Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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The 1950 Season as seen through the Prism of Player Won-Lost Records


As part of their last update, Retrosheet added two new seasons with "deduced games" to supplement their play-by-play data. These are games for which they do not have full play-by-play data, but they have been able to deduce enough about what happened from box scores and newspaper reports that they were able to reconstruct play-by-play data. Combining games with full play-by-play and deduced games, I now have full play-by-play data for all seasons dating back to 1949. This gives me two new full seasons: 1949 and 1950

This article looks at the latter of these two seasons: 1950.

The Best of 1950

The top 10 players in pWins above Positional Average and Replacement Level were as follows.

pWins over Positional Average
Top 10 Players
          pWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL           Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
1Vic Raschi19.913.53.8
5.4
1Vic Raschi19.913.53.8
5.4
2Robin Roberts20.214.63.4
5.0
2Robin Roberts20.214.63.4
5.0
3Yogi Berra18.111.93.2
4.4
3Bob Lemon23.619.62.9
4.9
4Vic Wertz24.016.83.2
4.8
4Vic Wertz24.016.83.2
4.8
5Larry Doby21.714.53.1
4.6
5Vern Stephens22.817.53.0
4.7
6Vern Stephens22.817.53.0
4.7
6Larry Doby21.714.53.1
4.6
7Eddie Stanky20.514.83.0
4.4
7Eddie Stanky20.514.83.0
4.4
8Bob Lemon23.619.62.9
4.9
8Yogi Berra18.111.93.2
4.4
9Al Rosen22.115.42.8
4.3
9Al Rosen22.115.42.8
4.3
10Pee Wee Reese18.914.22.7
4.0
10Ewell Blackwell19.916.52.3
4.1


The top 10 players in eWins above Positional Average and Replacement Level were as follows.

eWins over Positional Average
Top 10 Players
          eWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL           Player eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
1Eddie Stanky20.215.32.6
4.0
1Duke Snider24.418.32.4
4.2
2Larry Doby20.314.32.5
3.9
2Warren Spahn20.317.02.3
4.1
3Duke Snider24.418.32.4
4.2
3Eddie Stanky20.215.32.6
4.0
4Warren Spahn20.317.02.3
4.1
4Larry Doby20.314.32.5
3.9
5Ed Lopat16.213.22.1
3.5
5Robin Roberts19.916.92.1
3.9
6Robin Roberts19.916.92.1
3.9
6Vern Stephens21.117.82.1
3.6
7Vern Stephens21.117.82.1
3.6
7Ewell Blackwell17.314.32.0
3.6
8Ewell Blackwell17.314.32.0
3.6
8Larry Jansen18.015.32.0
3.6
9Fred Hutchinson15.612.82.0
3.4
9Phil Rizzuto20.917.72.0
3.5
10Larry Jansen18.015.32.0
3.6
10Ed Lopat16.213.22.1
3.5


Let's take a look at a few of the more interesting players in the above tables.

Top AL Pitchers: Vic Raschi vs. Fred Hutchinson
The top player in three of the four above tables was an American League starting pitcher. Vic Raschi of the New York Yankees led the major-leagues in pWins over either positional average or replacement level, while Detroit Tigers pitcher Fred Hutchinson led the major leagues in eWins over either positional average.

Vic Raschi had a traditional won-lost record of 21-8 with a 4.00 ERA over 256.2 IP. Hutchinson went 17-8, 3.96 in 231.2 IP and added a .326/.407/.400 batting line over 112 PAs.

Both Raschi and Hutchinson had interesting seasons statistically. Neither ranked particularly well in 1950 for WAR at Baseball-Reference. This is really not too surprising given their season ERA's. In terms of winning percentage, however, they finished 1st and 5th in the AL. They also ranked 2nd (Hutchinson) and 4th (Raschi) in FIP in the 1950 AL, according to Baseball-Reference. Hutchinson led the AL in BB/9 and K/BB; Raschi was 3rd in K/9 and 4th in K/BB. Player won-lost records sort of care the most about the latter statistics - FIP, K/BB - and the former statistic - winning percentage - but less so about the intermediate statistic, ERA. Raschi and Hutchinson were very good at the things most in control of the pitcher - striking batters out, avoiding walks - and their teams ultimately won a lot of games when they were pitching.

Raschi, in particular, also excelled at "pitching to the score". The Yankees were 9-3 in one-run games started by Raschi, with Raschi amassing a traditional record of 9-2 in those games. The ability to "pitch to the score" may or may not be a "skill", but there's no doubt that the timing of Raschi's performance in 1950 - whether by skill or by luck - contributed to real Yankee wins in 1950.

