1976

The end of an era. With the election of Willard Brown and the loss of Luke Easter having used up his 15 year window, there are no longer any players left whose primary contribution was in the Negro Leagues. Part of me is a little sad seeing them go. I really enjoyed trying to figure out where they ranked. Part of me is a little happy seeing them go. I really struggled trying to figure out where they ranked.

We’re going back to the elections being open for three days, so this election will end Sunday.

Other than Easter, no one else used up their eligibility, tho we did lose Joe Adcock, Billy O’Dell and Jack Sanford from lack of support.

1 Jerry Adair
1 Hank Aguirre
1 Bob Allison
2 Ken Boyer 4th
1 Don Cardwell
3 Rocky Colavito
5 Del Crandall
1 Jim Davenport
2 Don Drysdale 3rd
2 Roy Face
6 Nellie Fox 5th
1 Tito Francona
5 Jim Gilliam
4 Dick Groat
8 Gil Hodges 10th
3 Elston Howard
3 Larry Jackson
1 Ron Kline
5 Harvey Kuenn
13 Bob Lemon 6th
3 Roger Maris 7th
1 Al McBean
11 Gil McDougald
3 Stu Miller
11 Don Newcombe
7 Billy Pierce 8th
2 Dick Radatz
1 Pedro Ramos
15 Phil Rizzuto 8th
1 John Roseboro
15 Al Rosen
8 Red Schoendienst
2 Tom Tresh
11 Mickey Vernon
1 Pete Ward
2 Bill White
1 Earl Wilson
9 Ed Yost

Bob’s ballot:

1. Maris
2. Fox
3. Rizzuto
4. Lemon
5. Drysdale
6. Hodges
7. Howard
8. Boyer
9. Groat
10. Face

Two guys I want to talk about briefly:

1. Phil Rizzuto – I am not absolutely convinced that he is worthy of our selection, but I am absolutely convinced that he is more worthy (by a small degree) than Boudreau. I moved Rizzuto up a few notches for two reasons: 1) it’s his last year on the ballot and 2) looking at Boudreau’s 10 best comps on BBR, Rizzuto shows up as his 10th best. Factor in that Boudreau’s numbers are inflated by the war, and Rizzuto’s are deflated, I just don’t see a lot of difference. Putting them side-by-side, but subtracting out Boudreau’s three war years (Rizzuto listed first):
38.1 40.7 WAR
231 200 Win Shares
Honestly, my biggest problem is Boudreau and his ’48 season. No metric, other than WAR, has this as being a “historic” season. WAR has it as the 29th greatest season by a position player. No other metric has it that high. Linear Weights has it pegged at 71st. Win Shares (I only have a Top 100) doesn’t have it in the Top 100, maybe not even in the Top 150, altho it would likely be in right at 150th. 100th place is 38 Win Shares and Boudreau had 34 WS. I just don’t see much difference between the two. Subtracting out the war years, Boudreau was on 5 all-star teams; Rizzuto was also on 5. Boudreau won an MVP; so did Rizzuto. Boudreau led his team to a World Series victory in ’48; so did Rizzuto in ’50, plus he was a key contributor on 5 other World Series champions. I don’t think that either were overwhelming HOF (or GOR) candidates; they are both equally close.

2. Roger Maris – I probably should explain why I have him #1 on my ballot, but don’t have Allison listed at all, what with their stats being so similar. If the HOF or GOR are repositories for guys with great stats, then no, Maris is not a worthy candidate. But let me ask you this question: Who is the most famous person not in the HOF who has (so far) been overlooked by the BBWAA and VetCom? Has to be Maris, doesn’t it? Ask any casual fan if they have heard of Maris, and the answer is usually “yes”. One of the things I used to do at my job was ask people this question (and/or variations of it): Which of these players is not in the HOF: Luis Aparicio, Bob Gibson, Al Kaline, Roger Maris or Hoyt Wilhelm? Almost no one guesses Maris. There is an assumption by casual fans that he is in already. He is extremely famous.

Or try this: in your mind, write a 150-page book about the history of baseball. Can you write it WITHOUT mentioning Maris? There are probably 100 HOFers that might not be mentioned (I double-dog dare you to somehow get Bobby Wallace’s name in it).

So yeah, if the Hall or GOR are strictly about stats, then by all means Maris doesn’t deserve to be on anyone’s ballot. But if it’s also about fame (or renown)…..

One last thing about Maris that drives me up the wall. He’s often mentioned as a one-year-wonder. I always ask, “If he was a one-year-wonder, how did he win two MVPs and go to four All-Star games?”

Terry’s ballot:

1: Roger Maris
2: Nellie Fox
3: Ken Boyer
4: Gil Hodges
5: Don Drysdale
6: Elston Howard
7: Bob Lemon
8: Rocky Colavito
9: Phil Rizzuto
10: Curley Howard/Mickey Vernon

Results:

Twelve ballots; the results:

102 Ken Boyer
102 Don Drysdale
***************
89 Nellie Fox
86 Roger Maris
72 Bob Lemon
47 Phil Rizzuto
46 Billy Pierce
39 Elston Howard
24 Rocky Colavito
23 Gil Hodges
18 Red Schoendienst
14 Al Rosen
12 Dick Groat
12 Gil McDougald
11 Don Newcombe
8 Ed Yost
6 Larry Jackson
6 Harvey Kuenn
5 Del Crandall
4 Jim Gilliam
3 Mickey Vernon
1 Bob Allison
1 Jim Davenport
1 Roy Face

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