Circle of Greats 2019 Redemption Round

This Circle of Greats (COG) vote is not to induct anyone into the Circle. Instead, this round of voting will select three or more players who will be restored to the secondary ballot after having been previously dropped from eligibility.

In this vote you may include on your ballot any major league baseball player who:
   –   was born before 1974; and
   –   played a majority of his career games since 1901 or compiled 20 WAR since 1901; and
   –   has not been elected to the Circle of Greatsand
   –   was not on the ballot for the just completed 1974 Part 2 COG Balloting

For this round of voting, you may vote for up to five (5) five players to cast a qualifying ballot.  The players with the 3 highest vote totals, including ties, will be restored to the secondary ballot for the next round of COG voting. To assist you with your selections, career stats for the most eligible candidates are provided here.

The deadline to cast your ballots in this redemption round is Sunday night, February 17th at 11:59PM EST. You can change your votes until 11:59PM EST on Friday night, February 15th.  You can keep track of the vote tally in this redemption round here: COG 2019 Redemption Round Vote Tally.

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166 Comments on "Circle of Greats 2019 Redemption Round"

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Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Doug, access to the career stat page you have linked above is closed.

I thought it would be helpful to remind people of the 2018 Redemption Round candidates who didn’t make it over the bar a year ago. This is a list of those who attracted 1-4 votes (the winner, Satchel Paige, had 8):

Sal Bando
Buddy Bell
Lou Brock
Jim Bunning
Fred Clarke
Stan Coveleski
Dizzy Dean
Larry Doby
Don Drysdale
Dennis Eckersley
Jim Edmonds
Darrell Evans
Ron Guidry
Orel Hersheiser
Monte Irvin
Don Mattingly
Minnie Minoso
Hal Newhouser
Rafael Palmeiro
Kirby Puckett
Gary Sheffield
Reggie Smith
Billy Williams
Early Wynn

Of course, we’re not restricted to this list.

Doug
Guest

Sorry. I’ve updated the link for the career stats, so you should be able to see them now.

Also, I’ve changed the election to top 3 and ties elected.

mosc
Guest

How did we not elect Dennis Eckersley? I am somewhat upset about this.

Dennis Eckersley, Monte Irvin, Larry Doby

mosc
Guest

And apparently it’s 5 (I should really read, you even bolded it) so please add Drysdale and Mattingly

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

mosc, Eckersley fell off the ballot in the 111th round, in 2015. Eck got just 1 vote out of 35 ballots cast. If it’s any comfort, among his companions in getting kicked off the ballot that round were Satchel Paige and Dave Winfield, who are now CoG members.

(You asked before how long it would be till we could vote for Irvin again. The answer turned out to be soon!)

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Irvin’s play began to wane by 1955.
Through 51 games his slash line was:
.253 / .337 / .333 / .671

And he was sent to AAA.
Replaced in Left Field by Whitey, literally.

Whitey’s slash for the year:
.273 / .320 / .384 / .704

mosc
Guest
Reading that round list is painful. There are a lot of guys that got support without much justification where the battles we fought over others was arduous. If we ever do something like this again, I think the only major change really needed is how we handle this redemption discrepancy. We seem to be narrowing in on a fix with every iteration, now I feel like a few votes would have been different if we knew then what we know now. I guess that’s inevitable. Overall you have to be very proud of what we ended up with. I don’t… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest

You can’t tell the story of baseball without Curt Flood either, even though nobody is putting him in the COG. Or Lou Brock, or god forbid Jim Rice and Jack Morris. There are plenty of players we’ve not put into the COG, without whom the story of baseball is significantly diminished.

That said, I do think Eck belongs if we can fit him, to the point where I’d just assumed he was in.

no statistician but
Guest
I don’t ordinarily vote in the COG—once, to break a tie—preferring to be an independent sort of gadfly commentator. In this instance, however, since the actual Circle isn’t the goal, I’m going to cite four players who I think are as deserving of consideration as those currently on the two ballots: 1) Jim Bunning. In an eleven year stretch, 1957-1967, Bunning put up 60.2 pitching WAR, won 184 Games, threw 39 shutouts, led his league in Ks three times, with five second place finishes and one third. His career arc is very similar to Roy Halladay’s, not quite as intense,… Read more »
mosc
Guest

I agree so much on Irvin, well written thank you.

Mike L
Guest

NSB, while I’m iffy on Bunning being quite good enough for our hallowed halls, I’m glad you brought him up. Wanted to add a couple of details. Bunning has the rather interesting combination of having helped reorganize the players union, including leading the push to hire Marvin Miller, and being a very conservative politician, one of the most conservative in the US Senate. His later political career included a lot of controversy (he was not exactly a tactful man, and spread his scorn around). Decided not to run again in 2008, replaced by Rand Paul, BTW

Paul E
Guest

Bunning, a father of nine pitched a perfect game on Father’s Day. Maybe it shouldn’t count since it was against the ’64 Mets AAAA team from Flushing?

bells
Guest

Thanks for highlighting these players, nsb; it’s good to have a refresher on some of them since it’s been a bit of time since we considered them. I’ve gone in and out of supporting Reggie Smith for awhile now, and will definitely be voting for him again this round. And it’s high time for me to do a bit of work trying to extrapolate in a bit more detail from Irvin’s stats.

And thanks for being flexible and setting up this round, Doug. Much appreciated.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Eddie Plank is listed in the COG stat sheet as having 86.5 WAR.
He had 91.5

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Will someone refresh an explanation as to where 19th century players fit into our process?
Are they just out in the cold, or are they available here in Redemption?

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

OPS+ Leaders for the 19th century, minimum 5000 PA

171 … Dan Brouthers
163 … Pete Browning
153 … Roger Conner
150 … Ed Delahanty
147 … Sam Thompson
145 … Billy Hamilton
144 … Harry Stovey
142 … Henry Larkin
142 … Cap Anson

Brouthers led the league 6 straight years, and 8 overall.
Anson had many more PA than anybody else on the list.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Voomo, Because of birtelcom’s rule that a player needs to have compiled 20 WAR after 1900, the players you list aren’t eligible for the CoG. If we had a process for actually learning more about 19th century baseball, I’d be strongly in favor of creating what might initially be a separate wing, but with a possibility that we would want to change it to full status after we had become fully familiar with the period. For example, I’ve probably read more than average about 19th century ball, but one name on your list, Henry Larkin, isn’t familiar to me. I’d… Read more »
koma
Guest

Dennis Eckersley
Monte Irvin
Minnie Minoso
Gary Sheffield
Reggie Smith

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
To try and get some comparative picture for the redemption round, I’ve listed below stats for everyone who got votes last time (no other names have yet come up this string, but if they do, I’ll try to supply comparable numbers for them). For this chart, I’ve replaced my two earlier WAR rate stats (/G and /Yr) with, effectively, WAR per minimal qualifying season. Career lengths are indexed to the shortest careers on the Main Ballot: thus, 1.0 would represent Kevin Brown’s 3256.1 IP or Dick Allen’s 7315 PA. pWAR (Tot bWAR)…Peak5..Top5…WAR/162IP…..ERA+…Career length 60.5 (59.6)……………31.8….37.7……..2.6…………..115……….1.2……….Jim Bunning 65.3 (60.3)……………40.2….40.2……..3.4…………..127……….0.9…….…Stan Coveleski 43.4… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
A couple of weeks ago, when we were talking a lot about Don Sutton, I put together a list of pitchers that are eligible for but not in the COG with 120+ hall rating. For reference, I populate a “Circle of Stats:” using hall rating only to get to our existing 132 spots for COG members, and I get hall rating of 123-124 as the cutoff. Last in: Eck and Home Run Baker at 124 and 123 HR respectively. Last out are a pair of modern centerfielders: Andre Dawson and Jim Edmonds, at 123 and 122 HR. We obviously won’t… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Michael, Your comment hadn’t posted yet when I was working on my additional list (below), and I agree that Cone should get strong consideration. I’m surprised Kevin Appier isn’t on your list, since my stats make him seem almost a Cone clone. I’ll try to work up some stats on Willis, Saberhagen, and Faber this evening that will make comparisons with players on various ballots simpler. (I do rely a lot on WAR, apart from ERA+/OPS+, but I think it’s better to look at several angles — compilation numbers, peaks, rates, longevity — than to focus on a single index… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest

Appier seems as good a candidate as some we are debating now, though I have him a few steps below Cone as does HR and he didn’t make my cut. I probably should have gone a little lower, but tbh, I feel like most of the pitchers we’ve enshrined below HR 120 that didn’t have very specific special cases were guys I don’t support. but you’re right, 110ish is probably a better cutoff for consideration.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Does anybody have a recollection of how Reggie Smith was perceived in his day?
Particularly his fielding.