Hutchinson and Raschi ended up having fairly similar careers overall. They both got late starts, presumably due to World War II - Hutchinson's first full-time season was at age 26, Raschi's was at age 29 - put together a few very good seasons, but were out of baseball by their mid-to-late 30's, resulting in veryshort careers for pitchers of their quality. I am missing several games from the early parts of both Hutchinson's and Raschi's careers. The next table compares their career records, as measured by Player won-lost records, from 1944 onward. The Player won-lost records shown here are (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) eWins.



Fred Hutchinson Vic Raschi
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. eWOPA eWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1944
 
1945
 
19464014.412.20.5421.7
2.9
21.01.00.5100.10.2
19475615.513.00.5441.8
3.0
157.76.70.5370.81.4
19487615.415.30.5030.7
2.1
3614.612.80.5331.42.6
19493812.110.40.5371.2
2.2
3817.917.00.5141.02.4
19504415.612.80.5502.0
3.4
3317.414.90.5401.93.4
19514711.710.40.5311.1
2.1
3516.616.30.5040.62.1
1952171.92.10.466-0.1
0.1
3114.113.20.5161.02.2
195340.50.30.6040.1
0.1
2811.19.70.5351.12.0
1954
 
3011.512.80.473-0.21.0
1955
 
216.57.90.452-0.50.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS32287.176.40.5338.4
15.9
269118.4112.10.5147.217.2
Robin Roberts
One of the big stories of the 1950 season was the Philadelphia Phillies and their surprise pennant, the first for the franchise in 35 years. The Phillies starting lineup featured two 23-year-olds, a 24-year-old, and a 25-year-old, and their top five starting pitchers were 21, 23, 24, 25, and 26 years old.

By far the biggest star among the Whiz Kids was 23-year-old starting pitcher Robin Roberts. Roberts would eventually be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame (in 1976) on the strength on an incredible six-year peak, of which 1950 was the first season. In 1950, Roberts started 39 games (and relieved in one other, earning a save), completing 21, with a league-leading 5 shutouts. Overall, he pitched 304.1 innings with a 3.02 ERA (4th in the NL) and a traditional won-lost record of 20-11.

Player won-lost records agree that Roberts's 1950 season was outstanding as he ranks in the top 10 in all four of the above tables, ranking 2nd (1st in the NL) in pWins over either positional average or replacement level.

Robin Roberts's career record, as measured by Player won-lost records, is shown in the next table.

Robin Roberts
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1948PHI21
21
10.110.00.5030.4
1.3
10.09.40.5170.71.5
1949PHI22
43
14.513.80.5110.7
1.8
13.813.60.5050.51.6
1950PHI23
40
20.214.60.5803.4
5.0
19.916.90.5412.13.9
1951PHI24
44
21.317.10.5542.7
4.4
20.515.70.5662.94.6
1952PHI25
39
21.313.80.6074.5
6.0
21.817.30.5573.14.8
1953PHI26
44
25.118.30.5784.3
6.2
24.117.90.5733.95.8
1954PHI27
45
20.917.80.5402.3
4.2
21.618.30.5412.44.4
1955PHI28
51
22.018.00.5502.8
4.3
21.019.10.5241.73.2
1956PHI29
43
19.319.30.5000.7
2.5
19.420.10.4920.42.2
1957PHI30
39
14.220.50.410-2.4
-1.0
15.517.20.473-0.21.1
1958PHI31
36
18.315.20.5462.3
3.7
17.716.40.5201.52.8
1959PHI32
35
17.917.80.5020.7
2.3
16.716.70.5000.62.1
1960PHI33
35
14.315.10.4870.2
1.5
14.415.40.4830.11.4
1961PHI34
26
5.08.20.377-1.4
-0.8
6.78.60.438-0.7-0.0
1962BAL35
27
10.59.00.5381.2
2.1
12.310.30.5431.52.5
1963BAL36
35
14.816.00.4790.1
1.5
16.116.10.4990.82.2
1964BAL37
31
13.711.50.5451.7
3.0
12.713.00.4940.41.7
38
30
11.311.00.5070.7
1.7
12.410.60.5391.42.5
39
24
7.07.50.482-0.1
0.6
6.68.70.431-0.9-0.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
688
301.6274.50.52424.7
50.1
303.1281.30.51922.348.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
2
0.40.70.400 -0.00.90.70.543 0.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
690
302.1275.20.524
50.1
304.0282.00.519 48.2


Larry Doby
When Player won-lost records are controlled for context and teammate ability, the best position player in the American League, as measured by (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) eWins over either positional average or replacement level was Cleveland Indians centerfielder Larry Doby.

Larry Doby made his major-league debut in 1947, becoming the first African-American player in American League history on July 5, 1947. The next season, Doby batted .301 splitting time between center and right field and helped the Cleveland Indians win their last World Championship (to date).

