1925

Lots of players dropped off from lack of support, so be aware. This election will end Thursday night.

1 Red Ames
1 Jack Barry
3 Chief Bender
5 Roger Bresnahan 8th
1 Larry Cheney
1 Hal Chase
11 Jack Chesbro
13 Lave Cross
3 Harry Davis
6 Mike Donlin
3 Johnny Evers 4th
2 Bud Fowler 10th
1 Chick Gandil
6 Frank Grant 9th
1 Chappie Johnson
2 Grant Johnson
7 Johnny Kling
2 Tommy Leach
10 Sam Leever
1 Sherry Magee
14 John McGraw
8 Deacon McGuire
3 Chief Meyers
6 Bill Monroe 5th
8 Jack Powell
3 Ed Reulbach
1 Vic Saier
7 Cy Seymour
6 George Stovey
9 Fred Tenney
9 Roy Thomas
4 Joe Tinker 6th
1 Terry Turner
2 Bobby Wallace 7th
3 Ed Walsh 3rd
2 Sol White
2 Billy Whyte
1 Heinie Zimmerman

Bob’s ballot:

1. Walsh
2. Magee
3. Evers
4. Tinker
5. Wallace
6. Leach
7. Grant
8. Fowler
9. Monroe
10. Whyte

Write-in: Grant Johnson and Chappie Johnson

I just don’t know what to do with these black players. I get no sense at all where they rank. So what I did was rank the 6 white guys who I think deserve selection and then filled in the bottom 4 slots with how I think the best black players rank, hoping a consensus forms behind one or two of them. I am not satisfied at all with my crappy compromise position.

Terry’s ballot:

1: Johnny Evers
2: Sherry Magee– He was traded from the soon to be league champion Phillies, after an 11 year run as one of the best players in the game, to the reigning World Champion Braves before the 1915 season. He finally got his ring in his final season, as a part timer for the 1919 Reds. His career offensive WAR ranks just outside the top 100 all time, and like most left fielders he got the royal screwing on his defensive WAR. His defensive numbers are pretty good. His 1910 season should have gotten him an MVP award; he won the splits triple crown, and he led the league in both runs scored and runs batted in. Again, though, he missed out on the hardware by a year. Is timing about the only thing that’s kept him out of the Hall of Fame so far?
3: Roger Bresnahan
4: Joe Tinker
5: Ed Walsh– We’ve been a long ways already and we have a long time to go, and but if you ask me this guy is the most important player for us to get right in the entire process. There is nothing average or normal about his case. I am going to take some time to detail his career, so bear with me:

-He was a full time player for seven years. Dizzy Dean was a full time player for six years; he got hurt in his seventh, in the all star game. Sandy Koufax was a full time player for six to eleven years, depending on how you count them, but six as the real Koufax. Adrian Joss, his contemporary, played eight full seasons before he got sick and died in the middle of his ninth. I suppose I should list Hoss Radbourne too, but you get the gist. Walsh had a short, brilliant career as a full time player.

– His career era is the best of all time. Even adjusted, his era+ ranks ninth.

– His black ink is 14th all time, his gray ink 62nd (among pitchers). HOF monitor and standards are both between 30 and 50 among pitchers. Just to set the curve, the Hall line is drawn anywhere between 40 (exclusive) and 80.

– Take out 1908 and Walsh’s record in his 7 year peak period (now 6) was 128-97. Take 1904 from Chesbro and he was 127-76. Walsh’s career record, not counting 1908, was 155-111. Chesbro, without 1904, was 157-120.

– Walsh finished second in the MVP race in 1911, and second again in 1912. I don’t think it’s a stretch to give him the MVP in 1908.

I have always been a believer. I believe that Ed Walsh was the most valuable pitcher in the game between 1908 and 1912, and an argument can be made that he was even more valuable than Cobb and Speaker. This is the crux of his argument for the Hall of Fame, and the GOR. The Hall put him in with several lesser players in 1946, which was more of a coincidence than any kind of judgment as far as I can tell. We are most likely going to elect him easily, and I don’t disagree with him being elected. That said:

The cat was a spitball pitcher. His incredible 1908 season, and for that matter his entire incredible career, was based on defacing the most important piece of equipment in the game. I don’t want to deny the guy his rightful place in the GOR, but can we please have a dialogue about the spitball NOW, when it’s a current events issue?

In 80 years some of us are going to climb up on our soapboxes and hammer the PED users for staining the game, and ruining the traditional numbers. Walsh doesn’t hold the record for wins in the post 1900 era, Chesbro does. Both of them put up insane, out of context even for their times innings pitched numbers by throwing the spitball.