Doug
Guest
This site (which needs some updating) provides a ranking of the best players not in the Hall of Fame. I wouldn’t put much stock in the ratings though as Smith is way down the list at 84 while Steve Garvey is at 25 (even though the short write-up on Smith notes that some regarded him and not Garvey as the best player on the 1970s Dodgers). The Smith write-up also notes that he did a lot of things well (including fielding), but didn’t excel at any one part of his game, so has been overlooked and underestimated by many. http://www.notinhalloffame.com/baseball… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Nice work, Doug. I’ve been cudgeling my brain to try to recall Smith’s fielding specifically, but there’s nothing there. (No snark, please.) I remember Smith being highly respected, but never the star of his team, he always seemed to play the trusty sidekick. There was always a Yaz or Garvey who was more famous, even though, going back to look, Smith was often being more productive. In terms of the stats of the time, Smith was a gray ink guy, kind of like his one time teammate, Dwight Evans. When nsb first brought him up I was skeptical (it was… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

An added thought: Smith was, to my mind, also a lot like Billy Williams, and their stats are closely parallel. The difference in reputation, I think, was that Williams received quite a bit of press attention about the fact that he did not receive a lot of press attention, whereas Smith just didn’t receive a lot of press attention.

Doug
Guest

Williams also had more power, which always helps with the press.

Dr. Doom
Guest
Hal Newhouser, who is maybe the most statistically-qualified unelected person. I’m not sure I buy him; I didn’t before, I don’t think, but I’m willing to hash out the arguments once more, if only because it’s been years since we debated the quality of wartime ball. Jim Bunning, who was a better pitcher than his traditional numbers indicate. I’d rather vote for him (for the COG, not office, mind you) than some other pitchers we keep tossing around like Reuschel and Tiant. Jim Edmonds, who is basically Kenny Lofton, but we elected one and not the other. Gary Sheffield, who… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Where Drysdale suffered is that he is perceived as the 2nd best pitcher on his own team. Whereas Ferrell was arguably the 2nd best pitcher in the league (and on his own team for 3+ years). That doesnt make Ferrell a better pitcher, no. Drysdale was just up against Koufax, Gibson, and Marichal. And Ferrell was a unique case, providing some of the most overall value from the 9-hole before 1973. Drysdale is not comparable to him on offense. .280 / .351 / .446 / .797 / 100 .186 / .228 / .295 / .523 / 45 ___________ OPS+ leaders,… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Yes, Ferrell’s best seasons were a bit better than Drysdale’s (Ferrell has six 6 WAR seasons, DD has six 5 WAR seasons). But, Drysdale makes up that gap, and then some, with the next 7 seasons on their dockets, five of those with 3 WAR for Drysdale, but only two for Ferrell. To me, that gives a sizable edge for Drysdale career-wise at only a small cost in peak value.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Figures seem to me to bear out Doom’s comparisons for his last three picks: pWAR (Tot bWAR)…Peak5..Top5…WAR/162IP…..ERA+…Career length 61.4 (67.2)……………30.1….32.2……..2.9……………121………1.1………..Don Drysdale 49.4 (61.2)……………29.2….36.3……..3.1……………116………0.8………..Wes Ferrell WAR(fWAR)……….…Pk5….Top5….WAR/500PA….OPS+…Career length 60.4 (64.5)……………32.1….32.1……..3.8…………..132……….1.1………..Jim Edmonds 68.3 (62.4)……………31.0….33.0……..3.7…………..107……….1.3………..Kenny Lofton WAR(fWAR)……….…Pk5….Top5….WAR/500PA….OPS+…Career length 60.5 (62.1)……………25.9….29.4……..2.8…………..140……….1.5………..Gary Sheffield 64.2 (59.5)……………27.0….29.5……..2.6…………..130……….1.7………..Dave Winfield The comparison may be a little less apt for Drysdale and Ferrell, and had I used Ferrell’s Total bWAR for the rate stats he’d come out comfortably ahead, but as pitchers I think the edge goes to Drysdale, since his career was about 30%+ longer and his productivity comparable. Ferrell’s hitting, though, is more of a wild card than Drysdale’s,… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
OPS+ tells a small part of the story for Lofton vs Edmonds. Lofton played from 1991 – 2007. Edmonds from 1993 – 2010. Both until age 40. Both played CF until the end. Looking at 1985-2015, here are the leaders for Centerfielders in these categories: WAR Runs Baserunning: 78.5 … Lofton 76.5 … Damon 55.8 … Pierre 55.5 … Beltran 53.1 … Grissom 52.7 … Nixon 46.7 … Eric Davis 46.4 … Dykstra 46.0 … Willie Wilson ________ WAR Runs DP: 49.5 … Damon 33.5 … Finley 28.7 … Butler 28.3 … Pierre 23.2 … Lofton 19.6 … Patterson 18.4… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
Re: Edmonds v. Lofton — OPS+ is a good comparator for pure bat but it doesn’t account for baserunning or fielding. While Edmonds wasn’t a liability on the bases, rBase has him slightly below average (-11 rBase). Lofton, OTOH, was one of the best baserunners in history not named Raines, Henderson or Wilson. He comes in a 78.5 rBase, right behind Ozzie Smith and Joe Morgan, and ahead of Willie Mays and Lou Brock., He led the AL in stolen bases for 5 straight seasons, 3 of which topped the majors, and had a solid steal rate of around 80%… Read more »
mosc
Guest
Someday, the ballpark factors for outfielders will be position specific and we will correctly deal with Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park’s uniquely different RF and LF’s. Yankee Stadium’s short porch and Fenway’s Green monster make those fields far smaller and reduce the defensive value of players who play those positions. Oddly, their opposite fields (Yankee Stadium LF and Fenway RF) are huge and magnify the defensive value. So… High DWAR Yankee LF and Red Sox RF players get a little inflated (Gardner, Betts) Low DWAR Yankee LF and Red Sox RF players are a little magnified (Matsui, old Evans) High… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Before momentum gets going, I like to think about who may be missing from the list named last Redemption Round. I’ve gathered some figures for players whom I think may be worth considering. Most had short careers with strong peak and/or rate stats. Ruffing is another Ferrell/Drysdale-like case. pWAR (Tot bWAR)…Peak5..Top5…WAR/162IP..ERA+…Career length 55.0 (54.7)……………32.4….34.2……3.4……………..121………..0.8………. Kevin Appier 61.7 (62.4)……………30.7….33.4……3.4……………..121………..0.9………..David Cone 46.5 (44.2)……………30.6….31.0……3.2……………..142………..0.7………..Addie Joss 55.2 (68.7)……………23.7….26.3……2.1……………..109………..1.3………..Red Ruffing WAR(fWAR)…………Peak5….Top5…WAR/500PA..OPS+…Career length 49.4 (47.6)……………36.3….36.3……3.9……………..149……….0.9………..Ralph Kiner 46.1 (40.9)……………27.0….29.5……3.9……………..116……….0.8………..Thurman Munson Appier and Cone look to me to be competitive with our main ballot pitchers. Joss and Munson obviously need an adjustment because of their early deaths. (I… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
In thinking about how to vote, what I’m focusing on is the question of whether any of the players so far named would fit as competitive candidates on the main CoG ballot. I’m looking for players whom we’ve been ignoring who could have been capturing votes that have been going to our recurring cast of characters, because redeeming them can then actually lead to an improved CoG roster. The answer to the question seems to me to be Yes! and I want to illustrate some specific comparisons between players on the Primary Ballot and outsiders we may now consider. Here… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
Bob: My problem with all this is that there exists already a pool of borderline candidates who have been through the fire of discussion and multiple voting, which did, after all, go round after round continuously for many months back before the earliest born eligible players came up for consideration. Expanding that pool by resurrecting players who had, during those trials, fallen by the wayside (to mix a metaphor) owing to the fact that their cases for continuing had been sifted through and found wanting—well, it sounds more reasonable and grandly open-minded than it is. Drysdale’s falling out of consideration,… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Well, I see your point, nsb. But I’ve been struck by the volatility of CoG voting. A few candidates receive consistent levels of support, but quite often waves of conversation on a CoG round string shift attention away from a previously viable candidate for a couple of rounds and — poof! — he’s gone. Recent redemption rounds have yielded three new CoG members (Paige, M. Brown, Dw. Evans), none having numbers that were not in line with longer term candidates (of course, Paige was an exception, but he’d been rejected just a few rounds earlier). What made them succeed after… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
Concerning Drysdale’s hitting, he batted over .200 exactly twice, in which years his OPS+ numbers were 114 and 140. Even with those two seasons his career BA was .186 and OPS+ of 45. He clubbed a lot of home runs those two years, 14, vs 29 total. My calculator gets a figure of .169, something in the mid 30s OPS+ and 2.8 oWAR for his 12 off-years, fairly good for a pitcher but not extraordinary, except compared to his rotation mate Koufax, one of the worst at the plate all-time. Early Wynn, to take one random example, batted .214, with… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest

