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2015 Pre-Integration Committee

A Better Pre-Integration-Era Ballot

We think this guy was better than Marty "The Octopus" Marion.

Maybe the screening committee thought Marty “The Octopus” Marion had something to do with this guy?

Last time out, we took a close look at the Pre-Integration-Era committee’s 2016 Hall of Fame ballot. If you missed that, the short answer is votes for Bill Dahlen, Wes Ferrell, and Bucky Walters, all of whom are in the Hall of Miller and Eric, work for us. Doc Adams certainly belongs on this ballot too. Oh, and spit takes that this committee would include Marty Marion and Frank McCormick.

One of us (read: Eric) tends to get huffy about the idiocy of including the likes of Marion and McCormick when literally dozens of better candidates remain outside the Hall. The other of us (read: Miller) doesn’t care as much about the entirety of the ballot. He doesn’t get huffy at incorrect nominees anywhere near as much as he does by incorrect inductees.

So today, Eric gets to grind his annual Veterans Committee axe to a fine point, and Miller gets to tell the screeners who would simply have been fine additions to the ballot.

Miller: You don’t like the ballot and I do. Surprise! Okay, both perspectives make sense given our individual worldviews. Let’s do what we can to put together what we think the ideal ballot would be.

Eric: Right! Let’s make a ballot that actually contains nothing but people who deserve induction. We’ll start with this—Dahlen is my favorite candidate outside the Hall from this era, and I know he’s right there for you, so he’s on board. And we both think that Adams has strong credentials to represent the pioneers and execs and deserves our vote. That means we have eight slots to fill with people better than Garry Herrmann and Marty Marion. We also noted in our last little ditty that the managers of this period are picked clean, so nothing to see there. Do any other pioneers or execs belong on this ballot?

Miller: No. There are soooo many players who belong that I feel fine (quite good, actually) filling the other slots with players.

Eric: For giggles, I looked into the qualifications of some of the pioneers that John Thorn advocates for at his website. Among them, I could only really see a path for Louis Wadsworth, Duncan Curry, and Jim Creighton. None of them is a clear-cut choice like Adams. I mean he’s got A. G. Mills on the list, and that guy shackled players to the reserve clause and later made a mockery of early baseball with that preposterous, jingoist propaganda about Abner Doubleday. No more execs/pioneers.

Miller: Simmer down, man. We need eight others beyond Adams and Dahlen. Here are my fifteen favorite players from this era, in rank order, who I would put in the Hall. And just to confuse things, I’ll include my MAPES scores for each.

  1. Jack Glasscock (67.8 MAPES)
  2. Bill Dahlen (66.2 MAPES)
  3. Wes Ferrell (51.7 MAPES)
  4. Charlie Bennett (52.6 MAPES)
  5. Paul Hines (54.6 MAPES)
  6. Art Fletcher (52.2 MAPES)
  7. Bobby Veach (52.1 MAPES)
  8. Ross Barnes (50.1 MAPES)
  9. Urban Shocker (48.0 MAPES)
  10. Jimmy Sheckard (54.2 MAPES)
  11. Bucky Walters (44.8 MAPES)
  12. Wally Schang (46.2 MAPES)
  13. Bob Johnson (48.7 MAPES)
  14. Sherry Magee (49.5 MAPES)
  15. Tommy Leach (49.0 MAPES)

Eric: Shockingly, my list is very similar…after all we voted these guys into our own Hall.

  1. Bill Dahlen (67.5 CHEWS)
  2. Jack Glasscock (65.0 CHEWS)
  3. Charlie Bennett (51.1 CHEWS)
  4. Wes Ferrell (53.4 CHEWS)
  5. Jimmy Sheckard (54.6 CHEWS)
  6. Sherry Magee (52.6 CHEWS)
  7. Paul Hines (56.5 CHEWS)
  8. Bobby Veach (54.4 CHEWS)
  9. Wally Schang (47.0 CHEWS)
  10. Ross Barnes (56.5 CHEWS)
  11. Urban Shocker (47.7 CHEWS)
  12. Tommy Leach (52.3 CHEWS)
  13. Art Fletcher (55.5 CHEWS)
  14. Bob Johnson (49.6 CHEWS)
  15. Bucky Walters (43.4 CHEWS)

Miller: So we agree on the top four. Alphabetically, Bennett, Dahlen, Ferrell, and Glasscock make our ballot for sure. And since you know how I love to narrow, and we have the exact same guys in our top-15 just in a different order, let’s see how our combined lists rank them:

  • Hines: 6
  • Veach: 7.5
  • Sheckard: 7.5
  • Barnes: 9
  • Fletcher 9.5
  • Shocker: 10
  • Magee: 10
  • Schang: 10.5
  • Walters: 13
  • Johnson: 13.5
  • Leach: 13.5

Eric: So our top four plus Adams plus Hines, Veach, Sheckard, Barnes, and Fletcher would round out our ten slots. We would be recommending:

  • Catchers: 1
  • First basemen: 0
  • Second basemen: 1
  • Third basemen: 0
  • Shortstops: 3
  • Left fielders: 2
  • Centerfielders: 1
  • Right fielders: 0
  • Pitchers: 1
  • Execs: 1

The Hall is a little short on catchers. Maybe the Schanger should replace Fletcher since we’re already recommending two other shortstops?

Miller: While I prefer Fletcher, it’s fine by me to go with Schang. Now I could craft an argument for Fletcher, but the truth is that any ballot is good enough for me if only deserving guys get in. So I’m certainly not going to quibble about one deserving guy over another. This makes our ballot:

  • Doc Adams
  • Ross Barnes
  • Charlie Bennett
  • Bill Dahlen
  • Wes Ferrell
  • Jack Glasscock
  • Paul Hines
  • Wally Schang
  • Jimmy Scheckard
  • Bobby Veach

I really think Bill Dahlen is going to get into the Coop in 2016, and that makes a good turn for the Pre-Integration folks. As long as they don’t also vote for Marty Marion.

Eric: Or Frank McCormick. Or Gary Herrmann. I actually have a feeling that Doc Adams is going to get a lot of votes. Maybe he won’t be elected, but his sudden rise in stature augurs well in my opinion. Then again, when you get sixteen old men in a room, anything can happen. As the screeners proved. It’s irritating to see supposed historians so utterly swing and miss on not one (Marion), not two (McCormick), but three (Herrmann) candidates. I mean, I don’t see the need for four off-the-field dudes on this ballot, but reasonable people can have their own opinions. And Stovey is a pretty reasonable choice on the field; he’s not that far from the in/out line for the HoME and would be just fine in the Hall. But those other three (you know, 30% of a carefully screened ballot) are such dogs. Please, Hall of Fame, can’t you ease slowly away from these crazy writers and let some real historians come to the table?

Miller: Now we completely agree.



One thought on “A Better Pre-Integration-Era Ballot

  1. The problem with “pioneers” (and I’ll generally advocate for adding some to the Hall) is that much of the info is hearsay. Wadsworth had a diagram, Curry was President of the Knickerbockers, Creighton only played a couple of years before he died (but became a baseball God in the process). We really don’t know much about what they did (except Creighton whose career is awfully short). Even William R. Wheaton, a personal favorite of mine, has credentials that are based on an interview he gave that is uncollaborated. I have no idea how you deal with these guys.
    Again, nice analysis. Pray for Dahlen. 🙂

    Posted by verdun2 | December 2, 2015, 9:12 am

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