You Are Here > > Blog >

SITE NEWS: We are moving all of our site and company news into a single blog for We'll tag all B-R content, so you can quickly and easily find the content you want.

Also, our existing B-R blog rss feed will be redirected to the new site's feed. » Sports Reference

For more from Andy and the gang, check out their new site High Heat Stats.

There’s an Hall of Fame Election Coming Up–Let us Know What you Think

Posted by Sean Forman on December 1, 2010

2011 Baseball Hall of Fame Veterans’ Committee Candidates » Baseball-Reference Blog.

The link above gives you all of the candidates along with their credentials and a brief form that allows you to vote yea or nay on each candidate.  Give us your reasons here.

Out of


I voted for Simmons, John and Miller, though none of them are as good as Kevin Brown or John Olerud (or Buzz Arlett for that matter :P).

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 at 4:52 pm and is filed under Announcements, Hall of Fame. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

137 Responses to “There’s an Hall of Fame Election Coming Up–Let us Know What you Think”

  1. LOL, Sean!

    Simmons, Steinbrenner, Miller.

  2. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    My take? I'd vote to put every one of them that's still alive on the Veterans Committee.

  3. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I considered voting for none but finally decided to vote for Miller. It's slightly disgusting to see Steinbrenner doing so well but he's still not really close to induction (a little over 50% right now).

  4. dukeofflattbush Says:

    The A's of the 70's and early 80's seemed to destroy so many pitchers destined for great things.
    Vida Blue had one of the best modern season in '71 for someone who was essentially a rookie. 21 years old. He never even came close again.
    If it weren't for those two cup of joes in 69-70 he would of been the first and only MVP-CY-ROY.
    Coincidentally, Billy Martin blew more young arms for the early 80's A's than any one I can recall.
    He was like a college football coach over using a running back.

  5. dukeofflattbush Says:

    1980, Billy Martin's first season in Oakland.

    Rick Langford 1980 – career high in IP and CG 28 years old
    Would not pitch another full season
    Mike Noriss 1980 25 years old. Career high in IP and CG.
    Would not pitch another full seson, out of baseball 3 years later in 1983.
    Mike Keough 1980 – 24 years old. Career high in CG and IP.
    Only one more full season. Out of the bigs in 1986 at age 30.
    Steve McCatty 1980. Age 26. Career high in IP. ’81 CG.
    Out of baseball in 1985 age 31.

    That's just 1980. Billy whipped his pitchers like mules. I know Catfish Hunter went career high for Billy with the Yanks and was finished the next year.
    I think a great thread would be to speculate how many arms Billy destroyed. I realize it would only be speculation, but there is a ton of circumstancial evidence.
    Anyone else recall Billy having a rep for over taxing arms?

  6. Mike Norris' problem wasn't Billy Martin, it was substance abuse.

    Everyone else's problem was they sucked.

    It's been fashionable of late to bash guys like Dusty Baker, Joe Torre, and now Martin for ruining pitchers, but who are we talking about?

    Rick Langford. Steve McCatty. Brian Kingman. Scott Proctor. Edinson Volquez. Jeff Nelson.

    The dinner menu at Alcatraz had better looking choices than that.

    Who is to say they all wouldn't have been done at 31, 32 anyway?

    Managers don't ruin pitchers.

    Pitchers ruin pitchers.

  7. dukeofflattbush Says:

    I hear ya Chuck,

    But to have 4 (bad or good) starters in their prime pitch their highest inning total for you and all be out of baseball in 5 years before 32 years old, is a little more than saying they all sucked.
    Even pitchers that suck can hang around for 10 years, not 3.
    That was just 1980, I could go through Martin's record and see how many guys had career highs in IP and CG for Billy, then had off seasons and short careers.
    I bet more than average.

  8. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Chuck, I won't argue that the modern pitch-count orthodoxy is correct. But your logic is a little bewildering. Pitchers who get hurt don't have impressive careers because they got hurt. If Greg Maddux blew out his arm in 1988, you could say "what's the big deal, Maddux was a 6-14 pitcher in his only full season, we didn't lose anything." Of course managers can ruin pitchers. Unless you don't believe any pitchers can be possibly overworked, that is indisputable. However, there is a lot of gray area in deciding what constitutes overwork and how pitchers should be handled.

  9. John, Martin, Steinbrenner, Gillick and Miller should have been in already.

    Oliver and Simmons are also worthy of consideration.

    Sadly, as a Yankee Fan old enough to have seen him pitch live, I cannot put in Guidry. He probably had more good seasons than Sandy Koufax and Dizzy Dean, and had more wins than either, but he didn't have enough truly great seasons. Guidry won 170 games, Koufax 165, Dean 150. Guidry's .651 winning percentage was better than Dean's .644 and almost as good as Koufax's .655, but in all honesty I can't put him in.

    What about Bert Blyleven? Ron Santo? Gil Hodges? And if you're going to consider Steinbrenner, why not the man who built the first Yankee dynasty and the first Yankee Stadium, Jacob Ruppert?

  10. Charles Saeger Says:

    I wrote something on the 1980 As pitchers on way back in 1994, and a big part of what happened to the pitchers is that they weren't all that good in the first place. Overwork had something to do with it, true, but if they had half the complete games they really did (47, which would have been a normal total for the era), much, though not all, of the same would have happened to them.

  11. Charles Saeger Says:

    Incidentally, the non-players are better candidates than the players. Really, all of the non-players are good selections. Yes, two Yankees and Yankee Pat (old habits die hard), but as detestable as these guys may be personally, they'd all be good picks.

  12. By my count, Tommy John has a higher lifetime WAR than 31 members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. While I do realize to some degree, he may be considered a borderline case, I think he should be voted in, for once and for all.

  13. You have to look AT the pitcher, Johnny.

    With the exception of Norris, the other guys were all junk ballers who specialized in sinkers or splitters, both of which are notoriously tough on the arm.

    Look at Brandon Webb, no one will ever accuse anyone of overworking him, and yet he's done.

    That's more a coincidence than something related specifically to Martin over-using.

    And don't get me wrong, I believe Martin did over-use them, but look at that season in context to 1979, which was one of the worst seasons in franchise history.

    Martin probably realized in spring training that he had these four horses and the only way to be competitive was to ride them.

    Sometimes you end up with Secretariat, sometimes you end up with Barbaro.

    No one could predict either one.

  14. The absence of Ted Simmons has been one of the Hall of Fame's more embarrassing oversights. His only crime was that he wasn't Johnny anyone else was. He also fell victim to the Cardinals "we're only great every OTHER decade" thing (post season appearances per decade
    40's: 4
    50's: 0
    60's: 3
    70's: 0
    80's: 3 (plus the best record in the NL in 81, but not postseason due to stupid split season)
    90's: 1
    00's: 7)

  15. Mike Norris was great and should have won the 1980 Cy Young. His cocaine problems surfaced in 1984-1986 when his career was already shot. McCatty led the league in wins & Shutouts in 1981 and finished 2nd in the Cy Young. Keough had a 129 era+ and won 16 games in 1980, Langford won 19 games in 1980.

    Who know's how there careers would have turned out but Martin overused them and definitely shortened their careers. They were all basically shot by 1983 and Martin bears most of that responsibility.

    Norris had seasons of 96, 77, 49, & 149 innings pitched from 1976-1979. In 1980 his innings total soared to 284 innings and in 1981 he pitched 172 innings in 23 games. In 1983 he pitched 88 innings.

    McCatty led the league in wins and had a 150era+ in 1981 and pitched 185 innings in 22 games.

    Keough averaged 186 innings in 1978-1979 then went up 250 innings in 1980.

    Langford averaged 200 innings from 1977-1979 and then he pitched 290 innings in 1980 & 195 innings in 24 games in 1981. In 1983 he pitched 20 innings.

    There's a good essay on the topic in Rob Neyer's Baseball Blunders book.

  16. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Chuck, I don't disagree with anything you wrote. (Except I have never heard how a sinker is tough on the arm. It's just a fastball with a 2-seam grip. Can you elaborate?) Some pitchers are more susceptible to getting hurt, whether due to repertoire or mechanics or physiology, and after all this time it still seems no one is very good at identifying them. And Martin certainly got all he could out of that team, as he did with most of his teams. That's an old-fashioned clash of values, I you exchange short-term glory for the long-term? No one knows what those guys would have done subsequently if they pitched ~225 IP that season. Certainly that team wouldn't have been as good, and most likely no one would remember each of them today. Of course, the team wasn't really _that_ good, just better than anyone expected. I don't know if there is any right decision. A lot of people knock Tommy Lasorda for overworking his guys as well. But he won two titles. Is his job to ensure his pitchers can last forever, or to win?

  17. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Also, were they really sinkerballers? I thought the success of that team was because they had three centerfielders (Henderson/Murphy/Armas) patrolling the outfield, and those guys were flyball pitchers. B-R's groundout/flyout numbers show that all except Norris were flyballers. This is a little before my time. Anyone have the Neyer/James pitchers book handy to confirm their pitch repertoires?

  18. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    I voted for John, Steinbrenner and Miller for their overall contributions to the game, as well as a personal favorite, Rusty Staub. Other Expos might have been better players, but Le Grande Orange will be remembered long after names like Carter and Thornton are just known to us stat heads.

    I was also surprised to find myself defending my vote AGAINST Concepcion. As A lifelong Redlegs fan, I appreciate how good he was, and what he meant to the club; but this is the Hall of FAME -- not the Hall of Pretty Fair to Middlin'.

  19. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Murphy had one of the eight 500-putout seasons by an outfielder that year. Henderson had the only 400-putout season by a left fielder, and Armas the 9th most PO by a RF since 1954.

  20. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Altogether, I'm guessing it might be the most PO by any OF ever.

  21. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Without digging any deeper, I think Concepcion has a fair argument for the HOF for likely being the best SS of the '70s. I'm not saying that's enough (I didn't vote for him), but it's a good start.

  22. @11, agreed. I can make pro arguments for Miller, Steinbrenner, Martin and Gillick easier than I could most of the players. Gillick to me seems deserving, but he also seems at little out of place on the emotional scale when grouped with the other three, who will have their passionate defenders and detractors. While like many fans I still focus on the HOF as a place for players, the fact is it is MLB’s official museum, and it has a non-player's wing. I would find it difficult to not have Miller and Steinbrenner in the Hall, at least eventually. My gut feeling is Steinbrenner annoyed too many people who are still associated with the game, so he won’t get in. Then again, I’m not sure who is on the voting committee. I believe Jerry Reinsdorf is on the committee this year, and Steinbrenner and Reinsdorf were thick as thieves, so he’ll have at least one strong advocate. Yet, Jacob Ruppert still hasn't been voted in to the Hall, and I’m not sure why. If owners are allowed in, then Ruppert should be in.

