Circle of Greats 1867-69 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 117th 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 before 1870. Rules and lists are after the jump.

The new group of players born before 1870, 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 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, January 12th, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:59 PM EST Sunday, January 10th.

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 1867-69 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-before-1870 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 pre-1870 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 4 rounds)
Goose Goslin (eligibility guaranteed for 3 rounds)
Rube Waddell (eligibility guaranteed for 3 rounds)
Hoyt Wilhelm (eligibility guaranteed for 3 rounds)
Dick Allen (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Graig Nettles (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Richie Ashburn (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Fred Clarke (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Bill Dahlen (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)
Bobby Wallace (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)

Everyday Players (born before 1870, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Jesse Burkett
Frank Bowerman
Monte Cross
Jack McCarthy
Ducky Holmes

Pitchers (born before 1870, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Cy Young
Frank Kitson

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Richard Chester
Richard Chester
5 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Answer to #7: Roberto Clemente

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

1. Cy Young – I NEVER would’ve figured this out by guessing – good ol’ manual searching led me to Turk Farrell of the 1962 Houston Colt .45s, with 241 IP, a 1.097 WHIP, and a 10-20 record.

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

6. Ducky Holmes – Juan Samuel, back-to-back in 1984 (168 SOs, 72 SBs, and 36 2Bs) and 1985 (141, 53, and 31, respectively).

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
5 years ago
Reply to  Doug

4. Is it Brian Giles? He definitely had more than 4 WAR with both teams, but I’m not sure he fully counts as a LF. He played a decent bit of CF for the Pirates, and played all over the OF for the Tribe.

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
5 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Answer to #2: Mike Grady

oneblankspace
oneblankspace
5 years ago
Reply to  Doug

3 (Cross): Aaron Ward, 4143 PA, 457 R, 457 K, 84 K in 1920 to lead AL hitters. Gil Coan had the PA and career R=K, but never led his league.

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
5 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Doug, I’m guessing something was wrong with the original trivia question for #5?

I found one of the answers to the removed question – Juan Marichal in 1971. He had the 250+ IP, 110+ ERA+, 2.5+ K/BB and less than 3 WAR.

Doug
Doug
5 years ago

The other answer is Rube Waddell’s 1907 season with 2.7 WAR from 284 IP with 2.15 ERA and 3.2 SO/W ratio. That one is a real stumper as Waddell garnered 5.7 WAR the year before from 272 IP, 2.21 ERA and only 2.1 SO/W, yet there was virtually no change in run scoring from 1906 to 1907 (could it have something to do with his unearned runs allowed jumping from 22 to 47?) No particular reason for changing the question, other than it was a bit contrived. When I noticed the rarity of extended pitching tenures with Dodgers and Tigers,… Read more »

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
5 years ago
Reply to  Doug

5. For the new question, it’s Jeff Weaver.

In the “Black Ink Ain’t What It Used To Be” category, Weaver tied with Paul Byrd, John Lackey and Jose Contreras to lead the AL in 2007 with 2 Shutouts. That’s in a season where he had a 6.20 ERA, 71 ERA+, and -0.4 WAR. (He was with the Mariners that season – anybody remember that? I watched and/or listened to every Indians game in 2007, but I’m drawing a blank on Weaver’s Seattle tenure)

brent
brent
5 years ago

CC, I don’t actually remember him pitching for Seattle, however, I do remember him getting the contract (it was a nice one), which he essentially got because of his 1/2 season of pitching in St. Louis and more specifically, his post season pitching for the Cardinals in 2006, helping them win the WS. Dave Duncan (and TLR) managed to get a number of middling pitchers nice fat contracts based on their work for them.

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
5 years ago

Well, I can’t IMAGINE who the top newcomer is going to be…

Cy Young
Kevin Brown
Wes Ferrell

How many more rounds do we have, y’all? I just can’t remember.

Doug
Doug
5 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

We have two more rounds (1971 in two parts) to bring us to 119 COG members. That matches the number of current HOF members elected as players (excl. those selected by Old Timers, Veterans and Negro League committees). Then we’ll have one or more additional rounds with only Holdovers on the ballot, to select additional COG members matching the number of new HOF players that will be elected this week.

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

So it’s JUST 1971 that’s left; okay. Thanks! I didn’t remember how we had split that up. And then I know we have the “yearless” rounds at the end. Would it be worth having one more Redemption Round before the “yearless” ones (I’m guessing 3 rounds – maybe 4, if we’re lucky), just to maximize the players on the ballot? Or have those players been so thoroughly combed-over that it’s not worth it at this point?

bstar
bstar
5 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Sadly, Doom, I am now guessing that we will only have 2 HOF’ers this year. Last week it looked like Bagwell was going to end up around 75-80% and Tim Raines was going to finish right at the borderline. But both Bags (79.5%) and Raines (78.2%) have already dipped below 80%, with just over a third of the votes counted. It is almost a given that the non-public votes will dip both those percentages further down. The question is how much. As of right now, Bagwell needs 72.8% on the remaining ballots to make 75% and Raines need 73.5%. I’m… Read more »

bells
bells
5 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

I think it was said in previous threads that the final, yearless rounds would be ‘open’ rounds, that is, with anyone who you want to vote for eligible. Doug, am I remembering correctly? Will the ballot cease to matter after the 1971 rounds?

