1929

What a bunch of unimpressive new names is being added to an already unimpressive ballot!!

This election ends Tuesday.

1 Jim Bagby
7 Chief Bender 7th
1 Tony Boeckel
1 Donie Bush
4 Ray Chapman
15 Jack Chesbro
4 Eddie Cicotte
4 Jack Coombs
4 Gavy Cravath
1 George Cutshaw
10 Mike Donlin
2 Art Fletcher
1 Eddie Foster
6 Bud Fowler 10th
10 Frank Grant 4th
4 Joe Jackson 6th
5 Grant Johnson
4 Benny Kauff
3 Ed Konetchy 7th
1 Larry Kopf
6 Tommy Leach 3rd
14 Sam Leever
12 Deacon McGuire
7 Chief Meyers
2 Clyde Milan
10 Bill Monroe 5th
1 Spottwodd Poles
12 Jack Powell
7 Ed Reulbach
11 Cy Seymour
1 Burt Shotton
13 Fred Tenney
13 Roy Thomas 7th
1 Fred Toney
3 Hippo Vaughn
1 Tilly Walker
6 Sol White
2 Joe Wood

Bob’s ballot:

1. Konetchy
2. Leach
3. Thomas
4. Bender
5. Grant
6. Cravath
7. Poles
8. Fowler
9. Monroe
10. Chesbro

Write-ins: Chapman, Leever, Tenney

Terry’s ballot:

1: Spottswood Poles– How many players have ever gone 25-41 and not made the Hall of Fame?

We don’t know as much about him as I wish we knew, but everything we know about him is positive. He was a war hero (five battle stars is pretty amazing, and he was buried in Arlington National), he was the dominant player in his own leagues, he was a star in mixed leagues, and of course he has the 25-41 thing against white players going for him. I feel pretty comfortable putting him at the top of my ballot.
2: Frank Grant– I moved him up a bit, partly because of some new information and partly because I can’t justify putting Chief Bender in the top 2.
3: Chief Bender
4: Cy Seymour
5: Gavy Cravath
6: Roy Thomas
7: Grant Johnson
8: Joe Wood
9: Ed Konetchy
10: Bill Monroe

Honorable Mention

Mike Donlin

Donie Bush– I’m not completely sure that he shouldn’t be a serious candidate. He was nearly always in the top 10 in plate appearances, runs scored, walks, steals and times on base. He still, a hundred years later, holds the major league record for putouts (and the American League record for total chances) at shortstop, and he compiled 15 years of league leadership in the basic positive categories (PO, A, TC, FPCT). He reached base 14 times (32 PA, 7 h, 5 w, 2 hbp) in the 1909 World Series.

He was active in baseball until his death in 1972, and in 1963 MLB executives named him “The King of Baseball”. He is known as “Mister Baseball” in his home state of Indiana. He reportedly died while eating a hog dog, which I think was an exaggeration. He was eating a hot dog when he fell ill, but he didn’t die until three weeks later. There are a lot of stories about him, from many sources. The man lived an incredibly interesting baseball life.

Other Stuff

Jim Bagby– Dizzy Dean and Denny McLain famously flamed out after winning 30 games in a season, but Bags flamed out faster than either one of them. He was done in less than three years, and he won just 21 more games. Bags had more in common with Steve Stone than Diz or Denny, and his 1920 season was a lot like Stone’s 1980. It goes on the list of fluky seasons more than the list of greatest seasons.

George Cutshaw– Got an MVP mention in 1913 (NL Chalmers Award) and 1922 (AL MVP Vote). How many players got votes for both sets of awards? I did some checking, and this is the list I came up with:

Eddie Collins
Walter Johnson
Pete Alexander
Del Pratt
Wally Schang
Ray Schalk
Steve O’Neill
Rabbit Maranville
Everett Scott
Roger Peckinpaugh
Zach Wheat

And Cutshaw, of course. Rabbit Maranville is the only player who received votes in the Chalmers Awards, the League Awards, and the BBWAA Awards that started in 1931.

Eddie Foster– It doesn’t come out in the statistics, but there was something about him that the writers liked. He finished 14th in the Chalmers voting as a rookie, then 7th two years later. He led the league in atbats a few times, but that’s about it for offensive achievements. His defensive statistics aren’t impressive. Foster is one of two players on this list (that I know of) who died as the result of a traffic accident (Tony Boeckel).

Larry Kopf– Didn’t he break up the double no-hitter? He was in the 1919 World Series, and he played for the 1914 A’s (didn’t play in the Series). He preceded Frankie Frisch at Fordham, and he just missed Babe Ruth with the Baltimore Orioles. He lived to the age of 95. I can imagine him whiling away the years sitting on a park bench, telling stories and being surprised after opening a box of chocolates.

Burt Shotton– All star level player for a few years, a leadoff hitter who led the league in walks a couple of times. He’s most noted for his close ties to Branch Rickey. He played for him on both St. Louis teams, and managed for him in the St. Louis chain for many years before taking over for Durocher with the Dodgers in 1947. Shotton and Connie Mack both managed their last game on October 1, 1950; they were (to this point, anyway) the last two men to manage from the bench without wearing a uniform.

Fred Toney– Toney was approached by Heinie Zimmerman about throwing a game in 1919, shortly after he got out of prison for violating the Mann Act. Toney not only refused, he turned Zimmerman in. Contrast this with Joe Jackson. Joe didn’t make any errors, he just bitched about not getting all his money.

Tilly Walker– He hit the Red Sox’ only Fenway homerun in 1916. It was his third homerun over the Green Monster, the first two of which came while he was with the Browns. Nobody else, up to that time, had hit more than one over the wall. Walker was known as a selfish player, more concerned with his stats than winning games. Because of this, he moved around the league quite a bit. His 37 homer season was helped a good bit by Connie Mack moving the fences in 46 feet before the season. He hit 26 of the 37 at home.

Reb Russell– I added him as a write-in, after running across him while researching another part of this post. He was 80-59, 2.33 era (121 era+) from 1913-1918 as a pitcher, then came back after three years in the minors to hit .368-.423-.668 in 250 atbats in 1922. He returned to the minors after the 1923 season. He finished his minor league career with 199 homeruns and a .329 batting average, most of it at the top levels. All of his homers came after the age of 30.

Results:

Eight ballots, the results:

67 Spottswood Poles
62 Frank Grant
*****************
46 Tommy Leach
38 Bill Monroe
35 Ed Konetchy
35 Roy Thomas
29 Chief Bender
23 Gavy Cravath
20 Bud Fowler
19 Joe Jackson
16 Hippo Vaughn
12 Cy Seymour
11 Jack Powell
11 Joe Wood
10 Jack Chesbro
8 Ed Reulbach
7 Mike Donlin
7 Sam Leever
7 Sol White
6 Grant Johnson
5 Art Fletcher
4 Eddie Cicotte
4 Benny Kauff
4 Deacon McGuire
2 Clyde Milan

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