1936

This election will end Saturday. A bunch of long-time guys have dropped off from lack of support: Jack Fournier, Larry Gardner, Bruce Petway, Del Pratt, Joe Wood. But we’re adding some new and improved guys as well.

The ballot:
1 Pete Alexander
1 Eddie Collins
A bunch of other guys

Okay, okay, hold your horses. Here’s the full, complete ballot:

4 Babe Adams
1 Pete Alexander
1 Dave Bancroft
14 Chief Bender
6 George Burns 7th
1 Hal Carlson
1 Eddie Collins
2 Max Carey 4th
4 Wilbur Cooper
11 Gavy Cravath
1 Bingo DeMoss
1 Howard Ehmke
1 Ira Flagstead
9 Art Fletcher
13 Bud Fowler
1 Hank Gowdy
4 Heinie Groh 9th
2 George Harper
5 Pete Hill 3rd
6 Harry Hooper
11 Joe Jackson 5th
12 Grant Johnson 6th
10 Ed Konetchy
2 Carl Mays 8th
1 Bob Meusel
4 Dobie Moore
1 Johnny Morrison
14 Ed Reulbach
2 Ray Schalk
4 Bob Shawkey
3 Urban Shocker 9th
1 George Sisler
10 Hippo Vaughn
1 Curt Walker
1 Cy Williams
2 Ken Williams
5 Ross Youngs

Bob’s ballot:

1. Pete Alexander
2. Eddie Collins
3. George Sisler
4. Max Carey
5. George Burns
6. Chief Bender
7. Dave Bancroft
8. Heinie Groh
9. Harry Hooper
10. Wilbur Cooper

Write-ins: Konetchy and Shocker. And all the black stars. My not voting for any of them in ’36 is just a stalling tactic on my part; DeMoss, Foster, Hill and Johnson all seem like viable candidates to me. Some (or all) will return to my ’37 ballot, along with Chino Smith.

Terry’s ballot:

1: Eddie Collins– Six one, half dozen the other. One named for a President, the other named after Frasier’s dog.
2: Pete Alexander– Was he the pitcher version of Mickey Mantle? The drinking wasn’t the only thing they had in common.
3: George Sisler– Hit .361-.404-.510 (155 ops+) in the first eight years after he moved from the mound, before his eyes went bad, over half of it against dirty balls. He hit .420, slugged .594 and stole 51 bases in 1922, winning the MVP. He missed 1923 with double vision, and from then to the end of his career he was just an average player. Bill can average them out and pretend that nothing happened, but to me his established level of ability before the eye problem matters. He was arguably the best player in the league not named Babe, and he played at that level for several years.
4: Max Carey – I moved him up past Hooper, mostly for his spectacular base running record.
5: Dave Bancroft- If there is an old timer who can be reasonably compared to Ozzie with the glove, this is the guy. His defensive numbers are fun to look at, practically video game numbers.
6: Harry Hooper
7: Grant Johnson
8: Pete Hill
9: Gavy Cravvath
10: Chief Bender– I apologize in advance for saying something this silly, but is Bender the GOR’s poster child for why there is a Veterans’ Committee? He makes just about everyone’s ballot, but always at the bottom, while occasionally we elect someone who is probably not quite as well qualified. Eventually there will be a blurring of the lines, not because we are idiots, but because it’s just incredibly difficult to deliniate between the guys at the lower end of the Hall of Fame spectrum.

Honorable Mention
Heinie Groh
Urban Shocker

Other Stuff

Bingo DeMoss- He had a long, varied and interesting career. I see no real evidence that he was a great player, though. He might be a more interesting candidate as a contributor.

Howard Ehmke– He was listed at 6-3, and he was apparently a long limbed, skinny wild man of a pitcher. He led the league in hit batsmen five times, walked over a hundred batters in a season four times. His company Ehmke Manufacturing, started in 1931, is still in business today. They were the first suppliers of field covering tarpaulins to major league baseball. Ehmke was besties with Babe Ruth, and he was a pall bearer at his funeral.

Ira Flagstead– He finished as high as seventh in a five year run getting MVP votes. I’m less and less convinced that the 1920’s MVP elections, particularly the AL ones, are a meaningful gauge of a player’s worth. When he finished seventh he was a below average hitting outfielder for a bad team. The rules were so weird that the votes kept getting weirder and weirder until they scrapped it altogether.

Hank Gowdy– He is seventh all time in percentage of base stealers thrown out. He was the first ballplayer to enlist in WWI, and he saw significant combat action in France, mostly trench warfare, for his home reserve unit. He enlisted again for WWII (at the age of 53) and he was promoted to the rank of Major. The main ball fields at Fort Benning, Georgia and in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio are both named after him.

Bob Meusel– The JD Drew of the 1920’s, in a way. He was talented as all get-out, but he never seemed to get the results everyone expected. His numbers are superficially good, but his career ops+ was just 118.

Johnny Morrison– Jug Handle Johnny was an ugly sumbich, but a really good pitcher. His career was short and he was used as a utility pitcher for most of it, so he ain’t getting any plaques, but…. How many pitchers led the league in shutouts multiple times and then saves multiple times? I bet it’s less than five guys. JHJ led in shutouts in 1921 and 1922, then saves in 1925 and 1929. His career era+ was 113. He was good. He was not a pretty man, though.

Cy Williams
– Career ops+ of 125; 108 through age 31 (end of dirty ball era), 134 from age 32 until he retired at 42 years old.

Results:

Thirteen ballots: the (yawn) results:

170 Pete Alexander
152 Eddie Collins
***************
69 George Sisler
53 Max Carey
43 Pete Hill
42 Joe Jackson
38 Bingo DeMoss
28 Carl Mays
26 Chief Bender
25 George Burns
24 Heinie Groh
19 Urban Shocker
17 Dave Bancroft
12 Grant Johnson
11 Harry Hooper
10 Ed Reulbach
9 Wilbur Cooper
7 Babe Adams
7 Hippo Vaughn
6 Dobie Moore
6 Cy Williams
5 Gavy Cravath
5 Bud Fowler
4 Art Fletcher
3 Ray Schalk
2 Ross Youngs

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