1958 – Bob’s Winshares adjustments for WWII players

The whole concept of adjusting for the war lead me to this path. I’m using Win Shares; if someone else wants to use WAR, go for it.

The methodology. For players who were active in ’43, I subtract 5%. In other words, one WS for every 20. For ’44 and ’45 I subtract 10%. If a player played all three of these seasons and got 20 WS each season, I subtract 5 WS from his actual total. Adding in missing years is the crux of the problem: knowing how much to add in. I decided (as usual) to be a bit conservative. I took an average of their last season before going in and 1946 and multiplied by .9, and multiplied that by the number of seasons missed, adding it to their career totals. This is not as easy as it sounds, as there is a need for special rules for individual players. For example, Bobby Doerr only missed ’45, so I multiple ’44 by .9, add in ’46, divide by 2 to get his estimated ’45 WS. For Joe Gordon, because ’46 is an obvious aberration, I multiplied ’43 by .95, added ’47, divided by 2, multiplied by 4 (the number of years missed), subtracted out his actual ’46 WS, and added to his original 242 WS. About half the guys I looked at I had to make special adjustments for. Anyway, here are the numbers for players on the ’58 ballot and a few more who are coming onto the ballot over the next few seasons. The two columns are Actual Win Shares and War (not WAR) Adjusted Win Shares:

280 280.0 Earl Averill
277 270.9 Lou Boudreau
237 230.6 Phil Cavaretta
182 175.5 Roy Cullenbine
292 292.0 Kiki Cuyler
220 292.9 Dom DiMaggio
281 300.2 Bobby Doerr
287 281.0 Bob Elliott
242 301.3 Joe Gordon
199 218.8 Sid Gordon
316 310.3 Stan Hack
298 337.8 Billy Herman
188 161.3 Tommy Holmes
155 150.4 Johnny Hopp
287 281.0 Bob Johnson
209 238.0 Eddie Joost
218 263.9 Charlie Keller
238 238.0 Chuck Klein
218 215.1 Ernie Lombardi
177 172.5 Marty Marion
111 108.5 Phil Masi
312 309.2 Joe Medwick
338 417.7 Johnny Mize
223 216.5 Bill Nicholson
187 270.7 Johnny Pesky
145 176.4 Jerry Priddy
314 385.6 PeeWee Reese
125 188.5 Pete Reiser
231 290.4 Phil Rizzuto
265 257.8 Vern Stephens
139 131.8 Snuffy Stirnweiss
106 127.6 Birdie Tebbetts

Anything mind changing? Both DiMaggio and Pesky look a lot better than I had them pegged. Billy Herman will likely move past Hack on my next ballot. Gordon will move past Doerr; he should have been ahead anyway – it was just a glitch in the methodology I used for ’58.

I didn’t do pitchers, or rather my first attempt was very satisfying. They are much harder to figure out. Let me take three examples:
1. Bob Feller – By ’41, one could argue that as a 23 year old, pitching over 900 innings the previous three seasons, he wasw “due” for an arm injury. Did the war actually protect his career?
2. Hal Newhouser – He went from a under 200 IPs guy to a 300 plus inning guy because of the war. A 10% discount doesn’t feel right, but I have no idea how much to ding him for.
3. Bobo Newsom – He went 25-44 from ’43-’45 having a 105 ERA+. So do you discount him because he pitched those three years or do you adjust upward because he was unlucky?

So many of the pitchers on the GOR ballot were really long in the tooth by the war. Ruffing and Lyons were over 40 by war’s end. Bridges was in his late 30s by war’s end. Dean, Ferrell and Gomez had been ineffective leading up to the war, so the war probably didn’t effect them too much. We’re about to see a bunch of pitchers who the war effected, but by how much, I as yet can’t decipher.

Cecil Travis

I assume you mean Cecil Travis and not Travis Jackson or Travis Fryman. Just kidding.

Travis is a fun guy with which to speculate. Using my formulas, he comes up to 247.2 WS from his actual 169. But that’s just giving him 20 WS for the 4 years he missed (34 WS in ’41, 10 in ’46, multiplied by .9). There are just so many “yeah, buts” with him, that one can easily see a scenario where he gets to 300 WS. Up his WS to 25 for the war years, have him play a couple of years at a 20 WS level, and then tail off, and he’s over 300

Here, I’ll put is actual next to a hypothetical
1933 01 01
1934 10 10
1935 20 20
1936 15 15
1937 22 22
1938 20 20
1939 13 13
1940 22 22
1941 34 34
1942 == 23
1943 == 23
1944 == 23
1945 01 23
1946 10 20
1947 01 20
1948 == 10
1949 == 01

Voila: 300 WS. It’s speculation, but it sure looks reasonable to me.


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