Drysdale is already very close to the line as just a pitcher. His bat matters since he did go out and bat much better than most pitchers, enough for 5.8 batting WAR. Yeah, that’s less than half of what Ferrell did, but Ferrell also was a lot farther from COG consideration on his pitching alone.

I don’t think I vote for Drysdale either, but I see him as roughly as good a candidate as we’re discussing, and I don’t know that he’s been held up directly against all of them.

Michael Sullivan
Guest
“Expanding that pool by resurrecting players who had, during those trials, fallen by the wayside (to mix a metaphor) owing to the fact that their cases for continuing had been sifted through and found wanting—well, it sounds more reasonable and grandly open-minded than it is.” I disagree wholeheartedly. During the original ballot phase, we went through a number of time periods where there were a LOT of qualified players on the ballot, and I spent most of my time as a voter worrying about how to keep as many as possible on the ballot. I’ve always felt that the three… Read more »
Dave Humbert
Guest
A hidden gem I want to stump for is Joe “Iron Man” McGinnity: 57.6 WAR (60.5 as P, -2.9 as hitter), 246-142, 2.66 ERA, 465 G, 381 GS, 24 SV, 3441 IP, 1068 SO, 1.188 WHIP Doesn’t sound like a glaring oversight, until you consider: 1. This was a career of only 10 years (1899-1908). Absolutely a peak pitcher. 52.4 seven year peak WAR, 55 JAWS. Works out to 55th ranked pitcher by JAWS, plenty of black/grey ink, 100 games over .500. Born in 1871, towards the end of our initial evaluations and overshadowed by other strong candidates like Walsh,… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
McGinnity enjoyed some support when he was first on the ballot, if I remember correctly. There’s a real argument for him. I can find no real comparators for McGinnity among current candidates, chiefly because of the enormous number of seasonal innings he pitched. Seasons of 400+ IP resulted in quick compilation of WAR over a few years, so, a tremendous peak, but less unusual rate states for WAR per inning. Here he is compared to main ballot candidate Lyons and redemption candidate Drysdale: pWAR (Tot bWAR)…Peak5..Top5…WAR/162IP…..ERA+…Career length 61.4 (67.2)……………30.1….32.2…………2.9………….121……….1.1………..Don Drysdale 67.2 (71.6)……………24.2….29.0…………2.9………….118……….1.3………..Ted Lyons 60.5 (57.6)……………43.4….46.5…………2.8………….120……….1.1………..Joe McGinnity If you think in… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

“Nothing can hurt my arm. I can throw curves like that all day. Last year, I pitched a 21-inning game for Peoria that took four hours. I never hurt my arm.” – Joe McGinnity

His wikipedia page is a good biographical read:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_McGinnity

His MLB legacy is certainly incomplete.
The end of his big show career seems due to salary dispute, not ability.
Upon being released he purchased the minor league team in Newark, winning 59 games in 830 innings over the next 2 seasons.

Dr. Doom
Guest

I believe Bill James mentioned that McGinnity threw from different arm slots – sidearm, over-the-top, AND three-quarters. I’ve often thought that teaching ALL of those skills would be enormously beneficial, in that it would better hide pitches from opposing batters, as well as saving stress on the elbow and shoulder.

Doug
Guest

“… a 21-inning game … that took four hours”. If only that were the case today.

Dave Humbert
Guest

Hi Doug,

I saw Mordecai Brown on the Redemption List but he’s already in the COG, right? The COG list page for pitchers is coming up blank.

Dr. Doom
Guest
I may want to repeat these arguments in a new thread if (when, I hope) some of “my guys” are elected. But I want to give some thoughts on two players in particular. I’m going to start with Don Drysdale. Here’s the thing about Drysdale: people always have a reason that he’s not good enough. I’m not really sure why there’s SUCH a concerted effort to push him down. He’s as good a pitcher as Tiant or Reuschel, yet people will make arguments you NEVER hear about other players. For example, people talk about Drysdale’s record vs. teams below and… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

You saved me work, Doom. I logged on this afternoon intending to track down the +/-.500 records of Drysdale and our other candidates. You’ve made a good advocacy argument.

mosc
Guest

I agree. I’ve voted for Drysdale before… over Kevin Brown on several occasions 😉

I hope he gets back on the ballot and I can try to use this against you to pick Drysdale over Brown.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Doom has fought long and gallantly, and long, for Brown. It’s all about the PED issue, and if it weren’t, I think most of us would be voting for Brown with enthusiasm — and for Brown over Drysdale.

Paul E
Guest
Just noticed this: Pitcher WAR, age 21 – 23, 1920-present 1 Frank Tanana 23.2 1975 1977 2 Bert Blyleven 22.7 1972 1974 3 Wes Ferrell 20.5 1929 1931 4 Bob Feller 18.2 1940 1941 5 Sam McDowell 18.0 1964 1966 6 Bret Saberhagen 17.2 1985 1987 7 Clayton Kershaw 17.0 2009 2011 8 Larry Dierker 15.8 1968 1970 9 Don Drysdale 15.8 1958 1960 10 Willis Hudlin 15.6 1927 1929 Tanana threw hard at one time…..in those days there wasn’t too much national TV exposure – especially for the West Coast teams in general and the mediocre Angels in particular.… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

Same guys (including Gooden), ages 19-23

Feller, 32.5 (1938-41)
Blyleven, 31.3 (1970-74)
Gooden, 29.2 (1984-88)
Tanana, 28.3 (1973-77)
Drysdale, 23.6 (1956-60)
Ferrell, 20.9 (1927-31)
Dierker, 20.1 (1966-70)
Saberhagen, 18.6 (1984-87)
Kershaw, 18.5 (2008-11)
McDowell, 16.4 (1962-66)
Hudlin, 16.2 (1926-29)

Note that only McDowell is actually made WORSE by the inclusion of his 0.0-WAR age-20 season and -1.5-WAR age-19 season.
I actually thought that including Gooden’s top seasons might’ve vaulted him to the top… but Blyleven and Feller were both really good as teens AND twenty-somethings, so I suppose it’s not surprising that they remain ahead of him. Drysdale was a heckuva pitcher, wasn’t he? 😉

Paul E
Guest

I only ran the PI because Tanana’s picture (one of twelve) was on the ‘coverpage’ of baseball-reference at one point today. Wasn’t trying to exclude Gooden (nor Drysdale) – just seeing how Tanana’s three best seasons fared since the end of the dead-ball era

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Doom, Pitting Feller’s pWAR ages 19-23 against these other fine players’ is not really a fair competition — after all, Feller had no age 23 season, since he enlisted in the army as soon as the War broke out, before the 1942 season started. How can you expect him to be competitive?