    Martin? I've always believed he's one of a handful of managers who could make a team better than its collective parts, at least for a year or two, but the eventual damage that seemed to come with it is hard to ignore. He's one of the better managers I’ve seen, yet I don't think I'd vote him. There would be something fitting, though, if Steinbrenner and Martin went in at the same time. Unfortunately, neither would be with us to make the induction ceremony truly fun and interesting. It would have been one for the ages.

  23. "His cocaine problems surfaced in 1984-1986 when his career was already shot."

    You're right, that's when they surfaced. But he was using well before then.

  24. Charles Saeger Says:

    In 1981, these five men struck out 4.1 batters per nine innings; in 1980, they struck out 4.5 per nine. The league average for starters only was 4.4 for both years. For an ace staff, this isn't very good. And they weren't all that good before 1980. Norris, the only one of them who was a strikeout pitcher at all in 1980, was a whopping 5.0 K/9 before then, 5.7 in 1980, which was 7th.

    Yes, they fell especially hard, but in the most important stat for predicting future performance, these guys were average at best in 1980-1981, so I think it is very safe to say that they overachieved in 1980-1981. Using their Marcel projections, they were probably a 104 RA+ going into 1982; they wound up going 83 RA+.

    Let me put it this way: they fell hard, but these guys weren't great in the beginning. Norris's 1980 season is actually out of line for his career up through 1981, and none of the others pitched great, just much.

  25. A sinker and a two seamer are NOT the same thing.

    A two seamer is a true fastball with a downward move at the end, but the downward movement is more of a tailing action than a drop or sink.

    A sinker is the only pitch, save the knuckleball, which is thrown almost exclusively with the shoulder, with little or no hand or finger involvement at release.

    Watch videos of Webb, he appears to be almost lunging or "shot-putting" the ball homeward.

    The pitch has fewer rotations than a fastball and like the knuckleball, almost has a tumbling action, excepting it is thrown at about 80% of fastball speed.

    A sinker that doesn't sink is like a curveball that hangs, it usually gets hit a long ways.

    None of those A's pitchers, save Norris, had consistent ML stuff, which is why sometimes they pitched really well and sometimes they gave up an inordinate amount of fly balls.

  26. This HOF list is kind of odd with the players that are candidates. I can think of 10-25 better candidates from 1973+. Here's who I'd select:

    Ted Simmons-He's kind of an odd omission because he's one of the best offensive catchers in bb history, catchers are kind of underrated by the HOF. He was a dominant catcher during the 70's but may have been lost in the shuffle with Bench, Fisk, & Munson. Also it may have hurt his persona that he finished his career as a DH/1B. He had a .285/.348/.437, 117ops+ lifetime numbers. His 117ops+ is 12th all time among catchers with at least 5000 PA since 1901. He had 1283 runs created which ranks 4th all time among players who spent 50% of their careers as catchers. He finished in the top ten WAR 5 times in his career and had a career 50.4 WAR with a peak best 7 seasons 35.9 which averages out to 43.1.

    Tommy John-Never really a dominant pitcher but had an incredibly long durable career. He had a brief peak in the late 60's on some terrible White Sox teams when he was a top 5 pitcher, Then he had a very good stretch from 1977-1982 when he was a top 15 pitcher. His strengths were not giving up Hr and not giving up walks. He finished in the top ten in BB/9 12 times and top ten in HR/9 12 times leading the league 3 times. He pitched until 1989 and won 288 games. He had 59 WAR with a peak best 7 season of 33.2 which averages out to 46.1. Here's some of his rankings:

    Wins 288: 14th since 1921
    Shutouts: 16th since 1921
    HR/9: 4th since 1947
    BB/9: 15th since 1961
    WAR Pitchers 59: 43rd since 1876

    Pat Gillick-Won 5 divisions, 2 American League Pennants, and 2 World Series, pre wild card with the Blue Jays.

    Won the '96 Wild Card and '97 Division with the Orioles

    Won the '00 Wild Card and '01 Division with the Mariners plus set the all time team win record in '01 with a 116-46

    Won the 2 divisions, 1 NL Pennant, and 1 WS with the Phillies.

    Marvin Miller-One of the top 10 most influential persons in BB history. He's an no Doubt HOF.


    Close-Vida Blue, Great peak unbelievable 1971, not enough career length and ended his career early because of cocaine use.

    Guidry similar to Blue but not as great a peak, great 1978, also didn't have enough career value.

    Staub, good career value but relatively short peak as a great player (Houston-Montreal '67-71). Spent 1972-1985 as a poor fielding RF/DH/PH.

    Garvey is/was a very overrated player. First Baseman with a .329 on base percentage, decent glove but didn't deserve those GG.

    Al Oliver, I don't understand why he's even on the ballot because he was never thought of as a great player back in the 70's. He did hit a career .303 but only a career .344 with a .451 slugging, 121ops+. Only hit 20+ HR twice

    Concepcion, was a good not great fielding short stop but a pretty weak offensive player, career 88ops+, .322 on base percentage.

  27. Johnny Twisto Says:

    A sinker and a two seamer are NOT the same thing.

    I won't say that you're wrong, but this is not my understanding. Can you explain then how they are different? How is the grip different? How is the release different? When you describe a pitch with fewer rotations than a fastball and a tumbling action, that sounds like a forkball to me. Brandon Webb used a two-seam grip, and as this great analysis concludes, to throw a sinker, "Get on the inside of the baseball....PRONATE." That contradicts your statement that there is no hand movement.

    I've only skimmed through this thread, but it seems to equate sinkers and two-seamers. Which of the pitchers referred to therein would you say throw sinkers but not two-seam fastballs?

    And if a sinker is thrown at about 80% of fastball speed, that means around 72 mph. Webb's pitch certainly wasn't 72.

  28. "How is the grip different?"

    The thumb doesn't contact the seams, and the ball is held further back in the hand, with the index and middle finger almost directly on top of the ball.

    "How is the release different?"

    Look at the video of Webb in the ThinkFactory link, see how his upper body is moving toward the plate but his lower body seems to be moving off towards the third base side?

    He's slinging, the lower body is a reaction to keeping his balance. In the other link, you can see the picture of Chien Ming Wang, where his back foot is well off the rubber but the ball is still in his hand?

    That, too, is slinging.

    "When you describe a pitch with fewer rotations than a fastball and a tumbling action, that sounds like a forkball to me."

    Yes, very similar. The grips are much different, however.

    "Get on the inside of the baseball....PRONATE." That contradicts your statement that there is no hand movement."

    Webb is unusual for a sinkerballer in that he doesn't throw overhand, he's more of a three quarter guy. For his hand to stay on top of the ball, or close to it, he has to compensate for the lower arm slot by pronating or rotating his hand into position to release the pitch, as opposed to it being a natural action.

    "And if a sinker is thrown at about 80% of fastball speed, that means around 72 mph. Webb's pitch certainly wasn't 72."


  29. I'm the type that likes a small induction class so the only guy I'd put in from this group is Ted Simmons. Tar and feather me, but I'll go to my grave believing Simba was a better all-round player than either Bench or Fisk. Simmons handled the bat much better than the HOF guys--you never knew what you were getting out of Bench with the stick. Simmons had good power, solid run production was a fine defender and unlike Fisk and Bench, drew more walks than strikeouts. Simba was a stud and deserves to be in the Hall.

    It's great seeing Buzz Arlett getting some respect. I have a Stratomatic card of the guy and he rakes like it's nobody's business.

    For those of you discussing Mike Norris, Neal Karlen wrote an interesting story about an indepedent team that Norris played on titled "Bad-Nose Bees" that is an interesting read concerning Mike's after fame career. The team also had such drug-addicts/headcases as Steve Howe, Ken Reitz, Derrel Thomas and Daryl Sconiers.

  30. Johnny Twisto Says:


    That's helpful.

    I'm trying to learn something. Do you mean the pitch is thrown 80% as hard as a fastball? If so, it seems such a reduced effort could be picked up by batters. If it's thrown 80% as fast, please explain why my comment on the velocity so exasperates you.

  31. Because you're locked into a figure of speech.

    You're assuming Webb's fastball to be 90 all the time, or the variance to be 80% all the time.

    Pitches are like fingerprints.

    Pitchers are like snowflakes.

    No pitcher throws the same pitch the same way, and no pitch is the same even if thrown by the same pitcher.

    Maybe it is closer to 85 or so, Johnny, when done on a league average, who knows?

    Not many guys throw a sinker anymore. The splitter or forkball was the fad pitch for awhile, now it's the cutter. Tomorrow it will be something else.

  32. You know the closest living relative to the cutter is actually not the fastball but the slider?

    Instead of a horizontal wrist break at release, the break is accomplished with the fingers.

    And the term cutter is a misnomer.

    When you "cut" something it moves in the same direction it came from.

    When Tiger Woods "cuts" or "fades" a drive, the ball starts to the left then "cuts" to the right.

    When Jim Courier cuts a forehand volley, same thing, it is struck by the right side of the player, moves initially to the left, then cuts back to the right.

    Technically, a true cutter, when thrown by a right handed pitcher, would break into a right handed hitter, not away.

  33. Johnny Twisto Says:

    If you're trying to explain the difference between two pitches which are often considered to be the same thing, you shouldn't rely on figures of speech. You should be precise. I don't assume every pitch goes exactly the same speed. But Webb threw in the high 80s. Wang threw 93-95. That's not even close to 80% of their max velocity, it's more like 95+%. That's not just "variance." That's always been my understanding, that a pitcher's 2-seamer/sinker/whatever it is loses a few mph off his 4-seamer (with variance, of course). So if a "sinker" is not actually 80% velocity, that eliminates one of the major alleged differences between the two pitches.

    So how would you define the differences between the two pitches? With a sinker, "The thumb doesn't contact the seams, and the ball is held further back in the hand." I assume this means your conception of a 2-seamer is that the thumb does contact the seams.

    My guess is that this is mostly a semantic argument, and how one refers to the pitches is a result of how one was taught. Different pitchers grip pitches different ways, and some have a thumb on the seam and some don't, and some call it a sinker and some call it a 2-seamer, and these don't necessarily correlate. The author of that baseballthinkfactory piece was a professional pitcher, and he seems to use the terms somewhat interchangeably. Some pitchers probably throw the ball with two seams and it doesn't really sink, so it's not a "sinker." Some pitchers are probably able to get some sink using a somewhat different grip, so it's not really a "2-seamer." You call Webb's a sinker but he called it a two-seamer:

    I'm not trying to be argumentative, I am very curious about this and you seem to have some insight, so please add anything else you can to delineate what you think are the differences.

  34. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Yes, I do know a cutter is similar to a slider. Mariano Rivera's often looks just like a slider, except at 93 mph, which is why he's unhittable. Nobody throws a 93 mph slider except perhaps Randy Johnson in his prime.

  35. Not to derail this topic, but upon seeing the headline I assumed this would be about the upcoming HOF election. I'm curious as to who everyone would vote for if they had a ballot. I believe you can only vote for ten players. I'd cast a vote for: Bagwell, Blyleven, McGwire, Edgar, Alomar, Larkin, Raines, Palmeiro (though I never liked the guy) and Brown. That would be nine... I suppose I'd throw a token vote to either Trammell, McGriff, Olerud or John Franco.