The 1950 season saw Doby take a big step forward from solid starter to star. He set career highs in batting average (.326), on-base percentage (.442), and slugging percentage (.545), leading the AL in OBP and OPS (.986). He also set a career high in runs scored (110) and drove in over 100 runs for the first time in his career (he would do so three more times). In addition to his hitting exploits, Doby was an above average baserunner and defensive centerfielder in 1950 as well.

I feel like Larry Doby is often under-rated - if not forgotten - as a baseball player. He wasn't elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame until 1998 and I think most people assume he only made it then because of his position as the first black player in AL history. Yet, as measured by Player won-lost records, Larry Doby's career was Hall-worthy even without giving him pioneering extra credit (which he absolutely deserves).

Larry Doby's career record, as measured by Player won-lost records, is shown in the next table.

Larry Doby
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1947CLE23
28
0.50.90.364-0.2
-0.1
0.60.90.381-0.2-0.1
1948CLE24
120
16.213.80.5390.6
1.9
15.813.30.5430.71.9
1949CLE25
147
22.017.50.5571.7
3.3
20.316.40.5541.43.0
1950CLE26
142
21.714.50.5993.1
4.6
20.314.30.5862.53.9
1951CLE27
134
19.115.10.5581.6
3.0
19.214.40.5722.13.4
1952CLE28
140
21.815.10.5913.0
4.5
21.215.20.5832.74.1
1953CLE29
149
21.916.00.5782.3
3.9
20.115.40.5671.83.3
1954CLE30
153
27.115.30.6405.0
6.7
21.716.90.5631.53.2
1955CLE31
131
17.914.50.5521.1
2.4
17.414.30.5480.92.3
1956CHA32
140
18.816.50.5320.5
2.0
19.116.50.5350.62.1
1957CHA33
119
16.214.10.5350.5
1.8
14.512.60.5340.51.6
1958CLE34
88
9.28.00.5350.3
1.0
8.57.60.5280.20.8
35
39
2.93.90.424-0.6
-0.3
3.14.90.390-1.0-0.7
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,530
215.3165.30.56618.9
34.6
201.8162.70.55413.728.8
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
10
1.21.40.460 -0.01.21.20.490 0.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,540
216.4166.60.566
34.6
202.9163.90.554 28.8


The 1950 World Series

On the surface, the 1950 World Series looked like a rout. The New York Yankees won their second of five consecutive World Series in a sweep against a Philadelphia Phillies team making its only World Series appearance between 1915 and 1980. But looking more closely, the first three games were all one-run games and the Yankees out-scored the Phillies by a total of only 6 runs across the four games.

The stars of the 1950 World Series for the Yankees were their starting pitchers. Vic Raschi and Whitey Ford pitched a combined 17.2 innings without allowing an earned run (Ford allowed 2 unearned runs) and each earned a traditional pitching win, and Allie Reynolds added 10.1 IP at a 0.87 ERA with a win and a save.

Player won-lost records agree. The top performances of the 1950 World Series as measured by Player won-lost records are shown next.

1950 World Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Vic RaschiNYA1.00.10.5
Allie ReynoldsNYA0.90.30.4
Whitey FordNYA0.90.30.4
Jerry ColemanNYA0.80.30.3
Joe DiMaggioNYA0.70.30.2
Ed LopatNYA0.50.20.2
Gene WoodlingNYA0.60.30.2
Jim KonstantyPHI0.90.80.1
Bobby 'Doc' BrownNYA0.60.30.1
Yogi BerraNYA0.40.30.1
Phil RizzutoNYA0.50.40.1
Joe CollinsNYA0.10.00.1
Tom FerrickNYA0.20.10.1
Hank BauerNYA0.40.30.1


Best of 1950 by Factor and Position

Next, let's look at the top players in (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) eWins over Positional Average in various aspects of the game.
Best by Factor: Batting, Baserunning, Pitching, Fielding
There are four basic factors for which players earn Player won-lost records: Batting, Baserunning, Pitching, and Fielding. The top players in 1950 in eWOPA by factor were as follows.

Batting
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Stan Musial15.79.82.7

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Baserunning
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Phil Masi0.90.30.3
Johnny Pesky1.30.80.2
Willie Jones1.30.80.2
Eddie Yost1.61.20.2
Ted Williams0.70.30.2
Pee Wee Reese1.41.00.2
Red Schoendienst1.10.70.2
Billy Goodman1.10.70.2
Carl Furillo1.41.00.2
Sam Mele0.80.50.2
Dom DiMaggio1.41.10.2
Ralph Kiner1.10.80.2

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Pitching
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Ewell Blackwell14.511.33.2
Robin Roberts16.513.53.0
Larry Jansen14.812.02.8
Warren Spahn16.313.62.7
Jim Hearn7.14.72.4
Jim Konstanty8.05.82.3