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

. . . in the Navy . . .

Dr. Doom
Guest
Ummmm… First of all, you realize that the original search included age-23; that wasn’t my addition. Second, you realize that the original search was not mine, right? So I didn’t make the choice to include it. Third of all, running ages 19-23, not only is Feller competitive, he’s the top pitcher in the group. So… I’m not really sure what you’re trying to say in this comment. All I was trying to do was to create a comparison group in which Gooden would come out on top, due to his incredible age-20 season, since Paul had remarked with surprise that… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

I was just playing around, Doom. Your list was fine.

Dr. Doom
Guest
The second in my little series of guys that I want to argue for is Gary Sheffield. I have recently been persuaded by an argument that I hope you all would find interesting, too. Gary Sheffield was never really a DH. He managed only 302 games in that role in his career. But let’s say he had been a DH. Let’s say Gary Sheffield, drafted by the Brewers, had not been mistreated by the media, been kept around, and quickly placed in that spot, in the American League (then traded to another AL team in 1998 when the Brewers swapped… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

Doom,
By the same scenario building exercise, Sheffield might have more bWAR than Ripken if he could have stayed at SS. I don’t think he handled his Milwaukee ordeal real well but, then again, he was 20 years old. If he could have stood on 3B for 15 years, then maybe moved over to first base, he would be in the Hall of Fame.
As for the CoG, it’s the same story of the back and forth on the steroids issue that has been bandied about since inception of this blog

Dr. Doom
Guest
I do think that Sheffield’s steroid case is a touch different than everyone else’s, though; there seems to be widespread acknowledgment on the part of the media and contemporary players that Sheff’s admission is true, and that he wasn’t a habitual user, flouting the system for personal gain. (Personally, I think people are willing to agree to that because it further demonized Bonds as the villain of the story, a narrative people were more than happy to accept.) Thus, the reason for including it. I think people are more willing to give Sheffield a pass – or, if not a… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

At THAT point in his career (where he was accused of taking steroids) Sheffield was a ‘mature’ adult who had to know better, be suspicious, or at least have a clue what was going on with Bonds and the 6 hour workouts and 500 foot homeruns. As far as Bonds being tabbed a villain in the Sheffield/BALCO soap opera, I don’t believe Sheffield came off as all that likeable at any point in his career.

Dr. Doom
Guest

Agreed. I have always found the easy acceptance of Sheffield’s version to be rather silly. Admittedly, it has no impact on me, because I don’t really care about pre-testing PED stuff. But I still think Sheffield is treated very strangely by media narratives.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Doom, I don’t know whether your fielding argument actually cuts the way you want it to. Saying that Sheffield’s fielding was so bad that he’d be rated higher if he simply had never taken the field isn’t really a ringing CoG endorsement. You’re right that the case of Sheffield and PEDs isn’t open and shut. However, it’s not true that the Mitchell Report only covers the 2002 incident that Sheffield admits, but claims was unintentional. It ties him to BALCO in 2003, through a purchase of “vitamins” (which, perhaps is what they were) and to Bonds’ trainer in 2004 (who… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

My fielding argument is this: “Is it Gary Sheffield’s fault that no one made him a DH?” Why should we punish him for a bad decision made at the team level? He could’ve been a DH, and then his numbers would be better, that’s all I’m saying.

Also, I agree that Sheffield’s story is VERY suspect; I’ve made the point a couple of times. I’m just making the point that MOST commentators seem to be willing to forgive more of Sheffield than they are of others of the same era.

no statistician but
Guest
Re Sheffield: 1) Sheffield’s stats look a little like Manny’s, only not as good. 2) Sheffield’s career looks a little like Rogers Hornsby’s late or Dick Allen’s extended. Impressive batting statistics, but only passing through. No one wanted him enough to keep him very long. 3) Sheffield’s long career masks the fact that he missed a lot of time, not like Larry Walker missed it, 25 games a year, but half seasons at a time. 4) In my mind I confuse Sheffield with McGriff. You could mix up their seasonal line stats, and the only way to tell the difference… Read more »
mosc
Guest

No to Brown, Sheffield, Ramirez, Palmero, Sosa, and McGuire. They are not heads and shoulders above (like Bonds and Clemens) their historical peers which makes them less deserving. There are more names (like Braun) but that’s a long way away.

no statistician but
Guest
If I were building a case for Don Drysdale, I wouldn’t spend much time presenting his career stats. I’d focus instead on such things as what Drysdale meant to his team. In his first full season, 1957, Drysdale tied Jonny Podres with 5.8 WAR for the top spot amongst Dodgers. In 1958, he was first on the team that flopped in LA. In 1959, for the resurrected World Champs, he was first again. 1960—ditto, with 7.2 to Podres’ 4.6. 1961, first again. 1962, third with 5.9 WAR behind T. Davis and Wills who had 6.0 each. 1963, third, 1964 first… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Third in my series of guys I want to argue for is Hal Newhouser. Newhouser, I claimed in my voting post, might be the most statistically-qualified unelected player. That’s a bold claim, and there are a LOT of players who can use some metric or other to make that claim. So I’d like to look at peak WAR. Baseball-Reference keeps a list of the top 500 individuals at many categories, including single-season WAR. OK, if we eliminate everything before 1920 (to get to a more “modern” game), eliminate all those not-yet-eligible, and eliminate those already IN the COG, I get… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
Newhouser was undoubtedly a dominant pitcher for several years, but in the first of those years, 1944, teammate Dizzy Trout outdid him in pinning back the ears of opposing wartime lineups. In the second of those years, Newhouser produced 11.3 pitching WAR, with an ERA of 1.81 and an ERA+ of 195. Awesome figures. But—here comes my skepticism about this particular performance. We all mumble that we can’t really tell how bad the AL teams were in 1945, so we have to put a kind of mental asterisk against Prince Hal’s figures. But I think we CAN get a much… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
I don’t remember details, but I remember discussing Newhouser, and coming down conclusively on the side that we have to adjust his stats somewhat for the lack of competition during the war. Here’s are some bits I recall from that. • While the bulk of the war exodus happened 44-45, there was a noticeable amount in 42 and 43 as well, *and* the exodus also affected 1946 to a degree. • This means that all of Newhouser’s truly exceptional seasons happened while competition was lesser. • He does have 3 very strong seasons in 47-49, that were after everybody is… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Fourth and final of my player-advocacy posts is about Jim Edmonds. I have a friend who was a pretty good baseball player: played some D3 ball in college. He was an undersized-but-surprisingly-fast, white, left-handed (hitting and throwing) outfielder with a decent arm and great ball instincts. His all-time favorite player, it may not surprise you to hear, is Jim Edmonds. Nine times in eleven seasons, Edmonds produced 4+ WAR. The other two (1997 at 3.7 and 1999 at 0.8) were injury-riddled for Edmonds, else he would’ve likely made it 11 straight, which . That was certainly a problem throughout his… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
I think that among the list of hitters who received votes in the 2018 Redemption Round, if you look at the mix of stats I’ve been posting (for whatever they’re worth), Edmonds may have the best all-around profile (I know: profiles aren’t . . .). I agree that Edmonds was underrated, but I always saw him as a high-quality guy. These are good arguments as correctives (even if they are pointed at the two guys I’m most advocating for). I think Edmonds’ stats are a strong argument in themselves. The argument I liked best, though, was your initial comparison with… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Yesterday, Michael Sullivan suggested some additional pitcher names: Red Faber, Bret Saberhagen, and Vic Willis. Here are some stats for them: pWAR (Tot bWAR)…Peak5..Top5…WAR/162IP…..ERA+…Career length 68.5 (65.0)……………..32.7….34.8……….2.7…………….119……….1.3……….Red Faber 59.1 (59.0)……………..30.7….40.5……….3.7…………….126……….0.8……….Bret Saberhagen 67.6 (63.7)……………..34.9….41.9……….2.7…………….118……….1.2……….Vic Willis Faber and Willis bear resemblances to Ted Lyons, who is now on the primary ballot, though Willis’s peak numbers are much higher because of the higher number of IP that was customary in his era — when a pitcher had a hot season, it really sent his WAR through the roof. Saberhagen looks good alongside Appier and Cone — short career guys with high OPS+ and… Read more »
mosc
Guest

