Circle of Greats 1871-72 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 115th 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 1871 and 1872. Rules and lists are after the jump.

The new group of players born in 1871 and 1872, 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 candidates born in 1871 and 1872 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 Thursday, December 17th, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:59 PM EST Tuesday, December 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 1871-72 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 group born in 1871 and 1872 will be added to the spreadsheet as votes are cast for them.

Choose your three players from the lists below of eligible players. The thirteen 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 players born in 1871 and 1872 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 3 rounds)
Goose Goslin (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Graig Nettles (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Ed Walsh (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Hoyt Wilhelm (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Dick Allen (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Richie Ashburn (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Andre Dawson (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Wes Ferrell (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)
Bobby Wallace (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)

Everyday Players (born in 1871 or 1872, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Fred Clarke
Willie Keeler
Fred Tenney
Lou Criger
Cy Seymour
Fielder Jones
Jack Warner
Dan McGann
Buck Freeman
Sam Mertes

Pitchers (born in 1871 or 1872, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Al Orth
Sam Leever
Deacon Phillippe
Joe McGinnity
Togie Pittinger

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175 Comments on "Circle of Greats 1871-72 Balloting"

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Doug
Guest
This round’s tidbits. Answers in red. 1. Fred Clarke is one of 6 players in major league history to play 2000 games in left field, and one of 4 players to begin a career with 18 consecutive seasons of double-digit stolen bases. Which two players ended their careers that way? Nap Lajoie, Lou Brock 2. Willie Keeler is one of 10 players in major league history to play 2000 games in right field, but one of only two in that group (the other is Sammy Sosa) who did not play 2000 RF games in one league. Which other player, like… Read more »
Brent
Guest

#9 Joe Niekro posted a 20-12 record (W-L % .625) in 1980 for the Astros with an ERA+ of 93.

Brent
Guest
#7 is a surprise. It is not Sandy Koufax (.766 in his last 3 years). It is not Eddie Cicotte (.633) or Lefty Williams (.638). It is Sid Monge, who in his final 3 years went 7-1 (for Phillies), 10-3 (combined seasons between Phillies and Padres) and 3-1 (combined seasons between Padres and Tigers), for a total of 20-5 or an exact .800 W-L %. He did manage in that last season (1984) to pitch for both pennant winners. He was on the roster for the Tigers at the end of the year, but only pitched twice in September and… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

#6: Lou Criger and George McBride

John Nacca
Guest

#1…..one of them is Lou Brock

John Nacca
Guest

#1………Nap Lajoie is the other

John Nacca
Guest

#3……….Honus Wagner, 1908 (age 34)

Doug
Guest

Almost right.

Wagner led the majors in all of those categories, except one. His 19 triples, though, was only good enough to lead the NL.

CursedClevelander
Guest

I can’t seem to find this one. Ty Cobb came extremely close in 1917 (Age 30), leading the majors in Hits, TB, BA, SLG, OPS and Triples, but coming in 2nd in RBI to his teammate Bobby Veach. Veach edged him out by one RBI, 103 to 102.

Deacon White led in all 7 of those categories in his Age 29 season in 1877.

Doug
Guest

My mistake.

I’ll go with John’s answer, and amend the question to suit!

Brent
Guest

I believe one of the answers for #8 is Lee May (6 such seasons from 1973 to 1978)

brp
Guest

#10 – 2010, Albert Pujols and Mark Teixeira – both 30.

CursedClevelander
Guest
15. So, a couple interesting tidbits. Sam Leever, who is now on this ballot, just misses out on this club, as he recorded 99 wins in his Age 31-35 seasons. Two pitchers completed this feat almost exactly contemporaneously and as teammates – Bob Lemon from 1952-1956 (103 wins) and Early Wynn from 1951-1955 (100 wins on the dot), both with the Indians. Lemon won 17 games at Age 30 with the 1951 Indians, and Wynn picked up another 20 wins at Age 36 with the 1956 Indians. The Tribe won 570 games in those 6 seasons, which certainly helped boost… Read more »
Doug
Guest

That was quite the rotation for those early ’50s Tribe teams, with HOFers Lemon, Wynn and Feller joined by two-time 20-game winner Mike Garcia. On their 1954 pennant-winning team, all four were in their thirties, as was another HOFer (Hal Newhouser) coming out of the bullpen with a 148 ERA+, albeit in limited innings.

CursedClevelander
Guest
The rotation gets most of the ink (well, 4/5th’s of it – people rarely mention Art Houtteman, who had a pretty good season but was the least effective of the 5 starters), but the 1954 Indians also had a tremendous bullpen. Newhouser was joined by the dynamic rookie duo of lefty Don Mossi (191 ERA+ in 93 IP) and righty Ray Narleski (166 ERA+ in 89 IP). Narleski continued to be a very effective reliever until a ruptured disc forced him out of baseball at Age 30. Mossi is of course famous for his rather unique looks (Mr. 5 Tool… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest
Ya gotta root for guys who can win ugly! My nom de plume also recalls a character of some note, altho limited to the small, rural town in which I grew up. One of the more “colorful” anecdotes of the real Hartvig was the time he convinced several of his buddies to help him paint his house by buying several rounds down at the local tavern, immediately after which they went out to my brothers hardware store, bought a few 5 gallon buckets of whitewash & some brooms and violå- a an hour or so later you had a freshly… Read more »
Kahuna Tuna
Guest

One of Mossi’s teammates on the 1958 Indians and the 1964 White Sox was another player known for being a bit on the homely side: Hoyt Wilhelm. (Y’all knew I was going to post this, right?) Don had some trouble keeping the ball inside the ballpark in ’64—nine HR allowed in only 40 innings. Still wound up with seven saves and a sub-3.00 ERA.

