Circle of Greats 1979 Balloting Part 2

This post is for voting and discussion in the 139th round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG).  This is the second of three rounds of balloting adding to the list of candidates eligible to receive your votes those players born in 1979. Rules and lists are after the jump.

The new group of 1979-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 group of 1979-born candidates, comprising those with G-Q surnames, joins the eligible holdovers from previous rounds to comprise the full list of players eligible to appear on your ballots.

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 the main ballot election, voters must select three and only three eligible players, with the one player appearing on the most ballots cast in the round inducted into the Circle of Greats. For the secondary ballot election, voters may select up to three eligible players, with the one player appearing on the most ballots cast 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 11th, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:59 PM EST Friday, February 9th.

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 1979 Part 2 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 in the spreadsheet is a column for each of the holdover candidates; additional player columns from the new born-in-1979 group will be added to the spreadsheet as votes are cast for them.

Choose your three players, for both the main and secondary ballots, 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 1979 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
Dick Allen 9 rounds Bobby Abreu 5 rounds
Carlos Beltran 7 rounds Ken Boyer 5 rounds
Vladimir Guerrero 5 rounds Billy Williams 5 rounds
David Ortiz 3 rounds Don Drysdale 3 rounds
Luis Tiant 3 rounds Richie Ashburn 2 rounds
Gary Sheffield 2 rounds Stan Coveleski 2 rounds
Ted Simmons 2 rounds Monte Irvin 2 rounds
Chase Utley 2 rounds Reggie Smith 2 rounds
Bobby Wallace 2 rounds Andre Dawson this round ONLY
Todd Helton this round ONLY Andruw Jones this round ONLY
Ted Lyons this round ONLY Minnie Minoso this round ONLY
Willie Randolph this round ONLY Graig Nettles this round ONLY
Scott Rolen this round ONLY Rick Reuschel this round ONLY
    Don Sutton this round ONLY

Everyday Players (born in 1979, G-Q surname, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Ryan Howard
Gerald Laird
Adam LaRoche
Corey Patterson
Humberto Quintero
Bill Hall
Koyie Hill
Dan Johnson

Pitchers (born in 1979, G-Q surname, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Jon Garland
Jeremy Guthrie
Brandon Lyon
Colby Lewis

As is our custom, here are quiz questions for each of the new players on the ballot.
1. Gerald Laird scored more than 50% of the time he reached base (H+BB+HBP+ROE) in 2006, one of six such 250+ PA seasons by a catcher in the live ball era. Which of those players did so in a qualified season? (Ivan Rodriguez, 1999)
2. Ryan Howard‘s 1477 games at 1st base is a Phillie franchise record. Whose record did Howard break? (Fred Luderus)
3. Corey Patterson swiped 32 bags and slugged 63 XBH for the 2004 Cubs. Which player posted the most such 30/60 seasons for the Cubs? (Ryne Sandberg, 1984-85)
4. Humberto Quintero‘s two seasons (2010-11) with dWAR over 1, in fewer than 90 games and 300 PA, are the most by an Astro catcher. Who was the first Houston catcher to record such a season? (Alan Ashby, 1981)
5. Adam LaRoche played over 300 games at 1st base for the Braves, Pirates and Nationals, recording 150+ RBI for each franchise. Which other two players did the same for two of those franchises? (Elbie Fletcher, Al Oliver)
6. Bill Hall, in his lone qualified season at SS, posted 5.8 WAR in 2006, second only to Robin Yount among Brewer shortstops. Which player recorded the only higher WAR score in a lone qualified season at shortstop? (Bobby Grich, 1972)
7. Koyie Hill’s 46 OPS+ for the Cubs (and for his career) is the lowest mark among players with 200+ games caught for the Northsiders. Which player recorded the lowest OPS+ in 500+ games caught for the Cubs? (Malachi Kittridge, 53 OPS+)
8. Dan Johnson posted 7 consecutive seasons (2008-15) of 40 or fewer games, playing first base in all of them. Which player has the only longer streak of such seasons?
9. Jeremy Guthrie and Tim Hudson were the game 7 starters in the 2014 World Series. Who were the pitchers the only other time both World Series game 7 starters were aged 35 or older? (Max Scherzer/Zack Greinke, 2019)
10. Jon Garland was a CG winner in his first post-season game, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits. Who is the last pitcher to allow more than 2 runs in a CG win in his post-season debut?
11. Brandon Lyon is the only pitcher to record 100+ IP for the Blue Jays, D-Backs and Astros. Among relief pitchers with 100+ IP for two of those franchises, who, like Lyon, posted a 70+ IP season with 150 ERA+ for Detroit? (Jose Valverde)
12. Colby Lewis‘s 7.30 ERA in 2003 is the worst (by more than half a run) of any rookie campaign with 25+ games started. Lewis reduced his BB/9 from 5.6 over his first three seasons to 2.3 for the rest of his career, a 3.3 improvement that is the largest among starting pitchers with 4.5+ BB/9 in 150+ IP over their first three seasons, and with 850+ IP over the rest of their careers. Among HoFers in that group, who recorded the largest such improvement? (Bob Feller)