  36. A sinker and two seamer are clearly not the same pitch.

    The grip is different, the grip pressure is different, how it breaks and moves in flight is different.

    But you are right, Johnny, it is semantics.

    I lived outside Philly for awhile, and became familiar with cheesesteaks.

    I remember flying down to Miami for some reason and ordering a cheesesteak from roomservice when I got to the hotel.

    Some two day old pot roast on garlic bread with peppers AND mushrooms and some kind of spanish spicy cheese.

    It was about as far from an authentic cheesesteak as you could find, but that's what they called it.

    To each his own.

  37. Johnny Twisto Says:

    The grip is different, the grip pressure is different, how it breaks and moves in flight is different.

    Well, that doesn't really help me any more.

    But to each his own.

  38. Don't know where you are, but kinda late for me.

    I'll answer in more detail tomorrow.

  39. I agree with #21 about Concepcion. That was the toughest call for me, although I also had a tough time with John. It's just weird to think that NO shortstops who primarily played in the 70s were Hall worthy.

    I'm more of a small-Hall-type-of-guy (as obnoxious as that label is), but there's no denying Marvin Miller. The guy should have been in YEARS ago. The only other person I voted for was Simmons. He's a no-doubter to me. Here's the thing: if the whole business were up to me, we'd scrap it, start over, and there'd be around 120-150 players, plus maybe 20-30 non-players (and that's being generous). Except for Miller and Simmons, the rest don't make the cut (although I could potentially be persuaded somewhere down the line on Steinbrenner - I just don't want a kneejerk reaction to his death causing a HOF induction). However, if you are of the persuasion that my own opinions don't matter because that's not how the Hall has elected in the past, well, first of all, why read an opinion thread? And second, by those standards, pretty much all of these guys are worthy, particularly John, Simmons, Guidry, and the non-players. *Sigh* So I guess we just keep debating. And even though it means nothing, it sure is fun, isn't it?

  40. dukeofflattbush Says:

    Raines is truly an undervalued player.
    He played in a very poor offensive period, for a very bad team(s).
    Imagine if he played his career in LA instead of the Siberia of NL baseball, Montreal. He'd be Maury Wills, only good.

  41. The 70's was a pretty weak period for short stops for some reason so it's not that big a deal to be "The Best SS of the 70's". I think Bert Campaneris was Best SS of the 70's anyway. And Bert was a better player than Concepcion. Concepcion's numbers get inflated from Riverfront and Bert's numbers get deflated by playing in Oakland and then playing during the 60's.

    Offensively they were about even Concepcion had a lifetime ops+88 and Bert had a 89ops+

    Bert was the better base runner, 649 SB and he led the league 6 times. Bert was about the same fielder but he never won a GG because he was behind Apparicio and Belanger.

  42. With the high offense today, many fans today don't realize how important run prevention was in the 1970's when run scoring was much lower than it is today. It was not uncommon to have 3-4 of those .240 hitting shortstops on all-star teams during that time while the slugging leftfielders were left off the all-star squads.

    Concepcion was the pre-eminent shortstop of the 1970s and the best hitting pure shortstop of a shortstop dominant era. Toby Harrah and Roy Smalley were better hitters but were moved to 3b. The nine all-star games and his five Gold Gloves are a testament to his dominance of the position when the shortstops were actually defensive specialists.

    This was the era of "small ball", the kind of ball that announcers have reminisced for the past several years.

  43. Detroit Michael Says:

    Johnny Twisto,
    Looks like the MLB record for most putouts by an outfielder in a season is 547.

  44. I am a "Big HOF" guy (plus I love me some 1970's baseball) so it doesn't bother me if all of them got in. But Some I feel deserve definite enshrinement.

    1) Definitely should get in:

    Miller, Steinbrenner (both changed the Monetary landscape of the game - not necessarily for the better but that is a different discussion)

    Tommy John - his stats make him close, but having his name on the surgery puts him over the top.

    Ted Simmons - it hurts me to put another catcher in from the 1970's without Munson, but that is not a reason to keep ted out when he deserves to be in.

    Billy Martin - as a Manager/Personality (with a slight bump added from his playing days to put him over the top)

    2) Guys that I personally feel should be in (not real popular opinions on this site): Guidry, Garvey

    3) Rest of guys in the following order:
    Staub, Blue, Oliver, Concepcion, Gillick

  45. As far as Billy Martin ruining pitchers is concerned, specifically that A's staff of 1980-1981, Rob Neyer covered that in his Big Book of Baseball Blunders. The conclusion was that he very likely worked them to death, but the pitchers themselves didn't blame Billy at all.

    For this poll, I voted for all 4 non-players and Ted Simmons. Tommy John just falls short for me and all the other players don't quite cross the line of Hall of Very Good to Hall of Fame for me.

    As for the non-players, I voted for Martin because he won every place he managed, just that he wore out his welcome so he doesn't show up so high on the managerial win list. Still, his teams always seemed to beat Whitey Herzog's teams. :)

    I feel Marvin Miller should be recognized. I also will regret his induction if it someday leads to Donald Fehr and Scott Boras being elected.

    Pat Gillick built winning teams wherever he went. I suppose it would be nice if he had more WS rings to his credit, but I also feel that GM's are terribly under-represented in the HOF. Let's elect Buzzie Bavasi and Bob Howsam soon, please.

    As for George Steinbrenner? Well, I'll admit I'm a Yankees fan and I'm going to be a bit biased. But I'm also the biggest Dave Winfield fan that I know, and I absolutely hated Steinbrenner for what he did to Winfield. But if Winfield can forgive Steinbrenner for his actions, then I suppose I should. The real discussion is how do you judge an owner. I would think it has to be by what the team he owned accomplished. In that respect, Steinbrenner is over-qualified. 7 WS titles, 11 pennants in 37 years is a pretty high level of success. Especially during the free agent period where parity existed much more than it had previously in the game's history. I also hope that electing Steinbrenner would get future Veteran's Committees to re-examine and finally elect Sam Breadon and especially Jacob Ruppert. Can anyone explain why they're not in the HOF and Tom Yawkey is?

  46. fred forscher Says:

    i would simmons definitly elongs stenberenner,john i think the sss in the 70s were underrated loo at their combind stats for ss at 65 per cent or

  47. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    #39/Dr. Doom Says: " It's just weird to think that NO shortstops who primarily played in the 70s were Hall worthy."

    Well, Robin Yount played a lot in the 1970s (debut in '74) and is certainly HOF-worthy; yes, I know he didn't become ROBIN YOUNT!! till 1980 or so... If you mean "shortstops whose careers were centered in the 1970s who are HOF-worthy", I agree with you.

  48. @42 Steve, As far as Concepcion goes and Short Stops of the 70's, remember it was a rather weak period for short stops so it is kind of dubious honor to be the best of the 70's. If he had played in the 80's he wouldn't have started any All Star Games or won any gold gloves. Also, picking 1970-1979 is kind of arbitrary anyway. If you look at the WAR leaders at short stop from '70-79 it's Bert Campaneris. Concepcion leads short stops who played 75% of their games at short in WAR from '71-80 & '72-81.

    Here's a list of War leaders at short with 75% games played in 10 year increments starting at 1966-1975:


    Ripken takes over for the next 6 segments and then Larkin takes over in 1987-1996

  49. dukeofflattbush Says:

    In 1969, Martin’s first and only year in Minny, a 24 year old Dave Boswell increases his pitch total over 66 IP to 256.1, then starts 17 more games in his entire career and is out of baseball by 1971, age 26, throwing 29 IP.

    1n 1971, 24 year old Joe Coleman won a career high 20 games, but also added 9 GS, 10 CG and 68 IP from the previous season. He would pitch between 280-286 IP for Billy Martin for 4 straight years, averaging over 200 Ks, age 24-27. In 1975 at age 28 his IP fell to 201. He’d make 28 more starts before retiring at age 32, throwing just 24 IP in 1979.

    Mickey Lolich, whom broke 280 IP in 1969 at age 28, was asked to pitch 376 IP for Billy in 1971. He would complete 29 games in 1971, one more than his two previous seasons combined. He’d throw three more 300 IP seasons of declining quality until he was essentially done in 1975 at 34.
    Jim Bibby, during Martin’s first year in Texas would throw a career high in GS, CG, and IP, injuring himself the next year and only pitching one other full season his entire career. His IP total increased over 86 that year.

    In Billy’s first full year in Texas, Fergie Jenkins who was a horse anyway, still had his career high in IP and was only one off his high in CG. No ill affects.

    75 Yankees, Catfish Hunter hit career highs in IP and CG. ’76 3rd highest totals in those two categories, while making 3 fewer starts. Never pitched healthy again, and was out of baseball by 33.

    In 78, Martin pitched Guidry to a career high in innings pitched. He struck out a career high 248, would strike out 201 the next year and his 166 the next year would be his last time that high. During that ’78 Cy Young year, where Martin allowed him to throw more IP than he had previously in his entire career, he posted a stellar 1.74 ERA. He would never get a full run of ERA closer to that mark (2.78), despite leading the league the next year.

    Ed Figeroa averaged 250 IP from 1976-1978 for Martin, age 27-29. He would then be injured and throw a total of 201 IP the rest of his entire career that ended for Billy in Oakland in ’81.

    27 year old Shane Rawley jumps over 75 IP (essentially 9 more games of work) in one year for the Yanks and the rehired Martin in 1983, to a career high IP & CG. He is injured the next year and only breaks 200 IP once in the next 6 years, and is out of baseball at 33.

    In 1988, a very promising hard throwing lefty makes 14 starts for Martin’s Yanks before blowing out his arm. It takes Al leiter nearly 10 years to make it back to form.

  50. Does anyone know how these guys even get on the Vet committee ballot --is it basically out of a hat?

    I'd vote Miller, Simmons and John and make Steinbrenner wait. Munson should be in.

  51. dukeofflattbush Says:

    @ Matt,
    You can't MAKE Steinbrenner do anything.

  52. If you look at 5 year segments Concepcion only leads for two such segments from 1974-1978, and 1975-1979. Campaneris dominates in the early part of the decade and Yount dominates towards the end of the decade.


  53. @51

    Let Steinbrenner wait. :-)

  54. @49Duke, Good stuff. It really stands out when you write it in basic terms like that.

    Norris & Langford's 1980 stand out for me. Norris went from a previous high of 140 innings to 280 innings in one year.

    Langford went from averaging 200 innings a year to 290 in 1980 and 195 innings in 24 games in 1981 which would have been roughly 280 innings in a full 1981 season. Langford was shot by 1983.

  55. mr.baseballcard Says:

    Anybody else put in a blank ballot? The players (esp. Oliver, John, Guidry) were all really good, just not great. Steinbrenner should wait at least 5 years, and seeng Miller enshrined would make me sick.