Can we deny that the spitball stained the game, and ruined the numbers? It happened a hundred years ago, so I understand why we don’t want to reopen that Pandora’s Box, but in 80 years we are going to have to deal with another Pandora’s Box. I feel a need, as a GOR voter, to deal with the spitball/PED issue now so we don’t have to deal with it later; when it’s going to be impossible to get the lid back on the box.

Getting back to Walsh: Yaknow, the spitball might have actually damaged his case in the long run. He was a big, ugly, fierce looking sumbitch who probably would have been a dominant pitcher without the spitter, and the spitter led to him throwing an insane number of innings for several years. The load ruined him, costing him at least half of his career. He probably wouldn’t have set the all time era record or been as valuable in the short term, but he might have been able to win 20-25 games for 15 years and been Eddie Plank.

6: Chief Bender
7: John McGraw
8: Bobby Wallace
9: Cy Seymour
10: Grant Johnson

Honorable Mention

Roy Thomas
MIke Donlin

Other Stuff

Red Ames– His BBR page says that he was a switch hitter. His career ops+ was 9. Nine. Imagine how bad it would have been had he not been a switch hitter, getting the platoon advantage.

Jack Barry– The four members of the hundred thousand dollar infield received votes for MVP in each of the four years the Chalmers Award existed. Their totals and place, by year (1911-1914):

Stuffy: 1 (22nd), 1 (21st), 12 (7th), 11 (7th)
Collins: 32 (3rd), 18 (6th), 30 (3rd), 63 (1st)
Barry: 3 (18th), 4 (14th), 9 (9th), 6 (16th)
Baker: 8 (11th), 17 (7th), 21 (5th), 17 (3rd)

Larry Cheney– Once traded for Joe Shultz Sr.; I only mention it to clarify something: Hans Lobert is listed as a cousin to Joe Shultz of Ball Four fame despite being nearly 40 years older. Joe Shultz Sr. was Lobert’s cousin, and Ball Four Joe Shultz’s father. I don’t think I knew that the children of a cousin are also called cousins.

Hal Chase– Most similar player at ages 27 and 30? Charlie Comiskey. Go figure….

Chick Gandil- One homer combined in his last four seasons, well over 2000 plate appearances. He was a firstbaseman with a below average ops+ even without positional adjustments. Was he actually throwing the series, or did he just stink?

Chappie Johnson– Long term manager in the Negro leagues; available stats don’t scream great player.

Vic Saier- Leg injuries cost him a chance to put up some fun numbers in the 1920’s. He was a compact, solidly built lefty who was probably just a blast to watch hit. His picture on Wikipedia reminds me of Travis Hafner, another fun lefty slugger. Cy Williams was his teammate for a couple of years; he was three years older than Saier and behind him as a hitter. I see no reason to believe that Saier couldn’t have outhit Williams in the 1920’s, given good health, but Saier had a couple of serious leg injuries and was done at 25; just before they livened up the ball.

Terry Turner– Defensive WAR, at least what BBR uses, is about worthless if you ask me. Turner had below average range factors at three different positions, yet he is credited with 20 defensive wins. His fielding percentages were generally good so I don’t think he stunk, but 20 wins? That is just insane.

If I were on the committee to decide how to judge defense, the first thing I would recommend is to get rid of positional adjustments. They don’t play defense with their bats any more than they hit with their gloves. Just standing at shortstop shouldn’t give you a positive WAR unless you are actually better at it than the rest of the league.

Heinie Zimmerman– Just for all you Helter Skelter readers:

Heinie was, in my opinion, the Steve Grogan (Clem) of the game fixing era. Hal Chase was Charlie, Cicotte was Tex; Lefty, Happy, Chic and Swede were Katie, Sadie, Leslie and Squeaky. Buck Weaver gets the Linda Kasabian role, and Shoeless Joe was Sandy, then later Gypsy. If you haven’t read it none of that will make sense, but if you read it let me know if I got ‘em right, or how you would cast them? Bugliosi is De Judge from the Mountain, of course….

Oh, and that poor bastard Ronald Hughes should probably be McMullen, right?

Results:

I must say I’m a little disappointed. I was hoping that Evers and Tinker would go in together. Oh well…

With 9 votes:

92 Ed Walsh
73 Johnny Evers
*****************
67 Sherry Magee
37 Bill Monroe
36 Bobby Wallace
34 Roger Bresnahan
34 Joe Tinker
25 Frank Grant
25 John McGraw
22 Chief Bender
21 Tommy Leach
19 Bud Fowler
13 Roy Thomas
9 Ed Reulbach
8 Sol White
6 Mike Donlin
6 Jack Powell
5 Chief Meyers
5 Cy Seymour
4 Jack Chesbro
2 Harry Davis
2 Grant Johnson
2 Deacon McGuire
1 Sam Leever
1 Billy Whyte

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