Circle of Greats 1875 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 112th round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG). This round adds to the list of candidates eligible to receive your votes those players born in 1875. Rules and lists are after the jump.

The new group of 1875-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). Additionally, to be eligible, players must also have played at least half their career games since 1901 or compiled 20 WAR since 1901. This new group of 1875-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.

All voting for this round closes at 11:59 PM EST Tuesday, November 17th, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:59 PM EST Sunday, November 15th.

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 1875 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-1875 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 fifteen 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 1875 birth-year players 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:
Kevin Brown (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Goose Goslin (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Graig Nettles (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Dick Allen (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Richie Ashburn (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Mordecai Brown (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Andre Dawson (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Wes Ferrell (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Addie Joss (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Willie Randolph (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Rick Reuschel (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Luis Tiant (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Rube Waddell (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Ed Walsh (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Hoyt Wilhelm (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)

Everyday Players (born in 1875, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Billy Sullivan
Kid Elberfeld
Johnny Kling
Kitty Bransfield
Freddy Parent
Charley O’Leary
Ossee Schrecongost
Jimmy Barrett
Frank Isbell
Joe Yeager

Pitchers (born in 1875, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Eddie Plank
Ed Siever

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CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago

Doug, I think Nettles earned a 2nd round of eligibility by nabbing 9 votes from 36 ballots. Also, Rube Waddell should be among the holdovers with one round of eligibility.

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago

So, I like to think I’m a very reasonable person. I tried to have as few prejudices about players as possible going into this exercise, and over the 3 years we’ve been doing this I’ve changed my mind about a fair number of players. Going into this process, I never would have expected to be a strenuous supporter of Kevin Brown, a player I hated during his career, or that I would cast a lot of my ‘position player’ votes for Graig Nettles, a player I didn’t really have strong opinions about either way. Eddie Plank retired about 70 years… Read more »

Brent
Brent
4 years ago

CC, you might be pleased to know that I think his manager, the great Connie Mack, thought of him in a similar fashion to you, i.e. that he was a steady pitcher that Mack could count on to start 40 to 45 games a year, but he was not the top of the line starter on the team. In the WS, Mack treated him as his #1 starter in 1905 (when he pitched Games 1 and 4), but he didn’t start him at all in 1910 (Bender and Coombs got all the starts); let him start (and win) Game 2… Read more »

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago
Reply to  Brent

Brent, the SABR book “Deadball Stars of the American League” makes a similar assertion about Plank, that he was “held back” by Mack in 1913 and 1914 and used when he was “likely to win.” His splits in 1914 don’t really back this up, as he pitched in 17 games against the other first division teams (Detroit, Boston and Washington) and 17 games against the worst four teams in the AL. However, I don’t know what his Game Log looks like in 1913, and even in 1914 he might have been used mostly against the #2 and #3 guys on… Read more »

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
4 years ago

This is a very interesting approach, C.C. As I see it, you’re seeking to rank four pitchers in two categories: 1) two full-career pitchers with a (sort-of) “bell curve” of WAR years; 2) two short-career pitchers with very strong peaks and not much else. I compared Kevin Brown, Plank, Waddell, and Walsh on a few metrics that seem most relevant to me in highlighting these contrasting profiles. They are WAR, 5-year peak WAR, Top 5-years WAR, WAR/9IP, and WAR per year only for seasons with 10+ games started or 100+ IP (I was trying to filter out low-impact seasons, to… Read more »

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago

Excellent breakdown, epm. I certainly won’t be disheartened if Plank makes it; everyone with 80+ pitching WAR has been elected, and I don’t expect that trend to stop. And I agree, he wouldn’t be the worst pitcher in the CoG. He’s far ahead of Whitey Ford, to pick one guy in particular.

I used to be more of a career-focused guy. Recently I’ve become more enamored with peak performers. Plank sort of reminds me of the pitcher version of Lou Whitaker; a long career of consistent high performance that just lacks the ‘oomph’ of a couple outstanding peak seasons.

Mo
Mo
4 years ago

Ashburn Reuschel Kevin Brown

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago

Three Finger Brown should also be on the holdover list. Mo’s vote reminded me we have two Browns to work with.

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago
Reply to  Doug

1. One of them is definitely Wilbur Wood, with his incredible early 70’s stretch. 224 starts in 5 seasons! And he was a reliever before that.

The other one was harder to find, but it’s Don Drysdale, putting up 5 straight 40+ GS seasons from 1962-1966. He led the league the first four years, and finished behind Bunning and Koufax in 1966 (they had 41 GS, he had 40).

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago
Reply to  Doug

5. By process of elimination, it has to be the Athletics. Every other AL franchise has a pretty easy to identify SS that had consecutive 6+ WAR seasons: Jeter for the Yankees, Cronin for the Senators/Twins, Boudreau for the Indians, etc. Checking some of the most likely guys for the A’s, Tejada never had consecutive 6+ WAR seasons, and neither did Campaneris. It makes sense, since SS was the weak link in the $100,000 infield; Jack Barry never even had one 6+ WAR season. (Actually, neither did Tejada, at least for the A’s; his only season over 6 WAR was… Read more »

Brent
Brent
4 years ago
Reply to  Doug

#3 is Mike Tresh, father the 60s Yankees outfielder Tom Tresh. Mike caught mostly for the White Sox in the 40s.