  56. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Good research Duke. But for it to really be meaningful I think we'd have to look at all contemporary managers and pitchers as well. Is Martin's trail of broken arms longer than others'? He was on multiple teams in a brief time so that may give him access to more different pitchers and more chances that some of them will get hurt.

    Leiter blames his arm problems on a 160+-pitch start he had for Dallas Green in early '89. I think he was having blister problems as well; I can't remember if those occurred in '88 or later or throughout his early years.

  57. How many first basemen with lifetime avg >.300, >2000 hits, >1000 rbi, >600 xbh are NOT in the hof?

    Add 9 gold gloves and an MVP and i give you...

    Don Mattingly, Hall of Famer

  58. If you look at Short Stop in 3 year segments, 75% played at SS, Concepcion only leads in 1976-1978:


  59. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Good points made about Campaneris being Concepcion's equal or superior.

    True that being the best of a weak crop of SS may not be very meaningful. But we should consider why the SS of that time appear to be so bad. With all the Astroturf fields a premium was being put on defense. A lot of guys who may have been able to play SS in the '50s or '00s couldn't handle the position in the '70s. Managers didn't necessarily want to play 5'5" guys who batted .220. But those are the guys they felt could handle the defensive demands, and they were chosen for their overall ability, glove plus weak bat. Thus someone who could play the position well and hit decently, like Concepcion or Campy, was very valuable. It's possible we're not giving enough defensive credit to the SS of that era, in comparison to other positions or to the SS of other eras. (It's also possible teams simply overrated the need for a speedy glove man.)

  60. John DiFool Says:

    "The pitch has fewer rotations than a fastball and like the knuckleball, almost has a tumbling action, excepting it is thrown at about 80% of fastball speed."

    _Fewer_rotations? I thought a true sinker was like a buzzsaw, which is precisely why it sinks so nastily for those who throw a great one. Thinking of Scott Erickson and Kevin Brown specifically, who threw sinkers in the low to mid 90's-those things dropped like rocks, and catchers often describe how the ball seems to try to "bore a hole" through their glove when they catch it.

  61. @Paul 57,

    I found 4 non HOF 1b with a .300 ba, 1000+rbi, and 2000 hits. The Gold Gloves and MVP awards are subjective stuff so I left that out of the search and as a side point Mattingly probably only deserved about 3-5 of those GG and he didn't deserve the '85 MVP. Bad voting on the writers part that year. the '85 MVP should have gone to either George Brett or Ricky Henderson.

    Here's the four non HOF 1b with .300 BA, 1000+rbi and 2000 hits:

    Stuffy Mcginnis
    Will Clark
    Mark Grace
    Todd Helton.

    Those are kind of arbitrary stats & cut offs that aren't context or era related. Clark played in a horrible hitter's park during his peak, during a relatively low offensive era.

    Keith Hernandez had a .296 lifetime average but had a .384 lifetime on base percentage. Mattingly by comparison had a .358 career on base percentage.

  62. @59 Twisto, good points. I think there was a lot of attention put on speed and stolen base ability with short stops during the 70's as well.

    Campaneris' 1968 is completely overlooked but he had a .276 average playing in Oakland in one of the toughest offensive seasons in bb history. His .276 was actually ranked 8th in the AL that year. He led the league in hits with 177 and played a very good defense at short.

  63. None of the players are HOF worthy. Staub and John are the closest, but its not really close. Lou Whitaker should be in well before any of there candidates. Steinbrenner had an overwhelmingly negative impact on MLB and the Yankees; but for his constant meddling, they would have won more in the '70's and '80's. Marvin Miller should have been in long ago; he's the only one for whom I'd vote.

  64. @49

    Lots of good information. Only quibbles I would have with it are, as already pointed out, that Leiter himself blamed Dallas Green for leaving him in for such a high pitch count as when his problems started.

    As for Guidry in '78, well Billy only started that process being that he resigned a little more than halfway through the season. While he could likely be blamed for some of Guidry's longevity issues, how much exactly is unclear.

    Fact is, Billy won everywhere he went. It's just that from the start he didn't stick at one place for long, so he overworked everyone to death. But he knew how to get the most out of his players.

    Eh, it's not like Mattingly had a much worse year compared to Brett or Henderson. No one in the 80's apparently cared about OBP, from everything I seem to read, and of course no one knew about WAR. Obviously Mattingly won due to the RBI's, but he was hardly the worst MVP ever.

  65. I like this imaginary vote of seemingly random "borderline" players from the same era. Thanks Sean.

    Was there a criteria for the list? Because outside of people like me (who think almost everyone should be up for consideration), you couldn't have expected all of the players to get too much support (as the voting proved out).

  66. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    #57/paul Says: "How many first basemen with lifetime avg >.300, >2000 hits, >1000 rbi, >600 xbh are NOT in the hof? Add 9 gold gloves and an MVP and i give you... Don Mattingly, Hall of Famer"

    This what Bill James called the "let's make a group" argument in his must-read book on the Hall of Fame, "The Politics Of Glory". Problem is, the more categories you use, the less effective the argument is; also, the candidate usually ranks amongst the bottom of the categories chosen, compared to the other members of the created "club".

    Will Clark met all the above standards, but got 4.4% in his only year on the ballot; lower the BA to.296, and you get Keith Hernandez, who also won an MVP and got eleven Gold Gloves (two more than Mattingly). Hernandez was on the HOF ballot nine years, peaking at 10.8 %. I consider both of these players better HOF candidates than Mattingly.

    Lower the BA to .298, and you get Cecil Cooper, who got ZERO HOF VOTES. These three were taken from Mattingly's list of top-ten comparables.

    Also: Jack Fournier, Fred Tenney, Dolph Camilli, Joe Judge, Ed Konetchy, Mark Grace, Norm Cash, Fred McGriff, Jack Clark and Dick Allen all have a better lifetime WAR than Don (39.8).

    Conclusion: if you are going to pick the "best available first baseman" for the HOF, there are other strong candidates before Don Mattingly.

  67. Oops, maybe I should read the post. Veteran's commitee list.

  68. No Ron Santo? Really? Awful.

  69. @68

    This year's Veteran's Committee ballot focused on "The Expansion Years" which covered 1973-present. Santo would fit more into what they're calling "The Golden Years" of 1947-1972. I would expect he's on that ballot, which I presume will be out next year. Hopefully he'll finally get his due.

  70. @49, Duke -- I'm not completely defending Billy Martin's pitcher usage patterns, but there's an awful lot of context missing from your account.

    1. You frequently refer to "career highs" in IP and CG, without giving the actual totals. You can't judge a career high without a frame of historical reference -- both the pitcher's own history, and what others in the league were doing at the time.

    2. From 1971-75, there were 63 pitcher-seasons of 280+ IP. Pitchers managed by Martin accounted for 7 of them -- Lolich and Coleman each year from 1971-73, and Jenkins in '74. (You can't charge Catfish's '75 workload to Billy's account, since he ran the Yankees for just the last 1/3 of that season.) Martin accounted for 4 of the 28 pitcher-seasons of 300+ IP in that span -- 3 by Lolich, 1 by Jenkins.

    You noted that Jenkins had no apparent ill effects. So I'll talk about Lolich:

    When Martin took over the Tigers to start the 1971 season, Mickey Lolich was a 30-year-old pitcher of basically average accomplishment; through 1,801 IP, he had 101 ERA+ and a 116-93 W-L record. The year before, Lolich had a 99 ERA+ and a 14-19 record in 273 IP. Mickey Lolich was nowhere near being on a HOF track. In this instance (and many others), Martin is a victim of his own success: If Martin had not squeezed 3 very productive seasons out of Lolich age 30-32, nobody would have thought Lolich was such a precious talent whose "petering out" at age 35 was a crime to be laid at Martin's feet.

    3. Some of your statements are misleading and/or wrong:

    -- Yes, Bibby set many career highs in '74 under Martin -- but in that era, if you said that 11 CG and 264 IP were abusive, you would have been laughed at. And Bibby was 29 at the time. And it's not true that he had just 1 other "full season" afterwards; he topped 200 IP in both 1977 and '80.

    -- Lolich was not "essentially done" at 34; at 35, he made 30 starts, 193 IP, with a 102 ERA+. How many pitchers, especially those of Lolich's girth, have even one effective season from age 35 onward?

    -- Catfish's 1975 workload was virtually the same as it was in his last year with Oakland. That's simply what teams were doing with their aces in that period. Catfish was also a big-league rotation starter by age 19; he threw 260 innings at age 21, and had almost 2800 IP through age 29 by the time Martin started calling his shots. Just how long was Hunter supposed to last, anyway?

    -- Ed Figueroa tossed 245 IP with 16 CG at age 26 in 1975 ... for the Angels. But somehow, when Martin subjects him to the same workload -- avg. of 250 IP and 13 CG from 1976-78 (which, by the way, was incredibly ordinary for that time) -- the "inevitable" injury is Billy's fault.

    -- Ron Guidry did post a career high in IP in 1978, just his 2nd full year in the majors. How many innings? 274. Where did that rank in the AL? Seventh. (Take out the 6.1 IP in the 163rd game and he drops down to 10th.) How old was he? 27. How many CG did he throw? 16. Where did that rank in the AL? In a 4-way tie for 7th. And heck, 9 of the 16 were shutouts -- you simply didn't remove a pitcher throwing a shutout in 1978. How could you possibly expect Martin to have done anything differently, in the midst of an intense pennant race, and how can you fault him for doing what most other managers were doing, only much more successfully? By the way, Guidry's last big year came at age 34 -- 22-6, 3.27 ERA, 123 ERA+, 259 IP. His manager that year? Billy Martin. Of course.

  71. John A @ 70,

    Thanks for stating what I was too lazy to research/write. I had the same thoughts on how much blame Martin should get for Lolich and Hunter due to age.

    Also regarding your comments on Guidry - he was pretty successful after 1978 (not many pitchers have kept up THAT kind of success he had in 1978).

    And the comment on how a lot of the IP totals were common for the time period, whether or not they were career highs.

    One added point to your comments on Lolich...Martin turned him into a commodity that the Tigers later dealt for Rusty Staub (who started the All-Star Game for the A.L. in his first year with the Tigers - 1976). That one is a tie-back to the original list of nominees. :)

  72. @64, Pat D -- "No one in the 80's apparently cared about OBP" (re: the 1985 AL MVP).

    If you mean the BBWAA, I think you're mostly right; or at least, they loved RBI a lot more. But Bill James had a good essay in that year's Baseball Abstract on why either Brett or Henderson would have been a better choice, and it wasn't about WAR or Win Shares or even mainly about OBP.

    As I recall, his Henderson/Mattingly comparison boiled down to the fact that Rickey's 146 runs scored were a far more historic achievement than Mattingly's 145 RBI. For Brett/Mattingly, he put their respective RBI totals into team context -- the Yankees scored 839 runs, the Royals 687 -- and that Brett led the league in Runs Created, and in slugging %, and scored more runs than Mattingly, and was colossally clutch in the final week when the Royals snatched the division title away from the Angels.

