Circle of Greats 1973 Balloting Part 3

This post is for voting and discussion in the 127th round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG).  This is the third of four rounds adding to the list of candidates eligible to receive your votes those players born in 1973. Rules and lists are after the jump.

The new group of 1973-born players, in order to join the eligible list, must, as usual, have played at least 10 seasons in the major leagues or generated at least 20 Wins Above Replacement (“WAR”, as calculated by baseball-reference.com, and for this purpose meaning 20 total WAR for everyday players and 20 pitching WAR for pitchers). This third group of 1973-born candidates, including those with K-Q surnames, joins the eligible holdovers from previous rounds to comprise the full list of players eligible to appear on your ballots. The remaining 1973-born candidates, with R-Z surnames, will be eligible to receive your votes in the next round of balloting.

In addition to voting for COG election among players on the main ballot, there will be also be voting for elevation to the main ballot among players on the secondary ballot. For both ballots, which may be voted at the same time or in separate posts, voters must include three and only three eligible players. For the main ballot election, the one player who appears on the most ballots cast in the round is inducted into the Circle of Greats, while for the secondary ballot election, the one player appearing on the most ballots cast is elevated to the main ballot for the next COG election round. In the case of ties, a runoff election round will be held for COG election, while a tie-breaking process will be followed to determine the secondary ballot winner.

Players who fail to win either ballot 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. One additional round of eligibility is earned by any player who appears on at least 10% of the ballots cast or, for the main ballot only, any player finishing in the top 9 (including ties) in ballot appearances. Holdover candidates on the main ballot who exhaust their eligibility will drop to the secondary ballot for the next COG election round, as will first time main ballot candidates who attract one or more votes but do not earn additional main ballot eligibility. Secondary ballot candidates who exhaust their eligibility will drop from that ballot, but will become eligible for possible reinstatement in a future Redemption round election.

All voting for this round closes at 11:59 PM EST Sunday, February 18th, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:59 PM EST Friday, February 16th.

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 1973 Part 3 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-1973 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 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 1973 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:

MAIN BALLOT Eligibility Secondary BALLOT ELIGIBILITY
Kevin Brown 9 rounds Andre Dawson 4 rounds
Luis Tiant 6 rounds Ken Boyer 2 rounds
Dick Allen 4 rounds Dwight Evans 2 rounds
Bill Dahlen 4 rounds Ted Lyons 2 rounds
Graig Nettles 3 rounds Willie Randoph 2 rounds
Manny Ramirez 3 rounds Rick Reuschel 2 rounds
Ted Simmons 2 rounds Nomar Garciaparra this round ONLY
Bobby Wallace 2 rounds Todd Helton this round ONLY
Richie Ashburn this round ONLY Andy Pettitte this round ONLY
Mordecai Brown this round ONLY
Don Sutton this round ONLY

Everyday Players (born in 1973, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR, K-Q surname):
Neifi Perez
Tomas Perez
Ricky Ledee
Eli Marrero
Corey Koskie

Pitchers (born in 1973, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR, K-Q surname):
Derek Lowe
Chan Ho Park
Guillermo Mota
Trever Miller
Ramon Ortiz
Antonio Osuna
Matt Mantei
C.J. Nitkowski

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152 Comments on "Circle of Greats 1973 Balloting Part 3"

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Chris C
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VOTE

Main Ballot:
Manny
Mordecai
Sutton

Not sure if there is anyone on the secondary ballot that I would consider voting for in the main ballot. I’ll think about it for now.

e pluribus munu
Guest
Here are the WAR cumulative and rate numbers for both lists, together with the ERA+ and OPS+ ratings: Primary Ballot Candidates Pitchers P(Tot)WAR…Peak5..Top5…WAR/9IP…WAR/Yr….ERA+…Career length 68.5 (68.3)……37.0…37.0……0.189……4.0 (17)……127……1.0………K. Brown 55.1 (56.4)……34.2…34.2……0.148……4.5 (12)……139……1.0………M. Brown 66.1 (66.7)……28.7…34.7……0.171……3.9 (17)……114……1.2………Tiant 68.7 (67.4)……22.5…27.3……0.117……3.0 (23)……108……1.6………Sutton Position Players WAR……Pk5……Top5……WAR/G…WAR/Yr……OPS+…Career length 58.7………31.5……36.7……0.034……4.2 (14)……156………1.0………Allen 63.6………31.6……32.7……0.029……4.2 (15)……111………1.3………Ashburn 75.2………22.6……29.8……0.031……4.0 (19)……110………1.4………Dahlen 68.0………28.7……32.2……0.025……3.4 (20)……110………1.4………Nettles 69.2………28.7……29.9……0.030……4.1 (17)……154………1.3………Ramirez 50.1………23.3……26.4……0.024……2.6 (19)……118………1.4………Simmons 70.2………28.6……31.3……0.029……4.2 (17)……105………1.3………Wallace* * Wallace’s total WAR (incl. pitching) is 76.3. WAR/Yr. includes only those seasons with 10 GS or 100 IP for starters, 20G for relievers, and 50G for position players. I use Kevin Brown (3256.1 IP) and Dick Allen (7315 PA) as the reference points… Read more »
Jeff
Guest

Mordecai, Ashburn, Dahlen
Helton, Evans, Dawson

Doug
Guest
This round’s tidbits. 1. Derek Lowe recorded ten consecutive seasons (2002-11) of 30 or more starts that included 90+ starts for three different franchises. Which other pitcher did the same? Jeff Suppan (2000-09) 2. Chan Ho Park is one of seven Dodger pitchers with 5 consecutive seasons of 190 IP, 12 wins and a winning record. Which of those pitchers won fewer career games for the Dodgers than Park? Doug Rau 3. Guillermo Mota’s three seasons of 80+ IP, zero starts and zero unearned runs allowed are the most ever. Which pitcher has the highest WHIP in such a season?… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Answer to question #2: Doug Rau won 80 games for the Dodgers compared to Park’s 84.