Brent
Brent
4 years ago
Reply to  Doug

#4 is Bob O’Farrell, who posted a 4.3 WAR in 1922 while only homering 4 times.

Gary Bateman
Gary Bateman
4 years ago
Reply to  Doug

#3 is Brent Gates.

Artie Z.
Artie Z.
4 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Is the answer to number 11 the Red Sox (Billy Goodman and Pete Runnels) and the Pirates (George Grantham and Dots Miller)?

Doug
Doug
4 years ago
Reply to  Artie Z.

Is it just me, or do those four names not sound like a jazz ensemble.

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
4 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Doug: I hope I understand #7. My PI search did show 20 players who met the requirements for the first 4 years but it also showed 16 players with 5+ such seasons. Anyhow my answer for the first 4 seasons is Phil Rizzuto.

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
4 years ago
Reply to  Doug

My PI search for the first 4 years shows that the 2 oldest players after O’Leary are Rizzuto and David Eckstein, both at 29 years old. Rizzuto was born on 9-25-1917 and played his first game in his 4th year on 4-15-1947. Eckstein’s corresponding dates are 1-20-1975 and 4-6-2004. Using the days between dates calculator shows Rizzuto to be 10795 days old on his start of the 1947 season and Eckstein to be 10670 days old on his start of the 2004 season.

oneblankspace
oneblankspace
4 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Schreck question: (Frankie Hayes, 1938-39) It looks like Terry Steinbach, 1992-93. Steinbach did qualify for the batting title in 1994 as his A’s (or were they the Athletics in ’94?) only played 114 games due to Labor trouble. Steinbach, however, did qualify for the catcher fielding percentage title every season 1987-99 inclusive.

In 1938, the Athletics’ Hayes and Earle Brucker both had 2 WAR / non-qualified BA seasons.

And then there were those movies Schreck made with Cameron Diaz.

oneblankspace
oneblankspace
4 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Bransfield question: That man Stan Musial in game 3 of the ’46 series stole second in the top of the 1st and tripled in the 9th. The BoSox won 4-0.

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago
Reply to  Doug

12. Only one I can find is the 1904 St. Louis Browns, with Fred Glade (30 CG) and Barney Pelty (31 CG). The Boston Braves had rookies in back to back seasons: Irv Young with 41(!) CG in 1905, then Vive Lindaman with 32 CG in 1906. Young is the only rookie (by modern definition) to have over 40 CG in his rookie season. He completed 41 of his 42 starts and made one relief appearance. He led the NL in IP with 378. His sophomore season saw him lag a bit; only 37 CG of his 41 starts, with… Read more »

Doug
Doug
4 years ago

Glade and Pelty would both pitch over 1000 innings for the Browns and (of course) post a losing record. In his sophomore season, Fred “Lucky” Glade wasn’t, posting a 6-25 record. Pelty would also post a 20 loss season, but not before a stellar 163 ERA+ in 1906 that would stand for almost 70 years as the franchise best in a 250 IP season (Pelty’s record was broken by Jim Palmer in 1975 in a surprisingly similar season – both right-handers logged 25 CGs and posted only 11 losses). Glade and Pelty are two of 14 Browns/Orioles pitchers with a… Read more »

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
4 years ago

#9: Minnie Minoso from 1951-1955

Gary Bateman
Gary Bateman
4 years ago

A guess for #8–Dave Duncan?

Andy
Andy
4 years ago

Eddie Plank, Rube Waddell, Ed Walsh

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
4 years ago

Same three pitchers as last round for me:

Kevin Brown, Rube Waddell, Luis Tiant

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
4 years ago

#10: Jack Dunn is the one.

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago

I remember Bill James once commented that he wished he could compile an encyclopedia of player mannerisms, the odd little things that players do on the field that can’t be shown in a box score. He figured that many of these habits are simply lost to the tides of time unless they are written somewhere in biographies or newspaper accounts. I don’t doubt that he’s correct, though in the age of the internet I expect most of these are decently well documented among contemporary players. Eddie Plank was famous enough that his mannerisms are recollected in most accounts of his… Read more »

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
4 years ago

First of all, my own “OCD” is extremely irritated that the comments are no longer numbered. To your point, all the armchair therapists (including the ones with their fraudulent degrees) are uptight a-holes who compensate for their own insecurities by hammering down on anyone comfortable enough in their own skin to express themselves. There is so much more to the truth of the human condition than is remotely described with ‘modern’ western psychology. Those of us who talk to ourselves or have certain ticks and predilections are who we are. We are human beings. Beings infinitely complex and beautiful. And… Read more »

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

To be sure, I’m not trying to reduce Plank by appending a diagnosis to him, or saying that his entire being is encapsulated by his possessing certain compulsive behaviors. I think those behaviors make him more interesting, whether they’re given a name or not. As to the usefulness of Western Psychology as a whole, I think that falls outside the purvey of a baseball stats website, so we’ll just have to agree to disagree (though I’ll agree that humanity would lose very little by throwing Freud in the ash heap). Certainly, I’d hate for anybody that is different or eccentric… Read more »

Jameson
Jameson
4 years ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

I totally agree with you about the numbering.