Narleski, Wilhelm and Mossi: It didn’t work the one time they tried it.

Richard Chester
Guest

#11: The answer is Sam Rice.

Brent
Guest

#14, the answer is the 1993 Blue Jays. Paul Molitor and Devon White each hit 2 triples.

Kahuna Tuna
Guest

#13: The answer is Ron Hunt, although he led his league seven times.

I noticed that Hunt finished tied for 15th in the NL MVP voting in 1969, with a 99 OPS+ in 128 games. In games in which he played, the Giants’ record was 70-58 (.547); in games in which he didn’t play, the Giants’ record was 20-14 (.588). Hmmm.

Doug
Guest

Hunt’s three qualified seasons with OBP 20% higher than SLG are tied with Eddie Stanky and Max Bishop for the most in the live ball era.

Hunt is the only player since 1901 to have three qualified seasons with a .350 OBP while slugging under .300.

Richard Chester
Guest

#5: Paul Foytack and John Smoltz

Doug
Guest

Correct.

But, I missed Foytack, so there’s one more.

Richard Chester
Guest

I found Jose Rijo.

Richard Chester
Guest

I also found Andy Pettitte

Richard Chester
Guest

#4: The answer is Jose Vizcaino.

Doug
Guest

Vizcaino was on the 2000 champion Yankees, the last of his three consecutive seasons with 60-69 hits. But, he split time in that 2000 season between the Yankees and Dodgers, and so had only 48 hits in the Bronx.

Long explanation but am looking for someone else.

Richard Chester
Guest

Then it must be Sammy Byrd who later became a pro golfer.
Answer to #12: Rip Sewell

Chris C
Guest

Ashburn, Allen, Goslin. I think this is the least excited I’ve ever been for a vote.

Gary Bateman
Guest

Keeler question-Dave Winfield?

JEV
Guest

Brown, Goslin, Clarke

dr-remulak
Guest

Nettles (for the win), Waddell, Wilhelm. Third basemen are under-represented in the HOF, and most likely in the COG as well.

CursedClevelander
Guest

For some reason, I had assumed we were combining the 1872 and 1871 birth years. Are we going to combine 1871 and 1870, or do we have less ‘open’ rounds at the end of the process?

Brent
Guest

Goslin, K. Brown, Waddell

Kirk
Guest

Rick Reuschel, Hoyt Wilhelm and Ed Walsh

Richard Chester
Guest

Goslin, Wilhelm, Ferrell

Bryan O'Connor
Editor

I’ve been away for a few weeks and I see Kevin Brown’s still on the outside. Let’s do this again.

Wins Above Average, excluding negative seasonal totals:

K. Brown 43.3
Reuschel 40.6
Ferrell 40.1
Walsh 38.6
Wallace 38.6
Tiant 37.5
Clarke 36.4
Waddell 35.9
Allen 35.8
Nettles 35.7
Dawson 35.4
Ashburn 33.9
Goslin 31.7
Wilhelm 28.7
Keeler 26.3

K.Brown, Walsh, Allen

oneblankspace
Guest

The Next Post link to this page from the HR by country page is not up yet.

Andy
Guest

Waddell, Walsh, and K. Brown

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Nobody is likely to break Deacon Phillipe’s record of 5 complete games in one World Series.

(I’m assuming that is the record):

http://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/1903_WS.shtml#post_pitching_loser::none

oneblankspace
Guest

Play index shows one player with 5 CG in a single postseason, one with 4, and many with 3.

CursedClevelander
Guest
And the 4 CG postseason is from Bill Dinneen, in that exact same 1903 WS. It was a best of 9 series that went 8 games, and travel days meant that it was pretty spaced out. For instance, Philippe started Game 1 on October 1st, Game 3 on October 3rd, and then Game 4 on October 6th, so he had some time to rest his arm. He then pitched Game 7 on October 10th and Game 8 on October 13th. Dinneen pitched in Game 2 (October 2nd), Game 4, Game 6 (October 8th) and Game 8. Cy Young also had… Read more »
Brent
Guest

Not unless you count the 19th century “World Series”. Bob Caruthers pitched 8 complete games for the 1887 St. Louis Browns. He won half and lost half.

Brendan Bingham
Guest

Interesting that Phillippe pitched those 5 WS CGs in 1903, but it was another 70 years until anyone appeared as a pitcher in all 7 games of a WS (Darold Knowles, 1973).