Richard Chester
Guest

Answer to question #1: Jeff Suppan had 30+ GS for 11 consecutive years, 1999-2009, that included 132 GS for KCR, 95 GS for STL and 95 GS for MIL.

Scary Tuna
Guest

Doug, Cristian Guzman came to mind for #6. By his 600th game (in his fifth season) he had more than 40 triples and fewer than 36 HR. Am I interpreting the question correctly, though, in thinking he can’t be the answer because he played in more than 600 games by the end of his fifth season?

Scary Tuna
Guest

Is #13 Howard Johnson?

Doug
Guest

Indeed it is.

Scary Tuna
Guest

I’m going to throw Joe Mauer’s name out there for #10, though I suspect he might still be a little over 20% of games caught since his age 28 season.

Doug
Guest

Good guess, but not quite.

This player is also notable for being one of only two players to appear in 5 or more WS games for each of three AL franchises.

Scary Tuna
Guest

Sounds like Mike Napoli.

Richard Chester
Guest

Answer to question #4: Randy Choate (15 seasons) and Javier Lopez (14 seasons).

CursedClevelander
Guest

For #9, Ken Phelps is one of the 6. But it seems the earliest one from that category is Mr. I Hit 4 Home Runs In A Game Once, No Seriously, I Really Did, Even Babe Ruth Never Did That – Pat Seerey.

I suppose Seerey was a prototype of the modern TTO guy – his 39.6% TTO number would be tame nowadays, but I have to think it was decently high for his time.

Richard Chester
Guest

Answer to question #8: Dave Tomlin

Richard Chester
Guest

Answer to question #7: Alan Trammell and Omar Vizquel.

Brent
Guest

#11 is Fernando Rodney who won 1/3 of his decisions with the Tigers, but did rack up 37 saves with them in his final season with them (2009)

Chris Bodig
Guest
This looks like a fun party, better to join it late than never. Main ballot: Don Sutton — for me, 324 wins and 3,574 K’s fits into a Hall or Circle of any size. Mordecai Brown — as a peak value fan, I like 1904-1911 (avg. 23 wins, 1.72 ERA, 158 ERA+). Through 1911, he had the best career ERA+ in the early history of the game (sure he was very proud of that stat). Also key contributor to two World Series, including the one-game playoff against the Giants to get to the Series in 2008. Dick Allen — with… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

For the 1999 Denvers, Neifi Perez batted leadoff or 2nd (and led the league in AB).
Todd Helton batted 6th.

.280 / .307 / .403 / .710 / 62
.320 / .395 / .587 / .981 / 122

Lowest ops+ with 190+ hits:

62 … Neifi Perez
77 … Juan Pierre
80 … Doc Cramer
81 … Jose Reyes
82 … Lou Finney
82 … Juan Pierre
84 … Carl Lind
84 … Doc Cramer
84 … Dick Groat

Lind led the league in PA/AB in his only qualifying season.
Cramer is was good for 8.4 WAR with 2705 hits.

Mike L
Guest

Doesn’t quite make the list, but Matty Alou’s 1970 season is notable, 718PA, 677AB, 201H, .297/.329/.356 OPS 87, -.4WAR
First in AB, First in 1B, Led in AB/K (37.6…think about that today)

e pluribus munu
Guest
I’m just beginning to think through whom to vote for in Round 127, but having been a booster to get Mordecai Brown back on the CoG ballot, I thought I ought to work through in more detail just how to assess his record – a brief career, unusually dependent for value on a terrific 5-year peak. (It’s going to be important to my vote, because I’ll probably wind up picking between Brown and Tiant, whom I think is a very strong candidate.) One approach I had was to test the quality of that peak, 1906-1910, with the type of peak… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

You’re definitely right; it’s the Cubs’ fielding for which he’s getting docked. It was one of the great defensive teams of the age – and not just when Brown was pitching. In fact, looking at Brown’s record outside his stint with the Cubs, I think also a fair assessment by WAR – he was a very good pitcher, especially for a couple of years, but he was helped tremendously by playing in front of one of the most famous defenses in baseball history.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Ricky Ledee was a first-year player with 87 regular season PA in 1998, and he went 6-10 in the WS. Missed the opportunity to play in WS his first 3 seasons by being traded for David Justice in June 2000. Splendid move by the NYY, as Justice did this the rest of the way: .305 / .391 / .585 / .977 / 145 … and was ALCS MVP … Derek Lowe had multiple seasons as a reliever with 3+ WAR, and a 7+ WAR season as a starter. … Chan Ho Park is perhaps most famous for illustrating one of… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

Ledee had an interesting career. In his age 26 year, he had 531 PA. Never had more that 291 in any other season. Played for 7 different teams in ten years, 3 times switched teams in the middle of a season.