  73. Chuck says, "With the exception of Norris, the other guys were all junk ballers who specialized in sinkers or splitters, both of which are notoriously tough on the arm."

    Except that Tommy John, after the surgery that now bears his name, couldn't throw his formerly great fastball anymore, switched to a sinker, and pitched until... I think he just retired. Seriously, he reached the majors when JFK was still in office and kept pitching until the first George Bush was elected. I've heard a few times that splitters are hard on arms, but sinkers?

    Then again, Bill Lee says his best pitch was a sinking fastball, and the real reason Don Zimmer didn't pitch him in September 1978 was because he was hurt and not doing all that well before he got hurt, not because he was a (insert insult of choice). And Lee was done by '82, so it's not like Lee for Stan Papi was a particularly stupid trade: Keeping him wouldn't have helped the Red Sox much.

    How come nearly everybody on this page has Honus Wagner as their avatar? Not that I object, but I don't recall choosing him.

  74. @73 -- Honus is the default. Some of us haven't figured out how to change it, and I suppose some just don't care.

  75. Steve Garvey.

    He's been knocked for a terrible OBP and OBPS. not to mention a jesse barfield like WAR. and while we're at it, although known as a slugger most of his career he never had a single season with a .500 slugging percentage.

    now a case FOR. none of the following alone would qualify a player for the HOF, but added up steve his a HOFer or falls just short.
    1207 consecutive games (NL record). there have been many tough players in national league history, many of them first basemen (for all of you who say first base doesn't put as much wear on the body). that he stands alone is significant.
    cal is the only modern player more durable.

    10 All Star games
    2 time All Star game MVP
    .338 batting average in the post season
    2 NLCS MVPs.
    1207 Consecutive games (NL Record), 4th All Time
    6 200 hit seasons
    4 Gold Gloves

    Players tense up in showcase events where the national spotlight is on.
    garvey was consistently a money player (alex rodriguez has recently brought his playoff stats up to respectable career marks, but was known for years to choke in the playoffs). garvey on the other hand took the '74 playoffs by storm and established himself as a good playoff hitter and remained consistent.

    4 gold gloves. although not known for having the greatest arm or range, he retired with the highest fielding percentage of any first baseman (currently 7th all time).
    on any team in any era, garvey's teammates would go into the playoffs knowing two things about garvey: he wasn't going to turn his head at first when a throw was in the dirt, and he was going to knock the cover off the ball at the plate.

    all of these things put him just ahead of marginal guys like parker, baines, and oliver.

  76. Detroit Michael Says:

    I thought Al Leiter barely pitched for several seasons in a row because of blister problems, which can't readily be blamed on oversue by either Billy Martin or Dallas Green. That's just my recollection.

  77. If Kirby Puckett is a 1st ballot HOF'er, Don Mattingly should have been elected years ago.

  78. @47

    Yes, I did mean shortstops whose careers centered in the 1970s. That's why I said "primarily." As a Brewers fan, I would never, NEVER forget about Robin Yount, but he played primarily in the 1980s. That's when he accumulated his best stats, and that's when he had both his peak and the bulk of his value. So I didn't forget him - I did forget Campernaris, though, so thanks to the many of you who have pointed him though. But the two (Campy and Concepcion) are pretty comparable, and also pretty underwhelming for being the best shortstops of their decade. Good thread, everyone - lots of good comments. Keep 'em comin', I say.

  79. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    #77/micker17 Says: "If Kirby Puckett is a 1st ballot HOF'er, Don Mattingly should have been elected years ago."

    Well, Puckett played mostly CF, with some RF towards the end. Mattingly was almost entirely a 1B. Even if Mattingly is as good as Keith Hernandez (I don't think so...), Puckett still has a BIG defensive edge in value. The offensive standards for a first baseman are considerably higher than for a CF, look at the number of comparable 1B to Don I listed in my post in #66.

    #78/Dr. Doom - OK, we are in agreement, the 1970s just did NOT have a worthy full-decade HOF-worthy shortstop. Aparicio at the start, Ozzie and Yount at the end.

  80. I don't have access to the Hall of Fame bylaws, so not sure if there's any requirement that a candidate's qualifications include benefiting MLB for the good of the fans. If there is such a bylaw, then Marvin Miller is a non-issue. He was very effective for escalating players' incomes, and did so with negotiating tactics befitting his prior union experience. 'Cept the result was a salary structure so obscenely high that many fans can't afford to attend MLB games, and a couple of those strikes that cost some very good players stats that would have put them into HoF consideration.

    Otherwise, Tommy John was a great, durable pitcher whose stats were the result of the surgery named for him. Bert Blyleven deserves to be in, as does Jim Kaat (a great fielder and a good hitter).

  81. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Payroll does not drive ticket prices. Attendance is higher than it has ever been. And improved quality of play would seem to be a benefit to the fans.

  82. Payroll does not "drive" ticket prices, but it is a factor in higher ticket prices, along with inflation and laws of supply and demand. They are all factors that collectively result in higher ticket prices today.

  83. To answer Johnny, Uncle Mike and anyone else who may be interested.

    Sorry, again, for the continued derailment of this thread.

    The information here is comes mostly from experience and memory, but is substantiated through a book entitled "The Baseball Handbook for Coaches and Players", first published in 1976.

    I googled "Jim Depel" and surprisingly enough, he doesn't have a Wikipedia page, all you will find are links to online used book stores.

    Depel was the longtime baseball coach at UCLA and a disciple of, and later business partner with Dodgers manager Walter Alston.

    This book is very detailed in it's description of fundamental baseball instruction and a useful tool for me for many many years as both a player and coach. What keeps me going back to it is the simplicity in its writing, most times when a person of Alston's experience writes a book, it is written for an audience of his peers, and not one of the general public.

    If you've ever read Ted Williams' "The Science of Hitting", you know what I mean.

    I will try and be as descriptive as possible without turning this into a 5000 word essay, so I will ask if you have a baseball handy to please grab it.

    I mentioned to Johnny yesterday that the two seam or sinking fastball and the sinker are not the same pitch, and hopefully I can demonstrate that through words. If you are a visual learner and need accompanying pictures, well, you're on your own there.

    There are two places on the ball where the seams are at their narrowest. On one side is where the "Official XXX League Ball" and the Commissioner's signature is, the other side is plain and is commonly known amongst autograph collectors as the "sweet spot".

    This is also where the pitcher holds the ball when throwing a two seam fastball, with the index and middle finger placed the long ways on the seams. The four seamer is held at the opposite side of the ball, or where the seams are at their widest. The term four seamer simply describes two fingers each being held across two seams, whereas on the two seamer it's two fingers, two seams.

    I'm not into aerodynamics and stuff like that, but basically, with a four seamer, the fingers are pulling backwards on the seams at release, putting backspin on the ball. This essentially keeps the ball on its plane longer, which also allows it to maintain velocity longer and, if thrown correctly with a high arm speed, the impression the ball rises.

    The two seamer doesn't have that backspin, so it doesn't stay on course as long. What gives it its down and in sink is merely the pitcher imparting varying degrees of pressure with one or the other, or both fingers at release.

    Now for the sinker;

    On the baseball you are holding, on the fat part of the ball, you should see a logo of the ball's manufacturer, or maybe a stamp of the league logo.

    Using the opposite hand from your throwing hand, place this logo on the fat part of your thumb opposite your nail. Now, without any movement with your grip hand, push the ball back into your hand until it contacts the last joint of your index finger.

    Now, just close your hand around the ball. If done correctly, the grip should feel unnatural, with the ball in the back of the hand, with the index finger slightly across the left seam and with the tip resting in the sweet spot. The middle finger should be just to the right of the right seam.

    To the naked eye, the grip of the sinker and two seamer would appear the same, but, as you can feel in your hand now, they are much different.

    Now comes the hard part, the delivery.

    We're all taught when throwing anything we do so with the big muscles; thighs, hips, ass, chest, shoulders.

    Getting oneself into proper throwing position is the hard part, the hand and object just follow along for the ride.

    The picture of Chien Ming Wang in one of the provided links provides a better description than I can.

    What makes a sinker sink is grip pressure (very tight) and the holding onto the ball longer than normal. If you look at Wang's picture, his foot is well off the ground and the ball is still in his hand. At this point Wang should be bending forward and at the beginning stages of his follow through, yet he is still almost upright.

    All his lower body energy is gone, everything that is left is in his shoulder and he is holding on for the last minute before releasing the pitch. The longer you hold the ball, and the longer you can maintain the tightness in the grip, the more friction is created between your hand and the seams and the more the ball with sink.

    Try it.

    Go outside and throw it against a wall or your neighbor's garage door.

    At the point where you would normally release the pitch.....don't. Hold onto it for another second or two.

    I don't care if you're throwing sixty feet six inches across your yard or twenty feet with the six year old next door, you should, almost immediately, feel tension in the front of your shoulder.

    If you do, congratulations, you now know the difference between a sinker and two seamer and have passed the test.

    If not, well, I tried.

    Thanks for listening. Or reading.

  84. Phil Haberkorn in Indiana Says:

    TED SIMMONS - his hitting similarity comparisons include four catchers, three of whom are HOFers. His age comparisons incude a stretch of the HOF-required ten years, and future HOFer' Pudge Rodriguez tops the list every time. PBP announcers consistently referred to Teddy as a future HOFer. Ted Simmons is a prime example of why the Veterans Committee is needed, to correct the mistakes of the baseball writers.

  85. Phil Haberkorn in Indiana Says:

    DAVE CONCEPCION - here's Ozzie Smith without the between-innings gymnastics.

    Let's be honest, Oz is remembered for doing his backflip/somersault thing, something nobody else ever did. (That sets the precedent for Ron Santo to be elected, by the way, since nobody else ever jumped and clicked their heels like he could...:) ((Also, nobody slid through the mud into second base like Ronnie, but you'd have to see the pictures to know what I'm sayin'....))

    Back to Davey, he covered the left side of the infield like a carpet (even after they started making the infield with carpets) as well as anybody else including Ozzie, and neither one of them is remembered for their offense. Joe Morgan and Concepcion were repeatedly projected for the HOF by PBP announcers, so where did Davey's votes go? Here's a case as I've argued before, for a special category on the ballot for double-play combos to be honored on the basis of their actual performance, instead of a stupid poem (and I'm a Cubs fan saying this). Tinker and Evers had nothing over Alley and Mazeroski, or Trammel and Whitaker, or Kessinger and Beckert.

  86. Phil Haberkorn in Indiana Says:

    GEORGE STEINBRENNER -- if you're going to elect all these millionaires, you gotta elect the guy who paid them and showed us how spending money is how you win as long as you can find fans and sponsors who can afford to buy into the program.

