Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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The 1975 Season as seen through the Prism of Player Won-Lost Records



Next in my continuing series of looking at individual seasons through the prism of Player won-lost records is the 1975 season. The 1975 season produced the first of consecutive World Championships by the Big Red Machine, the first of consecutive MVP awards by Reds second baseman Joe Morgan, the first MVP award won by a rookie, and plenty more excitement.

The Best of 1975

I calculate Player won-lost records two ways: pWins, which tie to team wins and eWins, which control for context and the ability of one's teammates. For players with more pWins than eWins, their Player wins contributed to more team wins than one might expect; for players with more eWins than pWins, just the opposite is true: their Player wins translated into fewer team wins than expected. Or more briefly: a player with more pWins than eWins was better in context, a player with more eWins than pWins was worse in context.

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
1Joe L. Morgan24.515.44.6
6.2
1Joe L. Morgan24.515.44.6
6.2
2Jim Palmer20.312.14.1
5.7
2Jim Palmer20.312.14.1
5.7
3Tom Seaver18.613.23.3
4.6
3Toby Harrah21.516.93.2
4.7
4Toby Harrah21.516.93.2
4.7
4Tom Seaver18.613.23.3
4.6
5Ron Cey23.717.32.9
4.5
5Ron Cey23.717.32.9
4.5
6Thurman Munson20.114.92.8
4.3
6Reggie Jackson25.519.12.7
4.4
7Fred Lynn22.216.42.7
4.2
7Thurman Munson20.114.92.8
4.3
8Rich Gossage12.16.82.7
3.8
8Fred Lynn22.216.42.7
4.2
9Reggie Jackson25.519.12.7
4.4
9Catfish Hunter19.214.12.5
4.1
10Frank Tanana16.211.12.5
3.8
10Bobby Grich20.916.62.4
3.9


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
1Joe L. Morgan23.816.04.0
5.6
1Joe L. Morgan23.816.04.0
5.6
2Toby Harrah21.716.73.4
4.9
2Toby Harrah21.716.73.4
4.9
3Jim Palmer19.213.13.1
4.6
3Jim Palmer19.213.13.1
4.6
4Mike Schmidt22.516.03.1
4.6
4Mike Schmidt22.516.03.1
4.6
5Tom Seaver18.113.62.8
4.2
5Fred Lynn22.216.42.7
4.2
6Fred Lynn22.216.42.7
4.2
6Tom Seaver18.113.62.8
4.2
7Catfish Hunter19.114.22.5
4.1
7Catfish Hunter19.114.22.5
4.1
8Johnny Bench18.213.32.4
3.6
8Andy Messersmith20.317.12.2
3.8
9John Mayberry Sr.19.413.52.3
3.7
9Reggie Jackson24.819.91.9
3.7
10Andy Messersmith20.317.12.2
3.8
10John Mayberry Sr.19.413.52.3
3.7


Award Winners
Overall, the voters on the major awards did a very good job. The best overall player in baseball, as measured by Player won-lost records, was a near-unanimous choice for National League MVP. The top two pitchers on all four lists above won the two Cy Young awards. Even both Rookie-of-the-Year winners show up in the top 10 in pWins over positional average.

The only major award winner who arguably did not deserve his award, according to Player won-lost records, was AL MVP Fred Lynn, who definitely deserved his Rookie-of-the-Year award and was definitely the best center fielder in the major leagues. And Fred Lynn was definitely not a bad choice as AL MVP. He shows up as either the third- or fourth-best player in the AL on all four tables above. Jim Palmer beats him clearly, but he's a pitcher, so we can forgive that one. Toby Harrah has perhaps the strongest case for having been robbed of the MVP, finishing ahead of Lynn on all four tables above (plus, Harrah beat Palmer in eWins, controlling for context). Tying player wins to team wins, Lynn is also arguably behind Reggie Jackson. Still, restricting it to position players, and taking into account the somewhat surprising team performance of the Boston Red Sox, I can certainly see the case for Fred Lynn.

Toby Harrah
As I just noted, the best position player in the American League in 1975, as measured by Player won-lost records, was Texas Rangers shorstop Toby Harrah.

In an article I wrote a while back looking at Player won-lost records and the Hall of Fame, I closed the article with a list of the best players, as measured by Player won-lost records, who are in neither the Hall of Fame or the Hall of Merit. Toby Harrah was one the players on that list.