Paul E
Guest

#13 has to be Howard Johnson

T-Bone
Guest

CoG
Allen
M. Brown
Sutton

Secondary
Reuschel
Evans
Dawson

Mike L
Guest

Maybe it’s me, but it’s hard to believe Rickey Ledee (2.8 bWAR, and CJ Nitkowski (-.8 bWAR) make the ballot.

e pluribus munu
Guest

The magic of the 10-year qualifying minimum. (Charlie Silvera was qualified as well, with his 541 lifetime PAs.)

e pluribus munu
Guest
A brief interruption: It as reported yesterday that Wally Moon died last Friday at 87. Moon is notable in having been chosen Rookie of the Year in 1954, beating out Ernie Banks and Hank Aaron. Moon was a good player, but this is surely one of many examples of how the RoY vote falls short as an oracle. Moon delivered solid outfield play and a good bat for the Cardinals for his initial years, and then was traded to the Dodgers just in time to be a key force in lifting them from 7th place to World Champions in 1959,… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Sutton is getting a lot of love in the early voting. After all, he has 324 wins. But if you look at the surprisingly large cluster of eight pitchers who all pitched at some point in the 1980s and wound up with 303-329 wins, you’ll see that one of them is not like the others: ………………Wins………..IP……..WAR…….WAR/9IP Carlton……329………5217…….84.1……. .145* Ryan………324……….5386…….83.9…….. .140* Sutton…….324……….5282……68.7…….. .117 Niekro…….318……….5404……97.4……. .162* Perry………314……….5350…….93.7…… .158* Seaver…….311………4783…..106.3…… .200* Glavine……305………4413…….74.0…… .151* Johnson…..303………4135….104.3…… .227* *In CoG. The reason Sutton is the odd man out in this group and the only one not in the CoG is because he is not in the… Read more »
Dave Humbert
Guest
Digging deeper into Sutton’s stats for some context: The shiny stat for Sutton is the 324 wins that for some represents “greatness”. He also had 256 losses, meaning he pitched deep enough into games to get many decisions. Yet Sutton’s average W-L record of 14-11 over 23 years does not exactly stand out as “dominant” (particularly since he played on good teams most of his career). WAR/IP and ERA+ are measures that Sutton pales at next to his contemporaries. What comes to mind when I think of Sutton is durability (almost 5300 IP, 7th all-time), consistency (756 Games Started, 3rd… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

Corey Koskie was a helluva baseball player. I really enjoyed him. So sad it had to end the way it did.

Hub Kid
Guest

Primary vote:

Allen,
Dahlen,
Tiant

Secondary:

Boyer,
Evans,
Lyons

JEV
Guest

Primary: Kevin Brown, Three Finger Brown, Ramirez
Secondary: Evans, Randolph, Boyer

Jeff Harris
Guest

Main ballot: Kevin Brown, Manny Ramirez, Ted Simmons

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Secondary Ballot VOTE:

Ken Boyer
Dwight Evans
Willie Randolph

Ken Boyer had a 9-year peak averaging 6.1 WAR, and he was above average in every aspect of the game. This is my first time voting for him. Both Big Daddy and Sunday Teddy are compelling, but I have to continue to champion the undervalued masters of the base on balls.

It would be an interesting exercise if we could project the stats of Don Sutton and Rick Rueschel, if their teams were reversed.

Dr. Doom
Guest
Ugh, this is tough. I’ll start with the secondary ballot: Rick Reuschel Todd Helton Ken Boyer Boyer deserves to be on the main ballot, I think. Reuschel is the best player on the secondary ballot. Helton… well, he was a LOT better than you think. Don’t chalk it all up to Coors, either; he was a legitimately great player on offense and defense for a few years. It’s a shooting-star kind of peak, but I’d take him. It hurts to leave Dawson off, but hopefully one of these guys will be elevated this round, and I’ll be able to include… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Main ballot:
Mordecai Brown
Dick Allen
Manny Ramirez

Secondary ballotr:
Dwight Evans
Ted Lyons
Todd Helton

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

In consideration of Ashburn… he retired after his age-35 season, with plenty left in the tank.
The defensive numbers we have say he was no longer a centerfielder, but he did this, playing for the ’62 Mets:
.306 / .424 / .393 / .817 / 121

e pluribus munu
Guest

Then, seeing the fans swooning for Marvelous Marv, he said, “What’s a pro like me doing in a clown show like this?” And he quit.

e pluribus munu
Guest
Primary ballot vote: M. Brown Dahlen Wallace I’m going all-old on this ballot. I wrote a long advocacy post for Dahlen and Wallace in Round 125 (about 2/3 of the way down, if anyone’s interested). It would be an imposition to re-post it so soon, but I do want to reaffirm it. I’m glad to see both are now off the bubble, but I suspect they may slip back, and if they do, I’ll consider a new version — these are 70 WAR guys: they’re worth a careful look. I’ve been writing a lot about Mordecai, and I won’t add… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest
Primary Tiant M. Brown Ashburn Secondary Lyons Dawson Evans I remain open to the idea that Evans is more worthy that Dawson and I’d like to see some more discussion on that. A few bullet points on Lyons – he missed 3 full seasons to WW2 and very likely would have wound up with 80+ WAR had that not happened. – he has the second most complete games of ANY pitcher who’s career was entirely after the dead ball era – had he pitched for the Yankees instead of the lowly White Sox there’s every reason to believe he would… Read more »
Mike L
Guest
Hartvig, not arguing with your selections, but wanted to start a more Luddite discussion. I see Evans as in the same mold as Nettles and Randolph; players who were considered very valuable during their playing careers, and got some hardware-AS game selections, GG, etc. but were not “Hall” types. I realize that part of the pleasure of looking at advanced stats is to unearth under-appreciated stars and “prove” they belong with the recognized greats (or at least be in the conversation) but it always makes wonder just a bit how far we (meaning the larger “we”, not the esteemed and… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
Mike L: The word is not the thing. The map is not the territory. Statistics stand in parallel to words and maps, in that they give only a partial representation of the reality they represent. It seems to me that, if “we” are to be esteemed, we ought to use our presumed “highly educated” abilities to assess not just the words, maps, and statistics, but all other data we can access. It’s common among self-propelled intellectuals of all ages to scoff at the opinions and practices of earlier times, to point out, for example, the laughable ignorance of physicians laboring… Read more »
Mike L
Guest
NSB, there’s no chance I can match that in erudition, but I’ll add something else. William Harvey, who worked out and described the basics of circulation in Du Motu Cordis, missed something big (capillaries) because he didn’t have an early microscope. A remarkable advance in understanding which changed the way people thought, but still incomplete. So, yes, I agree we should use all tools and not be bound to evaluations, no matter how acute, by contemporaries. I’d add that we probably agree with the idea that efforts to express the sum of all a player’s contribution in one happy number… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest
I remember when I graduated from pharmacy school there were all kinds of headlines about the risk of cancer associated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in women. Within a decade those findings had been largely debunked (more accurately, put into context with regards to other risk factors) and HRT was then believed to be cardio-protective and soon became the most commonly prescribed drugs on the market. Fast forward another decade or two and it was discovered that not only was HRT not cardio-protective but that there might actually be a slightly elevated risk of heart attack in some women. So… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