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Vote:

Wes Ferrell
Rube Waddell
Hoyt Wilhelm

Gary Bateman
Guest

Goslin, Ashburn, Ferrell

T-Bone
Guest

Reuschel, D. Allen, Wilhelm

David Horwich
Guest

Goslin, Nettles, Tiant

e pluribus munu
Guest

Once again, here are the comparative figures I posted last round. They compares holdovers, and Clarke and Keeler from this round. The WAR/Yr figure eliminates short fractional seasons and divides total WAR by the remaining number of seasons; career length is indexed against the shortest career in each category, which is set at 1.0. Apart from ERA+/OPS+, the remaining figures are just ways of juggling WAR.

Pitchers
___Name_______P-WAR__Peak5___Top5____WAR/9IP__WAR/Yr____ERA+___Career length (IP)
Brown_________68.5_____37.0___37.0_____0.189____4.0 (17)_____127_______1.24
Ferrell________48.8_____29.9___36.0_____0.168____4.9 (10)_____116_______1.00
Reuschel_______68.2_____31.0___32.8_____0.173____4.0 (17)_____114_______1.35
Tiant__________66.1_____28.7___34.7_____0.171____3.9 (17)_____114_______1.33
Waddell________61.0_____43.9___43.9_____0.185____5.9 (10)_____135_______1.13
Walsh__________63.2_____47.3___48.9_____0.192____6.2 (10)_____145_______1.13
Wilhelm________50.1_____16.1___21.6_____0.184____2.6 (19)_____147_______N/A
Position Players
___Name________WAR___Peak5__Top5_____WAR/G___WAR/Yr____OPS+__Career length (G)
Allen__________58.7_____31.5___36.7_____0.034____4.2 (14)_____156______1.0
Ashburn________63.6_____31.6___32.7_____0.029____4.2 (15)_____111______1.3
Clarke_________67.4_____22.2___26.6_____0.030____3.7 (18)_____133______1.3
Dawson_________64.4_____32.4___33.7_____0.025____3.4 (19)_____119______1.5
Goslin_________66.1_____32.5___32.8_____0.029____4.1 (16)_____128______1.3
Keeler_________54.0_____27.0___27.5_____0.025____3.4 (16)_____127______1.4
Nettles________68.0_____28.7___32.2_____0.025____3.4 (20)_____110______1.4
Wallace________70.2_____28.6___31.3_____0.029____4.1 (17)_____105______1.3

e pluribus munu
Guest

With 1871 now added in, I’m supplementing my post with McGinnity’s stats:

___Name______P-WAR__Peak5___Top5___WAR/9IP__WAR/Yr____ERA+___Career length (IP)

McGinnity______60.4_____37.5___43.3_____0.158____6.0 (10)_____120_______1.31

e pluribus munu
Guest
This vote is different from previous rounds – one of the dozen players we’ve been debating about for many rounds is finally almost certain to get in, barring an unexpected surge of love for Clarke or Keeler (or the unusual Cy Seymour). Among the holdover pitchers, I don’t see Brown, Tiant, or Reuschel as bona fide CoGers. As I’ve written many times, while I don’t rule out players with PED records, I do think we have to discount their performance, and that eliminates any advantage Brown may have had over Tiant and Reuschel. All were fine pitchers, and I was… Read more »
KalineCountry
Guest

Goslin
Clarke
Keeler

Dr. Doom
Guest

Sorry I haven’t been around for a few days. I would’ve liked to have posted a vote update on or near the final day. Oh well. Anyway, here’s my vote:

Kevin Brown
Wes Ferrell
Rube Waddell

I would REALLY like to see one of these three pitchers go in this election!

Dr. Doom
Guest

I’ll pull out an initial update, through 15 ballots:

8 – Goose Goslin*
==========50% (8)
6 – Rube Waddell, Hoyt Wilhelm*
4 – Dick Allen, Kevin Brown*, Wes Ferrell
==========25% (4)
3 – Ed Walsh*
2 – Richie Ashburn, Fred Clarke, Graig Nettles*, Rick Reuschel
==========10% (2)
1 – Willie Keeler, Luis Tiant
0 – Andre Dawson, Bobby Wallace

Based on previous rounds and players’ votes relative to one another, this should be a VERY close election. I’m fascinated to see who wins!

David Horwich
Guest

I have Brown with 5 votes (JEV, Brent, Bryan O’Connor, Andy, Dr Doom) and Allen with 3 (Chris C, Bryan O’Connor, T-Bone).

Man, I miss the numbering system….

Dr. Doom
Guest

Correct you are, both on the count and the numbering system. 🙂

shard
Guest

Ashburn – Walsh – Allen

CursedClevelander
Guest
One of my favorite tidbits about the 1871 birth year: Two of the best pitchers born in 1871 were Amos Rusie and Joe McGinnity. Yet their career arcs were so different, they only have a single year of overlap where both pitched in the big leagues, and that’s only because of Rusie’s ill-fated 1901 comeback with the Reds, when he pitched a mere 22 ineffective innings. (Quick aside: I figure most HHS regulars know that Rusie was traded for Mathewson, perhaps the single most lopsided trade in baseball history as measured by WAR – including batting, it’s 102.5 for Mathewson… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Rusie’s contract dispute was actually in 1896, which was the first season he sat out. His adversary was Andrew Freeman, the Giants’ owner, and disputes with Freeman were not like other disputes, because Freeman was, to put it delicately, borderline psychotic. Rusie effectively boycotted the Giants in 1896, after run-ins with Freedman during the latter’s initial year as owner, including a fine Freedman levied against Rusie for “being out of shape.” Rusie and Freedman fought from the start (as did the rest of the league and Freedman), and this may have contributed to a falling off in Rusie’s record in… Read more »
CursedClevelander
Guest
I assumed his 1896 hiatus must have been either an injury or a contract dispute, but I don’t think that information was listed on his BB-Ref Bullpen page. I should have checked Wiki, which has more information, including some notes about his 1896 holdout. Apparently he thumbed his nose at Freedman in public, which at the time was akin to shooting the middle finger (Jack McDowell would be so proud). Freedman fined him $200 dollars, which was a very large portion of his salary, so Rusie refused to play until Freedman returned the money. Wiki has this to say about… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Rusie’s 1899-1900 hiatus was said also to be partly due to his dissolving marriage. Not much to choose between Freedman and Brush: one was a psychopath and the other evil. I believe they were not actually in cahoots. This is how “Richter’s History and Records of Base Ball” (1914) describes the 1896 season, the year after Freedman’s arrival: “In this year Andrew Freedman quarreled with John T. Brush and thus caused a factional split in the League which widened with the years, created disorganization, and almost wrecked the organization.” By 1902, Brush was chairing an interim three-man executive committee controlling… Read more »
CursedClevelander
Guest
Very interesting, epm. I need to read more about this period in history – I know the players, but I’ve forgotten a lot of the behind-the-scenes actions. I know that Brush hated Ban Johnson, and he certainly would have loved to crush Johnson’s upstart AL under his heel if he could. Seen in that light, it makes sense that Brush wasn’t only trying to build his team into a powerhouse, he was trying to crowd out the AL from the country’s most important and biggest city. Reading a bit more, I see that Johnson and Brush had been enemies ever… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Just to bring this full circle, C.C., Brush was also the owner of the Indianapolis Hoosiers (NL) when Rusie was first brought up in 1889 – the Hoosier Thunderbolt. The league bought out Brush and closed down the Hoosiers, but gave Brush a partial interest in the Giants in compensation – Rusie going to the Giants in 1890 may have been part of that deal, which also involved Brush being guaranteed another team, which turned out to be the Reds – to which Rusie returned in 1901, with Brush as owner. I have no doubt that given Brush’s history of… Read more »
CursedClevelander
Guest
McGinnity, Walsh and Waddell. All guys with crazy high peaks in the 1900s. How do they measure up in various super-stats? Win Shares: McGinnity 270.2, Walsh 260, Waddell 239.2 Win Shares Above Bench: Walsh 150.8, McGinnity 141.7, Waddell 130.6 Baseball-Ref WAR: Walsh 65.5, Waddell 58.6, McGinnity 57.7 (includes offensive WAR) Baseball-Ref WAA: Walsh 38.2, Waddell 31.7, McGinnity 28.0 (excluding negative WAA seasons; these numbers are from The Baseball Gauge, and don’t quite match up with BB-Ref’s WAA totals) Baseball-Ref pitching WAG (Wins Above Greatness, pitching totals only): Walsh 24.0, Waddell 22.8, McGinnity 18.5 (excluding negative WAG seasons) Baseball Gauge WAR:… Read more »
Doug
Guest

FanGraphs sure sees these three differently.

bstar
Guest

Not really, Doug, if you look at Fangraphs’ RA9-WAR.

Walsh 71.0, McGinnity 64.6, Waddell 60.6

IMHO there is no justification for using FIP as an approximation of deadball pitchers’ value. There just weren’t enough Ks, BBs, and HRs in that era for FIP to be a meaningful measure of anything.

Just look at Joe McGinnity. According to B-Ref, he faced 14,132 batters. The sum of his (K + BB + HR) = 1,932. So an FIP-WAR would be judging McGinnity’s career by only looking at 14% of the batters he faced while ignoring the other 86%. What’s that worth?

Hartvig
Guest

Would that apply in Waddell’s case?

By my calculations he’s just a hair under 27% & just as a basis for comparison I checked out Bob Gibson and he came in at 29.3%.

I know the additional 200+ home runs count for a lot but does that negate the fairly significant lead in strike outs over the rest of the league? Even Big Train & Sandy Koufax didn’t come close to dominating the league like the Rube did in K per 9.

Dr. Doom
Guest

Doug, why is Amos Rosie not listed as one of the pitchers eligible for election this round?

e pluribus munu
Guest

I had the same thought, Doom, and then I realized that Rusie’s post-1900 record tops out at 22 IP and -0.7 WAR.

Dr. Doom
Guest

Ah-ha! Right. Thanks. By the way, my computer “corrected” Rusie to Rosie, and I find that irritating.