I agree. I’m not voting for Lyons and Brown and I have trouble seeing any of these guys as better than Drysdale but I agree, Appier, Cone, and Saberhagen make similarly solid cases.

mosc
Guest
Maybe there’s some alternate history where the Royals hold onto those three guys together. Keeping in mind that Saberhagen was a good bit older than Appier, the three guys still lined up as active for ’90-’95. You also get stellar seasons before and after even if they’re not all productive. Take a look: 1987: Sab 8.0, Cone 1.1 TOTAL 9.1 (2 with royals) 1988: Sab 3.8, Cone 5.5 TOTAL 9.3 (2 with royals) 1989: Sab 9.7, Cone 1.3, App -0.8 TOTAL 10.2 (2 with royals) 1990: Sab 3.6, Cone 3.8, App 5.3 TOTAL 12.7 (2 with royals) 1991: Sab 5.1,… Read more »
mosc
Guest

Did Doug find the highest WAR total by 3 guys drafted by the same team in a 7-year continuous period even if they weren’t still on that team? If my math is right, ’89-95 they bettered 100 WAR.

mosc
Guest
I tried my own challenge here a bit. I don’t know the actual title holders but the draft fails to capture a lot of older players so you’re limited to the modern era. Then there’s like a million things to keep track of like Tom Seaver’s draft getting voided and so many guys coming in through international free agency. Pujols was drafted, but not Cabrera. Best Guess? Mariners ’96 – ’02 Alex Rodriguez: 55.8 Ken Griffy Jr: 37.1 Tino Martinez: 16.6 Total: 109.5 I don’t know, it could be something crazy like the Blue Jays with Halladay, Carpenter, and somebody… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
All three guys were having prime seasons in 94 and get hurt by the strike. Cone likely missed an 8 WAR and top 500 season if there’s no strike in 94, and for all of them, this season is in their top 5 and peak 5, peak 7, so an extra 1-2 WAR would make a difference in their peaks and how they look to JAWS, Hall Rating, etc. And these guys don’t really even need an adjustment, Saberhagen And Cone at least are right there from a peak + total value perspective, and Appier has a very strong peak… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

Doug, I don’t know if you can do anything with this, but while researching a piece on Lincoln I found an old cartoon of him playing baseball. I’d add it to the comments, but I don’t think there’s the capability, so if you want it, email me and I’ll send you the JPEG

no statistician but
Guest

Mike L

As an Illinoisan I have to comment that that cartoon is hardly unknown in my home state. I haven’t looked this up, but I believe that the legend runs that while Abe was awaiting the results of the Republican nominating convention in 1860 he was out in a nearby park or field playing Base Ball with some others.

Mike L
Guest

That’s the cartoon. I’m having a field day (sorry) posting a few of them on twitter. Abe’s 210th.

Dr. Doom
Guest

I just googled “abe lincoln baseball cartoon” and I think the correct cartoon came up. Very strange humor (as humor of different generations always is); some of the puns still work well, while others… not so much. Thanks for letting me know. My wife is related to Lincoln on her mom’s side (the direct relative was, I believe, an aunt of Abe’s), while her father’s family has a descendant that was neighbors with the Lincoln family when Abe was a boy. So we’re pretty big Lincoln fans in our home, as well as baseball fans. Great find, thanks!

Mike L
Guest

I’m jealous. I’m a Lincoln nut and just wrote a 2500 word piece on the Cooper Union Speech. But your link (if it’s the same thing) is actually not the one I’m thinking about. Your’s is probably the Currier and Ives one. The one I found predates his election and supposedly about how he received news of his nomination. I posted it on Twitter. Let me see if I can find it.

Mike L
Guest

Ahhh…(and I’m replying to NSB on a separate one). I found it on the NYPL digital database, but if you google “Lincoln’s Notification” and look at images, it’s one in from the right.

Mike L
Guest

NSB–Read Doom’s comment below. I found it on the NYPL digital database (it’s a pain, you have to look at 100s of images, most irrelevant, but if you google “Lincoln’s Notification” (use quotes) and look at images, it’s one in from the right.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Vote:

Coveleski
Eckersley
Kiner
Minoso
Newhouser

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
I’m going to vote now, but I’m ready to change my votes as new arguments emerge. This string is generating a very high number of interesting discussions advocating various players, and, in part, I’m using this initial vote to add some names who haven’t yet really drawn attention. 1. Monte Irvin. Monte Irvin hasn’t lacked for good advocacy – over the long term by mosc, and on this string by nsb as well. The main point I want to make is that Irvin is a different conversation, much like the one we had for Paige. Two differences: Irvin was not,… Read more »
mosc
Guest

Great post. Well done.

Andy
Guest

Stan Coveleski
Don Drysdale
Dennis Eckersley
Jim Edmonds
Gary sheffield

Bruce Gilbert
Guest

Minnie Minoso, Vada Pinson, Willie Davis & Buddy Bell. Kid Nichols–I know he’s not eligible, but he should be in the C.O.G. Ding, ding, ding, rule change please. Thanks.

Dr. Doom
Guest

I think we need a ruling from Doug as to whether this ballot counts, given that one of the five slots is given to an ineligible player.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Maybe. But we did allow redemption ballots with Satchel Paige’s name on them, even though he was ineligible. I think Bruce gave us an option to count only four names by putting those in one sentence and Nichols in another, specifying awareness of his ineligibility. So I wouldn’t invalidate the ballot, but either count it as a ballot with less than the maximum, like nsb’s (which, unlike regular CoG invalid ballots, in acceptable here), or consider the vote for Nichols as comparable to votes for Paige in the past.