Hartvig, my dad was a pharmacist. In the summer we would go to these pharma fraternity conventions, and I remember everyone drinking just a wee bit (there was smoking as well) and talking about the horrors of when some crazy Doctor wrote out a prescription for some compounded ointment that could take youhalf a day to make. And some organization my mom belonged to “Pharmacist’s Wives League”. Now I’d bet the majority of pharmacists are women. I don’t know how old you are, but Lascoff’s Pharmacy (they stocked leeches) has finally closed.

Hartvig
Guest

Leeches have made something of a comeback in modern medicine, altho primarily to promote post-surgical circulation. The only ones I’ve seen for sale in pharmacies are in rural areas to use for fishing.
In college I was the “social chairman” for the Student American Pharmacy Association for a year but the following year I became one of the founding members of the college rugby club, who’s idea of a good time was much more in line with my way of thinking than SAPhA ever was.

e pluribus munu
Guest
Mike, While I share your feeling, a comment made by birtelcom when he popped back up recently seemed to me very on point . Paraphrasing: The CoG’s size is not under our control, and as it grows, we may face a pool of candidates whom we wouldn’t have envisioned in a Circle whose size we could set. But that is where the BBWAA has stretched the borders of the circle, and our task is to discuss who the best candidates available are, not whether they fit our concept of CoGworthyness. Looking at this pool of 20 holdovers of one variety… Read more »
Mike L
Guest
Birtelcom was right (Birtelcom was usually right) I think we are running into a type of headwind in which we are choosing between players whose career value, if measured by a single metric, converges. My argument could have been better expressed. When comparing 10 players whose career WAR is within a ten percent range, it’s pretty much guesswork. On an older thread, I also suggested that, to an extent, certain players adapted their talents to what was conventional wisdom at the time, particularly when it came to things that we dismiss as wrong now. There were managers who disliked players… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest

That is a really good point. Players always played to the success norms of their times, and we should make every effort not to exact a penalty for their effort to meet professional standards. I don’t think there’s any way to tease those factors out of the stats, but we should keep them in mind as part of the qualitative narrative behind the quantitative assessments we make.

Richard Chester
Guest

In 1942 Lyons completed every one of his 20 starts making him the last pitcher to complete all of his starts with a minimum of 20 starts. He also completed the last 28 starts of his career. Don’t know if that’s a record.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Since 1908, it appears to be the record for consecutive CGs, regardless of whether it was career ending. Obviously, if you go back far enough . . . after all, Old Hoss completed all 73 of his starts in 1884.

What would make Lyons’ streak more like to be a record back to, say, 1893, is that he not only completed all 28 of his starts, but he made 28 consecutive pitching appearances in which he notched a CG: no relief interruptions.

Richard Chester
Guest

I just ran the BR PI Streak Finder. It shows that Lyons’ streak of 28 is the record, followed by Red Lucas with 27 and Burleigh Grimes with 26.

Doug
Guest

If you look only at starts, the longest CG streaks since 1913 are 37 games, by these guys.

Richard Chester
Guest

Doug: Perhaps you could check this out for me but I think Lyons 28 CG in his last 28 GS is the record for concluding a career with no relief appearances mixed in.

Doug
Guest

Jack Taylor completed every start for four straight seasons (1902-05) plus at least the first 17 starts of 1906 (after which he was traded for Three Fingers Brown). That’s a minimum 157 consecutive CGs and probably many more, since he completed 30 of 31 starts in 1901 and 15 of his last 16 in 1906.

e pluribus munu
Guest
Great find, Doug. Taylor’s career is fascinating — I’ve never looked at it before. How did you search him out? His rather melancholy SABR bio says his CG streak actually reached 187. Taylor’s overall CG rate from his rookie year,1898, to 1906 was 99% (271 for 274), followed by a final 13-start season during which he failed to complete more starts (5) than he had his entire career prior to that point. He had only career 24 appearances in relief, and in all 24, after coming in to pitch mid-game he continued to the finish. In other words, in 311… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Taylor showed up in my memorial piece on Roy Halladay.

Taylor’s four seasons in the modern era completing every start (min. 20 starts) stands out, as nobody else has more than one.

Richard Chester
Guest

Good work Doug.

