Archive for Hall of Fame

More Predicting the HOF

J.C. Zannis continues his HOF series. He looks at who’s in that shouldn’t be and who should be in (including active players).

Winning and Hall of Fame Induction

J.C. Zannis of The Cat’s Cradle has started a series of posts looking at factors that influence Hall of Fame induction for hitters. As a base for his analysis he uses my very basic model.

Last year JC Bradbury at Sabernomics created a list of position players who are not in the baseball hall of fame, but should be (more recent update here). I was intrigued by the list, but felt that, fair or not, winning and postseason success likely factor into voters decisions. I also wondered whether traditional stats such as hits and home runs might not predict voter behavior better than linear weights (about which voters are likely poorly informed).

The project became a bit long for one post so I’ll do it in parts. The next post (part 2) will compare model specifications and provide lists of players who are not enshrined, but best match the players already in the hall. Next I will look at hall of famers who had the lowest probability of induction and current or recently retired players who have the best chance of induction. Finally I may look at how changes in productivity would have affected players’ hall of fame chances (e.g. what difference would an additional all-star caliber season have made for Dale Murphy). For the last section I’m happy to take suggestions.

In his second post he finds something very interesting.

The real difference between [Bradbury's basic model] and [a model that includes the average winning percentage of a players teams as well as a dummy variable indicating whether he won a world series] shows up when comparing players. [The latter model] was particularly harsh on Professor Bradbury’s favorite player, Dale Murphy. According to it, Murphy’s chances were hurt by his lack of a World Series ring and the .443 winning percentage of the teams he played on.

It’s a shame, but I’m not surprised about the impact of team quality. I’m looking forward to the next two parts. I like what he’s doing here.

Disappointed Again

For several years, Braves fans have had two post-season rituals: watching the Braves lose in the playoffs and seeing Dale Murphy fall short of Hall of Fame induction. The Braves didn’t even make the playoffs this year so I thought that might be a good omen for Murphy. But with all the Hall of Fame talk, I soon became scared that Murph might fall off the ballot. That didn’t happen—he garnered 9.2% of the votes—but I’m not sure it’s much of a victory.

Last season, I developed a list of position players not in the Hall of Fame but should be. Murphy was on that list.

Player            	First    Last    P(in HOF)
Bill Dahlen        	1891    1911    80.18%
Pete Rose        	1963    1986    78.39%
George Van Haltren    	1887    1903    72.86%
Keith Hernandez        	1974    1990    70.99%
Dwight Evans        	1972    1991    68.46%
Dale Murphy        	1976    1993    68.43%
Jimmy Ryan        	1885    1903    66.83%
Bob Elliott       	1939    1953    58.84%
Phil Cavarretta       	1934    1955    57.99%
Bob O’Farrell        	1915    1935    55.68%
Vern Stephens        	1941    1955    52.99%
Bob Johnson	        1933    1945    52.79%
Dolph Camilli        	1933    1945    52.59%
Cupid Childs        	1888    1901    51.64%
Larry Doyle        	1907    1920    50.56%
Deacon McGuire        	1884    1912    50.09%

As a side project, I also looked at the Hall of Fame chances of not-yet eligible players.


Player			P(in HOF)
Barry Bonds		100.00%
Rickey Henderson	99.80%
Frank Thomas		97.44%
Ken Griffey		95.63%
Larry Walker		95.03%
Cal Ripken		91.22%
Roberto Alomar		88.01%
Jeff Bagwell		86.85%
Rafael Palmeiro		83.96%
Barry Larkin		81.51%
Alex Rodriguez		74.10%
Ivan Rodriguez		66.90%
Edgar Martinez		64.03%
Tim Raines		63.32%
Fred McGriff		62.86%
Gary Sheffield		60.90%
Tony Gwynn		60.78%
Mark McGwire		58.73%
Craig Biggio		56.77%
Juan Gonzalez		55.64%
Sammy Sosa		51.77%

One year later, Ripken and Gwynn made it, but McGwire did not. I do think that McGwire will eventually get in, but I wonder about Barry Bonds and that 100% probability.

Thinking about who gets into the Hall of Fame is a great way to introduce people to sabermetrics. One of the first books Doug Drinen handed me on sabermetrics was Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame? by Bill James. After that, I was hooked.

For more on Murph and the HOF see Mac Thomason’s excellent series.

More Love for Murph

Frank Stephenson at Division of Labour pointed me to Kyle Wingfield’s column in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. It’s a pay site, but I’ll post a brief quote.

…if voting patterns for the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s are any indication. In each of those decades, an average of 22 Hall of Famers played the most significant part of their careers — meaning a majority or near-majority of their statistical production came in that decade. …

So far, the corresponding number for the ’80s is only 13. Three more players — Tony Gwynn, Rickey Henderson and Cal Ripken Jr. — are sure to enter Cooperstown in the coming years. But that still leaves the ’80s six Hall of Famers short of the three previous, and largely comparable, decades.

Wingfield attributes the current “Steroid Era” as the cause of 80s players getting less respect. While I think the growing offensive numbers may be part of the reason, I don’t see much evidence that steroids is the cause of the rise in those numbers.

Murphy for Cooperstown

Mac Thomason is looking into Dale Murphy’s Hall of Fame credentials with a series of articles over at Braves Journal—THE online home for thinking Braves fans. I’ve been doing a smaller version of this (here and here), but Mac’s doing the heavy lifting. The goal is to “objectively” examine Murph’s accomplishments according to several well-known criteria for evaluating HOF worthiness. I put objective in quotes because, thought both Mac and I are using tools the objective researcher would use, we both feel that he is worthy based on these criteria. So, I want to make it clear that we are both advocates for him. Might we be a little biased? Absolutely, but so what. Murphy clears some tough hurdles, and it’s easy to forget just how good he was. And we are asking other fans to start making the case. Whenever a journalist says Murph isn’t worthy, send him an e-mail with links to Mac’s new category, Murphy for Cooperstown, and/or mine.

Here are the most recent links from Mac’s site:
Most Runs Created, 1980-1989
Murphy’s Keltner List

It is our hope that we can finally put Murphy in the Hall of Fame by showing that his pros outweigh the cons.

Future Hall of Famers

With the announcement that Bruce Sutter will be the only inductee into the Hall of Fame in 2006, I thought I’d post my list of hitters still playing or too recently retired to be eligible whom I predict will be in the Hall of Fame. The methodology I use is the same one I used to examine which eligible players who should be in the HOF. Here they are, with their probabilities of getting in. This list is only for hitters.

Player			P(in HOF)
Barry Bonds		100.00%
Rickey Henderson	99.80%
Frank Thomas		97.44%
Ken Griffey		95.63%
Larry Walker		95.03%
Cal Ripken		91.22%
Roberto Alomar		88.01%
Jeff Bagwell		86.85%
Rafael Palmeiro		83.96%
Barry Larkin		81.51%
Alex Rodriguez		74.10%
Ivan Rodriguez		66.90%
Edgar Martinez		64.03%
Tim Raines		63.32%
Fred McGriff		62.86%
Gary Sheffield		60.90%
Tony Gwynn		60.78%
Mark McGwire		58.73%
Craig Biggio		56.77%
Juan Gonzalez		55.64%
Sammy Sosa		51.77%

There you have it. I don’t think there are too many surprises here.