Stephen
Guest

Ashburn, Walsh, Tiant

Hub Kid
Guest

Wilhelm, Tiant, Wallace

Dave Humbert
Guest
Re-post of last round thoughts on Bobby Wallace: Bobby Wallace is likely one of the least known hall of famers we get to consider. Is he good enough for the COG? So far only one vote. It has been suggested his 76.2 WAR is hard to quantify and that perhaps his defensive skills were overrated. Does he stand out playing in the time of Wagner, Dahlen and Davis? My two cents on his behalf: How good was he defensively? Faith in defensive stats for early players is a bit shaky, but the Veteran’s Committee in 1953 was not relying on… Read more »
Dave Humbert
Guest

Oops…49%/44%/42% are Dahlen/Young/Davis ratios.

In short, I feel passing up Wallace would be a notable oversight. Hopefully others will agree.

Hartvig
Guest
One other bit of fairly compelling evidence for his case is that while the BBWAA only gave Wallace minimal support in their early days they gave virtually none to Davis or Dahlen. Add that to Hall of Fame Historian Ernst Lanigan- who while perhaps not being a great judge of talent himself was very familiar with how all 3 players were viewed by others in their day and overall did a good job of advising the Old Timers Committee on their selections, Tommy McCarthy notwithstanding- also saw fit to enshrine Wallace ahead of them as well. If nothing else that… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
I agree that Wallace is a truly viable candidate, even though I have not voted for him this round. But I can’t see a case for ranking Wallace over Davis, even with Wallace’s pitching thrown in. The two are almost exact contemporaries as shortstops, and when you compare their total dWAR which is what particularly distinguishes Wallace, the difference is not at all great: 28.7 to 24.0. Davis outpaces Wallace on oWAR by 14 points, despite losing a year of his prime to the NL/AL war, a force beyond his control of the type that we usually give some tacit… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest
I agree and that wasn’t what I intended to imply, altho in rereading what I wrote I can certainly see how it might seem that way. And I agree with what you say about the BBWAA- I didn’t originally intend to comment on that since Wallace’s support from them was so minimal anyways but then did anyways which kind of overshadowed the real point I set out to make. I agree that Davis is the best of the bunch & I will certainly vote for him. I’m probably going to vote for Dahlen as well. Wallace is still a tossup… Read more »
Dave Humbert
Guest

epm,

You’re right that Wallace should not rank over Davis, the point I’m aiming for is that Wallace is one of the more viable choices on the ballot right now. Davis and Dahlen will likely get in as well very soon. Wallace is more fully a 20th century player than either of the other two, and has plenty to offer in comparison to the rest of our backlog. I had felt that Wallace’s relevance needed to be emphasized, because his name is lesser known than others we’ve discussed quite a bit.

e pluribus munu
Guest
Dave, I’ve got no problem with your advocacy of Wallace this round, I was only responding to the suggestion that he was superior to Davis, which Hartvig had unintentionally made. Wallace was fourth on my voting list, right behind Goslin, and since I’d originally failed to see the strength in his case, I can say that my positive view of him as CoG material was formed by your advocacy. I’ll rethink my vote once again, though I think I’m more likely to switch Wallace for Wilhelm, rather than Goslin, and I actually think this round should go to Waddell. (One… Read more »
MJ
Guest

Rick Reuschel, Kevin Brown, Bobby Wallace

mosc
Guest

Ferrell, Dawson, Nettles

Joseph
Guest

Question: For candidates like Wheeler, are we only supposed to consider post-1900 stats?

If not, I’m wondering why so little support for him.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Joseph, My understanding is that a candidate who qualifies for the CoG – basically, at least 20 post-1900 WAR – stands with his full record. I think Keeler’s lack of support is just a reflection of his stats, which are great, but not quite up to the standards of his competition.

Hartvig
Guest

I agree with epm. It might be fair to discount any pre-1893 pitching stats a fair bit simply because of changes in the rules but the only likely candidate that would be affected by that would be Cy Young who has great plenty of post-1893 stats with which to make his COG case.

Joseph
Guest

Jeez–Of course I meant, Keeler, not Wheeler.

It’s hard for me to not give serious consideration to someone with so many hits, .388 OBP, and other impressive stats, unless there is a serious PED issue or some other factor with an impact, even with relatively low WAR.

e pluribus munu
Guest
Wee Willie Keeler, Kee Killie Wheeler – six of one, half dozen of the other. Keeler was great, and I was looking forward to his arrival on this list, but on examining his stats they seemed weaker in context than I thought they’d be. For example, in 1897 Keeler led the league with a .424 BA, but was still third (second to McGraw on his own team) in OBP, and second (on his own team, to Jennings) in WAR. In his other batting title year, 1898, he was seventh in OBP and not in the top ten in WAR. It… Read more »
Joseph
Guest

All good points–thanks epm.

