1923

More HOFers to choose from. Sorry, taos, but Dummy Hoy drops from the ballot, his 15-year eligibilty having expired. This election will end Monday night.

8 Ginger Beaumont
1 Chief Bender
1 Bobby Byrne
3 Bill Bradley
3 Roger Bresnahan 5th
2 Miner Brown 3rd
9 Jack Chesbro 9th
1 Sam Crawford
11 Lave Cross
1 Harry Davis
4 Mike Donlin
1 Johnny Evers
1 Cy Falkenberg
2 Charlie Grant
4 Frank Grant 6th
7 Topsy Hartsel
2 Miller Huggins
10 Fielder Jones
5 Johnny Kling
8 Sam Leever
1 Hans Lobert
14 Herman Long 7th
12 John McGraw 9th
6 Deacon McGuire
1 Chief Meyers
4 Bill Monroe
1 Mike Mowrey
1 Red Murray
1 Eddie Plank
6 Jack Powell
1 Ed Reulbach
1 Jim Scott
5 Cy Seymour
4 George Stovey
7 Fred Tenney
7 Roy Thomas 7th
2 Joe Tinker 4th
1 Ed Walsh
15 Chief Zimmer
And some guy named John Peter Wagner

Bob’s ballot:

In many ways, an easy ballot to do. In many ways, a difficult ballot to do. The Top 3 were easy enough, altho I want back and forth on Plank and Crawford. The next four were easy enough as well: how to rank the three Cubbies and where to put Walsh in that group. The bottom three were a lot tougher. These 7 are “no-brainers” to me. I started with 31 guys I wanted to look at who have some claim to being GOR viable. 24 for three slots. Seven semi-, sorta marginal HOFers, tho 3 of them are in more for their managing. A cluster of similar pitchers (Bender, Chesbro, Leever and Reulbach), a gaggle of 19th century black stars, a bunch of catchers, and a plethora of various other sundry candidates. I decided to finish my list with the three guys I think are viable candidates, but might not get any/enough love to stay on the ballot, and who we might eventually elect 5, 10 years down the road.

1 Wagner
2. Crawford
3. Plank
4. Evers
5. Tinker
6. Brown
7. Walsh
8. Thomas
9. Leever
10. Tenney

Strongest write-ins: Bresnahan and the 4 black guys

Seriously, how does one differentiate all these similar catchers?

Terry’s ballot:

Great players at the top, and some cool stories at the bottom. What a fun year to research!!

1: Honus Wagner- The Babe is hard to argue with as the best ever, but I’ll take the gold glove shortstop who could hit a little, too if it’s my first pick. Career 0.00 era in 8.1 innings, if that matters.
2: Sam Crawford– Ninth all time in gray ink despite being a misfit for his era. I’d love to know how many homers Wagner and Crawford would have hit in the lively ball era.
3: Miner Brown– Not just a dominant starter; it can be argued that he was a signpost in the evolution of the reliever as well. He held the career save record from 1910-1926, the single season record from 1911-1924.

Trivia: Seven players have held the career saves record for at least a decade. Brown and Marberry are two. Name the other five (answer at the bottom of the page)

4: Johnny Evers- Similar career values to Hardy Richardson, but massively more famous.
5: Roger Bresnahan
6: Eddie Plank– What Addie Joss could have been with better health; to me the Don Sutton of this period.
7: Joe Tinker– Omar type; pretty good hitter but he won’t go into the GOR for his hitting, and a superior fielder. Famous, but not as famous as his sack mate.
8: Ed Walsh– His numbers are hard to argue with, even with a shortened career, but….. He’s the first true dirty ball enhanced candidate, isn’t he? Chesbro had some success before he found the spitter, plus he ain’t getting in anyway. If anyone plans to use PEDS against Mac and Raffy later, this would be a good time to explain what the difference is. I’m interested.
9: Chief Bender– 125 of his 459 career games pitched came in relief; he had 109 games finished and 34 saves. In 1913 he pitched in 48 games (21 starts), winning 21, losing 10 and saving 13. I don’t recall anyone referencing this season in the evolution of relief pitching, but it probably deserves some mention. His 13 saves tied Miner Brown (similar usage) for the single season record; it wasn’t surpassed until Firpo Marberry came along a decade later. Only Brown and Bender ever had more than 10 in a season until Marberry came along.
10: John McGraw

Honorable Mention
Herman Long
Cy Seymour

Other Stuff:

Bobby Byrne- Played in the World Series for both Pennsylvania teams. How many players did that?