Jeremie
Guest

At Saturday’s crackerbarrel in Aberdeen, I asked our legislators to weigh in on two competing bills dealing with ballot access. House Bill 1286 defines “alternative party” status, allows new parties to organize by July 1 of an election year, and allows new and alternative parties to nominate candidates for statewide and Legislative offices after the primary for that year’s general election ballot.

e pluribus munu
Guest
Despite the big doings at the Crackerbarrel, we’re going to keep counting CoG votes without fear of political upheavals in Aberdeen. And since the main ballot now has 11 votes, it’s time for an update. Primary Ballot With 11 votes in: 8 – Mordecai Brown* =================50% (6) 4 – Dick Allen, Manny Ramirez 3 – Richie Ashburn*, Kevin Brown, Bill Dahlen, Don Sutton*, Luis Tiant =================25% (3) =================10% (2) 1 – Ted Simmons, Bobby Wallace Voters: Chris C, Jeff, Chris Bodig, T-Bone, JEV, Hub Kid, Jeff Harris, Doom, Richard Chester, epm, Hartvig Note that Nettles has not yet received a… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

Because we’re at a point where we don’t even get 30 voters anymore, once anyone gets 3 votes, they’re basically completely safe (barring vote changes, of course). I don’t know how that affects anyone’s choices, but it’s something to consider while voting, if you’re more strategically-minded or if you’re trying to decide between a couple of guys who might need saving.

Paul E
Guest

Allen, Dahlen, Simmons

Boyer, Evans, Lyons

1,400 PAs OPS+ 27-30 60% G @ catcher
1 Mike Piazza………..159
2 Ernie Lombardi….143
3 Mickey Cochrane 143
4 Ted Simmons…….142
5 Roy Campanella…137
6 Bill Dickey…………..136
7 Gabby Hartnett…..135

1,400 PAs OPS+ 22-26 60% G @catcher
1 Buster Posey…… 142
2 Joe Torre…….. 138
3 Joe Mauer……. 136
4 Johnny Bench 136
5 Ted Simmons 125
6 Brian McCann 124
7 Yogi Berra….. 124
8 Bill Dickey…… 123
9 Gabby Hartnett 122

Paul E
Guest

Last go-round, we were discussing careers that fell short, I don’t believe anyone mentioned Austin McHenry. Hopefully, the link will work

http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/0dbc4896

Doug
Guest
McHenry’s 1921 season was just the third in the modern era by an NL left-fielder of 60 XBH and 100 RBI, following Sherry Magee (1910) and Ed Delahanty (1901). That compares to seven in the AL over that period, including four just in that season, led, of course, by Babe Ruth with 119 XBH and 168 RBI. The most such seasons belongs to Barry Bonds with 11, followed by Ted Williams with 8. Third place is a big surprise, with 7 seasons for Bob Johnson, followed by several players with 6, including Manny, Albert Belle. Goose Goslin, Joe Medwick and… Read more »
CursedClevelander
Guest
Another death today, as we learn that Tito Francona 1.0 has passed away at age 84. Players with an OPS+ greater than 170, at least 60% of games in CF, Age 25 or younger: Trout, Griffey, Mantle, DiMaggio, Benny Kauff (in the Federal League), Speaker, Cobb, Mays, Al Simmons, Bobby Murcer, and Tito Francona. Murcer had a 169 OPS+ in his Age 26 season and combined for 14.6 WAR in those two years, just under half his career total. Tito would never be as good as his Age 25 season, though he was still a very good hitter in 1960… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

A rule change took the 1959 batting championship from Francona. Until 1958 the qualifying requirement was 400 AB. Due to Ted Wiliams nearly being ineligible for the 1958 BA title, that he won, because he received too many walks the qualifying rule was changed to 477 PA. Francona finished the 1959 season with 443 PA, 399 AB and a .363 BA, thereby not qualifying. Harvey Kuenn won the title with a .353 BA. After the Indians’ 150th game Francona had 395 AB and could have easily attained 400+ AB if he played all of the remaining games.

no statistician but
Guest
What I remember is that Francona was basically a platoon bat who had never hit over .260 shuttling from Baltimore to Detroit to Chicago in the 3 previous years. Because he was so unexpectedly hot at the plate in ’59, the Indians had to put him someplace against right handed pitching. Big hitters Colavito and Minoso were entrenched in the corners, so Piersall in center was the one who got platooned, along with some shifting around at first base with Vic Power, who played at 2nd or 3rd instead, also to keep his bat in the lineup. Piersall added 1.7… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
I’ve gotta say, I’m just not drinking the Three-Finger Brown Kool-Aid. He’s winning in a rout, and I understand the attraction – strong traditional numbers (that ERA!!), good winning%, fair amount of Black Ink. I get it. To me, though, it just ignores too much. I don’t think Brown was ever really the best pitcher in his league – not for a season, not for a group of seasons. He was on a fabulous team, and that earned him a marginally better record than he maybe deserved (I have him deserving of a 124-38 record by ERA+ in his five-year… Read more »
Paul E
Guest
Doom, Re “I don’t think Brown was ever really the best pitcher in his league”, was he ever going to be better than Mathewson? Was Jenkins ever the best pitcher in the league with Gibson, Seaver, Carlton, Palmer, etc… being contemporaries? I don’t even know if Pete Rose was ever the best player on his own team, let alone the entire National League. But, I understand- believe me. I really like the idea of “was he ever the best player on the field” as a litmus test of a player’s greatness. I just don’t know if it’s fair to pick… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Well, Jenkins, for example, led the NL in WAR in 1971. So… yeah, there’s a pretty easy stretch to find in which he could be defined as “the best pitcher in his league.” Additionally, on the ballot, Kevin Brown led the NL in WAR in 1996 and 1998, plus for various 2-year stretches, a 3-year stretch, and a 5-year stretch (four-year could be true, too; I’ve just never checked). Luis Tiant bested 30-game winner Denny McLain in WAR in 1968. So… that’s two guys just on the current ballot who did it. And that’s only looking at bWAR, which is… Read more »
Paul E
Guest
Doom, I should have taken that “typing class in the spring”. 1971 Seaver ERA+ of 194; Jenkins ERA+ of 141. Jenkins WAR was 10.3; Seaver’s 10.2….as a Philadelphian, I am a large Jenkins fan and a Tom Terrific “disliker” but, this is a tossup I don’t know what exactly WAR does, but it sure does overthink things. Check out the WAR seasons on Zobrist-phew!! Kevin Brown? He just won’t get my vote since there is a suspicion of steroids. 1968 – I believe Tiant’s H/9 was either an all-time low or the lowest since the deadball era. His arm troubles… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Not germane to the Mordecai Brown discussion, but I couldn’t help myself. As for Seaver and Jenkins… yes, they were close in WAR. Why, when Seaver had over a 50-point advantage in ERA+? Well, for one, Jenkins pitched 13% more innings (325-286). Seaver led in SO, yes, but Jenkins walked so few people that he had one THE most efficient SO:BB season of all-time to that point (7.11 – I’m ignoring a couple of 1880s seasons, but it was then the best of the 20th century, and still ranks 21st since 1900). He faced nearly 18% more batters, yet walked… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
Doom: What’s happened with Mordecai in the voting, I think, is not that he’s everyone’s top dog, but that he’s in a lot of people’s top 3. This phenomenon has happened before, and I think it may have been what put Winfield into the COG. When I look at the list of candidates I see six who are very close Tiant, Allen, Dahlen, Wallace, Ashburn, and M. Brown; two with the PDF stigmata on their persons; Nettles not quite as good,; and Simmons and Sutton who to me fall far short of the rest, long career accumulators. Others, of course,… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