Dr. Doom
Guest
Yeah, I suppose you’re right about counting the partial ballot. I actually didn’t include nsb’s comment above as an actual vote; it wasn’t really clear to me, because he said he was “going to cite four players who I think are as deserving of consideration as those currently on the two ballots.” I personally did not understand that “cite” meant that he was actually voting. I suppose, taking into account the first sentence of the comment, that you could infer that this was a vote, but I really thought he was just mentioning (citing, one could say) some players that… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
I fully support your view, Doom. I don’t think we should vote to put Nichols on the ballot, and that it would open a lot of other doors if we did. However, I would support a rules change that allowed full recognition of value contributed in MLB over the years 1893-1900 (perhaps a change to 20+ WAR after 1892, with pre-1893 play not recognized). I know you don’t support that — a separate argument (I think most HHS voters would currently support your view, but I’m happy to have Bruce as company). My point is that if we did make… Read more »
Doug
Guest
I’ll count is a 4 valid votes, and lobbying for a rule change. I think a rule change to go back to 1893 could be good, except that it would take us further away from the original concept of mirroring BBWAA eligibility (which itself was not defined precisely with respect to 19th century players, but has been broadly interpreted as Cy Young and later). But since Cy debuted in 1890, perhaps we could extend back to 1893 for next year, and possibly work in an early birth year round if next year there are again a spate of new inductees.… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Doug, Naturally, I’d be delighted with such a rule change. It would be a change of significant enough magnitude that I’d welcome an HHS string sometime this spring devoted just to this issue. It’s clear there are different views about this sort of change. We could argue the pros and cons, and think through the details for a proposed rule change. Since the CoG is really the strong suit of HHS now, with many of us invested in its integrity, it seems to me it would be good to treat this as a formal voting matter.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
With his vote, Bruce Gilbert has introduced three new names into this string: Kid Nichols, Vada Pinson, and Willie Davis. Here are some stats for each. pWAR (Tot bWAR)…Peak5..Top5…WAR/162IP…..ERA+…Career length 116.6 (116.1)…………51.9….56.5……..3.7……………..140……….1.6………..Kid Nichols WAR(fWAR)…………Pk5….Top5….WAR/500PA….OPS+…Career length 54.3 (47.3)……………30.7….31.4……….2.6………….111………1.4…….Vada Pinson 60.7 (53.7)……………24.6….29.8……….3.0………….106………1.3…….Willie Davis Kid Nichols pitched from 1890 to 1901, going 330-183, and then again in 1904-6 going 32-25. The gap in 1902-3 was due to his becoming co-owner/manager/ace pitcher of the Minor League team Kansas City Blue Stockings in the Western League. He was 47-19 as a pitcher there, but that diversion cost him CoG eligibility: his post-1900 WAR total was… Read more »
Bruce Gilbert
Guest
Bob, thanks for the summaries on Nichols, Davis and Pinson. I was well aware of Nichols being ineligible under the current rules. I mentioned him in the hope that we can alter the rules a bit. I believe he is one of the 10-12 best starters of all time. It seems strange that we place so much reliance on post-1900 stats. The NL was stronger from 1892 thru 1900 than it was after 1900, due to the increased competition for players with the AL. After the 1890 season the Players League folded, and then after 1891 the AA folded, leaving… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
There’s a rationale for the rule, Bruce. birtelcom, who invented this project, wanted us to try to do what the BBWAA HoF voters did, but to do it better. Since, by and large, the BBWAA voted as if they were not supposed to consider 19th century players who didn’t have strong 20th century components, he devised a rule to replicate that behavior, even though there was no explicit rule to that effect governing the HoF vote (witness the election of Willie Keeler). I agree with birtelcom up to a point, but I think the dividing line should not be 1901,… Read more »
Bruce Gilbert
Guest

Bob, I think the COG is better than the HOF, but that’s no reason to exclude the greats from the 1890’s. Bill James ranked Nichols as the ninth greatest pitcher in MLB history in his Historical Baseball Abstract back in 2001. Also, he had Amos Rusie (1889-1901) ranked 28th. Interestingly, he had Cy Young fifth! Birtelcom had a neat idea, but that’s no reason to prevent minor tweaking of the rules to make it better. Sincerely, Bruce

Paul E
Guest
Bob (epm): No kidding, I believe Pinson may have had a “birth” certificate or a Reds scout who pushed for a younger Pinson at a tryout. I believe he’s actually two years older – per Bill James in one of his abstracts? Supposedly, the scout saw his talent but knew he was possibly up against a morass of BS from the Reds’ front office and made him two years younger to get him offered and signed? Has anyone ever heard that story….got home a little too late to check last night and, unfortunately, at work right now w/o access to… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Nice call, Paul. James makes the claim in his “Historical Abstract”; I don’t think I ever really registered it. Pinson’s SABR bio, which references James’ book, does not repeat the claim.

Paul E
Guest

Bob epm,
In an October 2018 article re the 25 biggest rookie disappointments of all time on his website, James responds to a reader’s suggestion about Pinson’s age and says, basically, that it was assumed that he was older since he peaked at 23.
Biggest disappointment of all time?
Per James, Tony Conigliaro followed by “the most talented player ever”, Dick Allen

no statistician but
Guest
Just a few comments on some of the players mentioned in this string: Lou Brock: not as good as he was believed to be early on, but still a better player than his WAR shows him to be, a force to be reckoned with, feared, a disrupter of pitchers, averaging 100 runs per 162-game season in a low scoring era. Fred Clarke: overshadowed by Honus Wagner on the early Pirate Dynasty. Dennis Eckersley: Not a hybrid—part starter, part closer—but a pitcher who underwent a role-change operation, surgeon La Russa wielding the knife. At age 32 he was regarded as over-the-hill,… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

nsb, good point about Brock, who got MVP votes in 11 different seasons, I think WAR shortchanges him. Some of the drop off from early in his career was related to his apparent loss of power. He only had 34 HRS his last nine seasons, after showing reasonable gap power before then (including 115 HRs) as he gradually migrated from about 60XBH per season down to about 40.

Dr. Doom
Guest
Another point about Joe McGinnity: I know a lot of people around here aren’t that interested in Fangraphs WAR. But I will say this: Joe McGinnity may be the player evaluated MOST differently by the two systems. While we’ve got someone with a large gap on the Secondary Ballot (Ted Lyons, 12.7 more bWAR than fWAR), and we have someone with a disparity nearly as large on the Main Ballot (Luis Tiant, 11.2 more bWAR than fWAR), I thought we’d found the big one in Don Sutton at 16.7 more fWAR than bWAR. But that was before I’d seen Iron… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Well, you could look at Baseball Gauge’s gWAR too. McGinnity is at 60.5 gWAR in pitching. I’m not voting with McGinnity, but I don’t agree with the argument you’re offering, Doom. As usual, when arguing with you over these sorts of statistical matters I always feel as though I’m fighting above my class, but I’ll try anyway. fWAR for pitchers assumes that our best option is to exclude what is usually the greater part of a pitcher’s game, BiP, and rely on TTO because with TTO we can confidently assign credit and with BiP, because of the fielder’s share, we… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
So, to point 1., pitcher credit. You mention that some credit goes to the batter; this is true. But that’s not how we look at ANY other statistic. Are you suggesting that we haven’t properly been giving pitchers credit for Ruth’s or Bonds’ home runs? The reason we give the pitcher “all” the credit is that we give 100% of credit twice: once to the offensive player, once to the defensive player. That’s how we separate all events on the baseball field. Regarding catcher credit, there is an argument to be made, but you’re making a more complicated argument than… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
I agree with you on #1. My point was that TTO results are entirely composed of undivided credit, whereas bWAR buffers that margin of error by adding a very large quantity of divided credit plays. On #2, you are pointing to the deficiencies of B-R’s BiP formulas, and that is fine; I agree. My point is that it is a far greater deficiency not even to acknowledge the existence of most plays — it is an example of making perfection the enemy of the good. I continue to believe you can’t mix bWAR and fWAR because they are measuring different… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
bob, I think you have some misconceptions about what people think re: TTO vs. BiP. Nobody thinks the pitcher has 100% control over TTO plays. That would be ridiculous. But the fielders (with the possible exception of the catcher) have 0% control over TTO. It’s all the pitcher and the batter. And the batter does get credit — essentially the batter gets positive credit and the pitcher negative credit for every walk or hit, and vice versa for every out. the point is that it’s been shown that better results in TTO is a clearly repeatable skill for pitchers. Pitchers… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Michael, I understand that everyone realizes, if they think about it, that the TTO assignation of full credit is not realistic. I don’t believe most people think about it, and instead assume that TTO reflects individual skill performance, rather than the product of skill performances by hitter and pitcher in undetermined proportions. Reliance on FIP assumes that outcomes are accurate indicators of inputs, and that is not the case. I also know about the FIP correlation with subsequent year ERA levels. I’ve never seen data on it but I assume it must be so. FIP is likely a better measure… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

I forgot two other points I meant to include: Given the very low number of HR in McGinnity’s era, I am not at all sure that FIP applies in the same way it does in baseball after 1920. Moreover, a pretty substantial percentage of HR in that era were BiP.

