For as long as we’ve known each other, Eric and I have been bewildered and beleaguered regarding the composition of and the voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame. For a while, we simply complained to each other in emails. We considered writing a book long before we started this blog. However, at that time, we were even further away from being recognized authorities than we are today. Plus, I don’t think anyone reads books any more. Then just over five years ago, we decided to start the Hall of Miller and Eric, an alternative to the Hall of Fame with the “right” players in it. At first, we were just two voices with our own semi-private teensy spot on the interwebs.
And to a large degree, we still are.
However, to us, things have gotten very exciting around the HoME for the last year plus. What I mean is more and more of you are showing an interest in our work. And we thank you!
A couple of years ago, right after the HoME turned three years old, Eric posted an article about your favorite posts. So today, a bit after we turned five, I’m going to update that piece, mostly to brag, and secondarily to direct you to the posts you may have missed that people seem to like.
The average number of hits at the Hall of Miller and Eric has generally been on an uptick. But the last two years have been really special. And the last ten months have been our best ten ever. This month, we’re poised to top December of 2017, when we posted nearly every day during the BBWAA election season, as our best month in HoME history.
Average per day:
- 2013: 7.82
- 2014: 11.88
- 2015: 11.69
- 2016: 14.96
- 2017: 49.20
- 2018: 91.06 (through June 27, 178 days)
At this point, we’ve had visitors to the HoME from 85 countries including Tunisia, Costa Rica, Macau, Haiti, Bangladesh, and Poland. I don’t know how folks in Gibraltar, Uzbekistan, Burundi, and Switzerland have found us. But they have. And we thank them (you!).
Here’s What You’re Reading
While the point of this post is partially to brag a little bit, there’s also tremendous interest in pointing out to some of the things you might have missed. I admit that I went overboard with this list, but once I got going, the next post always seemed to be one that I wanted to remind you about.
#1 The Speed of Legend: The myths and some truths about Cool Papa Bell (Eric, 438): Published in January of 2017, this excellent post had its most viewers the next February. And I suspect its popularity stems, at least in part, from the link on Gary Ashwill’s Agate Type: Reconstructing Negro League & Latin American Baseball History site. Thanks Gary!
#2 Baseball’s Most Underrated Player Ever? (Miller, 323): Posted in November of 2015, this Rick Reuschel post hit its peak in popularity two years later. Actually, it’s still peaking. I’m proud of this post, mainly because I don’t think enough people are talking about Reuschel and making a case for his inclusion in Cooperstown. Incidentally, #9 Fixing the Hall, Add Rick Reuschel (Miller, 189) also ranks in the top ten, and #41 Rick Reuschel and the Best Pitchers of the 1970s (Miller, 90) is my most popular post in the Pitcher of the Decade series, I think just because Reuschel’s name is in the title.
#3 1926 New Candidates (Eric, 294): With all due respect to my colleague, this post from August of 2013 shouldn’t have this type of attention; it’s just a list of guys we reviewed for the 1926 election. No other “New Candidates” post is even in our top-100 most popular, and only two others are in our top-250. I suspect it gets attention because of the “Black Sox” tag, which is cool in and of itself. People love reading about Joe Jackson, even if it’s just his name. The best month for this post was September of 2013, but that’s just one of eight months when the post has had double digit views. #26 Dirty Black Sox laundry—some stains are stubborn (Eric, 120), a post from 2013, has also done some good numbers. Yep, you care about the Black Sox.
#4 Who Is Right About Whitey Ford? (Eric, 274): He’s a Yankee, he’s beloved, and he’s overrated. Those things can make a post popular. Plus, it’s one of my personal favorites of Eric’s. This post from January of 2015 hit its peak in popularity in November of 2016. Overall, each year has better than the one before it for this popular post.
#5 Carl Yastrzemski, Underrated (Miller, 239): Posted in July of 2014, the post’s most popular month, Yaz received increasing attention each year after that. I think it likely has a lot to do with the “Underrated” part of the post’s title.
#6 What Did Getting Fat Cost Tony Gwynn? (Eric, 238): I really like how Eric’s posts get more popular as time goes on. Posted in April of 2015, this post received only nine hits that year. That increased to 85 in 2016 and 87 last year, the best month being July of 2016. It’s a really thoughtful post and deserves to be this popular.