  87. Phil Haberkorn in Indiana Says:

    RUSTY STAUB - somebody's got to cook for all these guys on Hall of Fame Day, right? This way they can save on the catering bill.....

  88. I'm going to echo what was said in this article thread in comment #194,

    While I'm all for the advancement of knowledge and learning, there comes a time where that is no longer the case, and it becomes someone trying to outdo someone else.

    I see that with sabermetrics.

    Up until recently (2000-2001) when the advanced stats movement really took off, there weren't many people who believed Keith Hernandez to be better than Mattingly.

    Outside of delusional, still holding onto their Merry Christmas gift wrapped 1986 title, that is.

    When Sean posted the career defensive WAR rankings I lost it. It doesn't matter what side of the fence you're on, but no one with a reasonable mind would believe the difference between them to be that great.

    So, automatically, the stat is dismissed as crap.

    I use stats. Probably more than I care to admit.

    I find them helpful when researching and comparing players who were dead before I was born to players I have seen.

    But I've seen Mattingly...alot. And I have seen Hernandez....alot.

    And Mattingly was better.

    But I understand those who believe otherwise. Hernandez was a great defensive player.

    But no way was he four times better, or even two times.

    I saw Tim Raines and Ron Santo, too.

    And there has yet to be, nor will there ever be, a stat created that can convince me either is a Hall of Famer.

    I also find it somewhat self-serving that people, even die-hard Met fans, blame the demise of that Mets' team on the drug use of Gooden and Strawberry but fail to mention Hernandez.

    Sorry for the rant, but I just find it sad that someone can change their mind about a player just by the creation of a new stat.

    That tells me they never understood baseball in the first place.

  89. dukeofflattbush Says:

    Hey guys,

    I, in no way wanted to demonize Billy Martin.
    In fact I wanted to bring up a great point, which Johnny Twisto made, and that is; what is a manager’s job…?
    To foster his young team into great healthy 20 year major leaguer’s, or… win… win now.
    Great question.

    Billy won. Always won.

    He turned every team he managed into a better team.
    His personality (ala Steinbrenner) usurps the game, the stats and creates characters that live far beyond numbers and make each of us saber-heads, hungry or angry or just curious by his decision making process.
    Did I prove Billy was bad or good for his pitching staff?
    I don’t think so.
    I put up and present numbers that I believe support and buoy my theory. I could be wrong… hence this blog.
    Any and all dissention from or about my conclusions is welcomed. I am offering my opinion, to what I believe to be the best and most learned group of baseball peers I can muster.
    I did put up some convincing #s and hypothesis, at least in my opinion.
    Any and all detractors are right to an extent. I need a base reference #. I do think the amount of career highs in CG and IP in Billy’s staffs are high. But detractors are right, I need a fair comparison.
    My gut tells me Martin overused more than one guy.
    Stats seem to partially support my estimations.
    But you are right, I haven’t checked other managerial trends of the time.
    But I will stand by my and other’s appraisal of Billy’s overuse of the 80 A’s.
    4 over medium pitchers in their 20’s burn out after career highs.
    That’s a smoking gun.
    The other stuff I only presented as backup.
    But I don’t think it is invalid.
    Just incomplete.
    I posted it, only to get your opinions.
    No one is putting Billy into the hall based on his playing days or middle of the road behavior… are we?
    We are deciding whether his managerial record is Hall worthy. And what I present is evidence… just again, what are we looking for… a winner?... or a developer…?
    Just for consideration… I am a New Yorker and a huge Mets fan.
    I grew up in the ‘80s and think the mid ‘80s pitching staff of the Mets was the best until the 90’s Brave staffs.
    The only difference is; none of the ’85 Mets (darling, Gooden, Fernandez) all under 24, had great careers.
    I’m not dismissing Davey Johnson misused them.
    He just isn’t up for Hall consideration.
    Ergo, Billy’s pitching management is in play… no?
    And since there have been numerous reports of his 1980 destruction of 4 under 28 year pitchers, why not have a healthy conjecture of not only his managerial gifts, but of the job of the manager: WIN NOW or DEVELOP TALENT.
    Great questions. No?

  90. Dukeofflatbush,

    When you hear the words, "Billy Martin" what's the first thought that comes to your mind?

    For me, it's "hired, fired, hired, fired, hired again, fired again, hired...."

    Billy was a willing participant/puppet in George Steinbrenner's ego trip.

    His situations in New York are an embarrassment, and a black mark to whatever on field legacy he may have had.

    It is enough for me to not cast a vote for him.

    You say "Martin always won", yet in 16 seasons as a manager won just two pennants.

    That's not winning.

  91. I was interested in hearing from anyone who voted for Miller. What was the reason? What did he do during his career that indicated he was even interested in being a HOFer?

  92. My choices were (in approximate order of desire) Guidry, John, Martin, Simmons, Concepcion, Garvey.

    By the way I am far from a Yankee fan. But Guidry and Martin both were extraordinary and special for a relatively short time. John, Simmons, Concepcion were steady for a long time. Garvey's a hard case because he declined quickly and then stepped in social doodoo. On another day I might not have voted for him.

  93. I don't think anyone is interested in becoming a HOFer until after they become one.

  94. Why do you say that? I have heard and seen many players say or do things "to solidify their HOF credentials." Owners, umpires and managers too. And of course, you have Pete Rose who is dying to get into the Hall somehow. Bill James half kiddingly states that this is because they get to charge extra for their autographs.

  95. Anyone who states that Billy Martin wasn't a "winner" should talk to someone who watched the 1979 Athletics or the 1973 Rangers.

  96. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Chuck, thanks for your long explanation in #83. If I understand it correctly, it sounds like your "sinker" is sort of a change-up version of a "sinking/2-seam fastball." But if that is true, I am still confused. You identify Wang as a guy who threw a sinker. But he consistently threw his pitch, whatever it was, in the mid-90s. It was notable for its velocity combined with its movement. If he was choking the ball deeper in his hand, I don't see how he would throw it so hard. Unfortunately on a quick search I can't find any good photos showing his grip.

    Can you identify which of the well-known sinkerballers actually throw "sinkers," and which throw "sinking fastballs"? If you can say (for example) Brown and Zambrano throw one, and Maddux and Pelfrey throw the other, and I could see how their grips are different, it would help me.

  97. That's a difficult task, Johnny, because I'm not familiar enough with their individual grips, either.

    Off the top of my head, I'd say the true sinkeballers are Webb, Wang, Jason Marquis, Aaron Cook, Fausto Carmona. I'm sure there are others, but I can't tell without looking.

    You have what I think to be a pretty good blueprint of the grip. If you search through a google list of sinkerballers and can see their individual grips I think you'll get a good idea of who is who.

  98. Two ways of looking at this...

    I don't think the metrics used today (and developed today) properly measure the shortstops of the low offense ages. I don't question today's analysis...after all, we developed the stats thinking about today and we're projecting rearward into an age when defense mattered much more than it has the last 30 years. I think a good example is Campaneris. I grew up in that age and he wasn't known for his defense. He wasn't a poor shortstop, but, as I recall, he was an offensive shortstop with average defense. I do think he's been underrated over the years, but the WAR ratings don't properly fit into context of the time, or at least contemporary judgment of the players and management at the time.

    Secondly...we must the comparison into context. The managers valued the shortstops to a very high extent ...go look up the all-star rosters and they have at least three shortstops (out of 30 total players), sometimes four. If we think the shortstops at the time were weak, but a disproportionate members of all-star squads are those "weak" players, the system is screaming for a tweak. Even if the principals were wrong in their judgement (in the opinions of today's pundits), it doesn't lessen the accomplishments of those involved. We need to put ourselves in the 1970's mindset, not the 1990's or 2000's.

    Also...on the comparative eras (the short 2-3 year periods)....that may be a way of measuring peak performance, but I think it fails on two levels. One, it ignores career performance (only focusing on peak), and two, it gives value to players who shouldn't be considered. Toby Harrah was moved from shortstop because he couldn't field. Robin Yount's best years came in CF. Rico Petrocelli played shortstop for six years...then moved to 3b. Fregosi was from the 1960's.

    The major shortstops of the 1970's were Mark Belanger, Bert Campaneris, Rick Burleson, and Fred Patek in the AL. In the NL they were Dave Concepcion, Bill Russell, Larry Bowa, and Garry Templeton. You could add Chris Speier and Don Kessinger to the NL list, too.

  99. @98


    Let's get one thing straight. Robin Yount's best years did NOT come in CF. He won an MVP he probably didn't deserve (pains me to admit that) in 1989 playing CF, but his best years were 1980-1984, whence he played a whopping zero games in the outfield. And his 1982, probably the best season by a shortstop not named "Honus" and one of THE great all-time seasons, was at shortstop. Plus, in Yount's 11 seasons in which he was primarily a SS (1974-1984) he accumulated 48.7 WAR . . . which is more than Campenaris accumulated in all 18 of his seasons. So, even ignoring Yount's OF years, he has at least some statistical claim to superiority over Campenaris. I have to defend my Brewers.

  100. @98 Steve,

    Those lists of 3 year increments for SS were done on the Play Index and set to a player playing 75% at shortstop. So each of those players played shortstop during those 3 year increments. I just did that search to see who was the dominant SS during each individual 3 year period.

    I also ran a 5 year and 10 year search with a 75% minimum at shortstop.

    This was just in response to your point @42 that Concepcion was the "pre-imenent" shortstop of the 70's. He didn't get 450+ PA until 1974 so I can't really see him as the dominant SS of the era. Campaneris was clearly the best during the late 60's to the mid 70's (1967-1976)and then its kind of a mixed bag toward the end of the decade with guys like Belanger and Templeton and Yount mixed in with Concepcion.

    You can make a solid case that Concepcion was the best SS from 1974-1979.

    I think the thing that hurts Concepcion was the end of his career from 1983-1988. He was an average fielder at this point and he put up a .251/.314/.318 with a 74ops+ in 2686 plate appearances.


  101. Ernie Semmers Says:

    This is an absolute travesty. Until Ron Santo resides in Cooperstown there should be NO other inductees. As third basemen go, how can George Kell, Pie Traynor, and Jimmy Collins be in? I believe that Santo tied with Gil Hodges in the last veterans election, and they were only a few votes from election. Bill James has Santo as the 6th best 3rd baseman, ahead of Brooks Robinson. He has Traynor at 15 and Kell at 30. Tommy John won 288 games and missed an ENTIRE season lending his name to a now common surgery. He is a no brainer. Some of the people who were on the last ballot should also be in-like Jacob Ruppert. Stienbrenner and Miller are deserving. The others are a joke. The whole process needs revision.

  102. So my internet connection was down between last night and this morning, had to call tech support to fix it.

    First thing I did once it started working, as always, was go to Where I'm greeted with the new that Ron Santo has passed away at age 70.