I had PDF stigmata once. Damn those paper cuts hurt.

no statistician but
Guest

Nice catch, Voomo.

I’ll be watching your posts carefully from now on.

e pluribus munu
Guest
I think HHS is at its best when posters argue counter positions hard, and I really appreciate Doom offering the skeptical view of Mordecai Brown’s qualifications. I’ve been an advocate of Brown’s, but I’ve been surprised by the speed with which he’s moved ahead in the voting this round, after languishing in the purgatory of the unredeemed for so long. We should have a debate about his quality. Although we’re on opposite sides on whether Brown is currently CoGworthy, I agree with Doom that the strength of the Cubs during Brown’s peak years is a key factor, and one that… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Thanks for your kind words, epm. I agree with you that the most surprising thing is the cakewalk Three-Finger is having right now. I recall some of your “batted ball” objections from previous threads on this site. On the one hand, I don’t think YOU are necessarily the audience I’m trying to convince. 🙂 On the other hand, I do think M. Brown’s FIP-based and RA9-based WAR and results are unusually wide for a COG-worthy pitcher. Normally, there isn’t even a reason to bring it up, because the spread for most elite pitchers is not usually so wide. His 49… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
I’ve been crunching some numbers concerning Mordecai Brown and I want to discuss a claim Doom made concerning Brown, one I granted earlier. The claim is that Brown benefited from playing with the best defensive team of his time. I’m not going to show that Brown did not benefit from having great defensive players, but rather than he did not benefit from great defense. Here’s what I mean. Over the period 1906-10, the three best NL teams were the Cubs, Pirates, and Giants, with the Cubs ahead by a large margin (on average, the Cubs bested the Pirates by 10… Read more »
opal611
Guest

For the 1973 Part 3 election, I’m voting for:

-Manny Ramirez
-Don Sutton
-Luis Tiant

Other top candidates I considered highly (and/or will consider in future rounds):
-Kevin Brown
-Ashburn
-Nettles
-Allen
-Wallace
-Dahlen
-Mordecai Brown

Thanks!

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Vote:

Richie Ashburn
Kevin Brown
Bill Dahlen

Dr. Doom
Guest
LONG POST ALERT!!! Since epm thinks it’s best when people advocate for/against people, I’m going to weigh in on an issue I care nothing about, but find utterly baffling: the relative support of Bobby Wallace and Bill Dahlen. Now, I will not vote for either of these guys. I prefer my COG candidates to be those the BBWAA would seriously have given consideration to, rather than those the Old Timers’ Committee had under their jurisdiction. Obviously, those things were never clearly delineated, but I think those folks who straddled the turn of the century belong to the Old Timers. So… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Great post, Doom. It will take me a while to sort through it all, but I have some quick comments. First, it’s really hard to get a handle on the dynamics of the HHS voting process: this round, Wallace is languishing with a single vote (mine), while Dahlen is among those in second place with 5. However, last round, Wallace was the one in the second place tie, finishing with seven votes, one more than Dahlen. So I’m not sure it’s true that there’s a lot more support for Dahlen than Wallace. It may just have to do with the… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

FWIW,
WAR, 2B or SS (60% of games played) 1871-1919

1 Honus Wagner 131.0
2 Nap Lajoie…… 107.4
3 George Davis……. 84.7
4 Eddie Collins….. 84.6
5 Bill Dahlen….. 75.2
6 Bobby Wallace 70.2
7 Jack Glasscock 61.3
8 Joe Tinker…… 53.2
9 Bid McPhee…. 52.4
10 Johnny Evers.. 47.7
11 Cupid Childs… 44.3

Collins continued well beyond 1919…. Dahlen didn’t make Cooperstown…but, then again, I guess Fangraphs or whomever didn’t invent this metric until 100 years after Dahlen’s retirement. George Davis was dead 60 years before they put him in Cooperstown. Tinker and Evers? Sounds like a vaudeville team….