Harry Davis- Led the league in homers four times in a row, with a combined total of 38. Someone else mentioned the high blank ink total so I won’t recount that; gray ink and the other HOF indicators are below the lines. His family would like it mentioned that he wasn’t called “Stinky”. That was another Harry Davis.

Cy Falkenberg- Big year in the Federal League in 1914; he was really good in 1913 in the AL, which makes him a decent test sample for the relative quality of the FL.

Hans Lobert- He was on the 1903 Pirates (purchased in September, didn’t play in the WS, sold back to the minors before the next season), the 1906 Cubs (for 3 days, sold on January third) and the 1915 Phillies (for four days, traded January fourth). I wonder if he got a WS share from any of them? Joe Schultz, the Pilots’ manager immortalized in “Ball Four”, was his cousin. They were born 37 years apart.

Chief Meyers- He could be a hidden gem. He was a very good ballplayer from the moment he came to the majors, and he compiled a .311-.385-.401 hitting line (126 ops+) in his first six years, finishing 10th, 3rd and 5th in the 1911-1913 MVP votes. He was already 28 when he came up and his minor league records are spotty or nonexistent according to BBR. Looking at his picture might explain why it took him so long to surface. He’s listed as a Native American, and his name indicates that he was at least partially Hispanic. His face looks Cuban, or even African. His Wiki page doesn’t talk about it, but wasn’t there some kind of controversy about him? I remember McGraw trying mightily to skirt the color barrier; was Meyers part of that?

Mike Mowrey- Another guy who someone can use as part of a Federal League quality check. I imagine that there are at least a couple dozen of these guys out there. He looked a lot like Johnny Oates to me, and if I had to guess I’d say he had flaming red hair. Did he get along with Breshahan?

Red Murray- Went 0-21 in the 1911 World Series, 10-31 in the 1912 series. Looked like Tommy John, or maybe a Kennedy. He had Presidential hair, either way.

Ed Reulbach- Career major league record of 161-96, not counting the Federal League. Kind of a Miner Brown lite career.

Jim Scott- Born in Deadwood, died in Death Valley. I don’t know and I haven’t found anything about him that tells me, but I assume he was a spitballer based on where he started (White Sox with Ed Walsh) and when he pitched. Does anyone know?

One thing I never realized until I started doing deeper research was how few games pitchers started in the old days. I always assumed that they started 45-50 games a year routinely, but even the high innings guys generally were in a 4 man rotation. Those relief games padded their innings totals. Nowadays pitchers pitch so often in the bullpen that I sometimes wonder if a team could take advantage of that, and use starters in relief in between starts, for a batter, an inning, maybe even a couple of innings if they are cruising.

Imagine the line: 35 starts and 220 innings, but also 40 relief appearances, 50 innings. Hmm… I guess it would still be rare to see someone go over 300 innings.

Results:

Results from 8 voters:

112 Honus Wagner
74 Sam Crawford
*****************
57 Miner Brown
55 Eddie Plank
45 Ed Walsh
41 Johnny Evers
25 Joe Tinker
20 Roger Bresnahan
16 John McGraw
7 Chief Bender
7 Frank Grant
7 Roy Thomas
6 Herman Long
4 Lave Cross
4 Jack Powell
2 Harry Davis
2 Sam Leever
2 Ed Reulbach
1 Mike Donlin
1 Fred Tenney

Trivia answer: The order (10+ years as the leader only, there were a few in between here and there) is Wright, Brown, Marberry, Murphy, Wilhelm, Fingers, Smith. Rivera will probably join the list soon (Rivera currently holds the record with 652, but he hasn’t held it for ten years yet).

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