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
4 years ago
Reply to  Jameson

I agree! It is VERY irritating to try to tabulate votes, and I’m pretty sure Doug missed some of the answers people gave to trivia last round because they were high up in the comments, but didn’t have numbers next to them. I miss the numbers mui mucho.

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago

So for this whole process, I’ve had a “system” for voting; I pick, in my rankings, the best position player, the best pitcher, and a “wild card,” either the next best guy or someone that is a personal favorite or somebody that needs support to stay on the ballot. I think I’m going to stick with that, even though the ballot has certainly become top-heavy with pitching talent. As I said above, I try to be open minded, so I might change my mind and submit an all-pitcher ballot. So how did the ballot get so tilted in favor of… Read more »

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
4 years ago

Are you sure he wasn’t One Finger Brown?

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

I think that was more of a Jack McDowell thing, though in private I’m sure Kevin was quite liberal with ‘the bird,’ since he has a bit of a reputation for being a douchenozzle.

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
4 years ago

Where Plank stands out is length (Innings Pitched).
Almost 4500.

Walsh, Waddell, and 3F were all around 3000.
Here’s where they stack up through Plank’s 10th season (2900+IP):

Plank
202-131
2.38/120
58.0 WAR

Walsh
195-126
1.82/145
63.2 WAR

Waddell
193-143
2.16/135
61.0 WAR

3F Brown
239-130
2.06/139
55.1 WAR
________

Plank continued on with 1577 IP, 127 Wins, and 28.5 WAR.

Waddell stands out with peak and strikeouts.
Walsh with IP per year, and the most severe bio-photo.
And 3F had the best nickname.

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
4 years ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

Here is Plank vs the modern pitchers on our ballot, through their first 3000 IP:

Plank (4496)
202-131
2.38/120
58.0 WAR

Big Daddy (3548)
175-164
3.41/115
61.1 WAR

El Tiante (3486)
204-148
3.16/119
63.8 WAR

One Finger Brown (3256)
197-131
3.16/131
66.2 WAR

Wes Ferrell (2623)
193-128
4.04/116
48.8 WAR
12.8 WAR on offense

Hoyt Wilhelm (2254)
143-122
2.52/147
50.1 WAR
(in his own category, and should be in the COG).

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

If I knew more about science, I’d try to make a Planck Length reference here, but I’ll leave that for someone with more knowledge in the area.

Hartvig
Hartvig
4 years ago

Some of these guys are maybe too close to easily differentiate but I don’t think they’re quite THAT close…

mosc
mosc
4 years ago

Sad to see Paige fall off but I am really glad he got a fair shake. That’s a lot in and of itself. It does make my voting very easy though as I don’t see much else worth voting for besides

Nettles, Dawson, Ferrell
(I wonder if Ferrell could outhit Nettles. Certainly not that far apart)

I have to say my next up would be Wilhelm who I have a lot of mixed feelings about. Randolph deserves to be considered and I’m glad he is… but he’s not that close for me.

Hub Kid
Hub Kid
4 years ago
Reply to  mosc

For a real woulda-coulda-shoulda, my apologies to the Paige voters, I wouldn’t have voted for Nettles over Paige if I had known voting was going to go that way. I guess it’s good that open voting can’t take away all of the surprises.

I think I had Paige as my personal ‘last-in’ because his career was so hard to compare with other COG-ers. I don’t think there will be another career anything like it to come before us as COG voters.

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
4 years ago

Well, as I wrote above, I think Plank’s someone who not only belongs in the CoG, but in the middle of the CoG, not at all a borderline call. Over a career of 17 seasons, he delivered an average of 5.1 WAR per season – no one else on the holdover list with 10 seasons averages higher than 4.7 (Waddell), then comes Walsh at 4.5, and Mordecai at 4.2. Quite a gap. (Joss, in 9 seasons, averaged 5.1, like Plank did in a career almost twice as long.) I’m sympathetic to the great-peak argument – Koufax was the idol of… Read more »

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago

Remember, we do have some of those “open” rounds at the end of the process (with potentially more if the BBWAA actually does their job and elects more guys), and IIRC only the current players on the ballot as of those rounds will be eligible, so some of the current ‘borderline’ guys will almost certainly be elected eventually. As for candidates coming down the pike, we’ve got two sure things in Pedro and the Cyclone, a solid candidate in Iron Man (though he’s another peak performer like Walsh and Waddell), and that’s about it in my view. Unless we have… Read more »