    Words cannot describe how angry I am at the people who have continuously snubbed him at HOF votes over the year. So let's say they do the Golden Years ballot next year, he's on it, and he finally gets elected. While I'm sure his family will feel warranted pride, isn't it still kind of an empty gesture at this point? The man waited for so long, always took it in stride that he wasn't given his just desserts, and now he's no longer here to enjoy it should it happen.

    A very sad day indeed. RIP, Ron.

  103. Ernie,

    I think Santo will get in when they vote for the "Golden Era" which is listed as 1947-1972.

  104. @102 Pat D,

    That's terrible news, it's just a horrible job by the BBWAA and the Veteran's Committee in not electing him. The reasons for not electing him were just plain ignorance and stubbornness.

    At worst he should have been elected in 2005 which would have coincided nicely with Ryne Sandberg's election.

    In typical baseball behavior, they're going to elect him during the next vote.

  105. Frank Murtaugh Says:


  107. Johnny Twisto Says:


  108. John DiFool Says:

    "I believe that Santo tied with Gil Hodges in the last veterans election, and they were only a few votes from election."

    The voting structure was completely hosed from a mathematical perspective, among other things. IIRC each voter put about 5 people on their ballot on average, but that wasn't enough to ensure that someone got 75%.

    F***ing shame (pardon my French if even implied profanity is verboten here).

  109. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    #101/Ernie Semmers Says: "This is an absolute travesty. Until Ron Santo resides in Cooperstown there should be NO other inductees. As third basemen go, how can George Kell, Pie Traynor, and Jimmy Collins be in?"

    JIMMY COLLINS - revolutioned defensive play at 3rd, by often playing in for bunts/slow rollers, taking away the easy bunt when "inside baseball" was in vogue. Also an above-average hitter with several big seasons (1897, 1998, 1901).
    PIE TRAYNOR - flashy fielder who consistently batted .300+ with 100+ RBI. He was often cited as the best 3B of all-time, from the 40s till late in Brooks Robinson's career - batting .320 lifetime will do that...
    GEORGE KELL - not as qualified as the other two, but he consistently batted over .300, and was selected to ten All-Star gamres. Being a long-time radio broadcaster probably didn't hurt (I know, so was Santo...).

  110. Tom Gallagher Says:

    For a 10 year time period (1977-1986) Ron Guidry led the American League in Wins, Wpct, SO, WHIP, ERA, IP, CG, SH Jack Morris was his direct contemporary. Palmer / Tanana and a bunch of others pitched during this time frame. The knock against Guidry is he did not pitch enough years. I don't buy it. Look at Bob Lemon, Lefty Gomez, Dizzy Dean and Sandy Koufax to name a few. Guidry started at 27 years of age. At 5'11'' 165 lbs he pitched unitil late 30's (age). The other thing to note about Guidry is that he basically started ( within a couple of years) in the American League at the same time the DH was instituted. And , he only playing a short career ... was probably the 1st Pitcher to come up on bbwaa ballot to have pitched his entire career against the DH. Fifteen years ago when Guidry was 1st being voted on, the bbwaa was likely comparing him to Seaver, Ryan, Palmer, etc.... Compare him to his contemporaries .... Morris, Stieb, Tannana... he was the best of the bunch.

  111. Tom Gallagher Says:

    Just a note, back in 1995 I built a model to model BBWAA voting, at the time the most glarring ommissions at the time not yet rectified by the Veterans Committe were... Dick Allen, Arky Vaughn, Sherry McGee, Harry Stovey, Ron Guidry , Ted Simmons, Tommy Bridges in that order i believe.... righting off memory right now. But, the point was these guys were higher on the list than many of those being discussed.... Garvey was lower, Santo was lower , Oliva was lower, Tiant was lower, Oliver was lower, even Kirby Puckett was lower. .... bet none of you smarties ever considered .... Tommy Bridges ? look him up and why you are at it look up Sherry McGee. I am a self proclaimed expert on this stuff.

  112. mr.baseballcard Says:

    Great response Tom in #111. You bring up a couple of guys most people don't know and who had some real interesting (leading the league in RBIs 4 times, 3 consecutive 20+ win seasons, just under 200 wins, etc.) careers.

  113. Tom Gallagher Says:

    Thanks, Mr. baseballcard. At one point, I had never heard of some of these guys either til I got done with the analysis. Gavy Cravath and George Stacy Davis where the other 2 i accidentally ommitted. The analysis took over 3 years... Started it inputting Pete Palmer's Total Baseball numbers into Lotus 123. After a year bought the data From Steve Moyer at Stats Inc. for $1,100 . And, input ot Microsoft Access. Then quit job and studied to be a programmer so that I could "crunch the numbers better". At the end of the analysis ... i got familiar with the names... Cravath, Davis, Stovey, Vaughn, Bridges, McGee ... because they were showing up as guys who belonged... yet I had never heard of them. Some of these guys have subsequently gotten in.

  114. Phil Haberkorn in Indiana Says:

    I am devoid of feeling at hearing the news that Ron Santo has passed away. I have spent all my energy already, rooting for him when he played, anticipating the Hall of Fame voting results each year with absolute awe at the stupidity of HOF voters, and listening for endless hours that turned into decades of his unlimited and timeless loyalty to his team and fans on "The Pat and Ron Show Featuring Cubs Baseball" on WGN radio.

    I have invested every ounce of my being into my existence of a Cubs fan, content in the knowledge that I saw and heard in Ron Santo what HOF voters apparently do not comprehend. The greatness isn't always in the statistics, and just because Brooks Robinson WAS elected is no reason to keep his equal out of the HOF just because Ronnie wasn't as elegant, smooth and flashy on the field.

    I will no longer waste any time or energy lamenting his exclusion from the Hall of Fame. The Baseball Writers Association of America simply is not worth any more of my concern.

    Ron is now in a better place than the Hall of Fame, anyway.

  115. Tom Gallagher Says:

    #110 - A correction, Guidry did not have the most CG in AL from 1977-1985. Jack Morris had the most. Guidry was second. During these 10 years of dominance Guidry had ... most Wins (163) lowest ERA (3.23) lowest WHIP (1.17) most SO (1623) most SH (26) most IP (2186) highest WPCT (.674) what is the Triple Crown for pitchers ? W , SO , ERA He did this for a ten year time period. Is there a tool to figure out how many times this has been accomplished over a ten year time period ? My best guess is only few pitchers in the history of baseball may have accomplished this ? If you make it a "Fourple Crown" by adding in fewest baserunners(WHIP) maybe only Roger Clemens and Guidry have done so? I don't know, but I would love to find out. Maybe Lefty Grove? The point is... statistically Guidry was as dominant as the games best of the best for 10 seasons. Here is where I will get a bunch of arguments, but... Guidry dominated for 10 seasons Just as much as Koufax dominated for 10 seasons. Morris was close to Guidry, but Marichal was closer to Koufax.

  116. Ten Year Pitching Triple Crowns:

    I did 1000 IP for the ERA column. Note that there are a handful of times a pitcher didn't pitch all ten years in the window. For example, Walter Johnson led the AL in Wins from 1906-1015 despite the fact he didn't play in 1906.

    Walter Johnson 1906-1915 through 1914-1923 (except 1907-1916 (IP cutoff might be too low for early years))
    Lefty Grove 1923-1932 through 1931-1940
    Hal Newhouser 1942-1951 through 1944-1953
    Ron Guidry 1977-1986
    Roger Clemens 1984-1993 through 1990-1999

    (none in the 19th century, 1000 IP might be too low for 19th century?)
    Pete Alexander 1911-1920 through 1915-1924
    Dazzy Vance 1923-1932
    Carl Hubbell 1927-1936 through 1933-1942
    Warren Spahn 1944-1953 through 1948-1957
    Tom Seaver 1966-1975 through 1969-1978
    Steve Carlton 1974-1983
    Greg Maddux 1991-2000

  117. Rusty was my favorite ballplayer growing up and I followed his career till he retired with the Mets. A good-to-great hitter, consistent and durable. He went from teenage phenom to premier pinch hitter -- he had quite a career. Wish he'd had more than a blink with the Mets in the 73 series to shine. But he did, if you remember ...

    But he's not a Hall-of-Famer. Falls a little short, is all. I see the Hall as a place for the best of the best and Rusty was a hellava player, but not quite at that level -- but he had his moments certainly.

    You could make an argument for John -- I think there's a threshold where counts 'count' and 288 wins is a lot of victories. You could also draw a parallel of sorts with Rusty's career ...

    For ten years, Concepcion was as fine a traditional shortstop as you could hope for. There's a case to be made there, as well.

    The only sure fire winner is Billy Martin. How you can ignore him, I don't know. He won everywhere except, sadly, in his own life.

    I'll close by joining the chorus for Ron Santo ...he's borderline, I think, but his numbers, the time he played in and his defense get him there.

  118. Simmons and Miller. Steinbrenner can wait. (Among other reasons, he was twice suspended by baseball, and for good reason, especially the second time. Let's see his defenders address that more.)

    You can't honestly support Tommy John and not support Jim Kaat.

    Concepcion? Overrated.

    None of the others are really close, especially after you pass Garvey.

    Agreed with the person above who sez Puckett shouldn't have been a first-year selection.

    We need a poll from the good B-R folks about whom we would boot from the current membership.

  119. Tom Gallagher Says:

    #116 DavidRF looking at the list of Decade Triple Crowns... Ron Guidry is the only one not in the Hall of Fame ( assuming Clemens, Maddux get there) . Of the 11 pitchers other than Guidry to do this, most would be considered 1st ballot HOF'ers . If we added in fewest baserunners (or WHIP) , this select list may even be shorter. But, Guidry would remain. History has shown that the BBWAA will vote for a "great" player who played 10 - 12 full seasons. Or a "very good player" who played 15-17 full seasons. Or a "good player" who plays 20+ seasons. Why is Guidry's career considered too short for recognition ? He dominated for a full 10 seasons similar to the list of 11 Seaver, Carlton, Clemens, Maddux, Spahn, Hubell, Vance, Alexander, Grove, Johnson and Newhouser. To include Newhouser, I would raise the bar by making him dominate for 11 or 12 seasons due to other greats being missing due to WWII ( not to penalize him unfairly but Feller and others weren't there). And, I know this 10 year by league thing penalizes traded players accross leagues (probably more so in recent history) , but being objective about this, Guidry accomplished what no other none HOFer accomplished. And, most of the guys who did it are no doubters. (1s ballot caliber) .. DavidRF thanks so much for taking the time to do this.

  120. Tom Gallagher Says:

    #116 DavidRF, I take back the Hal Newhouser requirement. Initially I did not understand the "through" .... Hal Newhouser 1942-1951 through 1944-1953 Thanks.

  121. Vida Blue should have been in long ago. His stats are almost identical to hall of fame teammate Catfish Hunters. Both were in multiple world series games with very similiar records. great pitchers like Tommy John, Bert Blyleven and Jim Kaat are also long overdue ..

