 1927 43.4 5.425 5.875
9 1926 48.7 5.411111111 5.733333333
10 1927 54.4 5.44 5.6
11 1926 59.7 5.427272727 5.472727273
12 1926 64.3 5.358333333 5.358333333
13 1926 65.5 5.038461538 5.123076923
14 1926 67.8 4.842857143 4.878571429
15 1926 68.2 4.546666667 4.633333333
16 1926 69.2 4.325 4.41875
17 1926 70.4 4.141176471 4.217647059
18 1926 72.1 4.005555556 4.011111111
19 1926 72.6 3.821052632 3.821052632
20 1926 72.6 3.63 3.63
21 1926 72.6 3.457142857 3.457142857
22 1926 72.6 3.3 3.3
23 1926 72.6 3.156521739 3.156521739
24 1926 72.6 3.025 3.025
25 1926 72.6 2.904 2.904
4.796872738 4.979633565
MIX: 4.888253151

Simmons:
Best N Start Total Avg Normalized
1 1929 7.9 7.9 7.9
2 1929 15.7 7.85 7.85
3 1929 23.2 7.733333333 7.733333333
4 1928 27.8 6.95 7.425
5 1927 33.6 6.72 7.1
6 1926 38.7 6.45 6.783333333
7 1925 45.2 6.457142857 6.542857143
8 1925 49.4 6.175 6.3
9 1925 54.6 6.066666667 6.1
10 1925 59.1 5.91 5.91
11 1924 60.6 5.509090909 5.645454545
12 1925 63.3 5.275 5.391666667
13 1924 64.8 4.984615385 5.092307692
14 1925 67.1 4.792857143 4.814285714
15 1924 68.6 4.573333333 4.573333333
16 1924 69.6 4.35 4.35
17 1924 69.8 4.105882353 4.105882353
18 1924 69.8 3.877777778 3.883333333
19 1924 69.8 3.673684211 3.678947368
20 1924 69.8 3.49 3.495
21 1924 69.9 3.328571429 3.328571429
22 1924 69.9 3.177272727 3.177272727
23 1924 69.9 3.039130435 3.039130435
24 1924 69.9 2.9125 2.9125
25 1924 69.9 2.796 2.796
5.123914342 5.197128376
MIX: 5.160521359

Using a consistent N is important. The shorter the number, the more it favors peak over career. N=1 is just a top season ranking. N is not the length of a career.

Richard Chester
Guest

@67

Thanks so much mosc. Now I realize that your values represent the average of the consecutive and non-consecutive season approaches. I then ran the non-consecutive season approach (i.e. in descending order of WAR) and my values matched yours. My spreadsheet can evaluate all years from NYEAR1 thru NYEAR25 in one shot.

mosc
Guest

Took me like 50 lines of code to calculate it off of a WAR table, you did it in spreadsheet formulas?

Richard Chester
Guest

@73
I used a spreadsheet only, no code. If Andy doesn’t mind he could send you my email address. You could contact me and I could send you a copy of the spreadsheet. It’s just about impossible to describe in words how I did it.

mosc
Guest

Impressive. There’s a lot of comparative logic in it which is generally messy on a spreadsheet and very easy to code in loops so I went with code. My email address is simply the first letter of our hall of stats founder’s last name at what you call me with the internet’s favorite dot three letter suffix. I figure that’s encoded enough where villains need not bother.

mosc
Guest

Who had the best season? Simmons. Best 3 consecutive seasons? Simmons. Best 3 seasons non-consecutive? Simmons. Best 7 years consecutively? Simmons. Best 7 years non-consecutively? Simmons. You have to widen your look 13 years and beyond to find any Waner advantage at all and even then it’s slight.

Simmons had nearly the longevity and a substantially higher peak because he was a substantially more complete player for a significant portion of time.

Dr. Doom
Guest

To clarify, this IS a vote for Simmons, Ferrell, and Campanella, correct? It’s hard to tell exactly what you mean by that last line, so I just want to make sure.

mosc
Guest

Yes, sorry if that wasn’t clear.

Dr. Doom
Guest

No problem; just wanted to be sure!

Stephen
Guest

Killebrew, Manush, Hubbell

PaulE
Guest

Winfield, Waner, Hubbell

Steven
Guest

Simmons, Hubbell, Cochrane.

bstar
Guest

Hubbell, Simmons, Eckersley

David Horwich
Guest

Early returns, through #37 (21 ballots)

11 – Simmons
===============50% (11)
10 – Cochrane
9 – Hubbell, Waner
===============25% (6)
4 – Winfield*
3 – Brown*, Eckersley*, Killebrew
===============10% (3)
2 – Campanella*, Manush*, Nettles*, Reuschel
1 – Ferrell*, Minoso*, Tiant*

JasonZ
Guest

Very impressive Bstar.

I too love old films.

Try these.

1955 Bad Day at Black Rock
1956 The Killing

Paul E
Guest

Gotta love Sterling Hayden who was just a little bit indifferent to Hollywood and all its BS

bstar
Guest

Jason, if you like your Robert Ryan as evil incarnate, check him out in Peter Ustinov’s Billy Budd. Great stuff.

PaulE
Guest

Bstar/Jason,
……or if you really enjoy film noir, check out Robert Ryan as Stoker Thompson in “The Set Up”. Produced to give the impression of events unfolding in real time, Ryan is very credible as a washed-up club fighter up against local “promoters”

Andy
Guest

Hubbell, Simmons, Waner

Darien
Guest

Killebrew, Waner, and Eckersley

JamesS
Guest

Campanella, Cochrane and Simmons.