Fielding, P
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Eddie Erautt0.50.00.4
Mel Parnell0.80.40.4


Fielding, C
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Wes Westrum1.51.00.5


Fielding, 1B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Mickey Vernon1.61.40.2
Johnny Mize0.70.50.2
Eddie Waitkus2.01.80.2
Preston Ward1.21.10.2


Fielding, 2B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Jerry Priddy5.75.30.5
Jerry Coleman4.74.30.5


Fielding, 3B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
George Kell4.33.50.9


Fielding, SS
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Vern Stephens5.44.60.8


Fielding, LF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Hoot Evers6.55.11.5


Fielding, CF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Duke Snider6.75.01.7


Fielding, RF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Carl Furillo6.84.92.0


Best by Position
Next, we look at 1950 Major-League leaders in eWOPA by position. The figures shown here only include Player decisions earned while playing this particular position, and include no contextual adjustments (expected or actual).

Catcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Yogi Berra16.513.41.7


First Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Walt Dropo16.513.10.9
Earl Torgeson18.715.00.9


Second Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Eddie Stanky20.015.52.4


Third Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Al Rosen20.415.81.7


Shortstop
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Vern Stephens20.917.91.9


Left Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Hoot Evers20.616.11.6


Center Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Larry Doby20.114.52.3


Right Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Carl Furillo22.018.31.4


Starting Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Robin Roberts17.013.91.7
Ewell Blackwell14.211.31.5
Larry Jansen15.012.31.5


Relief Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Jim Konstanty8.46.01.0


Relief pitching was much less prominent in 1950 than it is today. Nevertheless, Jim Konstanty won the 1950 NL MVP Award on the strength of 74 games and 152 innings pitched, all in relief.

For relief pitchers, context-neutral records may not be the best measure of how good they are, as context can matter a great deal, depending on how a pitcher is used. Here are the top relief pitchers of 1950 in context, as measured by pWins over replacement level (pWORL).

Top Relief Pitchers of 1950, based on pWORL
Player pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
Jim Konstanty10.26.30.6171.93.0
Al Brazle11.710.30.5310.92.1
Mickey Harris7.05.70.5530.61.5
Sam Zoldak4.43.20.5780.61.1
Jesse Flores3.42.60.5710.40.8


Jim Konstanty was excellent in 1950 and his performance did tower over that of other relief pitchers (his pWOPA was more than double that of any other relief pitcher). But compared to the best starting pitchers and position players of 1950, I think that Konstanty's MVP award was probably a mistake. Finally, here are the best at three oft-forgotten positions that can nevertheless matter: pitcher offense, pinch hitter, and pinch runner.

Pitcher Offense
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Bob Lemon2.62.10.8


Pinch Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Charlie Keller1.10.60.3


Pinch Runner
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Bobby Avila0.10.00.05
Joe Collins0.20.10.04


Notable Debuts
The 1950 season saw the major-league debut of one player who went on to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame: Whitey Ford. The final table of this article presents the career record of Whitey Ford, as measured by Player won-lost records.

Whitey Ford
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1950NYA21
20
7.34.80.6011.4
2.0
6.95.60.5500.81.4
1953NYA24
33
13.011.40.5331.3
2.4
13.713.00.5130.92.1
1954NYA25
34
15.111.50.5692.3
3.6
13.411.80.5331.32.5
1955NYA26
39
18.213.90.5672.7
4.0
16.314.70.5271.42.6
1956NYA27
31
17.311.40.6033.5
4.8
15.611.70.5712.53.7
1957NYA28
24
8.97.00.5601.2
1.9
8.27.70.5160.51.2
1958NYA29
30
14.911.20.5702.5
3.5
15.111.10.5762.63.7
1959NYA30
35
14.912.70.5401.6
2.9
14.312.50.5331.42.6
1960NYA31
33
14.412.10.5441.7
2.9
12.210.80.5311.22.2
1961NYA32
39
19.813.00.6034.1
5.5
19.116.90.5301.93.4
1962NYA33
38
17.012.10.5853.2
4.5
16.814.60.5351.93.3
1963NYA34
38
17.413.60.5612.7
4.1
17.715.10.5392.13.6
1964NYA35
39
18.011.70.6073.8
5.4
16.111.90.5742.74.1
1965NYA36
38
15.215.20.5000.8
2.2
15.915.40.5071.02.4
1966NYA37
22
3.44.50.433-0.5
-0.0
4.35.10.458-0.30.2
1967NYA38
7
2.72.50.5170.2
0.4
2.92.50.5360.30.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
500
217.6168.60.56332.5
49.8
208.5180.60.53622.139.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
22
10.08.90.530 1.89.98.20.546 2.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
522
227.6177.50.563
51.5
218.4188.80.536 41.5




All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.

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