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
4 years ago

Well, C.C., you may be of Dr. Doom’s persuasion, but in my book you’ve neglected two 5’9″ 180 lb. shortstops who should be in the CoG without doubt: George Davis and Bill Dahlen. Both qualify for the CoG and their WAR totals are 84.7 and 75.2, respectively, close to double Orth and Chesbro. Davis, in particular, capped off a spectacular career by being, at age 35, both the offensive and defensive force among non-pitchers on the Hitless Wonders, rebounding from an illness that initially kept him out of the Series to spark the key rallies that gave the Sox victories… Read more »

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago

For sure, epm; I was only accounting for pitchers in my comment. We have a lot of strong position players coming up; not just Dahlen, Davis and Pudge 2.0, but also two absolute locks in Lajoie and Wagner, and some very solid candidates in Bobby Wallace, Jimmy Collins, Wee Willie Keeler and Fred Clarke. It makes sense, since the ballot is currently top-heavy with pitching talent. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to judge the hybrid 19th century/20th century guys; I respect Dr. Doom’s position, but I can also see that in a lot of ways 1893 is just… Read more »

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago

To look at it another way, this is the 112th election. We have at least 120 spots to fill; 119 current BBWAA Hall of Famers plus Griffey, who is a first-ballot lock. I can see Hoffman and Piazza also being elected; anybody else is a bit of a stretch, though it’s hard to predict since they just trimmed the voter rolls this last year. We’ll get a much better picture come December when some of the more internet-friendly voters start releasing their ballots. Anyway, being optimistic, we’d have 10 more spots to fill after this election. The absolute low end… Read more »

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
4 years ago

This seems right to me, C.C., and I’ve been miscounting by one – I think that if we were to elect all the 75+ WAR folks left, there would indeed be at least one slot left for a lower-WAR player. (I think we have elected to date every eligible 70+ WAR candidate except Palmeiro.) The way this tail-end of birtelcom’s project is working out, I think that the election before Davis and Dahlen (and Collins) come up in 1870 – the 1871-72 election – will force us to enshrine a selection who may be weaker than all the leading candidates… Read more »

no statistician but
no statistician but
4 years ago

I’ve always liked the Eddie Plank I see in the stats and have read about in baseball histories. The rap on him that he was the second best bed of A’s baseball circa 1910 is credible, however, but only in a narrow sense. Over his 14 year run with the team, he led its pitchers in ERA+ 4 times and was second 3 times, third 5 times. In WAR over that stretch he was first 6 times and second 5 times. In 1905 he put up 8.5 WAR, but Waddell had 10.5. What distinguishes Plank for much of his career,… Read more »

Hartvig
Hartvig
4 years ago

Eddie Plank, Ed Walsh, Wed Ferrell

JEV
JEV
4 years ago

Brown, Brown, Joss. (Both Brown’s)

Gary Bateman
Gary Bateman
4 years ago

Plank, Ashburn, Goslin

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago

Looking at our previous pitching inductees, middle of the pack seems about right for Plank. He easily outpaces most of the 50’s-70’s guys (Palmer, Ford, Koufax, Marichal) in pure WAR, and he has a good lead on Vance and Hubbell as well. Some of that is due to when Plank played, but hell, everyone is a product of their era, and Plank is still a rare specimen. Lots of guys pitched in the deadball era. Very few of them accrued ~4500 IP, and only a select handful managed to put up 80+ WAR. Obviously, I was never really doubting Plank’s… Read more »

Brent
Brent
4 years ago

I questioned Plank’s status as a true ace above, but really if he was only a #2 pitcher he was one of the best #2 pitchers ever. I am voting Plank and Brown and Brown (to make it easy on myself this round I will just vote for both of them)

Paul E
Paul E
4 years ago

Allen, Joss, Plank

Stephen
Stephen
4 years ago

Ashburn, Plank, Nettles

robbs
robbs
4 years ago

Plank Walsh Goslin

KalineCountry
KalineCountry
4 years ago

Plank
Goslin
Wilhelm

MJ
MJ
4 years ago

Eddie Plank, Rick Reuschel, Kevin Brown

oneblankspace
oneblankspace
4 years ago

In 1901, the White Sox had players (led by Frank Isbell) finish 1,2,3t in the AL in stolen bases (as they won their second straight pennant). Has any other team done anything like that?

My Sox bias is chowing in my vote:

Isbell
Walsh
Wilhelm

oneblankspace
oneblankspace
4 years ago
Reply to  oneblankspace

or maybe showing.

Artie Z.
Artie Z.
4 years ago
Reply to  oneblankspace

I thought maybe the mid-late 1980s Cardinals might have done it with some combination of Coleman, McGee, and Ozzie but it seems their best was a 1, 3, 8 finish in 1988. The 1947 Dodgers finished 1-2, then 2 guys tied for 10th. The 1949 Dodgers finished 1-2 (Jackie and Reese), and then 2 guys (Snider and Hermanski) as part of a 4-way tie for 3rd (with Jeffcoat and Lockman). Of course, that 4-way tie for 3rd was with 12 stolen bases. Bill Bruton led the NL in SB in 1953. The next 4 spots are Dodgers (Reese, Gilliam, Robinson,… Read more »

no statistician but
no statistician but
4 years ago
Reply to  Artie Z.