The next table presents Toby Harrah's career record, as measured by Player won-lost records.

Toby Harrah
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1969WS220
8
0.10.00.7290.0
0.0
0.10.10.5870.00.0
1971WS222
127
11.313.60.454-0.6
0.4
12.112.80.4850.11.1
1972TEX23
116
13.112.60.5090.7
1.7
13.512.10.5271.22.2
1973TEX24
118
14.415.90.476-0.2
1.1
15.115.10.5000.61.8
1974TEX25
161
19.918.90.5121.4
2.8
20.018.80.5151.52.9
1975TEX26
151
21.516.90.5603.2
4.7
21.716.70.5663.44.9
1976TEX27
155
21.420.50.5111.3
2.9
21.920.00.5221.83.3
1977TEX28
159
19.915.30.5652.1
3.6
19.515.70.5541.83.2
1978TEX29
139
16.513.90.5431.5
2.7
16.314.00.5391.42.6
1979CLE30
149
17.316.00.5200.8
2.1
17.715.60.5311.12.4
1980CLE31
160
19.516.20.5461.6
2.9
19.116.50.5361.22.6
1981CLE32
103
12.910.10.5611.3
2.2
12.510.50.5420.81.7
1982CLE33
162
19.716.30.5471.5
2.9
20.315.80.5622.13.4
1983CLE34
138
15.516.20.489-0.5
0.6
16.215.50.5110.21.3
1984NYA35
88
7.47.80.487-0.1
0.5
7.57.70.493-0.10.5
1985TEX36
126
15.214.30.5160.6
1.7
16.013.60.5411.32.4
1986TEX37
95
8.99.30.4890.1
0.7
8.99.30.4900.10.8
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,155
254.4233.70.52114.5
33.5
258.4229.80.52918.437.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
0
0.00.0 0.00.00.0 0.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,155
254.4233.70.521
33.5
258.4229.80.529 37.4


The 1975 season was Harrah's best, but he was excellent from 1974 through 1982 and pretty good for a couple of seasons on both sides of that.

The top 10 players most similar to Toby Harrah, as measured by career Player won-lost records, are shown in the next table.

Most Similar Players to Toby Harrah in Value
Wins over Baseline
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL Batting Baserunning Fielding
Toby Harrah
2155
254.4233.714.5
33.5
9.92.17.4
Ryne Sandberg
2164
287.7255.117.1
37.7
9.31.88.6
Chase Utley
1934
239.7201.818.6
35.0
8.91.66.2
Carlos Beltran
2586
328.5292.514.1
38.8
13.32.37.0
Kiki Cuyler
1683
242.9204.112.0
30.5
10.91.85.6
Amos Otis
1997
262.6222.816.2
35.4
6.12.88.6
Roberto Alomar
2377
314.5280.920.6
44.0
7.52.37.7
Charlie Gehringer
1643
217.7186.617.4
34.3
11.91.06.0
Frankie Frisch
1781
256.9214.122.4
41.6
4.22.48.8
Ian Kinsler
1801
237.2216.212.6
29.3
3.91.96.8
Al Simmons
1951
291.8234.120.8
42.5
14.21.17.4


The list includes four Hall-of-Famers, one other player in the Hall of Merit, at least one player not yet eligible for either with at least a decent chance of making at least one Hall, and two other players who made the table at the end of my Hall-of-Fame article for the best players in neither Hall. Pretty nice company.

1975 Postseason

The 1975 World Series was one of the best World Series ever, a classic 7-game series that included two extra-inning games and three other games decided by one run, including Game 7, which was tied with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, before Joe Morgan singled home Ken Griffey and the Cincinnati Reds defeated the Boston Red Sox.

The best players in the 1975 postseason, as measured by Player won-lost records, are shown next.

1975 Postseason: Total
pWins pLosses pWORL
Luis TiantBOS2.91.11.1
Don GullettCIN1.91.40.5


Top postseason players by round were as follows.

