1901

The herd thinned out a bit from last year’s ballot. A lot of guys dropped off and only three new names to consider. Still, let’s take 4 days, just in case some of us want to re-evaluate their ballots. This election closes Thursday night.

3 Charley Bennett 10th
2 Pete Browning 9th
1 Oyster Burns
4 Fred Carroll
3 Bob Caruthers
2 Charley Cominsky
5 Abner Dalrymple
2 Jerr4y Denny
5 Fred Dunlap
4 Pud Galvin 6th
1 Jack Glasscock
4 George Gore 4th
8 Charley Jones
3 Tim Keefe 3rd
9 Bobby Mathews
2 Tony Mullane
4 Tip O’Neill
15 Lip Pike
4 Hardy Richardson
1 Harry Staley
3 Harry Stovey 5th
8 Ezra Sutton
2 Monte Ward 7th
4 Mickey Welch
6 Ned Williamson 8th


Bob’s ballot:

I blew up my 1900 ballot and started over.

1. Keefe
2. Stovey
3. Glasscock
4. Browning
5. Gore
6. Williamson
7. Ward
8. Galvin
9. Mathews
10. Mullane
And 5 guys I hope somebody votes for: Caruthers, Jones, Richardson, Sutton and Welch


Terry’s ballot:

I didn’t know that you were going to call Bennett out, Bob, but coincidentally I just got done writing extensively about him on my ballot. I had quite a bit more, but I shortened it up a bunch for my ballot. I’m sure we’ll be hashing him out some in the coming years.

1. Harry Stovey
2. Tim Keefe
3. Charlie Bennett– The more I look, the more I like. Bennett was in the top 5 in games played behind the plate 10 times in 11 years, and his fielding stats are impressive any way you slice them. He led the league in fielding percentage 7 times and range factor 4 times despite low assist totals. In that day most catcher assists (generally 85-90%) were caught stealing. Bennett’s catcher throwing stats weren’t counted until late in his career. His CS percentages were around league average, and his stolen bases against were very low compared to the rest of the league.

Bennett, as I’ve said before, had an ops+ of 142 for his 8 year peak, and his career ops+ was 118. Ted Simmons had a 4 year stretch of 142, an 8 year stretch of 133, and a career ops+ of 117. A few others: Carlton Fisk (117, best stretch of 7 years 131) and Ivan Rodriguez (106, best 7 129). Yogi Berra (125, best 7 134); Johnny Bench (126, best 6 136); Roy Campanella (126, best 5 140); Bill Freehan (112, best 6 125); Jim Sundberg (89, best 5 106). Buck Ewing was better (129, best 8 147), and obviously guys like Bench, Berra and Campy were better as well, but it’s not a mismatch. Bennett was, in context, a very good hitter.

He led his team in slugging four years in a row, and he finished in the top 6 in OPS 4 times in 5 years. He faded as a hitter after a couple of years of catching overhand pitches without a glove, but before that he was one of the best hitters in the league. I don’t think he was the best catcher of the 19th century (Buck Ewing was), but if you ask me he was clearly the second best. Is that good enough for the GOR?

4. Monte Ward
5. Lip Pike– Last year on the ballot
6. Bobby Mathews
7. Tony Mullane
8. Jack Glasscock– Omar Vizquel of the 1890s?
9. Pete Browning– His career offensive WAR seems low compared to his other numbers…. His nephew Tod Browning is a fascinating character in his own right; directed “Dracula” in 1931, ran off to join the circus when he was a teenager
10. George Gore

Honorable mention:
Hardy Richardson
Mickey Welch
Pud Galvin
Bob Caruthers
Steve O’Neill
Fred Dunlap


Results:

With nine ballots, the results:

96 Tim Keefe
69 Monte Ward
*******************
55 Jack Glasscock
54 Harry Stovey
48 George Gore
33 Pete Browning
32 Pud Galvin
30 Ned Williamson
25 Charlie Bennett
25 Mickey Welch
19 Tip O’Neill
13 Bob Caruthers
13 Tony Mullane
13 Hardy Richardson
12 Lip Pike
7 Bobby Mathews
3 Fred Carroll
1 Oyster Burns
1 Ezra Sutton

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