Dr. Doom
Guest
A couple quick responses: 1. Thanks for your kind words, epm! Although I have no intention of voting for these fellas, I just love talking baseball! 2. You’re right – I only focused on offense. I intended to focus on defense, too, but the post got long, I got carried away and I, quite frankly, forgot. It was my intention to include Doug’s not below about Wallace innovating the single-motion throw that revolutionized baseball. Dahlen certainly does have the better WARfielding numbers, but… well, those (especially from over a century ago) are often rightly taken with a grain of salt.… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest

I just wanted to lay out my case for one over the other, and hoped it would inspire some conversation.

You did a great job. I hope you will indeed inspire more members to do this kind of work. But, then, I’m a retired guy, with time on my hands. Most of us can’t afford to get too obsessive (and need to make sure things don’t go overboard!).

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Some considerations for Richie Ashburn: 10th most games in CF. 3rd most Putouts (led the league 9 times in 10 years). Ashburn had seven seasons with more putouts than Willie Mays’ best season. Did the Phillies have a fly-ball pitching staff? Probably. But with all the NY press focused on DiMag, Mays, Mantle, and the Duke, certainly this guy was overlooked. Besides, leading the league in singles and walks just doesn’t get the headlines that the long ball gets. … Among the best defensive CF ever, rarely missed a game his first 13 years, lead the league in times-on-base 5X,… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

okay, D. Doom has convinced me to re-think my approach to the old shortstops.
Vote change:

Ashburn
Kevin Brown
Dahlen

is now:

Richie Ashburn
Kevin Brown
Luis Tiant

dr. remulak
Guest

M. Brown, Allen, Nettles & Evans, Randolph, Pettitte.

Paul E
Guest
WAR, 51% G @ SS, 1871 – 1950 (Dahlen’s Death) 1 Honus Wagner 131.0 2 George Davis 84.7 3 Bill Dahlen….. 75.2 4 Luke Appling.. 74.5 5 Arky Vaughan 72.9 6 Bobby Wallace 70.2 7 Joe Cronin….. 66.4 8 Jack Glasscock 61.9 9 Lou Boudreau 61.5 10 Joe Sewell…… 53.7 They were all retired , except for Boudreau, at the time of Dahlen’s death in December 1950. If we’e going to take WAR seriously, I suppose that makes Dahlen a serious candidate. Since no one alive probably saw him (or Wallace) play, I would think some sort of objective statistical… Read more »
Doug
Guest

My ballot.

Ramirez
Tiant
Wallace

Reuschel
Randolph
Helton

no statistician but
Guest

Secondary ballot only:

Dawson
Lyons
Reuschel

e pluribus munu
Guest
The deadline for vote changes in Circle of Greats Round 127 has now passed. The final deadline for new votes is Sunday, February 18, at 11:59 EST. Here is an updated tabulation of votes for both ballots to this point: Primary Ballot With 16 votes in: 9 – Mordecai Brown* =================50% (8) 6 – Dick Allen, Manny Ramirez, Luis Tiant 4 – Richie Ashburn*, Kevin Brown, Bill Dahlen, Don Sutton* =================25% (4) 2 – Ted Simmons, Bobby Wallace =================10% (2) 1 – Graig Nettles Voters: Chris C, Jeff, Chris Bodig, T-Bone, JEV, Hub Kid, Jeff Harris, Doom, Richard Chester, epm,… Read more »
Andy
Guest
I’ve been persuaded by Dr. Doom that perhaps Dahlen is not quite as formidable of a COG candidate as I had previously thought. Plus it gives me an opportunity to acknowledge Manny’s offensive prowess. The PED use and defensive problems don’t make him an ideal candidate, but only Dick Allen can approach his offensive skills among those on the ballot. However, Manny was able to keep it up for an extra 2,400 plate appearances compared to Allen. Primary: Kevin Brown Graig Nettles Manny Ramirez Secondary: Ken Boyer Andre Dawson Todd Helton There have been plenty of compelling discussions on here,… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

Sticking with my all-small glove guys: Dahlen. Wallace, Ashburn
I still can’t buy Manny because of the PEDS, although on stats I’d put him in. Kevin Brown the same. Thanks again to EPM for laying out the relevant stats.

bells
Guest
Main ballot: Bobby Wallace Luis Tiant Dick Allen Gonna think about the secondary one a bit more. Hey Doug, I remember a few years ago when the idea of Paige in the CoG first came up, birtelcom suggested that if a write-in, non-eligible candidate were entered, there would be another election, ie. that person would not be counted as a ‘normal’ ballot and we’d have 119 instead of 118 members of the CoG or whatever the number was back then. I have a vague memory of you addressing this, but I’m taking it that since I’ve seen no mention of… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Don’t recall that, bells, but I’ll check it out.

Josh Davis
Guest

Main Ballot:
Manny Ramirez
Kevin Brown
Ted Simmons

Paul E’s post above was constructive. I think what Simmons did as a catcher in terms of production and longevity was rare — rarer than that merits of most others on the ballot. I also appreciated epm’s comment on the closeness in value of the remaining players on the ballot. That made me feel a lot better about how agonizing it has been to vote.

Secondary:
Ken Boyer
Dwight Evans
Andre Dawson

Richard Chester
Guest

Answer to question #5: Bob Walk in game 1 of the 1980 WS.