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago
Reply to  bells

That method seems likely to produce a vote so scattered that a candidate might sneak in with a very low vote total in a highly scattered field. I’d prefer Doom’s approach. Like bstar, I now expect only two new slots to be open, but with the voter pool reduced by nearly 20%, it’s possible the public/private effect will be less profound.

David Horwich
David Horwich
5 years ago
Reply to  bells

bells: I think epm has nailed it: if we were to have 2-4 fully “open” rounds of voting at the end, the vote would be so divided that we’d stand a strong chance of electing someone with a mere handful of votes, which I don’t think is desireable. Note that in his message of Jan 4 2:20 PM Doug wrote, “…we’ll have one or more additional rounds with only Holdovers on the ballot, to select additional COG members”, and I think that’s the correct way to handle it. Dr. Doom: I’ve been wondering whether one last redemption round might be… Read more »

David P
David P
5 years ago
Reply to  bells

I agree that there will likely only be two people elected this time. What’s odd though is that we’re up to the 11th hour and very few people have publicly revealed their ballots. Right now it’s 158 voters or 35.1% of the estimated total. Last year, 331 voters publicly revealed their ballots, 60.3% of the total.

The HOF announcement is tomorrow afternoon. What the heck is everyone waiting for???

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago
Reply to  bells

Actually, last year only 201 ballots were revealed prior to the announcement of results. I’m posting about two and a half hours after you (David P) and the vote count is up to 163, so I think we’ll be closing in on the 200 range by announcement time tomorrow – and remember, there will be about 100 fewer votes total, so the percentage of votes announced is likely to be considerably higher.

David P
David P
5 years ago
Reply to  bells

Ah, thanks for the clarification EPM. What’s interesting is that last year Raines was ahead of Bagwell on the Pre-Results Public ballots (64.9% vs 61.9%). This year he’s been consistently behind Bagwell by a couple of votes.

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago
Reply to  bells

Well, in the end it seems that there were 212 public ballots prior to the announcement out of a total of 440, compared to 201 last year out of a total of 549. So we’re getting a better snapshot, especially through Ryan Thibodaux’s compilation efforts.

I also think it’s interesting that Griffey received the highest vote percentage ever. It’s certainly not that he’s the greatest player ever inducted, not by a long shot, but the culture of the Hall voters seems to be changing.

Watermelon Sourpatch
Watermelon Sourpatch
5 years ago

So how exactly do we vote?

Doug
Doug
5 years ago

Welcome to HHS,

Just post a comment with your three selections.

Andy
Andy
5 years ago

Cy Young, Rube Waddell, Kevin Brown

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago

Here are calculations for the WAR figures of holdovers plus Cy Young and Jesse Burkett. For Young and Burkett, I’ve added a separate line that excludes their pre-1893 figures, and for formatting purposes, I’ve also placed Wallace’s total WAR figures on a separate line. As a reminder, WAR/Yr only counts seasons with 10 GS or 20 G for pitchers, or 50 G for position players, and “Career length” is indexed to the shortest careers, Ferrell for pitchers and Allen for position players. Pitchers …Name…………P(Tot)-WAR……Peak5…Top5……WAR/9IP…WAR/Yr……ERA+…Career length Brown…………68.5 (68.3)……37.0…37.0……0.189……4.0 (17)……127……1.24 Ferrell……48.8 (61.8)……29.9…36.0……0.168……4.9 (10)……116……1.00 Reuschel…68.2 (70.1)……31.0…32.8……0.173……4.0 (17)……114……1.35 Tiant…………66.1 (66.7)……28.7…34.7……0.171……3.9 (17)……114……1.33 Waddell……61.0 (58.5)……43.9…43.9……0.185……5.9 (10)……135……1.13… Read more »

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago

So, thanks, Doug.

JEV
JEV
5 years ago

Young, Goslin, Burkett

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
5 years ago

Since this is going to be a blowout round, I’ve got a quick question: would Cy Young still be the best pitcher on the ballot if we only counted his stats from after 1900?

225-146, 3312.1 IP, 2.12 ERA, 137 ERA+, 2.15 FIP, 1.000 WHIP, 1563 K’s, 3.78 K/BB, 331 CG, 44 Shutouts, 72.7 bWAR

Paul E
Paul E
5 years ago

CC,
Yes, I believe he would be the superior of the rest of the pitchers on the current ballot based merely on his post-1900 stats

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
5 years ago

Good thing for Burkett that he could hit.
The Giants let him pitch in 21 games his first season.

That -2.8 WAR his first season on the bump is the 13th worst mark in a rookie campaign.

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
5 years ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

So factoring in his Pitching (62.9 – 2.9), Burkett sits right on that 60 WAR bubble.

Of course, hard to use WAR with full confidence with the old timers. His Rfield is pretty mich a wash (-4), and his Rbaser is -28, even though he stole 389 bases and we don’t have CS or GDP stats.