1975 Postseason: World Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Luis TiantBOS1.90.80.6
Joe L. MorganCIN1.20.80.3
Dwight EvansBOS1.00.70.2
Pete Rose Sr.CIN0.90.60.2
Don GullettCIN1.21.20.2
Bernie CarboBOS0.60.20.2
Tony PerezCIN1.10.80.2
Johnny BenchCIN0.90.70.1
Jack BillinghamCIN0.40.20.1
Will McEnaneyCIN0.30.10.1
Cesar GeronimoCIN0.80.60.1
Rico PetrocelliBOS0.60.50.1
Dave ConcepcionCIN0.80.70.1
Ed ArmbristerCIN0.20.10.1
Carlton FiskBOS0.80.80.1
Jim WilloughbyBOS0.20.10.1
Clay CarrollCIN0.20.20.1

1975 Postseason: League Championship Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Luis TiantBOS1.00.30.4
Carl YastrzemskiBOS0.80.30.3
Don GullettCIN0.70.20.3
Dick DragoBOS0.50.10.3
Tony PerezCIN0.70.20.2
Ken Griffey Sr.CIN0.70.20.2
Pete Rose Sr.CIN0.60.20.2
Dave ConcepcionCIN0.60.30.2
Fred NormanCIN0.60.30.2
Carlton FiskBOS0.50.20.2
Rick BurlesonBOS0.50.20.2
Joe L. MorganCIN0.40.10.2
Fred LynnBOS0.60.30.2
Rick WiseBOS0.50.20.2


Best of 1975 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 1975 in eWOPA by factor were as follows.

Batting
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Joe L. Morgan15.39.22.8
John Mayberry Sr.16.410.72.8

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Baserunning
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Davey Lopes3.11.60.7
Mickey Rivers2.71.30.7

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Pitching
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Jim Palmer17.613.14.5
Catfish Hunter16.612.93.7
Tom Seaver14.410.83.6


Fielding, P
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Rich Gossage0.80.20.6


Fielding, C
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Jim Sundberg2.82.30.5


Fielding, 1B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Tony Perez2.51.80.6


Fielding, 2B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Bobby Grich6.35.50.8
Jerry Remy5.85.00.8


Fielding, 3B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Mike Schmidt6.24.71.5


Fielding, SS
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Mark Belanger7.55.71.8


Fielding, LF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Jerry Hairston Sr.3.82.41.4


Fielding, CF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Cesar Geronimo6.14.81.3


Fielding, RF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Dave Winfield7.05.41.6


Best by Position
Next, we look at 1975 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
Johnny Bench13.910.21.9


First Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
John Mayberry Sr.16.712.11.7


Second Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Joe L. Morgan22.916.13.5


Third Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Mike Schmidt22.216.02.9


Shortstop
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Toby Harrah16.513.52.4


Left Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Greg Luzinski23.619.41.5


Center Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Fred Lynn20.515.62.3


Right Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Reggie Jackson21.417.51.5


Starting Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Jim Palmer18.213.42.4


Relief Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Rich Gossage8.65.61.5


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 1975 in context, in terms of pWins and pWOPA.

Top Relief Pitchers of 1975, based on pWORL
Player pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
Rich Gossage12.16.80.6402.73.8
Al Hrabosky8.74.10.6792.43.2
Rollie Fingers9.15.60.6221.82.7
Jim Todd6.33.20.6611.52.1
Dave LaRoche6.74.00.6291.42.0


The next table shows the top 10 single-season pWin totals for pitchers who did not start a game for all seasons for which I have calculated Player won-lost records.

Player Season Team pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
Mike G. Marshall1974LAN13.912.30.5301.02.6
Dick Radatz1964BOS13.08.30.6102.64.0
Jim Kern1979TEX12.46.70.6482.84.0
Bill Campbell1977BOS12.38.20.6002.03.3
John Hiller1973DET12.25.10.7043.54.7
Rich Gossage1975CHA12.16.80.6402.73.8
Dan Quisenberry1980KCA11.95.80.6743.14.2
Mike G. Marshall1973MON11.99.20.5641.62.8
John Hiller1974DET11.49.40.5461.02.3
Joe Page1949NYA11.39.00.5591.42.8


Designated Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Rico Carty6.35.20.5
Cecil Cooper5.24.10.5
John Mayberry Sr.3.02.00.5
Frank Robinson3.12.20.4
Billy Williams11.110.20.3
Bobby Darwin2.41.80.3
Mike Hargrove1.10.60.3
Bobby Bonds1.40.80.3


Finally, here are the best at three oft-forgotten positions that can nevertheless matter: pitcher offense, pinch hitting, and pinch running.