Gary Bateman
Guest

Minoso, B Williams, Clarke

Doug
Guest

Gary, I’m going to assume you mean Billy Williams, but do let me know if your choice is Bernie.

Hub Kid
Guest

Reggie Smith, Fred Clarke, Hal Newhouser, Monte Irvin, Stan Coveleski

I’m not really sure why I went with Coveleski over say, Vic Wills or David Cone, and it’s going to be even harder to chose a pitcher on the main ballot if any pitchers make it, especially with Lyons back.

Dave Humbert
Guest

Is the link to 2019 Redemption Round career stats working ok? I can see position players but not pitchers. When I go back to the 2018 redemption round post I can see both….

Dave Humbert
Guest
Not a vote yet, but 3 I’m in favor of fresh looks: Coveleski – 65 WAR with good peak, rate stats and 127 ERA+. Converted from deadball to liveball eras and fared very well (the spitter certainly helped). Lost 3 years to the minors ages 24-26 after Connie Mack had called him up at 23, then sent him down for seasoning (where he became the NW leagues top pitcher) before he came up to stay at 27. Shorter career but very interesting. Eckersley – 62 WAR half career as starter, half as reliever. Became the closer as we know it… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
I thought I’d post the tally I have so far. This isn’t just an update: I thought it might help focus discussion. We are electing the top three vote-getters, with ties potentially adding to that number. If you see an error, please let me know. Early voting for the 2019 Redemption Round 11 ballots cast (total of 52 votes) 5 – Stan Coveleski, Don Drysdale, Dennis Eckersley, Monte Irvin, Minnie Minoso 4 – Reggie Smith 3 – Fred Clarke, Hal Newhouser, Gary Sheffield 2 – Jim Bunning, Jim Edmonds, Billy Williams 1 – Buddy Bell, Willie Davis, Larry Doby, Ralph… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

I haven’t voted in the Redemption rounds in the past, so I’m likely going to skip this one. There are several worthy-of-discussion candidates, but no one jumps out at me as an example of an incredible injustice is being done.

mosc
Guest

I’d vote for Nichols if he were eligible.

Michael Sullivan
Guest
Nichols is really just an eligibility question. His stats are overwhelming if you count them. If you’re taking primarily 19th century players, or drawing the 50%games/20WAR line in the 1890s instead of 1900/1901, then he’s clearly a no-doubter. But if you change that line, there’s 4-5 other guys we haven’t discussed at all that would be fairly solid candidates. And if we’re not at least a bit skeptical about late 19th century ball, I don’t know why Dahlen and Wallace are still hanging around instead of being already in a long time ago. The difference between me and some others,… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

Nichols won about 45-50 games in the Western League as a player manager those years?

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Nichols was 47-19 with a 2.16 ERA over his two years as a Western League player-manager.

no statistician but
Guest
A little diversion: No baseball players of note were born on Valentine’s day, if Baseball Ref is correct, but, on a news site, I spotted this happy group, Woody Hayes, Jimmy Hoffa, and Mel Allen, all born, it seems, on February 14, 1913. A trio noted for loving kindness to enemies (Hayes), sacrificial martyrdom (Hoffa), and gentleness of voice (Allen), as was the Saint. Astrologically, the stars that aligned them under the sign of Aquarius were probably a little drunk that day. Their births on February 14th, however, suggests a hitherto undiscovered connection: that they all had uncontrollably passionate sexual… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

Wayne Woodrow Hayes: “A society without heroes won’t be a society much longer.”

Paul E
Guest
VOTE: 1) Minoso – gotta believe there’s another 2 years of his career missing due to segregation 2) Coveleski – traded in a career cracking coal for baseball….gotta love that 3) Smith – best switch hitter in both leagues over the course of his career 4) Sheffield – I’ll take a team of all the guys with crappy dWAR and win a pennant by 20 games. Seeing him as a 23 year old with the Padres, it looked like he was swinging a wiffle ball bat 5) Williams – if his career was played in the environment of the 1993… Read more »
Bruce Gilbert
Guest

I totally agree with you about Minoso, that’s why I voted for him a couple days ago. A terrific all -around player. I believe he is more deserving of HOF/COG than Luis Tiant.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
I like Minoso too, and he was a player I loved as a kid. In my initial stats survey I also noted that he was affected by segregation. However, I’d like to pose a few challenges because I don’t think we’ve had strong arguments offered for Minoso (although he’s obviously a popular choice: by my count, he’s currently the leading candidate). Paul suggests there are two years missing from Minoso’s career, but I suspect one is the better estimate. Minoso was playing in Cuba when the Negro Leagues scouted and signed him in 1946 for his age 20 season. His… Read more »
Bruce Gilbert
Guest
Bob, how about Minoso’s four fourth place finishes in MVP balloting? Doby had a second and an eighth. Minoso was not a great base stealer, but Doby was a virtual non-factor on the base paths. Doby became a regular at 24, Minoso not until 25. Most likely this is due to a language/cultural barrier from growing up in Cuba, whereas Doby was born in, and grew up in America. I believe that if Minoso grows up in America, with his athleticism, he’s a likely starter at 22, and almost certainly a starter at 23. Bruce
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Oh, I agree with you about the cultural stuff, Bruce; Minoso had added problems because he was Cuban. But I also think you don’t get Minoso if he grows up in America: he brought a different style of play here (and a different attitude) and it worked well for him. Don’t forget that Doby had the burden of breaking the color barrier in the AL and in Cleveland, a team and place that welcomed him more coldly than Brooklyn welcomed Robinson. (And Doby was an introvert; so perhaps it was not the ideal role for him to play.) I don’t… Read more »
Bruce Gilbert
Guest
Bob, To me it seems clear that Minoso lost at least one more year of being a starter, than Doby lost. I don’ know if you have respect or not for Bill James’s various HOF indicators, but if you do, here they are: Black Ink, a narrow edge for Doby, 18 to 15; Gray Ink, a whopping advantage for Minoso, 189 to 124!! HOF Monitor, Minoso wins 87 to 72, HOF Standards is also Minoso 35 to 30. JAWS also goes to Minoso, narrowly, 45.2 to 44.6. I honestly believe Minoso is more deserving of being a COG than is… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Bruce, I don’t want to argue with the bases of your choices; I’m not really trying to persuade you or Paul — Minoso’s a perfectly reasonable candidate for redemption. I’m hoping advocates will come up with new arguments that will change the conversation. I use the black/gray, Monitor, JAWS, etc. as ways to get an initial snapshot, but, no, those aren’t things I place much stock in. The stats I post here are the ones I’ve come to prefer for getting a rounded profile (I really like that phrase). I study B-R stat pages and the SABR bios — that’s… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

Bob epm,
FWIW, Doby has a higher BB rate and, therefore, when you calculate RC/27 divided by AIR on baseball reference, you get fairly significant difference in production. Not a bad idea to create more runs while making fewer outs:
7.24 RC/27 / AIR in ~6,300 PAs for DOBY
6.23 RC/27 / AIR in ~7,700 PA’s for Minoso

no statistician but
Guest
In Response to Bob, re Minoso: First off, I have to take issue with your comments on Minnie’s poor base-stealing percentage (By the way, it’s 61.9, so let’s call it 62 instead of 61). His percentage looks mediocre from the perspective of more recent statistical analysis, but the fact is, in his own era his rates year by year were generally well above the norm. He finished in the top ten in the AL ten times, in fact every year from 1951 to 1960. His percentages don’t cut it from our view, but the negative impact of being caught in… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest

OOPS, just took another look at my calculator and it read 61.19, not 61.9, so—I withdraw my incorrect correction aqbove with apologies, not to mention embarrassment.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
No worries about the figure, nsb. I make so many mistakes, and your disclaimer is already in your handle. I think some of your arguments are very good and none seem wrong to me. (Frankly, I thought Minnie was a far better player than Doby, but as an aware kid-fan I only caught the last two or three years of Doby’s career; before that I didn’t really have any judgment.) My goal in challenging Minnie was that he seemed to be walking away with votes without any real arguments being established for him. I narrowed the comparison to Doby, and… Read more »
Bruce Gilbert
Guest

Thanks, Bob. I always thought Minnie was a heckuva player growing up. When Doby was put in the HOF my thought was ” All right, Minnie will be next in a couple more years. But it didn’t happen. I wondered if maybe it was because of Castro and the Cold War. To this day I still think he deserves to be in the HOF. Maybe some day. I enjoy reading your comments. Bruce

Michael Sullivan
Guest

Both of those guys so clearly deserve to be in the hall, whether we agree COG or not. Given the disparity in size between COG and HOF (132 vs. 232), if you’re even within a whisper of serious discussion for the COG, you should have been a relatively easy HOFer. Maybe someday.