Hartvig
Guest
I see a lot of similarities between Clarke & Sam Crawford. Both were probably the biggest offensive star on their teams until one of the games greatest players came along to steal the spot light & they each played in their shadow for a considerable period of time. They were consistently very, very good to excellent but never head-and-shoulders-above-everybody great. They’re close but grading on the tough scale that the COG demands I see Crawford as an A- & Clarke as a B+. And, for me, B+ is on the wrong side of the cut off line. It’s tough. We… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
This parallel had never occurred to me, Hartvig. It’s neat. Clarke and Wagner got a bit more out of their partnership: four pennants and a Series title (in two tries) in 15 years together vs. three pennants and no titles for Crawford and Cobb in 13 seasons. I was following up on Clarke to make sure I hadn’t sold him short, when I noticed a really interesting comparison in his two WS performances. On first glance, I thought his 1903 record looked better, 9 hits in 34 ABs (.265) vs. 4 hits in 19 ABs (.211) in 1909, which seems… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

Through 21 ballots (Hartvig), here’s an update:

8 – Goose Goslin*
7 – Rube Waddell, Hoyt Wilhelm*
6 – Kevin Brown*, Wes Ferrell
==============25% (6)
5 – Richie Ashburn, Ed Walsh*
4 – Dick Allen
3 – Graig Nettles*, Rick Reuschel, Luis Tiant
==============10% (3)
2 – Fred Clarke, Bobby Wallace
1 – Andre Dawson, Willie Keeler

Still WIDE open!

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
I like Goslin, and I’ve voted for him in the past, but I’m excited by all those Pitchers who are chasing him, so here’s an argument against: Using the Neutralize Stats tool, to give his numbers a different perspective, here are his actual numbers, compared to what he is projected to do if he played in a neutral 2014 AL park: .316 / .387 / .500 / .887 .298 / .366 / .471 / .837 2735 hits / 500 2B / 173 3B / 248 HR 2638 hits / 485 2B / 169 3B / 239 HR 1482 R /… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest

Your conclusion seems strongly supported, Voomo. And the comparison is interesting too. Beltran would be a borderline CoG candidate too, so I’m not sure whether your stats are an argument against so much as an argument that we’re electing a borderline candidate this round, whether it’s Goslin or one of the pitchers. (I’m just like you: I voted for Goose, but I’d prefer to see one of those pitchers go in.)

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Yes, I’m saying that I see him as borderline.
He played in a high-offense era, and while his counting stats are impressive… his .887 OPS is 22nd best among players with 5000+ PA between 1920-1940.

He wasn’t the best player on the field.
Waddell, Wilhelm, Ferrell – those guys have a claim to be the greatest at what they did, when they were doing it.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Regarding Ferrell, yes, Grove was the best at the time. Not Ferrell. Wes has a strong argument for 2nd best. At a time when (for some reason) there weren’t a lot of dominant pitchers. And though it has been covered in many posts over the past year, I’ll repeat an aspect of his Pitcher-Who-Hits argument. When Ferrell faced anyone but Grove, he was the best Pitcher on the field (during his peak). But not only that, his team had 9 hitters. The other team had 8. Here is each year from 1929 – 1938 Wes Ferrell vs American League hitters… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
I think Walsh could also make the claim to have been the best at what he was doing during his peak years. Your argument’s a good one, Voomo. I’ve already been considering modifying my vote as a result of Dave Humbert’s persistent advocacy of Wallace, but I was thinking of Wilhelm as the one who might drop off my ballot. Now we have arguments weakening Goslin from two sides, Wallace among position players and Walsh and Ferrell among pitchers. (Interestingly, there’s been more of a tendency to argue for Ferrell on the basis of his hitting – an extra 12.8… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Well shucks, i would hate for my stumping for Ferrell to take away a vote from Hoyt. Wilhelm is my number one pick.
We seem to think similarly with this group. If you dropped Goslin for Ferrell we’d have the same ballot (and Goose is probably my number 4).

oneblankspace
Guest

Walsh, Wilhelm, FJones

Getting back this far, I don’t have much of a feel for 15 of the teams in the leagues

Paul E
Guest

Allen, Waddell, Walsh

Paul E
Guest

Allen, Waddell, Walsh

David Horwich
Guest

Things are really tight at the top after the last couple of ballots, so here’s a partial update:

8 – Goslin, Waddell, Wilhelm
7 – Walsh
6 – Brown, Ferrell
5 – Allen, Ashburn

Dr. Doom
Guest
… and as of Jeff B’s ballot below, there’s now a 4-way tie for first place with 8 votes! I would also like to remind anyone contemplating vote changes that it is TREMENDOUSLY helpful if you comment at the BOTTOM of the thread if you make vote changes (as I assume some might consider, given the closeness of this election), rather than as a reply to your original comment. In the days of numbered comments, replying to your own was fine. But in this new-fangled HHS era we’re in today, it’s just too hard to slog through EVERY comment to… Read more »
Hub Kid
Guest

I could be wrong, but I count 7 for Ferrell, including Voomo Zanzibar’s vote on 13 December, nested below e pluribus munu a few posts above here.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Voomo actually voted on December 9.

Dr. Doom
Guest

Right; Voomo’s comment on December 13 was just an echo of his already-placed vote on December 9.

Hub Kid
Guest

thanks for checking- I didn’t think to look at the names for each vote. (which is one reason why I am thankful for everyone who puts in so much time tabulating).