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
5 years ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

This is a tasty slash line for his 9-year peak:

.376 / .451 / .490 / .941 / 150

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

There’s a lot to recommend Burkett. I noted above that statistically, he’s got a lot in common with Allen (although Burkett was a singles hitter). However, reading Burkett’s SABR biography, he also seems to have been as much a pain in the butt as Allen often was. I’ve been reluctant to vote for Allen as a borderline CoG’er in part because of his difficulties off the field (as well as because of his short career); Burkett had less reason to be a problem than Allen, and although I think he should be considered for the CoG, I doubt he’ll get… Read more »

Hartvig
Hartvig
5 years ago

Much of Burkett’s statistical advantage over Clarke has to do with context- more playing time in a hitter’s era plus I think that Pittsburg’s park was viewed as a pitchers park. His numbers are certainly eye popping altho if I was to support either of them it would be Clarke. One thing about the COG is that we have been going front to back & I can see where that puts guys like Burkett, Clarke & Jimmy Collins at a disadvantage. Any of them could be considered the best or close to it to ever play their position when they… Read more »

Joseph
Joseph
5 years ago

Question: Are we supposed to count accomplishments from all career years or some limit, for example, only after 1900 or 1890? I am very skeptical about some of the accomplishments when the game wasn’t really what we consider baseball. For examples of some of the strange rules, at least according to my understanding: 1. From 1885 through 1893, bats could be flat on one side; 2. Up until 1893, the pitcher’s mound was only 50 feet from the plate, not the 60.5 we have now; 3. At one time, batters were allowed up to four strikes (sometimes); and 4. Until… Read more »

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
5 years ago
Reply to  Doug

_____
Burkett’s Career Slash
Burkett neutralized to 2014 St. Louis:

.338 / .415 / .446 / .861
.310 / .385 / .411 / .796

Paul E
Paul E
5 years ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

Voom,
I believe “2000, National League, Neutral Park” gets you (DOBA) to Jesse Burkett’s career slash line or is slightly off by 1/1000 on each category. I like to compare that environment for the rest of our eligible hitters like Goslin, Nettles, and Allen. Nettles BA becomes down-right respectable and Allen looks like Jimmie Foxx….

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
5 years ago
Reply to  Joseph

Not to mention that foul balls were not counted as strikes.

oneblankspace
oneblankspace
5 years ago

…but a foul ball caught on first bounce was an out.

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago

Burkett apparently was particularly expert at fouling off pitches, which did not count as strikes (though his specialty was the bunt, and foul bunts were strikes from 1894). However, the year his league adopted the foul strike rule, he won the batting championship nevertheless. Joseph, No candidate who qualifies for the CoG played when there was a four-strike rule (1887 only), nor when batters could call for the pitch (ended in 1887, not 1897), and none played more than three seasons prior to 1893, when the last fundamental changes were put in place (pitching distance and flat bat). The only… Read more »

Joseph
Joseph
5 years ago
Reply to  Joseph

Thanks for the great responses–so, a pitcher like Cy Young–who had significant playing time after 1901, qualifies for voting.

However, someone like Tim Keefe, who has 88 WAR, but played all his years before 1899, would not qualify for voting, yes?

oneblankspace
oneblankspace
5 years ago

I’ll vote for the first player alphabetically, and the last two:

Allen
Wilhelm
Young

brent
brent
5 years ago

Young, Waddell and Goslin

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
5 years ago

Another one of the closest guys to making the ballot: Lave Cross, with 19.4 WAR from 1901-1907. If the cut-off was 1900 instead, he’d have made it with a bit of room to spare. He was actually teammates with ballot candidate and last name mate Monte Cross on the early 20th century Athletics. Lave Cross had a 47.2 WAR and wouldn’t have been competitive in the voting, but he had a very solid career. Over 2600 hits. He played for 3 different franchises known as the Philadelphia Athletics – in the American Association in 1889 and 1891, in the Player’s… Read more »

Doug
Doug
5 years ago

Cross’s age 36 season of 4 strikeouts in 595 PA for the 1902 Athletics makes him the only player not named Joe Sewell to record fewer than 5 whiffs in a qualified season since 1901. Cross also played every inning of that 1902 season, the oldest third baseman with that accomplishment, and second oldest (to 38 year-old Kid Gleason in 1905) at any position. If you go back before 1901, Cross had only 3 strikeouts in 592 PA in the 1899 season you mentioned, including none as a Spider. For the 1898 to 1902 seasons combined (age 32-36), it was… Read more »

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
5 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Cross holds the record, since 1901, of the most RBI in a season without a HR. He had 108 RBI in 1902.

Gary Bateman
Gary Bateman
5 years ago

Young, Goslin, Ashburn

MJ
MJ
5 years ago

Cy Young, Bill Dahlen, Bobby Wallace

Bryan O'Connor
Editor
5 years ago

Most Wins Above Average, excluding negative seasonal totals:

Young 107.0
K. Brown 43.3
Dahlen 41.2
Reuschel 40.6
Ferrell 40.1
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
Burkett 30.9
Wilhelm 28.7

Brown, Young, Allen

Steve
Steve
5 years ago
Reply to  Bryan O'Connor

Excluding negative seasonal totals is silly. Why not exclude third outs in a game and give the batter a mulligan?

aweb
aweb
5 years ago
Reply to  Steve

not the players fault if they are allowed to play when they stink…if rickey henderson signed with the rockies in 2016 and put up -3 WAR, that doesn’t hurt his career does it?

