1903

A number of new, significant players are added this year. Still, it should be a fairly easy ballot, so let’s go back to three days. This poll will close Wednesday night.

1 Cap Anson
5 Charlie Bennett 8th
4 Pete Browning 5th
1 Eddie Burke
3 Oyster Burns
6 Fred Carroll
5 Bob Caruthers
1 Roger Connor
4 Jerry Denny
1 Buck Ewing
2 Dave Foutz
6 Pud Galvin 6th
6 George Gore 4th
1 Bill Hutchison
1 Silver King
1 Denny Lyons
11 Bobby Mathews
2 Tommy McCarthy
1 Sadie McMahon
4 Tony Mullane
6 Tip O’Neill
1 Fred Pfeffer
6 Hardy Richardson 10th
5 Harry Stovey 3rd
10 Ezra Sutton
1 Adonis Terry
6 Mickey Welch 9th
1 Perry Werden
8 Ned Williamson 6th


Bob’s ballot:

Crowded ballot. I see 19 guys that deserve being on my ballot.

1. Anson
2. Ewing
3. Connor
4. Stovey
5. Browning
6. Gore
7. Williamson
8. Galvin
9. Mathews
10. Mullane

And the nine guys I hope somebody mentions, either voted for or mentioned as a write-in: Bennett, Caruthers, Denny, King, O’Neill, Pfeffer, Richardson, Sutton and Welch. Altho there are a few that I don’t think are necessarily HOFers, they deserve to stay on the ballot a little while so we can discuss them. I wouldn’t even be disappointed if McCarthy and Werden stayed on.


Terry’s ballot:

1. Cap Anson– I’ll leave the race issue to you guys, other than my two cents here:

We know very little about these guys other than their BBR records and Wikipedia pages, and what little information we can glean from books written by people in their own time, who might not have had the full story themselves. There was no internet, obviously, and only rudimentary phones. There were no cars, no planes; hell, no lights, no indoor plumbing, no TSN, no USA Today. There was no TV, and no radio.

We are used to getting sound bytes from just about everyone now, with the 24/7 news cycle, twitter, facebook, ESPN, etc. It would be a stretch to say that we have more than tiny fragments from all but a few select players in Anson’s day. It wouldn’t be a surprise to find out that most of them were racists. It would be a larger surprise to find out that they weren’t.

Anson’s racism wasn’t larger so much as Anson himself was larger, to the point where everything about him seemed outsized. He was one of the very few players from that time who was widely quoted, widely followed, and widely publicized. He was Lebron. He was Favre. Everything he did was reported; not because it was news, but because it was Anson. Anson welcomed the publicity, and he fed off of it. He wanted to be the face of the league, and he was. It was a racist league. Anson was its face, so Anson was the face of a racist league.

What to do about it? Well, he’s been dead for 90 years. Overt racism, though still breathing, is in a wheelchair and wheezing badly. The statute of limitations on just about everything but murder is what? Five years? It’s been well over a hundred years. It seems to me that it’s a little late to put him on trial, and a tiny bit revisionist to single him out 125 years after the fact.

He was the face of 19th century baseball, in my opinion. I don’t have a single whit of an issue with those who disagree with me, or who want to skip a year because he put a face to racism, but he goes to the top of my ballot. I just wanted to explain why.

2. Buck Ewing- Offensive numbers are legit on their face; he was just about done by the time they moved the mound back. Defensively he stacks up against Bennett fairly well.

3. Roger Connor– Led the league in all three triple crown categories, once each, in three different years. No brainer for the Hall, probably for the GOR, but this is the wrong year to show up on the ballot. He’ll get his next year.

4. Harry Stovey
5. Charlie Bennett
6. George Gore
7. Pete Browning
8. Bobby Mathews

9. Tony Mullane– To me, clearly the best GOR pitching candidate on the ballot after the old fart above. He was better than the others, and he was really famous too. What else is there?

10. Hardy Richardson

Honorable mention:
Bob Caruthers
Mickey Welch
Pud Galvin
Steve O’Neill
Fred Dunlap
Ned Williamson

Interesting characters, if not great players:

Denny Lyons- Somewhere between Al Rosen and Rico Petrocelli, closer to Rosen. 139 career ops+ and some years as a Gold Glove quality third baseman.

Fred Pfeffer– Terrific range numbers, but it looks like he got the Nap Lajoie treatment; taking all the easy plays around second base as the veteran player.

Adonis Terry– Was he the most average pitcher of the 19th century? 196-195, 103 era+.

Perry Werden- 17 year career as a minor leaguer (just over 5000 atbats) with a .330 BA and a .493 SLG. Bill named him as the best minor league player for one of the decades, can’t remember which one. Number one hitting comp is Bob Caruthers.

One of the candidates (forgot which one, I tossed him) led the league in wins three years in a row, and in the last year he led despite having a 36-36 record.

It’s going to get more interesting as we go along, as more and more of us start seeing names that we care about. Figuring out my ballot each “year” is one of the highlights of my week already. Glad to have you back, Bob.


Unsurprising results from 7 ballots.

92 Cap Anson
68 Buck Ewing
*************
65 Roger Connor
35 George Gore
34 Harry Stovey
20 Charley Bennett
19 Pete Browning
19 Pud Galvin
19 Ned Williamson
11 Hardy Richardson
10 Mickey Welch
8 Dave Foutz
7 Tip O’Neill
6 Bobby Mathews
5 Bob Caruthers
3 Fred Carroll
3 Tony Mullane
1 Denny Lyons
1 Fred Pfeffer
1 Ezra Sutton

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