Join 3,413 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Cooperstown number crunching
December 11, 2013 12:10 PM   Subscribe

Kenny Shirley and Carlos Scheidegger of AT&T Labs have put together a fascinating tool to analyze voting patterns for the baseball Hall of Fame. This Deadspin post will help walk you through it.

Note: You may need to use Chrome as your browser.
posted by Chrysostom (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love that even after three years of 'paying his dues' or whatever, 11.16% of HOF voters still thought Joe DiMaggio didn't belong in the Hall. HOF voters are the sanctimoniest* and I look forward to the rending of garments and clutching of pearls when Deadspin reveals whose vote they bought.

* not a word, I know
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:23 PM on December 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Note: You may need to use Chrome as your browser.
Seems to be working for me in Firefox.

Roger Maris and Gil Hodges aren't in the HoF?
posted by Thorzdad at 12:38 PM on December 11, 2013


Maris is a Golden Era candidate starting next year, I believe.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:42 PM on December 11, 2013


Not necessarily great numbers for either Maris or Hodges.

Standard caveat that yes, the HOF has allowed crappier players in already.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:42 PM on December 11, 2013


This is just the thing for my fantasy Hall of Fame Voting league!
posted by rocket88 at 12:44 PM on December 11, 2013


Setting it up to only show non-inducted batters charted on OPS vs WAR brings up this graph, which is pretty great. A lot of the upper-right dots are for players that are controversial for similar reasons, but Bonds' numbers are such outliers that it's really on another level in terms of a player not being voted in based on breaking the rules.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:46 PM on December 11, 2013


We Need A New MLB Hall of Fame—Keith Olbermann, 9 December 2013
posted by ob1quixote at 1:00 PM on December 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


ob1quixote: "We Need A New MLB Hall of Fame —Keith Olbermann, 9 December 2013"

Amen to what Olberman says here. Great points about LaRussa and Marvin Miller.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:15 PM on December 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Keith Olbermann is not wrong.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:20 PM on December 11, 2013


He's just an asshole.
posted by Aizkolari at 1:24 PM on December 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maris is a Golden Era candidate starting next year, I believe.

He'll be a Golden Era candidate next year, but not for the first time -- he was eligible in 2011 but was not selected, and the Veterans Committee (or whatever they're calling it now) only looks at people every three years.

The knock on him is that he only had that one really good year (or so), and the HoF is notorious for valuing career consistency and longevity over season spikes.
posted by Etrigan at 1:35 PM on December 11, 2013


I went looking for the least of least in the HoF, at least for batting. I found 13 players who produced less than 40 WAR over their career yet made it into the hall. None of them have any landmark counting stats, nor any really standout rate stats. All but two of them were voted in by the veterans committee. The two that weren't were Pie Traynor and Roy Campanella.

I can see Campanella getting sympathy votes due to the accident that cut his career short and left him paralyzed, but the rest of these guys don't have anything to distinguish themselves from the mass of players that never made it into the hall and never will.
posted by ursus_comiter at 1:43 PM on December 11, 2013


BTW, Maris is also under 40 WAR and other than his 61 HR season doesn't have anything to distinguish himself.
posted by ursus_comiter at 1:45 PM on December 11, 2013


Etrigan: "The knock on him is that he only had that one really good year (or so), and the HoF is notorious for valuing career consistency and longevity over season spikes."

Well, I think that's a reasonable value judgment to make, though. Who is more important - the briefly amazing guy who flames out, or the solid achiever over a decade and a half? I don't think there is an absolute objective answer.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:46 PM on December 11, 2013


Oh, if you are interested in this stuff, make sure to read James's Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame? I don't agree with all of his conclusions, but a fascinating look at the skulduggery involved in people getting into the HOF.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:48 PM on December 11, 2013


"The knock on him is that he only had that one really good year (or so), and the HoF is notorious for valuing career consistency and longevity over season spikes."

Well, I think that's a reasonable value judgment to make, though. Who is more important - the briefly amazing guy who flames out, or the solid achiever over a decade and a half? I don't think there is an absolute objective answer.


I tend to agree, but it is, after all, the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Longevity and Consistency, and Maris held the most famous season-specific record in all of baseball for more than a third of a century.
posted by Etrigan at 1:53 PM on December 11, 2013


other than his 61 HR season doesn't have anything to distinguish himself.

Other than that, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?
posted by wotsac at 2:21 PM on December 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


All but two of them were voted in by the veterans committee. The two that weren't were Pie Traynor and Roy Campanella.

There's also Rabbit Maranville, who was essentially a lock because he was a beloved personality who also helped lead the Miracle Braves team that won a World Series. Even today, big personality+World Series+MVP consideration is an easy recipe for induction no matter what your numbers look like (see Kirby Puckett, whose personality around people who weren't sportswriters turned out to be pretty vile).

As for Pie Traynor, he was, at the time, considered by far the best third baseman to have ever played the game, based largely on his defense. Today it's hard to see that in the historical record, but it is what people thought at the time believed. Another thing to consider with the early era of the Hall of Fame is that no one really had access to the sorts of career numbers we take for granted today. Stuff like Babe Ruth's home run numbers were probably known, but there just wasn't a baseball encyclopedia with all of the batting numbers for players like Traynor, so voters went on reputation, and Pie's reputation was sterling.
posted by Copronymus at 2:29 PM on December 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Then there's the issue of Frankie Frisch, the Fordham Flash. Ol' Frankie was head of the Veterans' Committee for a long time, and had a bad habit of getting his friends into the HOF whether they belonged or not. If you want to figure good baselines for the Hall, you have to disregard Frisch's friends. They skew the numbers.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 2:40 PM on December 11, 2013


Etrigan: "I tend to agree, but it is, after all, the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Longevity and Consistency, and Maris held the most famous season-specific record in all of baseball for more than a third of a century."

Oh, sure. But conversely, it's not the Oscars, we're not awarding for a single fantastic moment. We're saying, "This guy was one of the greatest players." Can we really say that if he was really amazing for just the one year? Reasonable people differ on this, I think.

Copronymus: "helped lead the Miracle Braves team that won a World Series."

Still one of the most amazing stories of all time. Dead last in eight place on July 4th, all the way to champs. Check out the playoff percentage odds!
posted by Chrysostom at 6:55 PM on December 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


« Older The Twin Peaks 12 Days of Christmas...  |  Blorpy: Interesting stories fo... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments