1953 – Bob working on his ballot

I’ve started working on my ’53 ballot. I count 28 HOFers and at least another 20 that are viable candidates. Six HOFers are added this election, seven if you include Al Lopez. To say it’s crowded is a gross understatement. You can make a darn nice ballot just with NeLers, alphabetically, Newt Allen, John Beckwith, Cool Papa Bell, Sammy Hughes, Judy Johnson, Dick Lundy, Dick Redding, Ben Taylor, Jud Wilson and Wild Bill Wright, and that’s assuming Gibson and Dihigo are selected in ’52’s election.

Suffice it to say, I’m struggling with my ballot. In an effort to weed out some of the pretenders, I looked at all the players (with apologies to the NeLers) and computed their HOF Monitor Points, using just the Win Shares method that Bill mentioned in the 2011 Handbook. I realize it’s only one measurement and that it’s totally dependent on Win Shares. Still, I did the work and I thought I’d pass along the results.

162 Mel Ott
88 Joe Cronin
80 Earl Averill
80 Stan Hack
76 Hank Greenberg
76 Billy Herman
74 Bill Dickey
72 Kiki Cuyler
72 Bob Johnson
70 Sam Rice
69 Heinie Manush
67 Wally Berger
64 Pie Traynor
62 Hack Wilson
58 Dolf Camilli
57 Chuck Klein
57 Rabbit Maranville
53 Buddy Myer
51 Lloyd Waner
50 Dick Bartell
50 Harlond Clift
49 Ben Chapman
47 Joe Kuhel
47 Hal Trosky
45 Roy Cullenbine
36 Cecil Travis
28 George Case
27 Pepper Martin
26 Rick Ferrell
22 Billy Jurges
18 Cookie Lavagetto
17 Frankie Hayes
17 Al Lopez
15 Jim Tabor
09 Rollie Hemsley
06 Lou Finney
03 Skeeter Newsome

Two of the bigger surprises for me were Averill and Hack. I’d’ve thought they’d’ve been in the low ’60s. And I thought that Cecil Travis would have scored better.

67 Burleigh Grimes
65 Wes Ferrell
64 Red Ruffing
63 Ted Lyons
57 Red Faber
48 Lon Warneke
46 Dizzy Dean
45 Tommy Bridges
45 Mel Harder
40 Lefty Gomez
40 Claude Passeau
34 Bill Lee
31 Firpo Marberry
25 Spud Chandler
11 Jim Bagby
08 Johnny Murphy
07 Si Johnson

I would not have guessed Grimes being #1 or Ferrell #2. And Warneke looks a lot better than I would have guessed; I’ll have to take a longer look at him.

That’s 54 names. Some are pretty easily dismissed. It looks like I might knock any hitter out under 50 points and knock any pitcher out under 40 points. That still leaves 32 players to sort thru. Plus the 10 or so NeLers. 40+ guys vying for 10 spots. I am, as I’m sure most of you are, getting mentally fatigued.

With apologies to Faber and Grimes, I did a little doodling with the 6 best pitchers on the ballot.

First, and easily enough, I looked at the W/L Fibonacci Points. In order:
189-102 209.8 Lefty Gomez
273-225 197.7 Red Ruffing
193-128 181.0 Wes Ferrell
194-138 169.4 Tommy Bridges
260-230 168.0 Ted Lyons
150-083 163.6 Dizzy Dean

Next, I decided to add into their records their 6 best (not necessarily consecutive) seasons. This would give their peak seasons a little extra weight. Why 6 seasons? Arbitrary decision on my part. Small sidenote: if you were to repeat this, you might have slightly different results; it wasn’t always easy to decide between the 6th and 7th best seasons, and you might disagree with my choice. Again, in order:
315-156 369.7 Lefty Gomez
389-276 340.6 Red Ruffing
329-205 326.7 Wes Ferrell
283-158 306.6 Dizzy Dean
306-201 289.7 Tommy Bridges
368-290 283.8 Ted Lyons

Something I often do (you’ve seen me do this many times before) is take a pitchers ERA+ and figure out the Pythagorean Expected Wins And Losses. I’ll do the same with these 6, again in Fibonacci Points order:
269-193 232.6 Ted Lyons – similar number of wins, a lot fewer losses
193-121 190.6 Tommy Bridges – similar number of wins, quite a few less losses as well
262-221 183.1 Red Ruffing – a few less wins
169-110 161.4 Lefty Gomez – not as many wins
137-082 140.7 Dizzy Dean – not as many wins
167-124 138.8 Wes Ferrell – a lot fewer wins

Then I added in their 6 best seasons, adjusted their ERA+ and came up with these numbers”
381-248 363.8 Ted Lyons
286-157 313.6 Lefty Gomez
298-185 296.9 Tommy Bridges
259-151 271.6 Dizzy Dean
290-195 268.4 Wes Ferrell
358-290 265.8 Red Ruffing

And finally, using ERA+ negates the hitting prowess of Ferrell and Ruffing, so I adjusted for that. Their “actual” records:
269-193 232.6 Lyons
277-206 229.9 Ruffing
193-121 190.6 Bridges
179-112 177.1 Ferrell
169-110 161.4 Gomez
137-082 140.7 Dean

And adding in their 6 best seasons:
381-248 363.8 Lyons
310-175 333.1 Ferrell
378-270 328.5 Ruffing
286-157 313.6 Gomez
298-185 296.9 Bridges
259-151 271.6 Dean

So, did I learn anything to help me rank my GOR ballots? Can’t say that I really did. In my 40-man ’53 GOR ballot, I had these pitchers ranked
12. Ferrell
13. Dean
17. Ruffing
20. Lyons
25. Bridges
28. Gomez
and it’ll likely stay the same order in ’54. You might wonder why I don’t switch Lyons and Ruffing, not that either will make my ballot. I might, except that….

…..A couple of other things that I looked at, but didn’t factor into my math-play, were their ERCs and % of Runs that were unearned. The chart below is actual ERA, ERC and unearned %.
3.57 3.55 15.1 Bridges
3.02 2.95 14.6 Dean
4.04 4.12 14.8 Ferrell
3.34 3.37 14.7 Gomez
3.67 3.64 17.5 Lyons
3.80 3.50 13.3 Ruffing

Everyone’s ERA and ERC are pretty close except for Ruffing, whose ERA is significantly higher than his peripheral stats would have indicated. One of the reasons I didn’t include either of these two is the numbers of Gomez and Ruffing. Both playing for the Yankees, I would have thought that they’d have similar numbers for both unearned runs and their differences between ERA and ERC. And just so you know, it’s not because of Ruffing’s Boston years. That one game for Washington in 1943 didn’t change Gomez’ numbers. Ruffing’s numbers strictly as a Yankee:
3.34 3.37 14.7 Gomez
3.47 3.23 13.1 Ruffing

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