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago
Reply to  aweb

Yes, I think it would hurt his career. I think Bryan’s statistic adds to our understanding of the players – I don’t think it’s silly – but negative seasons count. When we look at a pitcher’s won-loss record, we don’t count only seasons of .500 or better and say that the others don’t hurt his overall record. It’s pretty much the same reasoning that balancing the peak-performance and overall-performance viewpoints on players. Both are useful.

aweb
aweb
5 years ago

I would prefer only dropping seasons at the beginning and end of the career – times when you could argue that negative player value is the fault of the francise playing them, not the player themselves. I just don’t see it as a players responsibility to refuse to play. This is just to me, of course. Recent examples like Jeter, Ichiro, Griffey – I don’t see anything they did at the end hurting their greatness.Didn’t help of course…

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago

Well, my preferred method is just to rule out seasons where the player is not an integral part of the team – fewer than ten pitching starts or fifty games – and to calculate the average WAR per season plus both peak and total WAR. That WAR/Yr rate often rules out first and final seasons, as well as injury years. But if you’re going to play a season like Ichiro just did, as a worse-than-Triple A replacement player, I don’t see any reason for it not to count against you just because you received a lot of money to do… Read more »

Bryan O'Connor
Editor
5 years ago

Wins Above Average:
Ken Griffey, Jr. 46.5
Larry Walker 48.2

Wins Above Average, excluding negative seasonal totals:
Griffey 54.5
Walker 48.5

Griffey just got elected to the Hall because he was great for ten years, not because the sum of his positive and negative contributions to the game were almost as valuable as Larry Walker’s. If we let bad seasons cancel good ones, I’d prefer Walker and maybe Jim Edmonds to Griffey.

https://replacementlevel.wordpress.com/2016/01/07/a-tale-of-three-outfielders/

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago

Bryan, We don’t have to choose; we can balance. Both measures are valid and both have their limits.

Good article. Thanks for the link.

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
5 years ago

Walker over Griffey? Top WAR seasons Griffey and Walker: 9.7 . 9.8 9.1 . 7.8 8.7 . 6.1 7.1 . 5.7 6.9 . 5.4 6.6 . 5.1 5.8 . 4.7 5.5 . 4.7 5.2 . 4.4 4.9 . 4.4 3.7 . 3.4 3.3 . 3.4 3.2 . 2.7 1.9 . 2.3 1.2 . 1.6 0.6 . 1.2 0.6 . -0.1 0.6 . x 0.4 . x -0.1. x -0.7. x -0.8. x ______________ Griffey had four full seasons (21.3 WAR / 2422 PA) before the age of 23 (when Walker started). Because of general good health, genetics, contracts, and reputation,… Read more »

Paul E
Paul E
5 years ago

Allen, Dahlen, Young

Shard
Shard
5 years ago

Cy Young – Richie Ashburn – Dick Allen

Stephen
Stephen
5 years ago

Young Ashburn Tiant

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
5 years ago

So I’m finally breaking my pattern – all pitchers for my initial ballot.

Denton True “Cyclone” Young
George Edward “Rube” Waddell
James Kevin “No One Ever Bothered To Give Me A Good Nickname” Brown

David Horwich
David Horwich
5 years ago

Early returns (13 ballots, through CC):

13 – Young
=================50% (7)
4 – Allen*, Brown*, Waddell*
=================25% (4)
3 – Ashburn, Goslin*
2 – Dahlen, Wilhelm*
=================10% (2)
1 – Burkett, Ferrell, Tiant, Wallace
0 – Clarke, Dawson, Nettles*, Reuschel

Jameson
Jameson
5 years ago

Denton True “Cyclone” Young

Fred “Cap” Clarke

“Bad” Bill Dahlen

dr-remulak
dr-remulak
5 years ago

Young, Waddell, Nettles.

Kirk
Kirk
5 years ago

Rick Reuschel, Jesse Burkett and Hoyt Wilhelm

brp
brp
5 years ago

Cy Young
Hoyt Wilhelm
Richie Ashburn

Steve
Steve
5 years ago

Goose Goslin, Cy Young, Hoyt Wilhelm

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
5 years ago

Young, Goslin, Wilhelm

David Horwich
David Horwich
5 years ago

Nettles, Tiant, Young

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
5 years ago

With exactly 20 precincts reporting (through David Horwich):

19 – Cy Young
============75% (15)
============50% (10)
6 – Hoyt Wilhelm*
5 – Goose Goslin*, Rube Waddell*
============25% (5)
4 – Dick Allen*, Richie Ashburn, Kevin Brown*
3 – Bill Dahlen
============10% (2)
2 – Jesse Burkett, Graig Nettles*, Luis Tiant
1 – Fred Clarke, Wes Ferrell, Rick Reuschel, Bobby Wallace
0 – Andre Dawson

Here’s hoping the BBWAA gifts us with a few extra rounds of COG voting in 90 minutes. 🙂

T-Bone
T-Bone
5 years ago

D. Allen, Reuschel, Wilhelm

bstar
bstar
5 years ago

***GRIFFEY and PIAZZA*** elected to Hall

Bagwell (71.6%) and Raines (69.8%) will have to wait ’til next year. Trevor Hoffman’s support (67.3%) actually increased with the non-public votes and he almost caught Raines. I think at least 2 of those 3 will make it next year.

Griffey set a record for highest percentage ever, besting Tom Seaver’s old record.

mosc
mosc
5 years ago

Anybody want to guess my vote? We’re all old friends by this point. Doom?