1911 NL: Bescher of Cincinnati led with 81, but the next five spots (sort of) were Giants: Devore—61, Snodgrass—51, Merkle—49; Murray 48, and Herzog—48. Herzog came to the Giants mid season from Boston.

Oh, and eighth place that year was another Giant, Laughing Larry Doyle with 38 swipes.

The team won the pennant, set a modern record for SBs that may still stand, and I’d guess—if we had the data—for CSs as well. In 1913 when SB records were kept, NY stole 296 and were caught 195 times.

brent
brent
4 years ago
Reply to  Artie Z.

Tried the 1976 A’s, who you will recall stole a gazillion bases as a team. Bill North was #1 at 75 SB, Campaneris was 3rd at 54 and Don Baylor was 4th at 52. The interloper was Ron LeFlore (Tigers) at 58. A’s also finsihed 10th (Claudell Washington 37), 11th (Garner 35), and 15th (Larry Lintz with 4 PA and 31 SB)

Kahuna Tuna
Kahuna Tuna
4 years ago
Reply to  Artie Z.

The 1976 A’s had the #1, #3 and #4 finishers in stolen bases: Bill North (75), Bert Campaneris (54) and Don Baylor (52—yes, that Don Baylor). The second-place finisher was the Tigers’ Ron LeFlore with 58.

That A’s team, under its new manager Chuck Tanner, was trying to adjust to life without Reggie Jackson. So they ran. Boy, did they run. They stole 341 bases, just six fewer than the record-holding 1911 Giants. They nearly claimed their sixth straight AL West title, too, finishing just 2½ games behind the rising Kansas City Royals.

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
4 years ago
Reply to  oneblankspace

I thought you’d slipped, oneblankspace, but I went to check and learned the newborn White Stockings did indeed win the 1900 pennant, though not yet as a major league team.

Kahuna Tuna
Kahuna Tuna
4 years ago
Reply to  oneblankspace

Most of the times when one team dominates a single-season stolen-base leaderboard have occurred in eras when stolen bases have been few. In the AL, the majority of these stolen-base records belong to the White Sox. The only two teams ever to have a true 1-2-3 finish in their league are the 1957 and 1958 White Sox. In ’57 Luis Aparició led the AL with 28 stolen bases, while Jungle Jim Rivera and Minnie Miñoso tied for second with 18 each. In ’58 Aparició led with 29, Rivera finished second with 21, and Jim Landis placed third with 19. (Miñoso’s… Read more »

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago
Reply to  Kahuna Tuna

It always astounds me how much quality research this group can get done in a short period of time. I’m glad we use our combined powers for good, and not nefarious purposes.

(I humbly count myself as one of the good researchers, though I’m a pischer compared to most of you. Doug’s CoG tidbits alone could be a book by now!)

brent
brent
4 years ago
Reply to  Kahuna Tuna

If we go into the 1890s, then the 1899 Baltimore team had the first (Sheckard 77 SB), second (McGraw 73) and 4th place finishers (Holmes 50). Not a surprise that the team known for its aggressive/daring/sometimes semi-legal play stole a lot a bases.

aweb
aweb
4 years ago

K. Brown
Plank
Dawson

Hub Kid
Hub Kid
4 years ago

Ed Walsh, Dick Allen, Luis Tiant

I can see Cursed Clevelander’s point- Eddie Plank looks like a quality COGer, but not a lock to me, either. For a nearly opposite type of pitcher, I really like Ed Walsh for a(nother) short but great career: 3 10+ WAR seasons & all-time ERA & FIP leader.

Jameson
Jameson
4 years ago

Joss
Walsh
Plank

David Horwich
David Horwich
4 years ago

Totals through 19 ballots (Jameson):

12 – Plank
=============50% (10)
7 – K Brown*, Walsh
=============25% (5)
4 – Goslin*
3 – Ashburn, Joss, Nettles*, Waddell
2 – Allen, M Brown, Dawson, Ferrell, Reuschel, Tiant, Wilhelm
=============10% (2)
1 – Isbell
0 – Randolph

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
4 years ago
Reply to  David Horwich

I JUST wrote this same thing, refreshed the page to double-check before posting, and there was your post! I have the same totals, for what it’s worth.

David Horwich
David Horwich
4 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Hmm. Doug, does your count include e pluribus munu’s ballot? It was identical to Robbs’, but was a little bit hidden in the text of epm’s comment, so might have been overlooked. (“… I’m going with Plank and two I think we should not admit: Walsh as the best of the great-peak options, and the Goose as the best nickname/surname combination in a viably borderline CoG candidate.”)

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
4 years ago
Reply to  David Horwich

Sorry I buried the lead!

Doug
Doug
4 years ago
Reply to  David Horwich

Thanks for spotting that. We are agreed, then.