#7 Major League Equivalencies for Negro Leagues Hitters (Eric, 215): I love, love, love the HoME. It’s kinda one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. But let’s be clear – the coolest thing that’s ever come out of the HoME has been Eric’s series on the Negro Leagues. Don’t believe me that this is the best work we’ve done? Of out 75 most popular posts, Eric has written 27 of them on the Negro Leagues. Here they are: #7 Negro Leagues: Measuring the Quality of Competition (Eric, 211), #10 Who are the top Negro League candidates? (Eric, 183), #11 Evaluating Negro Leagues Catchers (Eric, 177), #12 Negro Leagues Legends Wrap Up (Eric, 176), #13 Evaluating Negro Leagues Pitchers, Part I: Brown, Cooper, Day, Dihigo (Eric, 168), #14 Thinking About the Negro Leagues: 5 Questions (Eric, 163), #15 Evaluating Negro Leagues Center Fielders, Part 1 (Eric, 163), #18 Evaluating Negro Leagues First Basemen and Second Basemen (Eric, 158), #19 Evaluating Negro Leagues Shortstops Part 1 (Eric, 155), #20 Evaluating Negro Leagues Pitchers, Part II: Foster, Foster, Mendéz, and Paige (Eric, 150), #21 Evaluating Negro Leagues Shortstops, Part Two (Eric, 140), #22 Evaluating Negro Leagues Pitcher, Part III: Rogan, Smith, and Williams (Eric, 133), #23 Evaluating Negro Leagues Third Basemen (Eric 126), #24 Major League Equivalencies for Negro Leagues Pitchers (Eric, 123), #25 Evaluating Negro Leagues Centerfielders, Part 2 (Eric, 121), #31 Evaluating More Negro Leagues Catchers (Eric, 111), #32 Evaluating Negro Leagues Corner Outfielders (Eric, 109), #41 Evaluating More Negro Leagues Pitchers, Part 1 (Eric, 90), #41 Evaluating More Negro Leagues First Basemen, Part 1 (Eric, 90), #46 Evaluating More Negro Leagues Pitchers, Part 2 (Eric, 85), #51 Evaluating More Negro Leagues Pitchers, Part 6 (Eric, 82), #56 What makes the Negro Leagues hard to analyze (Eric, 78), #60 Evaluating More Negro Leagues Second Basemen, Part II (Eric, 71), #67 Evaluating More Negro Leagues Second Basemen (Eric, 64), #71 Evaluating More Negro Leagues Third Basemen (Eric, 62), #71 Evaluating More Negro Leagues Pitchers, Part 3 (Eric, 62). Wow, that’s a lot!
#16 Giving 1930s and 1940s players back their missing value mojo (Eric, 161): Unlike most of our top posts, this one, where Eric examined baserunning value possibly missed by BBREF, was popular right away and then slipped some. It’s the research we’ve used to withhold a vote from Ernie Lombardi, so it’s pretty valuable to the HoME.
#16 Who Was the Best Pitcher of the 1960s? (Eric, 161): I don’t know what made Eric write this post, but if it has to do with Sandy Koufax, it’s going to be popular. Written in April of 2014, two of its best three months have been the last two, during my Best Pitcher of the Decade series.
#27 All-Time HoME Leaders, First Base – 21-40: (Miller and Eric, 118): Of all posts in this series, how is this the most popular one to date? Other top-75 posts in the series include #29 All-Time Home Leaders, Third Base – 1-20 (Miller and Eric, 115), #34 All-Time HoME Leaders, Pitcher – 1-20 (Miller and Eric, 104), #35 All-Time Home Leaders, First Base – 1-20 (Miller and Eric, 102), #37 All-Time Home Leaders, Second Base – 1-20 (Miller and Eric, 101), #40 All-Time Home Leaders, Shortstop – 1-20 (Miller and Eric, 91), #50 All-Time HoME Leaders, Right Field – 1-20, (Miller and Eric, 83), #61 All-Time Home Leaders, Catcher – 21-40 (Miller and Eric, 66), and #73 All-Time Home Leaders, Shortstop – 21-40 (Miller and Eric, 61).
#28 Dennis Eckersley, Starter or Reliever? (Miller, 116): I’m not sure why this is a popular post. Like many, it has increased in popularity since its March 2015 release. Its most popular month was August of 2017. Oh, by the way, Eck was a starter.
#30 Eric’s 25 Most Important People in Baseball History (Eric, 112): This is a post that was inspired by Graham Womack’s thought project in 2014. In Graham’s project, 262 people voted, and they selected Babe Ruth followed by Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey. Eric chose Branch Rickey, Babe Ruth, and Jackie Robinson, in that order. My accompanying post, #67 Miller’s 25 Most Important People in Baseball History, (Miller, 64) hasn’t been quite as popular. I chose Ruth first and Rickey second. Henry Chadwick was third for me, while Jackie was fifth.