Pitcher Offense
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Bob Forsch1.71.50.6


Pinch Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Dave May1.10.50.3
Rico Carty0.80.30.3


Pinch Runner
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Morris Nettles0.30.10.1
Rodney Scott0.40.20.1
John Scott0.20.00.1
Tommy Harper0.20.10.1
Larry Hisle0.10.00.1
Tom Shopay0.20.10.1


Noteworthy Players of 1975

Finally, let's take a look at some players who had noteworthy 1975 seasons.

Notable Debuts
The 1975 season saw the major-league debut of two players who have been elected to the Hall of Merit, one of whom has also been elected to the Hall of Fame: Dennis Eckersley and Willie Randolph.

Eckersley's and Randolph's careers, as measured by Player won-lost records, are compared in the next table.

Dennis Eckersley Willie Randolph
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
19753412.29.50.5631.4
2.4
301.52.00.426-0.2-0.1
19763611.810.60.5280.6
1.7
12514.513.50.5180.91.9
19773414.610.80.5761.9
3.2
14718.516.60.5271.52.9
19783516.712.50.5722.1
3.5
13418.014.90.5472.03.3
19793316.411.70.5842.3
3.6
15320.417.40.5402.03.4
19803011.611.50.5010.0
1.0
13820.614.80.5813.44.8
1981238.37.10.5410.6
1.4
9312.611.90.5140.71.6
19823313.112.00.5220.6
1.7
14417.517.20.5040.51.8
19832810.312.30.455-1.0
0.0
10413.712.20.5281.01.9
19843313.312.50.5170.7
1.8
14217.917.00.5130.92.2
19852610.37.70.5711.6
2.4
14316.716.00.5110.51.7
19863310.011.90.456-0.6
0.4
14116.415.70.5110.82.0
1987547.76.10.5570.8
1.6
12017.213.50.5592.33.5
1988606.93.40.6661.7
2.3
11012.612.00.5110.51.5
1989515.32.00.7311.7
2.1
14519.317.00.5311.02.3
1990636.32.10.7522.1
2.6
11912.411.40.5210.61.5
1991677.65.30.5891.1
2.0
12416.213.70.5411.22.4
1992697.42.40.7572.5
3.2
909.59.80.491-0.20.5
1993646.04.50.5690.7
1.4
1994454.63.40.5740.6
1.1
1995524.03.80.5140.1
0.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS903204.4163.00.55621.7
40.0
2,202275.2246.70.52719.439.3


Last Hurrahs
Finally, 1975 was the final season for two Hall-of-Famers: Bob Gibson and Harmon Killebrew. Their careers are compared in the final table here.

Bob Gibson Harmon Killebrew
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
1954
 
90.40.40.444-0.0-0.0
1955
 
381.72.20.428-0.3-0.1
1956
 
441.93.80.336-0.9-0.7
1957
 
91.01.20.451-0.1-0.0
1958
 
130.51.30.277-0.4-0.3
1959214.94.70.5100.2
0.7
15322.117.90.5521.53.1
1960404.66.50.414-0.8
-0.3
12414.111.10.5591.02.0
19614014.913.00.5351.4
2.6
15017.515.10.5360.31.8
19624317.313.70.5582.3
3.7
15523.817.90.5712.03.6
19634117.514.20.5522.2
3.7
14218.815.60.5460.82.1
19644019.916.10.5532.5
4.3
15822.719.80.5340.42.1
19654220.217.20.5402.2
3.8
11315.89.70.6212.53.5
19664619.515.10.5632.8
4.2
16221.815.90.5782.33.7
19672711.99.70.5521.5
2.4
16322.914.30.6163.24.8
19683521.914.20.6074.5
5.9
10010.17.90.5610.61.4
19693722.216.70.5713.6
5.3
16224.715.20.6194.15.8
19704021.713.60.6154.9
6.3
15722.516.20.5812.44.1
19713117.515.10.5371.7
3.1
14717.515.60.5280.21.5
19723420.014.00.5883.7
5.1
13916.412.50.5680.82.0
19732511.010.90.5020.5
1.3
696.16.60.483-0.40.1
19743313.114.20.480-0.2
0.9
1229.48.90.5130.21.1
1975225.88.70.400-1.3
-0.6
1068.17.00.5360.51.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS597263.9217.60.54831.7
52.5
2,435299.7236.10.55920.642.9




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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