Dave Humbert
Guest

Vote:

Main ballot:
Mordecai Brown
Manny Ramirez
Graig Nettles

Secondary ballot:
Andre Dawson
Rick Reuschel
Andy Pettitte

I still believe Dahlen & Wallace have been overlooked (and glad discussion is turning to them – I stumped for them a few years back when they first hit the ballot and hope they can at last gain momentum) but cannot ignore M. Brown and Ramirez for sheer dominance in their respective eras.

Dave Humbert
Guest
Something I noticed in secondary ballot voting: If you have only 1 candidate you truly wish to elevate, you are “forced” by the 3 vote rule to cast 2 throw away votes. Since we only have 30 or less voters, 3 votes for any candidate keeps them on the secondary ballot. This would have you unintentionally saving players in secondary ballot slots, preventing future redemption rounds to replenish the ballot unless all but 3 candidates are moved up or totally dropped. Since there is unlikely to be widespread consensus on worthiness at this level (thus a secondary ballot), we would… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
I think Dave’s point is very well taken — the sort of thing we might not have anticipated, but once we see how the secondary ballot works, it does seem to have this flaw. I’d like to suggest a modification of Dave’s final idea for a fix. That would be that each January, before we begin any regular CoG vote rounds that the BBWAA has allowed us to conduct, we have a “secondary ballot redemption round,” the initial post for which would include lists of all primary and secondary ballot holdovers to encourage some comparative thinking and a scan for… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Good thought.

Rather than have varying numbers of votes on the ballots, I like epm’s idea of a Redemption round each year to add more names to the Secondary ballot. And then a Secondary ballot election to elevate someone to the Main ballot before whatever COG election rounds there might be.

e pluribus munu
Guest
In voting for Ramirez, Dave Humbert mentioned his troubles with fielding, and I thought I’d do a little research with the B-R Play Index to see just how deep those troubles were in historic terms. I searched on career dWAR, and Ramirez came out with the seventh highest negative total. However, dWAR includes the position penalty for DH, and I was trying to isolate fielding issues, which is different from dWAR issues. So I searched instead on Rfield. In terms of negative Rfield, Derek Jeter laps the field, and I realized that Rfield was a poor measure too, because Jeter’s… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Exciting things happening on the last day of voting: Three-Finger Brown’s once-commanding lead (9 of the first twelve votes; no one else had even five at that point) has shrunk to a single vote over Manny Ramirez. On the secondary ballot, Dwight Evans had nabbed 10 of the first 12 votes (it amuses me that epm and I, who see eye-to-eye on so very little, were the only two Evans skeptics in those first 12 voters). Since then, he’s only gained 1/5, while Andre Dawson has been named on 4/5 to close the gap to two votes. Late voters, it… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Evans vs. Dawson: I’m not so much a skeptic about Evans; I just can’t find a decisive reason to vote for him over Dawson, whose play I thought was great. Here’s what I see: a) The career lengths of Evans and Dawson are, for all intents and purposes, identical, so counting stats can be compared. b) Evans starts with a huge advantage because of the disparity of walks: Evans has 802 more than Dawson. c) Dawson compensates to a point with a surplus in hits (328). d) Dawson also has more doubles, triples, and HRs, adding a further 229 advantage… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

Haha, I didn’t really mean we were “skeptics.” I guess it just surprised me that you and I had something in common that no one else shares. Just goes to show you that different ways of thinking can sometimes lead to the same conclusions. Dawson is my current #4 on the Secondary Ballot, while Evans is my #5.

e pluribus munu
Guest

I think our ways of thinking have a lot in common, Doom. We just stand at different viewpoints. I appreciate that you can make so clear how things look from your standpoint; it broadens my view, even if it doesn’t change my basic orientation.

opal611
Guest

For the Secondary Ballot, I’m voting for:
-Andre Dawson
-Todd Helton
-Nomar Garciaparra

Thanks!

e pluribus munu
Guest
As we head into the final afternoon/evening of voting, here are the specifics of the situation Doom referred to above: Primary Ballot With 21 votes in: =================50% (11) 10 – Mordecai Brown* 9 – Manny Ramirez 7 – Dick Allen, Luis Tiant 6 – Kevin Brown =================25% (6) 5 – Richie Ashburn*, Bill Dahlen 4 – Don Sutton*, Bobby Wallace 3 – Graig Nettles, Ted Simmons, =================10% (3) Voters: Chris C, Jeff, Chris Bodig, T-Bone, JEV, Hub Kid, Jeff Harris, Doom, Richard Chester, epm, Hartvig, Paul E, opal611, Voomo, dr. remulak, Doug, Andy, Mike L, bells, Josh Davis, Dave Humbert… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

Just confirming I did not/will not vote in the redemption round.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Assume you the secondary ballot, Mike. Entirely up to you. Voting or not, your observations always enrich the discussion (Tchaikovsky notwithstanding).

Mike L
Guest

LOL–those were my Dad’s opinions, and did not necessarily represent the opinions of your Classical Music Station, WML.

Doug
Guest

I have the same results for the Secondary ballot, but a bit different totals for the Main ballot (but the same winner).

9 – M. Brown
8 – Ramirez, Tiant
7 – Allen
6 – Ashburn, Dahlen
5 – K. Brown
4 – Sutton, Wallace
3 – Nettles, Simmons

These are the ballots I’ve recorded.

Please let me know where the differences lie, so we can check those votes.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Doug, Here are the differences I see in our records:

bells: Where you have a vote for Ashburn, I have Allen.
JEV: Where you have votes for Allen, Dahlen, & Tiant, I have K Brown, M Brown, & Ramirez
Brendan Bingham: Not on your list; I have Nettles, Simmons, Tiant
Cursed Clevelander: Not on your list; I have K Brown, Nettles, Ramirez

Let me know what you think.

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