Hartvig
Hartvig
5 years ago
Reply to  mosc

I’d guess Young, Ferrell & Nettles, unless Dawson figures in there somewhere.

Actually that’s most likely going to be my vote as well.

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

mosc, I’m guessing you’ll go Ferrell, Nettles, and Dawson since Young has SUCH a huge lead… but maybe you’d rather spend a vote on Young and let Dawson finally fall off – so I’m not positive. You’d better be sure to vote for Kevin Brown, just to avoid predictability. 🙂

mosc
mosc
5 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Well nettles has a spare round and dawson doesn’t! Otherwise I’d vote exactly as you said. I do feel like we’ve all gotten a little predictable now that we’ve been through it all.

Officially: Young, Ferrell, Dawson

Mike L
Mike L
5 years ago

The voting patterns for HOF are fascinating. Bonds and Clemens are both in the mid 40’s, separated by only three votes–which tells you volumes about the existing center of gravity on PEDs–it’s moving towards them–both picked up about 7%. The other “known” and not just “suspected” players are still buried. There seems to be a sorting out process going on–Piazza and Bagwell didn’t seem to have much of a drag. Interesting how little respect Larry Walker gets, and Edmonds is just gone. But I think the bigger story is that the glaciers are starting to melt for the top tier… Read more »

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike L

I wonder whether a contributing factor concerns the arc of these careers. I don’t think anyone doubts that Bonds and Clemens established HoF credentials independent of PEDs, but McGwire’s terrific comeback period is clearly both the anchor of his HoF case and attributable to PEDs, and Sosa was an out-of-nowhere star of whom everyone said, “Who’d have thought . . .?” Their basic credentials appear to be PED-manufactured. Rejection of candidates involved with PEDs rests on two feet: moral disapproval and suspicion of records. I’d guess what we’re seeing is the glacier melting for only the first (as well as… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
5 years ago

epm, i think that’s a good analysis. It seems to me that Bonds/Clemens will both make it, as writers just start to say to themselves that they are denying history. If you are going to do that, then Piazza and Bagwell have to get support, because there’s no proof they did anything. The tier of users below the ultra-greats are a different story. Sosa, Sheffield, McGwire, the now off the list Palmerio…I don’t see it, unless there’s an extensive reevaluation of the era. And, if you are really going to do that, and you see these guys’ stats as tainted,… Read more »

oneblankspace
oneblankspace
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike L

I read Cardinal beat writer Derrick Goold’s piece on how he could vote for Piazza — the suspicions of PED were not journalistically significant enough to defend in an article. Piazza was his 5th vote. Unfortunately, you have to click through the slide show to get there. http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/birdland/derrick-goold-s-hall-of-fame-ballot/collection_d5f71164-80ec-5fb1-84f5-378ba664ef85.html

David P
David P
5 years ago
Reply to  oneblankspace

OBS – I don’t buy Goold’s reasoning. He votes for Piazza but not Clemens? I don’t see a strong difference in the evidence for or against the two. The main evidence against Clemens comes from Brian McNamee, hardly a credible source. McNamee’s own inconsistencies in testimony is one of the main reasons that Clemens won his perjury trial. I’m not saying Clemens didn’t take PEDs but from a journalistic viewpoint, I don’t see the evidence as being very strong. Meanwhile, at least two former players have come out saying that Piazza definitely took PEDs and that everyone in baseball knew… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
5 years ago
Reply to  David P

David P, I really think most of these folks are wrestling with themselves to come up with an intellectual framework that at least appears to be consistent and satisfies their need to feel/act in a principled way. Goold is falling back on what he says is a “journalistic” standard–if his editor wouldn’t have allowed him to print a story based on a suspicion–he’s going to consider the player clean. It’s not just Clemens–he won’t vote for Bonds either, and puts both in the category of Joe Jackson and Pete Rose. Tyler Kepner made two interesting observations in The Times. Of… Read more »

David P
David P
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike L

Oh I agree Mike L and I’ve certainly gone back and forth on where I stand on the issue. I’m just not sure why Goold thinks his editor would allow him to run a story on Clemens but not Piazza, given the available “evidence” against the two of them.

David Horwich
David Horwich
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike L

Mike L –

According to the Thibodaux spreadsheet, 5 of 9 new voters chose Bonds and Clemens.

Of course we CoG voters, of all people, shouldn’t discount the possibility that those who left Bonds & Clemens off their ballots did so for strategic rather than moralizing reasons.

Mike L
Mike L
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike L

David H–I bungled the NYT article–it was by Benjamin Hoffman, and the link is below. I’m not sure where I got the idea only two voted for them. Hoffman did note something interesting–all nine of the new voters chose Tim Raines, which (my hunch) might be indicative of newer minds minds being more open to modern metrics.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/08/sports/baseball/more-hall-of-fame-support-for-barry-bonds-and-roger-clemens-didnt-materialize.html?ref=baseball

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
5 years ago
Reply to  David P

Wasn’t McNamee literally born to be a tool who goes around naming people? Think of what a fink weasel like that would be called in college: Hey Namey McNamee, go name some more names!