Artie Z.
Artie Z.
4 years ago

Ferrell, Dawson, and Goslin

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
4 years ago

Here’s my one last stumping for Wilhelm. First, here’s his numbers: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/wilheho01.shtml __________________________ The only arguments I’ve seen here as to why he should not be in the COG have been: 1. Relief pitchers dont deserve to get in (except for the single one we’ve elected, and maybe not even him). 2. Wilhelm wasn’t actually that great, because of all the passed balls and unearned runs. ____________ I’ve try to have a look at some of that… Most IP, Relief Pitchers (80+ percent of games): 2254 … Wilhelm 2139 … McDaniel 1809 … Goose 1717 … Guisti 1707 … Stanley… Read more »

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
4 years ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

Voomo, Thanks for the detailed work. I was a fan of Wilhelm, particularly when he started 9-0 (as a starter) in ’59, parallel to Roy Face. I can’t find links to the HHS archive to check, but I think I wrote a comment promoting Wilhelm in an earlier CoG election – I’m sure I voted for him at one point. I think Wilhelm may be the only pitcher ever to have only two qualifying seasons and to win ERA titles in both of them – one each as a starter and as a pure reliever. That’s not something I think… Read more »

no statistician but
no statistician but
4 years ago

As one of the skeptics about Wilhelm, I’ll say this one positive thing: His career, being unique, sets him so far apart from the other relievers on Voomo’s lists above that he has to be considered in a larger perspective—as a very late arrival to the Bigs with a career that nevertheless last twenty years, as a pitcher who obviously could have been a successful starter, as a premier reliever off and on for that long career, and as having one of the longest necks in the history of baseball (levity alert). If any reliever besides Rivera ought to be… Read more »

no statistician but
no statistician but
4 years ago

As one of the skeptics about Wilhelm, I’ll say this positive thing: His career, being unique, sets him so far apart from the other relievers on Voomo’s lists above that he has to be considered in a larger perspective—as a very late arrival to the Bigs with a career that nevertheless lasted twenty years, as a pitcher who obviously could have been a successful starter, as a premier reliever off and on for that extended career, and as having one of the longest necks in the history of baseball (levity alert). If any reliever besides Rivera ought to be honored,… Read more »

no statistician but
no statistician but
4 years ago

Obviously my revised comment bumped the original out of HHS limbo. Oh, well.

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
4 years ago

Gus’ mitt:

comment image

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
4 years ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

Nice photo catch, Voomo. Paul Richards designed the mitt when he managed Wilhelm and Triandos, and after adopting it, Triandos still led the league in PBs. His total of 28 PBs in 1959 was a 20th century record – but he only held it for 6 years, till JC Martin breezed passed it with 33, catching for the ’65 ChiSox and their star reliever: Hoyt Wilhelm. But, really, those records count for nothing now. When Gino Petralli set the contemporary standard of 35 PBs in 1987, he was only one of three Ranger catchers to share the honor of committing… Read more »

oneblankspace
oneblankspace
4 years ago

Don’t underestimate the knuckleball. Being able to catch the knuckleball got Biff Pocoroba to the 1978 All-Star Game (so he could catch teammate Phil Niekro).

Kahuna Tuna
Kahuna Tuna
4 years ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

How much did those passed balls and unearned runs really cut into Wilhelm’s effectiveness? Here’s my survey. Wilhelm allowed at least one unearned run in 109 of his appearances. His teams went 27-82 (.248) in those games. I counted 48 games that his team lost in which Wilhelm allowed one or more unearned runs that could be attributed in some way to Wilhelm’s knuckleball. In 13 of those games, as best I could determine, the margin of defeat was more than three runs and so the Wilhelm-caused unearned run(s) didn’t contribute much to the loss. (For an amusing example, look… Read more »

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
4 years ago
Reply to  Kahuna Tuna

That’s a lot of research work, Tuna! This kind of micro-scrutiny can really throw light on what stats actually represent.

I think two wins per season is a serious give-back, but the fact that these teams still assessed Wilhelm’s value as strongly net positive does, indeed, tell us that he achieved a kind of greatness. The closest parallel I can think of is Nolan Ryan’s BBs.

I think your research will be very valuable in assessing how Wilhelm should be measured against his CoG pitching competitors going into the final rounds.

Kahuna Tuna
Kahuna Tuna
4 years ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

My last note about Wilhelm is pretty trivial, though interesting. I noticed that the majority of runners inherited by Wilhelm in 1969 wound up scoring. That made me wonder about seasons in which a given relief pitcher posted a good ERA but overall was rendered relatively ineffective because a high percentage of his inherited runners came around to score. My PI search: Highest percentage of inherited runners scored (“IRS”) for all seasons between 1955 and 2015—at least 30 games, at least 50% of appearances in relief, 10 or more inherited runners, with percentage of inherited runners scored 33+ times higher… Read more »

Kirk
Kirk
4 years ago

Rick Reuschel, Ed Walsh and Hoyt Wilhelm

Chris C
Chris C
4 years ago

Brown, Allen, Ashburn. I didn’t think I’d ever vote for Kevin Brown.

mosc
mosc
4 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

I never will…

David Horwich
David Horwich
4 years ago

Plank, Nettles, Tiant

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
4 years ago

Mordecai Brown, Wilhelm, Goslin

T-Bone
T-Bone
4 years ago

Reuschel, D. Allen, Wilhelm.