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

67 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Richard Chester
Richard Chester
27 days ago

Question 9: I came up with Zack Greinke and Max Scherzer in 2014. I used their ages as of June 30, 2014.

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
27 days ago

Make that 2019, not 2014.

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
27 days ago

Question 2: Fred Luderus with 1298 games.

Paul E
Paul E
26 days ago
Reply to  Doug

In 1915, the Phillies won Game 1 behind Pete Alexander and proceeded to lose four straight – all by a single run. Not to be outdone, the 1950 Phillies lost the first three games of the 1950 WS by a single run. So, I have to believe that seven in a row has to be a record for one run losses in the post-season. Perhaps some team during the dead ball era lost seven consecutive regular season games by a single run?

Doug
Doug
26 days ago
Reply to  Paul E

Seven one-run losses is indeed a post-season record streak.

It’s also the regular season record, by the Washington Senators from May 21st to 29th, 1919, losing to the Browns, White Sox and Yankees. They “broke” the streak with a 4-2 extra-inning loss at home to New York.

Paul E
Paul E
26 days ago
Reply to  Doug

Doug,
Thanks for the research

Voomo
Voomo
26 days ago

Adam LaRoche:

250 HRs without an All-Star appearance.

Traveled on USO tours.

Retired and left $13,000,000 on the table after the White Sox asked him to dial back his 14-year old son’s visits to the clubhouse.

Last edited 26 days ago by Voomo
Voomo
Voomo
26 days ago

Vote, Secondary

Three guys who have fallen to the bubble. I do not think they should be eliminated from the conversation:

Andruw Jones
Minnie Minoso
Don Sutton

Voomo
Voomo
26 days ago

I see Willie Randolph as under-rated. Either I have insight or bias on this matter, because I watched him play. Baseball is about creating runs and preventing runs. As a 2B, he is 3rd all time in total zone runs (since 1953), behind only Frank White and Mazeroski. 3rd All-Time in double plays, which speaks to both excellence and longevity. On the bases he was always a positive, and in Randolph I think his league-average OPS+ is misleading, because I always saw him playing situational baseball. Rickey gets on, steals 2nd… Randolph would just try to hit the ball to… Read more »

Doug
Doug
26 days ago
Reply to  Voomo

Definitely a winner. Everyday second baseman on 5 pennant-winning teams, but generally overshadowed by his teammates.

Kind of right on the bubble Hall-wise in that 65-70 WAR zone. Only three eligible players (Grich, Whitaker, Dahlen) without “baggage” above 70 WAR and not in the Hall (though all are in the COG).

In the 65-70 zone with Randolph are Bell, Evans, Nettles and Lofton (and Manny with baggage) still on the outside, though Evans, Lofton and Manny are in the COG.

Paul E
Paul E
26 days ago
Reply to  Voomo

Voomo,
A lot like Grich and Whitaker-except he didn’t drive the ball. But, if you’re playing everyday for a pennant winner at age 21, you’re doing a lot of things right……totally underappreciated.

Voomo
Voomo
26 days ago

Vote:

Carlos Beltran
Ted Lyons
Willie Randolph

Voomo
Voomo
26 days ago
Reply to  Voomo

After going 14-6 with 20 complete games in 20 starts as a 41-year-old in 1942, Lyons joined the Marines. He had 4.8 WAR that year.

Voomo
Voomo
26 days ago
Reply to  Voomo

In JAWS, Carlos Beltran is 9th among CF, a hair behind Duke Snider.

koma
koma
26 days ago

Main Ballot
Carlos Beltran
Vladimir Guerrero
David Ortiz

Secondary Ballot
Minnie Minoso

Jeff Harris
Jeff Harris
26 days ago

Main: Allen, Sheffield, Beltran
Secondary: Williams

Scary Tuna
Scary Tuna
26 days ago

Is #12 Bob Feller?

Doug
Doug
25 days ago
Reply to  Scary Tuna

Indeed it is. Well done.