    The record is still 61

  122. My top are Boss, John, Garvey, Gillick, Concepcion & Miller.

  123. I vote for Simmons and John among the players.

    Miller and Gillick among the non player executives. Miller is one of the 10 most influentia people in the history of baseball....he si NOT responsible for players earning enormous salaries...he is responsible for making the players union a bargainingg unit with credibility...anf that s it. there is a distinction.

    Billy Martin posted winning records as a manager and had such a tempestuous career with such self destructive tendencies that I could easily apply the levels of sportsmanship language and no feel any remorse in denying him a place in the HOF. And the HOF already as leo Durocher.

    Duke comment 49

    I liked the did Martin burn out pitchers argument but when we talk aobut Guidry and 78 let me point out that in 78 Martin was fired during the season and Bob Lemon was his successor and was responsible for pitching decisions.

    Steinbrenner s teams won 11 pennants and 7 WS in 37 years. but of even more importance he was resonsible fo rmaking the New York Yankees an international brand (today I am in Baranquilla Colombia, home of Edgar Renteria and I ve seen 5 yasnkees hats in the street this morning. And he made Japanese players a viable alternative in MLB by signing irabu, Matsui....And of course his checkbook recruitment of free agents trandormed the national pastime. He was a narcistic ourageoulsy over demanding personality and he deserves to be in someday....

    Finally since Ron Santo has passed away, of ocurse next year he will be elxted by that section of the VC how he got screwed ovver the last 30 years is one of the disgraces of the HOF.

  124. @119
    I'm afraid Bert Blyleven throws a wrench into your WHIP story. My scripts give him the 1977-1986 WHIP crown for the AL. Granted, that skips his three Pirate seasons (which would bump him above Guidry), but his seven seasons with the Rangers, Indians and Twins give him enough IP to take the crown. If you look at MLB, Guidry is second to Don Sutton.

    These ten-year windows are fun to look at but I don't see it as being a decider. With Guidry's case, there he had almost no career outside of that 10-year window. The other four seasons add only 7 more wins and 155 more K's. With the possible exception of Newhouser, all of the other HOF-ers listed above had more out-of-window support (even Vance). Newhouser's an interesting case, his 1944-1949 peak was so enormous, yet there was the war... Newhouser will be debated for years.

    I think if Guidry had somehow gotten to 200 wins by coming up a couple of years earlier and/or hanging on a couple of years longer, he'd have a great case as a Drysdale type of candidate but right now he's not passing the career-length filter for a lot of voters.

  125. As an aside, I think it would be really nice if there were a way to check results without voting again. I know I would be interested to see what people have been saying in the polls, but it appears to me that the only way to see that is by voting again, which of course skews results. I say this just for future reference, so when there's a post like this (and it was an AWESOME one), to say that it might be nice if that feature were available. Thanks.

  126. Phil Haberkorn in Indiana Says:

    MLB doesn't worry about "skewing the results" by allowing multiple votes for All Stars, so just go ahead and vote again here.
    After all, it IS an "unscientific" poll -- not at all like the highly researched, state-of-the art, focus-group-tested methods each and EVERY member of the BBWAA uses before casting their HOF votes, right?......:)

  127. Tom Gallagher Says:

    DavidRF, thanks again. I went back and checked my numbers. I wrote a book back in 1994 that never got published. A chart on one of the pages shows that I used a minimum of 1500 IP. Sorry that I did not make that part of the initial or follow up post. You used 1000 IP and even suggested that this may be too low. My 1500 IP was my opinion of a decent cutoff. Your 1000 IP is also a decent cutoff. Not saying one is better than the other. At 1500 IP Blyleven did not make the cut. Would you be kind enough to provide the list including WHIP and making the minimum IP 1500 ? I did this a while back (1994) and my computer with all the data is out in the garage in a computer that has not been turned on in over 5 years. I would truly appreciate it. If possible ?

  128. Blyleven had 1381 AL innings pitched from 1977-1986, so using a 1500+ cutoff excludes him and gives Guidry the TripleCrown+WhipCrown for that decade.

    I don't know what a reasonable IP-cutoff is for a decade. Part of me thought that 1500 was a bit high because it was close to 1620 which is 10*minimum. But most full time starters sail past 162 IP/year. I'm just making this up. The 1000 IP seemed low for earlier eras because of the large run-context shifts would skew the decade-ERA champs. Kid Nichols 1890-92 grabs qualifies for a full decade as does Joss 1907-1910.

    I'll rerun my scripts with the 1500 IP cutoff... and with the added WHIP calculation.

  129. OK... I have the new results. I found a couple of mistakes in my earlier runs, too. I was eyeballing the list for the winners before. Lefty Grove still wins a ton, but a couple less than I had previously thought because Lefty Gomez looks very similar at first glance. :-). I'm using the code to mark the winners now.

    Overall, there are a few more Triple Crown winners with the higher cutoff. Previously, a low-IP player would come in and steal the ERA crown for a decade.

    Walter Johnson 06-15 thru 15-24 (all with WHIP bonus)
    Lefty Grove 23-32 thru 29-38 (all with WHIP bonus)
    Hal Newhouser 40-49 thru 44-53 (WHIP bonus in last three windows)
    Ron Guidry 77-86 (WHIP bonus)
    Roger Clemens 84-93 thru 90-99 (WHIP bonus in all but final window)

    Christy Mathewson 99-08 (WHIP bonus)
    Pete Alexander 09-18 and 11-20 thru 15-24 (WHIP bonus in final two)
    Dazzy Vance 23-32 thru 24-33 (all WHIP bonus)
    Carl Hubbell 27-36 thru 33-32 (all WHIP bonus)
    Warren Spahn 44-53 thru 48-57 (no WHIP bonus)
    Tom Seaver 66-75 thru 69-78 (all WHIP bonus)
    Steve Carlton 74-83 and 76-85 (no WHIP bonus)
    Greg Maddux 86-95, 87-96, 91-00 (WHIP bonus in last two)

    The higher cutoff helped Mathewson (who was losing ERA to Brown), Carlton (Tekulve), Maddux (Rijo), Newhouser (Chandler) and Johnson (Joss).

    WHIP losses... Newhouser (Feller), Clemens (Mussina), Alexander (Mathewson, BAdams), Spahn (Roberts), Carlton (Sutton), Maddux (DMartinez).

  130. Tom Gallagher Says:

    DavidRF , thanks for running this. Excellent results. When we include WHIP, we are left with 11 pitchers in the history of baseball. All HOFers (or not yet eligible) except Ron Guidry. I think he deserves it. When we factor in in post-season success,cat-like fielding,leadership and integrity.
    Post-season success - Ron would have been a perfect 4-0 in World Series starts, but he made one bad pitch to Steve Yeager and the Yankees lost the game 2-1.
    Cat-like fielding - by far the best fielding pitcher I have ever seen (Mariano Rivera is a close 2nd) The voters started realizing this half way thru his career and he wound up winning 5 straight gold gloves. He played centerfield in the resumption of the "pine tar game". And, was always the fastest guy on the team. Faster than Mickey Rivers when he was there.
    Leadership - Named Yankee Captain. He was into every game, not just every fifth day. He was always the first player out of the dugout to greet teamates. (have to watch the videos for this)
    Integrity - Ron would not do an endorsement unless he truly used the product and believed in it. Although he did chew tobacco and had an offer to endorse , he did not want to set an example for the youngsters. Guidry would have won 20 in 1979 too , but he volunteered for bullpen after Goose Gossage went down to injury. The same year Catfish Hunter got injured in the 4th with the Yankees having a big lead. Billy Martin told Guidry to get in there knowing that he was closing in on 20 wins. Guidry bowed out know Ron Davis was going for a record for most wins out of the bullpen for a rookie. Davis went in and took the easy win.

    Ron wanted to pitch longer he bowed out gracefully after basically being forced into retirement. The new Yankee manager Dallas Green did not even want Guidry (or Tommy John) at spring training. Steinbrener interviened and made special invites to both Guidry and John. Ron's wife Bonnie was crying at his retirement announcement and ended it with... "He can still pitch" Ron did not want to play for another team. It was sad. Sort of an injustice. Five or Six years into retirement he comtemplated a come-back after hearing Jim Palmer may try. During this timeframe the reports from Yankee camp were that Boggs, Mattingly, and O'neil could not come close to touching Guidry's stuff each spring training camp.

  131. Tom Gallagher Says:

    @124 DavidRF... I agree that 200 Wins would likely be the magic number for Guidry. It just seems ridiculous that a few medicore to poor seasons at the end of a career should be the tipping point. Was not Dazzy Vance better without his last 4 seasons when he was over 40 years of age ? 12-11 , 6-2 , 1-3 , 3-2 If he quit at 40 he would have been 175-122 but these extra years got him to 197 Wins and the Hall of Fame. Or was Vance a HOFer without these 4 years ?

  132. Tommy John would easily have won 300+ games if he hadn't missed so much time due to an injury that resulted in a surgical procedure that is now named after him! How is he not already in the HOF? I also voted for Ted Simmons, one of the best catchers of his generation with stats that are far superior to some of the catchers already in. My last vote went to George Steinbrenner...let's face it, owners don't get much more famous than him and he was the owner of a team that won 7 World Series during his life.

  133. Tom Gallagher Says:

    Boy, I am out of touch. I did not realize the Hall changed the Veterans process again this summer. Looking at the procedures and the makeup of the voting members, I do expect to see 2 elected. Players ( either Tommy John or Ron Guidry) Executives (Marvin Miller). I don't think Bench and Perez are going to want to see Garvey in there. And, they won't blatantly pick their teammate Concepcion. Also, Bench won't want Simmons. He will claim weak arm / defense. I see Tommy John or Ron Guidry as having the least amount of resistance from an ego standpoint. And, if the expansion era (ie: free agent era ) does not elect Miller... shame on them. This should be their ultimate way to say... Thank You.

  134. I don't have a problem with Ted Simmons being out. I would vote him in but I admit he's borderline.

    But I am surprised he has so little support.

  135. Tom Gallagher Says:

    I built a model of the BBWAA vote back in 1994 / 95 timeframe. At the time it was 97.5% matching. The 2.5% variance was comprised of ... 3 players who don't belong, and about 9 players who did belong. Based on that model, four players from these candidates should get in (Tommy John, Ron Guidry, Steve Garvey, Ted Simmons) Tommy John and Steve Garvey were "barely across the line" Ron Guidry and Ted Simmons were "definate HOFers". The three players who BBWAA voted in but did not match the model were Rabbit Marranville, Ted Lyons and Ralph Kiner. (Dizzy Dean was also an extreme borderline case). I had a couple discussions with Jack Lang back at that time. He agreed that his body (BBWAA) made a mistake on Rabbit Marranville. He thought the Veterans voted in Ted Lyons and then he looked it up and admitted that this too was likely a mistake. But, he agrued at length on Ralph Kiner.

  136. did your model have Chick Hafey and Fred Lindstrom in the hall?

  137. Tom Gallagher Says:

    #136 Doug B... No, of course not. These guys did not get voted in by the BBWAA.