Jeff B
Guest

Walsh, Dawson, Keeler

CursedClevelander
Guest

I’ll keep my same ballot from a few elections ago:

K. Brown
Nettles
Waddell

David P
Guest
Having just read through Waddell’s SABR bio, I have to say a big fat NO!!!! Sorry, but I can’t think of anyone less deserving. Talented? Yes. Colorful Personality? No doubt. But he was also a HUGE pain in the ass who quickly wore out his welcome wherever he went. Even the mild-mannered Connie Mack finally gave up on him. Here are a few of the more “interesting” incidents from his career: 1903: Suspended by team from August 25th on for completely no-showing for a start against Cleveland. 1905: Missed the last month of the season due to an injury sustained… Read more »
CursedClevelander
Guest
I suspect Waddell’s colorful past is well known to most HHS voters. I suppose it comes down to how you view Rube. Was he: 1. A big lovable oaf who was often involved in silly, larger-than-life antics because he had the heart (and perhaps the brain) of an overgrown child? 2. A drunk, out-of-control malefactor who usually got away with murder because he was a likable guy (and a hell of a pitcher)? 3. A man who would nowadays be considered mentally handicapped, and should be cut a bit of slack because he was certainly never given proper treatment or… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
David, Let me put a counter-argument. Waddell was known as “eccentric,” in the polite parlance of the day, but what he probably was, in fact, was mentally handicapped. Bill James calls him “simpleminded,” and describes how opposing teams knew how important it was to distract him, because he was not able to focus his mind. Here’s what Sam Crawford had to say: “Hughie Jennings, our manager at Detroit, used to go to the dime store and buy little toys, like rubber snakes or a jack-in-the-box. He’d get in the first-base coach’s box and set them down on the grass and… Read more »
David P
Guest
CC and EPM – Thanks for your well thought out replies. We will probably have to agree to disagree. The thing about Waddell is that he’s a marginal COG candidate at best. Counting hitting, he has less than 60 career WAR. If you want to ignore hitting, then he has 61.0. Granted, no one has a lot at this point but when there are a lot of candidates who are basically even, then other factors need to be looked at. Were Waddell’s actions detrimental to his team? I think it’s clear that they were. Being suspended by his team for… Read more »
oneblankspace
Guest

There are five Cy Young Award winners with a felony conviction. Fergie Jenkins is in the COG. Denny McLain, Dwight Gooden, Vida Blue, and LaMarr Hoyt are not. Waddell pitched against Cy Young, so he was retired before the award was created.

David P
Guest

OBS – Are you sure re: Jenkins felony conviction? Assuming you’re talking about his 1980 drug arrest, a Christian Science Monitor article from the time says that the amount of drugs in his possession was only enough for a misdemeanor in Canada.

oneblankspace
Guest

From

Other Stars Who Have Served Time / By THOMAS ROGERS.
Published: July 20, 1990
http://nyti.ms/1PdmlVN

« Another Cy Young Award winner, Ferguson Jenkins, who won the award with the Chicago Cubs in 1971, when he won 24 games, narrowly missed a prison term when he was arrested in Toronto in 1980 and convicted of possession of hashish, marijuana and cocaine. But on the day of his conviction, the judge immediately expunged the record. »

Hartvig
Guest
Some thoughts on positional issues: 1) Obviously some issues do need to be taken into account. Physical limitations prevent virtually all catchers from playing more than so many games in the field in a season and over the course of their career. Defense is also a significant factor here as well as it may be the most difficult position to actually measure defensive effectiveness. 2) Outside of catcher I really don’t buy the argument that there should be so many players at each position. (And that’s not what I’m arguing at catcher either, just that we have to make adjustments).… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

hartvig, do you put Wilhelm in the last category of “relief pitchers”?

As a reliever:
13 seasons with 2+ WAR
8 seasons with 100+ IP
______________________

Wilhelm vs Koufax:

WAR (including hitting)
47.3
49.0

ERA+
147
131

IP
2254
2324

IP before age 30 season:
159
2001

IP after age 30 season
2095
323

Hartvig
Guest
Yes, I do consider Wilhelm a reliever. Here’s my thinking. Obviously it’s true that Wilhelm did put up about the same career WAR as Koufax- less pitching WAR (50.1 vs. 53.2) but he was a “better” hitter (-2.8 vs. -4.2). Or was he? Even though they pitched about the same number of innings, because he was mostly used as a reliever Wilhelm only had 493 plate appearances vs. 858 for Koufax. I’m not sure I view that as a positive in Wilhelm’s favor. I also went back and looked at the excellent evaluation of the effect that Wilhelm’s passed balls/wild… Read more »
Kahuna Tuna
Guest
Hartvig, I did another post calculating the percentage of inherited runners that Wilhelm allowed to score. He was right at the league average for the years he pitched: 36 percent. As for his teams’ record in games he pitched, consider how often relief pitchers pitched back then in games their teams won. It was typically less than 25 percent. I’m studying now how frequently Wilhelm pitched in relief in games his teams won compared against other relief pitchers of that era. My hypothesis is that Wilhelm’s teams won quite a bit more often than the average, indicative of his importance… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Kahuna/Hartvig… KT not sure why you had to calculate his IR percentage – it is stated on his ‘More Stats’ page: 701/245 – 35 percent. Curiously, I tried to run a play index search, using pitchers with 600+ IR………… and Wilhelm doesn’t show up at all. Not sure what the problem is. However, there are some solid names on the list in his ballpark: IR Score Percentage: 36 … McDaniel 36 … Garber 36 … McMahon 34 … Face 34 … Lyle 33 … Gossage 33 … Perranoski The guys at the top of the list: 25 … Orosco 25… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

This is a reply to Voomo’s 9:55 PM post. The PI only goes back to 1954 so it’s missing Wilhelm’s stats in 1952-1953 with a total of 133 IR.