This is how all HoF pitchers ranked in BB/9 for their first three seasons (min. 150 IP).

Last edited 25 days ago by Doug
Scary Tuna
Scary Tuna
25 days ago
Reply to  Doug

As I anticipated, Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux had significant drops from the early stages of their careers. When I found Feller next, I figured his 2.9 BB/9 decrease would be tough to beat, so I just guessed. Surprisingly, though, Hal Newhouser was right on his heels with a 2.8 BB/9 improvement.

Scary Tuna
Scary Tuna
25 days ago

Is #6 Fernando Tatis, Jr.?

Doug
Doug
25 days ago
Reply to  Scary Tuna

Not Tatis, Jr. because, technically, he has two qualified seasons at shortstop, in 2020 and 2021.

Scary Tuna
Scary Tuna
24 days ago
Reply to  Doug

Ah, yes. I still forget too often to account for the short 2020 season.

Scary Tuna
Scary Tuna
24 days ago
Reply to  Doug

How about Gunnar Henderson? He fits the criteria at the moment.

Scary Tuna
Scary Tuna
24 days ago
Reply to  Scary Tuna

Hmm: 83 games at shortstop, 84 at third base. He had enough plate appearances for a qualifying season, but how does the position get classified? Is it simply the position at which most games are played? Or does he qualify at both SS and 3B by playing each position in at least half his team’s games?

KDS
KDS
22 days ago
Reply to  Doug

Grich, 1972 Orioles.

Scary Tuna
Scary Tuna
22 days ago
Reply to  KDS

Nice find, KDS!

Bob Eno
Bob Eno
25 days ago

Main ballot, my choices are again the WAR leaders: Wallace (76.4 WAR) Lyons (70.6 WAR) Rolen (70.1 WAR, tied with Beltran) There are lots of reasons not to make WAR the sole criterion in voting. But I’m not just being lazy. I’m concerned that Wallace and Lyons are being overlooked because of their era of play. I’m going to repeat the case for Bobby Wallace, a little earlier in the voting than I did last round. I think he has an exceptionally strong case. Wallace began as a well-above average pitcher (ERA+ 125), became the premier defensive shortstop of his… Read more »

Doug
Doug
25 days ago
Reply to  Bob Eno

Nice pitch for Wallace.

You can add consistency to his attributes, surpassing 4 WAR in 11 of 12 seasons from 1897 to 1908. He’s also one of only 9 shortstops since 1901 with a season leading his league in WAR and dWAR. And, he’s one of 12 players (any position) since 1893 with 500+ XBH and fewer than 50 HR.

Last edited 25 days ago by Doug
Paul E
Paul E
25 days ago
Reply to  Doug

Apparently, John Valentin could/should have been MVP in 1995 over Vaughn and even Belle?

Voomo
Voomo
22 days ago
Reply to  Bob Eno

Bob, well thought out and well written argument.

Problem with Wallace is that I simply don’t understand/trust the statistics.

Can anyone explain how 3.4 dwar is achieved in a season with 66 errors?

As I understand it, it is an extraction of aggregate range factor. Meaning that he simply got to more balls than everyone else.

I just have a hard time visualizing how, with the limited information we have from that era, we can get him, or anyone, to 3.4 dwar.

Voomo
Voomo
20 days ago
Reply to  Doug

Sure, that all makes sense, given the data we have. There’s just so much data we don’t have, compared to what we have now. The browns’ pitchers, Powell, Harper, and Sudhoff, did they induce significantly higher proportion of ground balls then other hurlers in the league? That would be a key detail to determine to what extent Wallace’s touches were a product of his skill. The case for his candidacy is to a large extent defense, and the war numbers that describe his defense. But WAR is a complex metric, a modern metric, that we have elected to trust because… Read more »

Voomo
Voomo
20 days ago
Reply to  Voomo

To put his WAR components into context:

6.0 as a Pitcher over three seasons.
_______________

oWar

56.8

which is 117th all-time.

Between David Ortiz and Andrew McCutchen
________________

dWar

28.7

which is 10th all-time

between Bill Dahlen and Omar Visquel

Voomo
Voomo
25 days ago

Only 2B in the last 75 years to have 10 seasons of 4+ WAR:

Joe Morgan
Lou Whitaker
Willie Randolph

Voomo
Voomo
25 days ago
Reply to  Voomo

https://stathead.com/tiny/ZDb2b?fbclid=IwAR2s6IFRewEMhM1Mh0VtZm9R3TAOKhOuxJVmKnl1mT5Zo2aIx5u5qtL96js

Let’s see if this Stathead link works. I got this stat from the b-r facebook feed.