Michael Sullivan
Guest
Eh, I think 61-62% steal rate speaks for itself. Whether or not the league average steal rate was much worse, going for a stolen base that you make only ~60% of the time is at best a breakeven play. Miñoso still ends up with positive rBase, so it’s not like he’s getting dinged, but I think it’s reasonable that he doesn’t get special credit for stolen bases, when on average he didn’t really add any value with steals. I suppose it’s plausible that if the strategy of base-stealing were better understood in 1948 he could have made fewer attempts at… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
So in regards to whether Miñoso might deserve two or more seasons of credit vs. one, I don’t think the argument is that 1947 was a realistic possibility for a callup in the absence of segregation, but that not only might he have gotten a callup in 1948, he might have been given a little bit more leeway than 20 PAs, or taken less than two years to get another trial, given that he was already performing quite well in 1948 in the Negro Leagues, and the standard of play there is understood today to have been above AAA on… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
I don’t want to argue further about Minoso’s CoGworthiness, Michael: I think he’s a reasonable vote for redemption and good arguments have now been made for him. Instead I just want to get picky about your arguments about the timing of his elevation to the Majors. My main thought is that while I think we need to recognize when careers are impeded by institutionalized racial prejudice, I think we need to guard against reading prejudice into what seem reasonable personnel decisions. This is argument just for the sake of the interest of the issue. Minoso’s move towards MLB begins when… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
I think you’re looking at it too closely. I don’t disagree that the specific decisions made by the Indians in 49-50 don’t have reasonable explanations with nothing to do with racism, given that Cleveland was a contender. But It’s a bit unusual for a guy who is red hot at AAA/AAA+ not to get a crack in the majors for more than 20 PAs, and if a team really doesn’t need him, it wouldn’t be so unusual that they trade him to someone who does for a piece that can help, as they did in 51. It’s plausible that nobody… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Michael, Your point about the shortage of trading opportunities for black players in 1949 is very well thought. But I think Minoso’s market value in ’49 would have been low — I think his slash line in AAA is actually not red hot for an outfielder in the Minors and I don’t think it would be unusual for a club to keep any player with that profile for an extra year of seasoning. His slash line in 1950 is what creates his value.

Michael Sullivan
Guest

I was thinking of the fact that he hit quite well in the Negro Leagues in 1948. If he’d done that in AAA in 1948, I think he would have been considered a much stronger prospect despite a more average 1949. But we know today that the Negro Leagues were probably *stronger* than AAA in 1948, and at least roughly equivalent, even though they seem to have been assumed weaker at the time. Else he probably would have gone straight to AA or PCL when they picked him up.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

It’s an argument, Michael, but, as I noted, the brief 11-game stopover in the Minors in ’48, although at A-level, did not slow Minoso’s promotion. I think we’ve probably both gotten near the end of our respective strings on this.

Richard Chester
Guest

My vote:

Don Mattingly
Kirby Puckett
Ralph Kiner
Billy Williams
Minnie Minoso

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
This evening is the deadline for changing votes. Here’s the vote tally I have thus far (only 13 ballots in): 7 – Minnie Minoso 6 – Stan Coveleski 5 – Don Drysdale, Dennis Eckersley, Monte Irvin, Reggie Smith 4 – Gary Sheffield, Billy Williams 3 – Fred Clarke, Hal Newhouser, 2 – Jim Bunning, Jim Edmonds, Ralph Kiner, Don Mattingly 1 – Buddy Bell, Willie Davis, Larry Doby, Thurman Munson, Kid Nichols, Kirby Puckett, Vada Pinson Doug has said the top three — with ties — will move onto the Secondary Ballot, so if the final results looked like this,… Read more »
Dave Humbert
Guest
Vote: Palmeiro, Clarke, Coveleski, Eckersley, McGinnity Most I have provided rationales elsewhere in this thread. Palmeiro deserves better than a shutout. Did he do steroids? Yes. Do I know how much to discount? No, but no one does. Got caught in 2005 after putting up 20 yrs of COG level statistics. The policy of testing had no real teeth before 2003. Manny got caught twice before retiring in 2011, yet he recently came onto the ballot due to birthyear, has nearly been elected a few times, and has some stable support (I know they are not identical players, but not… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Palmiero has been panned due to being a Viagra pitchman. I’ve got to believe that.
We like our PED users hiding in the shadows, not making millions to announce their boners on TV.

Paul E
Guest

In retrospect, Palmeiro probably needed the little blue pills due to reduced testosterone levels brought on by steroids….how did Congress miss that?

Josh Davis
Guest
VOTE I’ve really enjoyed reading all the posts advocating for certain guys….wish that I had more time to compose a better one. I thought about voting strategically, but decided after some thought to just go with the guys who I personally think are most deserving of more consideration although some have little to no support here as of now. Being newer to HHS, perhaps I’ve missed the discussion on some of these guys already; if so, my apologies: Name (bWAR – HOS Rating) Bill Terry (54.2 – 107) I think he’s the only eligible player to hit .400 who isn’t… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Willie Keeler and Jesse Burkett are other .400 hitters who qualify for the CoG, but have not been elected.

Josh Davis
Guest

Thanks, Doug. Guess I’ll have to read the eligibility requirements closer.

JEV
Guest

Sheffield, Clarke, Williams, Kiner, Coveleski

opal611
Guest

For the 2019 Redemption Round, I’m voting for:

-Rafael Palmeiro
-Buddy Bell
-Reggie Smith
-Billy Williams
-Dennis Eckersley

Thanks!

bells
Guest

Another week goes by where I can only catch up with discussion, rather than participate. I appreciate reading the thoughtful discourse here. Here’s my ballot:

Hal Newhouser
David Cone
Reggie Smith
Monte Irvin
Stan Coveleski

I do think that Cone merits more discussion than we have had on him in the past; maybe I’ll beat that drum next year. My last vote could have gone to Drysdale or Eckersley rather than Coveleski; these candidates are pretty close and have fairly distinct arguments, so I do find myself not digging in a trench for particular candidates, but appreciative of more discussion.

Michael Sullivan
Guest
Ok, I’m ready to vote: David Cone, Monte Irvin, Sal Bando, Bret Saberhagen, Keith Hernandez I’m very disappointed that David Cone hasn’t merited any real discussion or got more than one other last minute vote this round. I think he may be the best player outside both the COG that’s not already on a ballot, and he *is* the best player by hall rating that isn’t on a ballot. But at least two votes will get him on whatever list is posted for the next redemption round. I’m sorry I didn’t have the time to put together a full on… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Monday has arrived and it looks to me as though Michael’s vote did just what he intended. The results I have show that five players have been redeemed and will move onto the Secondary Ballot: Coveleski, Eckersley, Irvin, Miñoso, and Smith.

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