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago

I’ve been thinking over Wes Ferrell’s candidacy and I’m somewhat perplexed. In a post above, I noted that I’m a supporter of Waddell, and that if Ferrell’s total WAR contribution is calculated, he suddenly looks a whole lot like Waddell – better, in some key respects. I like Ferrell, always have, and would be happy to take that comparison as a guide. But the problem for me is that Ferrell’s batting WAR is a function of positional adjustment. Ferrell wasn’t an exceptional hitter, his OPS+ was precisely 100. But he was a very good hitter “for a pitcher.” I’m not… Read more »

Hartvig
Hartvig
5 years ago

Just as a basis for comparison I looked at a few good hitting pitchers: George Uhle 1511 PA’s WAR as a batter 11.6 OPS+ 86 Red Ruffing 2084 PA’s WAR 15.0 OPS + 81 Warren Spahn 2056 PA’s WAR 7.6 OPS + 43 Don Drysdale 1309 PA’s WAR 5.9 OPS + 45 Tom Glavine 1645 PA’s WAR 7.5 OPS + 22 Mike Hampton 845 PA’s WAR 8.2 OPS + 67 Wes Ferrell 1345 PA’s WAR 12.8 OPS + 100 A couple of guys at random Lefty Grove 1577 PA’s WAR -6.3 OPS + 6 Whitey Ford 1207 PA’s WAR 3.4… Read more »

Hartvig
Hartvig
5 years ago
Reply to  Hartvig

Geez. All that and then I leave off the ONE guy I wanted to compare Ferrell to in the first place.

Sandy Koufax 858 PA’s WAR -4.2 OPS + – 26

Add a little WAR to Ferrell for his hitting & take a little away from Koufax for his & they don’t look all that different at their peak.

And Ferrell had a couple more seasons at or close to that peak.

I’m sold.

Ferrell is a COGer.

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

I would agree with Hartvig’s premise regarding Ferrell and Koufax – Ferrell’s career is the better of the two (if you’re not factoring in any sort of timeline adjustment). I guess I think it’s best to do a thought experiment. Two identical teams play in a league with a 162-game schedule. One of those teams starts Sandy Koufax, the other starts Wes Ferrell. These pitchers will make EVERY start and pitch EVERY inning (makes the math A LOT easier). The average offensive player in this league creates 90 runs of offense in a season, while pitchers, on average, contribute zero.… Read more »

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

I dawdled composing my comment below, Doom, and posted it without having seen your much more solid analysis.

Good discussion. Waddell’s going to do fine this round, so maybe I’ll substitute Ferrell to make sure he’s in the mix, and keep thinking about this after Young takes his rightful place and, presumably, we move past the two obvious CoGworthy guys in the class of 1971. I think there’s a pretty good chance we’ll ultimately wind up selecting two from the list that survives this round, though who knows what’ll happen if we grant redemption?

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago
Reply to  Hartvig

Interesting, Hartvig. The guy I’d compared him to was Newcombe, who always represented a good hitting pitcher for me. Newk’s OPS+ was only 85, but when I tabulated his pinch-hit record for his prime (1955-58), the line (for 61 PAs) was .259/.344/.294, with a regular, “as a pitcher” line (361 PAs) of .303/.368/.503. (Career he had 988 PAs, WAR 9.0 – about the same WAR/PA as Ferrell.) Newcombe’s total WPA as a hitter was -0.5, which is fantastic for a pitcher. Hampton’s is -2.9, Drysdale -9.8, Glavine and Spahn -11.9 (Koufax -12.1). Of course, Ferrell’s can’t be calculated because B-R… Read more »

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
5 years ago

Somewhere in the past half year I posted a year-by-year breakdown of Ferrell’s OPS (from 1930-1937) vs the OPS of all the 9-hitters in the league. I can’t find it, but the big picture is that Ferrell had an .814 overall, and the 9-hitters (including pinch-hitters and guys in on a 2x switch) were at about .500. When Ferrell pitched, his team had nine hitters, the other team had 8. Big advantage. And Ferrell in his peak was arguably the 2nd best pitcher in the league (Grove). When he started a game, he was almost always the most valuable player… Read more »

Hartvig
Hartvig
5 years ago

It’s almost impossible to beat Waddell as a great story and there’s no doubt as to his talent. That said, I think that baseball was still in a period of significant maturation in the first decade of the past century. Bill James did an article on this in one of his HBA’s- about how in little league the best hitter on the team is also usually the pitcher and how lopsided scores diminish the higher classification you go and stuff like that. I think that talent levels were still really uneven in the first decade for a variety of reasons.… Read more »

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago
Reply to  Hartvig

I don’t mind disagreeing, Hartvig: we’re almost in complete accord. But I think you’re selling Waddell a bit short. I remember Bill James’s argument very well, but, as I’ve written before, in my view if we followed that to the logical conclusion, the CoG would be almost totally populated with players of the last 50 years – I believe contemporary players are far, far more skilled than their predecessors, and very few early CoGers could make a mark in the contemporary game (unless, of course, they could train for it as teenagers). I think the CoG has to evaluate players… Read more »

Joseph
Joseph
5 years ago

cy young, Nettles, and Bill Dahlen

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
5 years ago

Vote:

Wes Ferrell
Rube Waddell
Hoyt Wilhelm

Jeff B
Jeff B
5 years ago

Andre Dawson, Cy Young, Jesse Burkett

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago

The vote change deadline will pass this evening. As of this morning, I see 25 votes. Assuming that ultimately those on the bubble will need four votes to remain in the pool, I see the following players still needing votes: Need one more: Ferrell, Burkett Need two more: Dawson, Reuschel, Tiant Need three more: Clarke, Wallace Nettles needs a vote, but he’s safe for this round. Dahlen, Ashburn, and Brown would be vulnerable if any vote defects today. I think that of the 15 players we’re considering now (apart from Young, who will be elected and disappear from the ballot),… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
5 years ago

For those who would like to see it presented in the “usual way,” this gets through Jeff B, the 25th ballot: 22 – Cy Young =========75% (19) =========50% (13) 8 – Hoyt Wilhelm* =========25% (7) 6 – Rube Waddell* 5 – Dick Allen*, Goose Goslin* 4 – Richie Ashburn, Kevin Brown*, Bill Dahlen 3 – Jesse Burkett, Wes Ferrell, Graig Nettles* =========10% (3) 2 – Andre Dawson, Rick Reuschel, Luis Tiant 1 – Fred Clarke, Bobby Wallace I would concur with epm’s “votes needed” section. I would add the caveat that Wilhelm will need one extra vote to get to… Read more »

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

I hope we do continue this next year, Doom, but certainly with a redemption process, since the HHS voter pool will have changed (in part, I hope, with birtelcom’s full return). We’d need to include 1972 birth-year players too, right? If only one HoF slot were to open, I can’t see anyone among the survivors of this group challenging Chipper.

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
5 years ago

I’m trying to temper my optimism, but I think Raines and Bagwell received levels of support this year commensurate with being elected next year. Hoffman got pretty close too. Among newcomers, we’ve got Pudge, Vlad Guerrero and Manny Ramirez. Obviously Manny has no chance, but Pudge and Vlad are strong candidates. For our own potential 1972 election, Chipper is obviously the cream of the crop. Manny Ramirez is potentially the most contentious PED guy we’ll have dealt with so far, since he pretty flagrantly used well after MLB instituted testing and was suspended twice. Andy Pettitte is an interesting candidate… Read more »

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago

I think that’s a good plan, C.C. But I think as we move on, we may need to think about a change to the voting algorithm (which I’m sure we’d feel freer to do if birtelcom’s able to be part of the conversation). I’m not sure the three-vote ballot approach is the best one to use to sort through a process involving holdovers, redemption, and new candidates with, most likely, only 2 or 3 open slots. The closer we get to any “final” round at any stage, the more likely it is that an unfocused vote over a broad candidate… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
5 years ago

epm, it’s an interesting analysis, but I can’t say I agree. There have been times (and versions of the COG electorate) that focused primarily on retaining holdovers. There have been those (like the first few elections) that were SOLELY (more or less) focused on the best candidates. I think we’ve achieved a nice balance, and I think people understand that any voting they do is temporary. I think many of us who remember these elections will do a good job at preserving holdovers (when necessary), PLUS birtelcom built in the “top-nine advance” rule (unused in many moons, though we’ve come… Read more »

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago

Maybe you’re right, Doom. I participated in the early elections, but I can’t recall them now. I’m concerned about there being too many candidates at the close, rather than two few, so I’d worry about the top-nine rule spreading the field too thin. I suppose one way to handle this would just be to make sure that each January, when the CoG reopens for business after HoF vote, there was a procedure detailed enough to let everyone get back up to speed about how this all works and the implications of voting approaches, so that voters new to the process… Read more »

Scary Tuna
Scary Tuna
5 years ago

Young, Waddell, Clarke.

Hub Kid
Hub Kid
5 years ago

Fred Clarke, Luis Tiant, Bobby Wallace

Mike L
Mike L
5 years ago

Young, Waddell, Tiant and at this point, I have a strong feeling I really don’t know what I’m doing. Young is easy. But, after that, baseball was so different 100 years ago, I’m having a very hard time comparing. I’m basically eliminating some of the more modern players who I saw play and didn’t have the impression, at the time, that I was looking at an immortal. But I’m mistrustful of advanced fielding stats–especially ones 100 years old. And, I look at some of the older players on the HOF ballot, and I’m surprised at how thin their support was… Read more »

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike L

Good points, Mike. In the cases of Dahlen and Wallace, by the time the BBWAA started voting in 1936, they had been out of the game a long time, and since virtually all attention was on traditional hitting stats, they would not have stood out at all (your point about fielding stats holds, though). Remember, their superior contemporary, George Davis, never received a single BBWAA vote. Clarke’s vote is actually strong in CoG terms – he was on the ballot during the first ten years of the Hall, when there was a maximal backlog of great players. No player who… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
5 years ago

The other thing regarding Dahlen and Wallace (and the reason I won’t even consider them on my ballot; all of this applies to George Davis, too, by the way) is that the early BBWAA knew that there was an “Old Timers’ Committee,” and that they weren’t responsible for the “long ago” players. My guess (and, admittedly, there’s no way to prove this) is that they considered those two players to belong to the Old Timers’ Committee. If that’s the case, I would argue that the reason for their lack of support has to do with poorly-defined guidelines of whom to… Read more »