Low T
Guest
I’ve missed a few elections recently because I waited too long to vote. I’m getting in early this time. Cochrane, Hubbell, and Waner over Simmons mainly because I’m fascinated by Waner’s odd personal story. This is one of the many reasons I’ve kept up with this project from the start, and why I read just about every comment for each election. I’m learning so much history and background about players that were just names and stats to me prior. I love this exercise and hope we figure out a way to extend it beyond its currently planned life-span.
Joseph
Guest

What is the odd personal story about Waner? His near-sightedness?

Low T
Guest
His vision is one thing, and the fact that he hit worse when his vision was corrected with glasses. But I’m really fascinated by his drinking. Not after games like Ruth, not playing hung over like Mantle, but actually drinking before each at bat. From his SABR bio: “When I walked up there (to the batter’s box) with a half-pint of whiskey fresh in my gut, that ball came in looking like a basketball,” he would say. “But if I hadn’t downed my half-pint of 100 proof, that ball came in like an aspirin tablet.” I’m amazed that someone could… Read more »
Joseph
Guest

I have horrible eyesight, and as a kid, had trouble hitting the ball–but when I did, it was hard.

Maybe I should have tried drinking in Little League.

Owen
Guest

Brown
Campanella
Minoso

Dr. Doom
Guest

A four-horse race: Simmons at 13, Cochrane and Waner at 12, and Hubbell at 11. This is pretty exciting!

Hub Kid
Guest

Hubbell, Nettles, Tiant

It’s been a while since we elected a pitcher- this time I’ll do my homework: not since Whitey (flippin’) Ford in 1910, and Bob Feller in 1917 before that. Back to David Horwich’s, Dr. Doom’s and Hartvig’s posts above RE: COG & HOF positions, 22 does sound like about the right pace… acknowledging that positions are not evenly spread out.

Joseph
Guest

Vote: Nettles, Hubbell (been awhile since we had a pitcher, no?), Campanella

robbs
Guest

I’m sure one of the High Heaters knows this if knowable: How many wins does a team of ALL Replacement level players win? Or is this relevant?

Simmons
Brown
Waner

Joseph
Guest

Baseball Reference says:

>>>Sports Reference sets replacement level at .294 or (48-114). This change was made in March of 2013 after deciding with FanGraphs.com to set a single replacement level between our sites. We also smoothed out the changes in replacement level between the two leagues where before the change from one decade to the next had been stepwise.<<<

http://www.baseball-reference.com/about/war_explained.shtml

robbs
Guest

Awesome. Thx Joseph.

T-Bone
Guest

Reuschel, Simmons, Hubbell

RonG
Guest

Campanella, Cochrane, Minoso

David Horwich
Guest

With 31 ballots cast (through #66):

15 – Simmons
14 – Hubbell
13 – Cochrane, Waner
==========================25% (8)
6 – Campanella*
5 – Brown*
4 – Eckersley*, Killebrew, Nettles*, Winfield*
==========================10% (4)
3 – Minoso*, Reuschel
2 – Manush*, Tiant*
1 – Ferrell*

koma
Guest

Harmon Killebrew, Dennis Eckersley, Minnie Minoso

donburgh
Guest

Reuschel, Waner, Cochrane

dr. remulak
Guest

Hubbell, Cochrane, Campanella.

Dr. Doom
Guest
I have a very good friend getting married in Houston on Sunday, so I’m not sure how much I’ll be around the next week or so – although I’ll at least check when I can, but I’m not sure about commenting. Hopefully, David Horwich will continue to provide vote updates. That said, before I go, I DO want to point out what we have at the top right now: 15 – Cochrane, Hubbell, Simmons 14 – Waner Yowza! This is SO COOL, you guys! I’ll try to stay in tune with what’s going on, because this is just awesome. Also,… Read more »
Artie Z.
Guest

Cochrane, Nettles, Ferrell

Hartvig
Guest

Campy is safe and 25% seems like a long shot so I’m going with a couple that I think belong in the discussion for the last 2 or 3 spots and my choice among the top 4.

Waner, Ferrell, Tiant

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Hubbell has good claim on being the best pitcher in the NL during his time. This should be enough to get him elected here. … He also played for strong teams, with excellent defenses, in a pitcher’s park. And is a distant 2nd to Lefty Grove across MLB. Here’s how he compares to Kevin Brown, during each of their peaks: IP 3365 … Hubbell 3155 … Brown RA9 / RA9OPP / RA9DEF / PPFp 3.39 / 4.69 / 0.24 / 98.4 3.66 / 4.71 / -.03 / 97.1 __________________________ Of the two beasts on the championship Athletics’ squads and the… Read more »
mosc
Guest

I think a lot of the same input data is in your process and mine but we rarely agree on the final ballot. This time though, I concur completely.

Mark
Guest

Is this voting open to anybody? Or do I need to sign up some place?

What do people base their votes on?

Dr. Doom
Guest

Voting is absolutely open to anybody!!! You may base your voting criteria on anything you like, whether it is to elect a player to the Circle of Greats, or to simply keep players on the ballot. It’s entirely up to you. Just be sure to use all three spots (you MUST vote for three players if you’re going to vote). Just make sure you read the rules up top, and feel free to ask any questions that might arise!

Hartvig
Guest

The purpose of this little exercise is for us to select 119 (? I think that # is correct) players- the same number of players selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the BaseBall Writers’ Association of America- and see how our selections compare to theirs. We started with players born in 1968 (later expanded to include 1969 and 1970 and, assuming this process is still going on this coming December, players born in 1971) and working backwards.

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