#33 1936 HoME Election Results (Miller, 107): This was a cool election. Eight guys got in, including Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, and Tris Speaker. I guess it’s as popular as it is because the Hall’s first election was in ’36. Also among the top-75 ever is #51 1999 HoME Election Results (Miller, 82), which saw four players elected including George Brett and Nolan Ryan.
#35 How the Hall (and everyone else) Failed, Willie Stargell (Miller, 103): This has been my most successful series. I suspect Stargell has been its most popular examination because he’s kind of a no-brainer for most people. #43 How the Hall Failed, Jim Rice (Miller, 90), #48 How the Hall Failed, Catfish Hunter (Miller, 85), #58 How the Hall Failed, Lou Brock (Miller, 75), #59 How the Hall Failed – Ray Schalk (Miller, 72), and #62 How the Hall Failed – Tommy McCarthy (Miller, 67) are the other top-75 posts.
#38 Joe Carter, Baseball’s Most Overrated Player Ever? (Miller, 99): This post from last September, in which I try to explain how Joe Carter became so over-appreciated, has gotten a decent amount of attention each month. The guy had three seasons in which he totaled 100+ RBI and negative WAR. Ugh!
#39 Hidden Superstars of the 1910s and 1920s? (Eric, 94): This 2017 post was hot originally but hasn’t gotten much attention lately. It’s a really interesting post about how a lack of data on baserunning, double play avoidance, and outfield throwing may obscure or dampen the greatness of a few players from those decades.
#42 The Hall of Consensus (Eric, 90): I’ve come to realize that my favorite posts aren’t always yours. That’s okay. This 2016 creation examined where the Hall of Fame, Hall of Merit, and Hall of Stats overlapped (or not) with the HoME and each other. I did the same thing to less fanfare a year before with #67 Comparing the Halls (Miller, 64).
#46 Examining the Pud Galvin Arguments (Miller, 88): Back before Eric caved and we elected Pud Galvin, I worked through his case quite a bit through posts. This 2014 post tried to look at both sides of his electoral case. The post was initially pretty popular, less so once we elected Galvin.
#51 The HoME’s Inner Circle (Miller, 82): The term “Inner Circle” has always bothered me because it’s not something that’s ever really been defined. In this January post, I tried to remedy that problem.
#54 Is Johan Santana the Contemporary Sandy Koufax? (Eric, 79): In this post, Eric concludes that he is. I snarkily say he’s not since Sandy is often considered the best pitcher ever, while Johan fell off the Hall ballot after just one year. If you’re a fan of any of Koufax, Santana, or the Hall, you need to read this 2016 post.
#55 A Q & A with Adam Darowski of the Hall of Stats (Miller, 79): Last August we started interviewing some important folks in our field. To date, the chat with Adam was the most popular. #61 A Q&A with Ryan Thibodaux of the BBHoF Tracker (Miller, 67) and #73 Q&A with Jay Jaffe, author of the Cooperstown Casebook (Eric, 61) are also among the 75 most read posts.
#57 What happened to Mickey Mantle’s doubles?: (Eric, 76): This is a really cool, under-viewed post about, well, Mantle’s doubles. What else? Check it out.
#61 Getting Julio Franco Into Cooperstown (Miller, 67): I’m fascinated by guys who but for a few odd twists could have easily have found themselves in the Hall. Julio Franco is one such guy.
#66 In Support of Sal Bando (Miller, 65): Like the Franco post, this 2015 article has chugged along with a couple of clicks per month for the last three plus years. In it, I looked at Bando and every other position player who led the game in WAR over a five-year span. To be fair, this post was far more fun to research than just to read.
#67 The HoME 100: #10–1 (Miller and Eric, 64): After ESPN bungled things, we set them straight in a ten-part series culminating with this post.
#73 Grading the BBWAA Ballots (Miller, 61): This is the post that kicked off my ballot grading in 2017. The series was unrelenting. We were producing content every day during the Hall voting, and I graded each one that Ryan Thibodaux posted. It was worth it; you guys looked at these posts over 1,200 times.
Since I put this list together at the end of May, three pretty interesting posts fell out of the top-75.
The Worst Regulars Ever (Miller, 60): This 2017 post is pretty much exactly what you think it is. I kinda think it should have received more attention. Check it out.
The Best Relief Pitchers Ever (Miller, 59): Another post that’s exactly what the title indicates.
Why we chose Sam Rice instead of Vlad Guerrero (Eric, 58): And a third.
We thank you for all of the support and input over the last five years. Let us know in the comments what you think we should write about, posts you’ve enjoyed, or different directions you think we should explore. If you do those things, we’ll do a better job providing the content you want.
Thanks for reading!