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

Doom, The BBWAA had no trouble electing Cy Young as early as 1937. Young’s career (1890-1911) started the same year as Davis’s (1890-1909) and earlier than Dahlen (1891-1911) and Wallace’s (1894-1918), and ended much earlier than Wallace, the same year as Dahlen, and just two years later than Davis. The voters elected Keeler (1892-1910) in 1939. I can’t see how it’s possible to think that 75% the BBWAA voters thought Young and Keeler were eligible and the others not, on the basis of Old Timer status. I do agree with you that they may have wanted to leave all but… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
5 years ago

I don’t dispute ANY of that. The issue I think you’re forgetting is that, while WE know who played when, it’s very probable that the early BBWAA did NOT. It’s not like they had a MacMillan encylopedia handy. For example, I acknowledge that it’s true that Doc Gooden and Roger Clemens were rookies in the same year; yet, Clemens “feels” like a player that I grew up watching, while Gooden was a relic of the past. If you were doing that stuff EXCLUSIVELY from memory, I think it would be very, very easy to “mis-sort” or “mis-label” the chronology of… Read more »

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago

Doom, I can’t agree that being “tasked with re-doing the BBWAA’s job” should entail re-committing those voters’ errors of ignorance. Isn’t the goal to do a better job?

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
5 years ago

Yes and no, epm. To truly “do a better job,” we would’ve considered Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston, Bullet Joe Rogan, etc. It seems silly to me to say that we should look at one pool of players ignored by the BBWAA, but not ALL. So if we’re going to ignore one group, we ignore them all. That’s why I didn’t vote for Satchel Paige, and why I won’t vote for these guys, either. I have no problem with your perspective; I just disagree with it as part of the COG exercise. Obviously, I’m outvoted by people here, but I’m going… Read more »

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
5 years ago

Well, I know you’re operating on principle, Doom, and that ultimately we just disagree on that level. But – I may be wrong – I think you and I had an exchange on Shoeless Joe where you were arguing in his favor. If I’m right (and I may not be) I don’t really see much distinction, on BBWAA voting mandate grounds, between Jackson and Paige, and guys like Clarke and Wallace would be less firmly excluded than Jackson.

Hartvig
Hartvig
5 years ago

I actually wrote a long response to Mike L’s comment and then had a brain fart and backed out of the page (I meant to simply go to another page I had open) that covered much of the same ground that you and Dr. have. In short- poorly designed voting, no clear definition of who was or wasn’t an Old Timer and lack of good information led to a lot of problems. Even in 1981 when we had McMillan, Ritter & Honig named 11 pitchers who’s careers were largely centered in the 1900-1920 era plus another 5 who pitched more… Read more »

Hartvig
Hartvig
5 years ago

Ferrell, Nettles annnnnnnd… Tiant.

At this point I’m convinced that Ferrell & Nettles are my 2 choices for the “open” spots coming up. I’m convinced that Young belongs as well of course but I have Louie ranked higher than most of the guys outpolling him as well so I want to keep him around as a possible option.

Brendan Bingham
Brendan Bingham
5 years ago

Reuschel, Tiant, Dahlen

Dave Humbert
Dave Humbert
5 years ago

Wallace, Brown, Clarke

David Horwich
David Horwich
5 years ago

Here’s my count, through 31 ballots (Dave Humbert):

24 – Young
===========50% (16)
8 – Waddell*, Wilhelm*
===========25% (8)
6 – Tiant
5 – Allen*, Brown*, Dahlen, Goslin*
4 – Ashburn, Clarke, Ferrell, Nettles*
===========10% (4)
3 – Burkett, Reuschel, Wallace
2 – Dawson

opal611
opal611
5 years ago

For the 1867, 1868 & 1869 election, I’m voting for:
-Andre Dawson
-Rick Reuschel
-Cy Young

Other top candidates I considered highly (and/or will consider in future rounds):
-Tiant
-Brown
-Goslin
-Ashburn
-Nettles
-Allen
-Waddell
-Wallace
-Clarke
-Dahlen
-Burkett

billh
billh
5 years ago

Young, Dawson, Allen

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
5 years ago

Another update, because a few things have happened since David Horwich’s update above, and those things might matter to some late voters. This is through billh, the 33rd ballot cast:

26 – Cy Young
===========75% (26)
===========50% (17)
===========25% (9)
8 – Rube Waddell*, Hoyt Wilhelm*
6 – Dick Allen*, Luis Tiant
5 – Kevin Brown*, Bill Dahlen, Goose Goslin*
4 – Richie Ashburn, Fred Clarke, Andre Dawson, Wes Ferrell, Graig Nettles*, Rick Reuschel
===========10% (4)
3 – Jesse Burkett, Bobby Wallace

Brendan Burke
5 years ago

Young, Tiant, Burkett

Dave Humbert
Dave Humbert
5 years ago

It would be a shame if Bobby Wallace gets squeezed out before having the final open rounds opportunity – only Young (and later Pedro) earned more WAR than him of everyone eligible down the stretch. His playing time before 1901 was worth 21 WAR of his 76. Burkett produced 40 WAR of his 62 prior to 1901, and Dahlen was about even on both sides. I guess his defense is just not trusted despite being among the best of his era. Maybe the voters have other favorites and don’t feel strongly enough for his case. Or maybe we have too… Read more »

bells
bells
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave Humbert

Well I just remembered I forgot to vote, and there are two minutes left. I think he’s worth another look.

Young, Ferrell, Wallace