Mark
Mark
24 days ago

Pirates fan here so special interest to Q #5…checking top-of-head guesses like Sid Bream and Josh Bell finds each falling *just* short in RBI, and GP for Bell. Galarraga didn’t play in Atlanta quite long enough, so I think I’ve got…

Al Oliver and Elbie Fletcher (most of his time was with the Boston Bees, before they even became the Braves there!).

Scary Tuna
Scary Tuna
24 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Mark, I had considered Bream, as well, and found him just shy of games at 1B (295) for the Braves. Hadn’t noticed he also fell short in RBI (141).

I believe you are right with Oliver and Fletcher. Oliver barely met the 1B games threshold with both franchises: 317 for the Pirates and 312 for the Expos (now Nationals).

Doug
Doug
22 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Oliver and Fletcher are correct.

Bob Eno
Bob Eno
21 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Mark’s post calls up a fun fact. When he notes that Fletcher player for the Boston Bees before they became the Boston Braves he’s right, but Fletcher also played for the Boston Braves before they became the Boston Bees. They were the Braves from 1913-35 (hence the 1914 Miracle Braves), the Bees from 1936-40, and the Braves thereafter (though not in Boston post-1952). Fletcher joined the team in 1934 and departed in 1939. 

Of course the team is really just the Beaneaters under a pseudonym. 

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
24 days ago

Question #3: Answer is Ryne Sandberg who did it twice, in 1984 and 1985. Six other Cubs, including Patterson, did it once.

Doug
Doug
22 days ago

Sandberg is the top Cub in 30 SB/60 XBH seasons.

The most such seasons by any player is 6, by Jimmy Rollins, Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonds.

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
24 days ago

For question #1 I’ll go with Ivan Rodriguez in 1999 with 116 R and 231 times on base with ROE.

Doug
Doug
22 days ago

Rodriguez is correct, just barely passing the 50% scoring threshold.

Scary Tuna
Scary Tuna
23 days ago

Question #11: Jose Valverde

Doug
Doug
22 days ago
Reply to  Scary Tuna

Valverde is correct.

Lyon’s lone season as a Tiger was mainly as a mop up man, with 27 games finished but only 3 saves. For his career, Lyon recorded four seasons with 20+ GF and fewer than 5 saves, one season shy of the record held by six pitchers, the first being Kent Tekulve.

Scary Tuna
Scary Tuna
23 days ago

Main: Wallace, Randolph, Lyons.
Secondary: Coveleski, Ashburn, Irvin.

opal611
opal611
22 days ago

For the 1979 – Part 2 election, I’m voting for:

-Vladimir Guerrero
-Todd Helton
-Willie Randolph

Other top candidates I considered highly (and/or will consider in future rounds):

-Beltran
-Rolen
-Utley
-Tiant
-Allen
-Wallace
-Lyons
-Sheffield

Thanks!

opal611
opal611
22 days ago

For the Secondary Ballot, I’m voting for:

-Don Sutton
-Andre Dawson
-Andruw Jones

Thanks!

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
21 days ago

Main ballot: Sheffield, Ortiz, Guerrero

Secondary: Williams, Minoso

Bob Eno
Bob Eno
20 days ago
Reply to  Doug

Tiant came onto the ballot in late 2013, I think, and lived on the bubble for years. Then in early 2017 his stock rose suddenly. He lost to Goose Goslin by a single vote in the 1972 Round 3 voting. He remained high among contenders for a couple of years, losing by one vote again in 2019 (to Dwight Evans, but Tiant was in a second-place group), and that’s the period when he piled up extra rounds, peaking at 9. Doug’s post is the most interesting and persuasive case I can recall seeing for Tiant. I used to vote for… Read more »

Scary Tuna
Scary Tuna
20 days ago
Reply to  Doug

Thanks for the update, Doug. Voomo’s secondary ballot votes are recorded, but his main ballot votes are missing on the spreadsheet.

Doug
Doug
20 days ago
Reply to  Scary Tuna

Thanks for spotting that omission. The corrected totals, as of EOD Saturday are:
3 – Guerrero, Beltran, Lyons, Randolph
2 – Ortiz, Sheffield, Wallace

Scary Tuna
Scary Tuna
20 days ago

Question #7: Malachi Kittridge.

Scary Tuna
Scary Tuna
20 days ago

For #4 I found Alan Ashby in 1981.