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
4 years ago

Vote:

Wes Ferrell
Rube Waddell
Hoyt Wilhelm

David Horwich
David Horwich
4 years ago

Here’s what I have, through 26 ballots (Voomo’s being the last):

13 – Plank
=============50% (13)
8 – K Brown*, Walsh
=============25% (7)
6 – Goslin*, Wilhelm
4 – Allen, Ashburn, Ferrell, Nettles*, Reuschel, Waddell
3 – M Brown, Dawson, Joss, Tiant
=============10% (3)
1 – Isbell
0 – Randolph

Joseph
Joseph
4 years ago

It’s really hard for me to make a distinction between K Brown, Plank, and Walsh–and then throw in Reuschel and Tiant–all really excellent pitchers, but not sure if any of them are GREAT. For me, it’s pretty easy to pick Nettles out of the other position players–which I am sure doesn’t surprise anyone who has been following the voting for awhile. So, I’m trying to pick two out of the five excellent pitchers and not sure what to base the selection on. I have a tough time using WAR to justify believing that the old-timey pitchers are any better than… Read more »

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
4 years ago
Reply to  Joseph

Joseph, Here are some figures, expanded from ones I used early in this string, relating to these five pitchers. Maybe they’ll be of some help. The comparisons are for the following categories: Pitching WAR, Top 5 years of WAR (peak), WAR per 9IP, WAR per year (excluding years with fewer than 10 games started or 100 IP, with # of other seasons in parens), ERA+, plus a final category, showing the career length, indexed to the IP of the briefest career (Walsh’s). ===========WAR====Top5====WAR/9IP====WAR/Yr======ERA+=====Career IP index Brown……68.5…37.0…..0.189…..4.0 (17)….127……1.10 Plank……86.5…35.7…..0.173…..5.1 (17)….122……1.52 Reuschel…68.2…32.8…..0.173…..4.0 (17)….114……1.20 Tiant……66.1…34.7…..0.171…..3.9 (17)….114……1.18 Walsh……63.2…48.9…..0.192…..6.2 (10)….145……1.00 The numbers that stand out… Read more »

Hartig
Hartig
4 years ago

epm- In response to your last paragraph- “they’d blow their arms out trying to keep up”- I think it’s important to keep in mind what Christy Mathewson said in his book: “Save your best stuff for when the other team is threatening to score.” or words to that effect. I think that the reality is that any dead-ball era pitcher who found himself plopped down in the 1990’s (or 1930’s for that matter) who tried to do that would fairly quickly find himself a) down 4-0 in the 2nd inning a whole lot and b) blowing his own arm out… Read more »

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
4 years ago
Reply to  Hartig

I agree with you, Hartvig. As I said, I believe old time players would get wiped in today’s game (unless they had time to train up to today’s performance standards), and if you put today’s starters on a team like Plank & Waddell’s 1905 A’s or Walsh’s Hitless Wonders, which had six-pitcher staffs, they’d either follow Matty’s rule or be gone within a year. (Wilhelm, however, would probably be about the same in either era – knucklers are a different breed.) I also agree that Joss and Mordecai, fine as they were, are not competitive in this group. Ferrell the… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
4 years ago
Reply to  Joseph

This might be a different way of looking at things. For each pitcher, I took his best 3, 5, 7, and 10 consecutive seasons to see where they ranked in MLB over that period in pitching WAR. For example, Ed Walsh’s best three years were 1910-1912, his best five were 1908-1912, his best seven were 1906-1912, and his best ten were 1906-1915. I did this for each player. This way, we’re not comparing raw WAR – we’re comparing how they ranked in their own time period. By the way, I did this at The Baseball Gauge, which can often be… Read more »

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
4 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

I think this is a neat approach, Doom. But if we’re going to compare Brown to Pedro & Co., as opposed to Reuschel vs. Niekro, shouldn’t we also note that in the three-year stretch where he looks worst, Plank came in 5th to the likes of Cy Young, Matty, Waddell, and McGinnity, the latter two at the steep peaks that put them in CoG range? I didn’t have time to identify the longer stretches where he placed higher (I wasn’t sharp enough to figure out how to use the neat site you linked to), but I believe for the 7-year… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
4 years ago

Yes, I think you’re definitely right, epm. Plank has BY FAR the most unusual ark of these players. Actually, just looking at his WAR totals, you see the consistency, rather than the traditional “defined peak” that others have. But yes – he certainly was going up against rather heavy talent, too, wasn’t he? I guess I see the difference between him and Walsh (who’s almost an exact contemporary – as well as Brown, but that’s almost a century later) is that Walsh broke INTO that group of pitchers (as did Brown), while Plank stayed behind the Mathewsons and the Johnsons… Read more »