Hartvig
Guest

According to Wilhelm’s Reliever Pitching on the “more stats” page- he entered with a lead 363 times, tied 192 times and behind 427 times for a total of 982 games. That’s about 37% of the games he entered he had a lead.

Admittedly however it doesn’t show how many of those times were with men on base.

CursedClevelander
Guest
Some other leaders in inherited runners scored percentage for different career IR cut-offs. Orosco, with his 24.88% rate and 1,049 career, IR is the leader for 1,000+, 900+, 800+, 700+, and 600+. Then we have (#’s are for 1954-2015): 500+: Randy Choate (19.92%, 527 IR), Javier Lopez (20.40%, 554 IR), Trever Miller (23.98%, 513 IR) [Also the only Trever in MLB history. However, Troy Tulowitzki’s middle name is Trever!] 400+: Ricardo Rincon (18.96%, 422 IR), Scott Eyre (21.97%, 437 IR), Randy Myers (22.94%, 401 IR) 300+: Ricardo Rincon again, Trevor Hoffman (20.23%, 346 IR), Joe Thatcher (21.16%, 345 IR) 200+:… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
I’ll start with #4. Hartvig, I basically totally agree with you on this, though I suspect we’re in the minority. I wouldn’t say that a reliever is just a PH – a PH is MUCH less valuable than a reliever. I think a reliever is actually most like a 4th outfielder or utility infielder. Roughly the same number of PAs in a season, good to be versatile, never sure when you’re working, having a good one may be the difference between a title team and a slightly-above-average one, etc. A pitcher deserves to be in the COG because he was… Read more »
oneblankspace
Guest

Ardolis Chapman finished 8th in the Majors in games finished in 2015. He faced 278 batters.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
I agree with your view on relievers in general. And the only relievers I would consider for the COG are Mariano, Rivera (and maybe Eck, but there was more to his career). We can’t look at Hoyt in the same way we look at Kimbrel and the new breed. His rookie season (15-3), ten of his victories came in games in which he pitched at least 4 innings (all in relief). He had 9 seasons in which he faced at least 400 batters (Mariano had one). Outside of a 6+ WAR starter, I see an arm like that as the… Read more »
oneblankspace
Guest

The other thing about catchers… on a recent quiz question, I discovered Terry Steinbach had a string of several years where he qualified for the fielding title for catchers (81 GP) but did not qualify for the batting title (502 PA).

Joseph
Guest

Goslin, Nettles, Walsh

Mike L
Guest
Excellent discussion in general and on Waddell and Wilhelm specifically. I think a reliever is extremely hard to value, particularly because of the evolving way they are being used. But, they do only show up 60-70 innings per year, and if you were asking me to pick between Mariano or Mike Trout, as much as I loved Rivera, it’s not that close a call. The pure weight of superior everyday performance can’t be overlooked. But I also think it’s a little difficult to value relievers, and particularly elite ones by just looking at raw stats. The psychic impact may not… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

What the hey – I’m in early at work, so I’ll throw an update up here on this, the last day to make vote changes on your ballot. This is through 26 ballots, Joseph’s above:

9 – Goose Goslin*, Rube Waddell, Ed Walsh*
8 – Hoyt Wilhelm*
7 – Kevin Brown*
============25% (7)
6 – Wes Ferrell
5 – Dick Allen, Richie Ashburn, Graig Nettles*
3 – Rick Reuschel, Luis Tiant
============10% (3)
2 – Fred Clarke, Andre Dawson, Willie Keeler, Bobby Wallace
1 – Fielder Jones

David P
Guest

Doom – I think you missed my vote. At the end of my “no” for Waddall from yesterday, I cast a vote for Wilhelm, Walsh, and Goslin.

Dr. Doom
Guest

Correct you are! Thanks for pointing that out. Including Matt G.’s ballot below, that makes 28 ballots, and something that looks like this:

10 – Goslin*, Walsh*
9 – Waddell, Wilhelm*
8 – Brown*
==25% (7)
6 – Ferrell
5 – Allen, Ashburn, Nettles*
4 – Reuschel
3 – Dawson, Tiant
==10% (3)
2 – Clarke, Keeler, Wallace
1 – Jones

Matt G.
Guest

I say…

K Brown
R Reuschel
A Dawson.

Matt G.
Guest

I say…

K Brown
R Reuschel
A Dawson.

Thanks.

Jameson
Guest

Voting For:

Walsh
Wallace
Clarke

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