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
4 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Very cool! Your instructions were easy to follow on The Baseball Gauge. I have a project due next month, and I’m ahead of schedule. I’ve been wondering how I could be distracted so that I’d miss the deadline, and now I think I know. Your point on Reuschel seems exactly right to me, and what’s more, if you look at his 9.4 season stats, nothing jumps out that suggests a WAR that high. Comparing him with the top 5 Cy Young candidates (he was tied for third), his record seems middle of the pack. I assume the key is the… Read more »

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Very interesting way of looking at it, Doom. It actually helps Plank out quite a bit, since even though he was often eclipsed in individual years (by guys like Waddell and Coombs) he ended up having a lot more career value than those guys, and his 10 year peak is wonderful as a result. It might be interesting to do a similar study using the other all-in-one metrics that we have available. Baseball Gauge lets you do the same searches with their own version of WAR and with Win Shares, and we could manually get the same data from Fangraphs… Read more »

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
4 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

To Dr.Doom: In the past you have mentioned that you liked to judge pitchers by using commenter mosc’s WAR averaging method. Here are my results using that method for what is defined as NYEAR25. These results are for years in chronological order.

Plank……5.59
Walsh……5.83
Tiant……4.49
Brown……5.10
Reuschel…4.74

Joseph
Joseph
4 years ago
Reply to  Joseph

Thanks so much, Doom and e pluribus munu–I appreciate the input. Even given your perspectives, I think these guys all look really close.

Maybe I’m going to pick one old timer and one modern pitcher.

shard
shard
4 years ago

Richie Ashburn – Ed Walsh – Eddie Plank

dr-remulak
dr-remulak
4 years ago

Randolph, M. Brown, Waddell.

Bryan O'Connor
Editor
4 years ago

Wins Above Average, excluding negative seasonal totals:

Plank 47.3
K. Brown 43.3
Reuschel 40.6
Ferrell 40.1
Walsh 38.6
Tiant 37.5
Randolph 36.4
Waddell 35.9
Allen 35.8
Nettles 35.7
Dawson 35.4
Ashburn 33.9
3F Brown 33.1
Goslin 31.7
Wilhelm 28.7
Joss 25.2

K.Brown, Walsh, Allen

Joseph
Joseph
4 years ago

Nettles, K-Brown, and Plank.

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
4 years ago

With vote changes locked in and a day and a half left in the election, everybody with 4 or more votes should be safe, since we’re unlikely to reach 40 ballots. Plank has a pretty commanding lead (15 to 10 over K. Brown and Walsh), and K. Brown and Walsh are pretty much locks to gain two more rounds of eligibility a piece. People in danger of falling off the ballot: 3 votes: Dawson, Joss, Tiant 1 vote: Randolph This late in the game, it’s probably only worth strategic voting if you really feel strongly that one of the holdovers… Read more »

bells
bells
4 years ago

I think the discussion above re: pitchers has cleared things up for me. I’ve jumbled around the Tiant/Brown/Reuschel comparison for, oh, about 40-50 elections now (save for Reuschel’s brief banishment back into redemption-land), with little conclusiveness. The discussion above approaches it in several different ways, and I think it’s finally convinced me to let go of Reuschel and Tiant, good as they look by the things I value. They were certainly worth the long look, but at this point to get into the CoG, I think you have to differentiate yourself from the other jumble of great players in some… Read more »

bells
bells
4 years ago
Reply to  bells

Haven’t heard any last minute things to change my mind, although it’s really hard letting Tiant go after voting for him so much. Dawson was one of my favourite players when I was younger too. But the endgame of this CoG process is different – before, I was happy to kick the can down the road with some of these guys and instigate more discussion, see how they held up against different configurations of players, etc. But now it’s becoming more clear who does, and who should, have a real shot.

Plank, Kev Brown, Ferrell.

bells
bells
4 years ago
Reply to  bells

oops, my browser didn’t show the comments below, so I didn’t realize Tiant had been saved for another round in my above comments… geez, I tried 3 browsers on 2 computers before I finally saw all the comments! I thought those issues would go away with the revamp; I wonder why they are continuing.

brp
brp
4 years ago

K. Brown
Ashburn
Wilhelm

David P
David P
4 years ago

Meh. I wasn’t going to vote any more but I’m going to return to save Tiant. I know some people are saying we should no longer save people but I can’t see any reason for Kevin Brown to be receiving more votes than Tiant. WAR is far too blunt of a tool to say which was better. Then throw in: 1) One cheated and one didn’t. 2) One was just a tad bit difficult to get along with whereas the other was beloved by fans and teammates. 3) One benefited from his home park to the extent that even Larry… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
4 years ago

Good discussion–and Bells helped re-frame my thinking about pitching.
Plank is clearly the best choice from this group. I haven’t voted for a known RED’s user yet, and I can’t vote for Brown for that reason–I just don’t trust his stats. I’m going with Walsh, because while I know his peak is ridiculous, being the career leader in ERA and FIP should get more credit than it does. As to the third, my last vote for Randolph. He’s gone, he won’t survive this round, but a final hat-tip, especially when I’m not drawn to the other candidates.
Plank, Walsh, Randolph

Brendan Bingham
Brendan Bingham
4 years ago

Wilhelm, Reuschel, Tiant