Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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2013 Hall of Fame Ballot

The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) released the 2013 ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Here's what the 37 players on the ballot look like in terms of career Player won-lost records.

2013 Hall of Fame Ballot
Player Won-Lost Records, sorted by pWORL
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Barry Bonds
2,984
462.1315.160.3
90.8
456.8310.260.390.3
Roger Clemens
709
318.2228.251.1
79.6
310.8225.548.776.7
Alan Trammell
2,289
283.1256.224.4
45.2
277.6256.321.642.2
Curt Schilling
571
207.0172.025.5
44.9
203.3170.624.243.3
Craig Biggio
2,849
358.5325.417.3
44.0
356.0326.615.542.2
Jeff Bagwell
2,150
275.4202.422.3
41.3
270.1199.621.239.9
Edgar Martinez
2,055
212.5168.818.4
39.6
211.1166.319.039.9
Mike Piazza
1,911
214.0174.922.4
38.4
206.5166.922.638.0
David Wells
660
207.0179.817.4
38.3
202.4183.913.234.0
Mark McGwire
1,874
220.1158.921.9
36.7
217.3155.722.236.8
Larry Walker
1,983
266.9214.717.2
36.3
261.8208.817.736.5
Tim Raines Sr.
2,481
313.2275.910.7
33.9
317.9274.213.937.2
Rafael Palmeiro
2,829
307.6267.39.0
33.4
307.0261.511.835.9
Jack Morris
552
224.0208.411.4
32.5
219.8212.47.228.4
Kenny Lofton
2,098
268.6241.912.3
32.4
269.5251.18.128.7
Bernie Williams
2,076
259.9236.311.6
31.7
255.9235.410.130.0
Fred McGriff
2,458
276.9230.810.0
30.5
266.5221.79.929.7
Sammy Sosa
2,349
313.8281.45.9
29.9
318.0270.513.637.3
Julio Franco
2,523
265.2256.96.9
28.5
260.5255.25.426.7
Steve Finley
2,572
308.8291.93.9
27.5
296.0286.90.123.0
Lee Smith
1,021
111.378.213.3
25.1
63.756.01.99.3
Reggie L. Sanders
1,767
224.7194.48.1
24.8
215.5188.66.622.8
Dale Murphy
2,180
280.8256.84.3
24.6
282.2240.913.132.9
Ryan Klesko
1,732
186.0156.87.3
21.0
182.6158.64.718.4
Aaron Sele
404
130.6123.16.3
20.2
129.5126.73.917.9
Gregory 'Woody' Williams
441
134.1137.44.3
18.3
136.3144.52.016.5
Shawn Green
1,947
236.6222.8-0.3
17.9
238.6219.62.320.4
Roberto M. Hernandez
1,010
87.367.37.3
17.5
54.149.00.77.6
Don Mattingly
1,785
197.6179.62.3
16.9
196.5178.72.316.8
Jose Mesa
1,022
106.194.14.1
16.5
82.082.6-1.68.4
Jeff Cirillo
1,617
160.0158.10.0
12.8
161.1155.51.914.7
W. Mike Stanton
1,178
65.053.43.9
11.7
54.449.01.17.9
Rondell White
1,472
169.8166.6-2.3
11.6
167.5159.00.414.0
Royce Clayton
2,095
214.4238.2-7.5
10.3
224.5244.2-5.313.1
Jeff Conine
2,022
207.6207.9-7.4
9.3
207.5199.1-2.813.5
Sandy Alomar Jr.
1,376
99.4112.0-2.3
6.1
102.8113.6-1.37.2
Todd Walker
1,284
128.3139.4-4.7
6.0
131.7137.9-2.28.6
Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Average
1,738.5
224.4196.611.3
29.4
219.3193.010.628.3


The 2013 Hall of Fame ballot is probably the strongest Hall-of-Fame ballot of my lifetime (although the first ballot of my life included 15 Hall of Famers). You could perhaps make Hall-of-Fame arguments for up to 20 players on this ballot.

In an earlier article, I looked at Hall of Famers in general, as measured by Player won-lost records. In that article, I concluded that the closest player to an "average" Hall-of-Famer for whom I have calculated a Player won-lost record was probably Willie Stargell.

In that same article, I also looked at players who have been elected to the Hall of Merit at Baseball Think Factory. The closest player to an "average" player who is in the Hall of Merit but not the Hall of Fame is perhaps Joe Torre.

Setting aside everybody below Don Mattingly from the above table, here is where Willie Stargell and Joe Torre would fit onto this year's Hall of Fame ballot.

2013 Hall of Fame Ballot
Player Won-Lost Records, sorted by pWORL
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Barry Bonds
2,984
462.1315.160.3
90.8
456.8310.260.390.3
Roger Clemens
709
318.2228.251.1
79.6
310.8225.548.776.7
Alan Trammell
2,289
283.1256.224.4
45.2
277.6256.321.642.2
Curt Schilling
571
207.0172.025.5
44.9
203.3170.624.243.3
Craig Biggio
2,849
358.5325.417.3
44.0
356.0326.615.542.2
Jeff Bagwell
2,150
275.4202.422.3
41.3
270.1199.621.239.9
Willie Stargell
2,355
293.6232.318.8
40.1
286.2222.520.541.1
Edgar Martinez
2,055
212.5168.818.4
39.6
211.1166.319.039.9
Mike Piazza
1,911
214.0174.922.4
38.4
206.5166.922.638.0
David Wells
660
207.0179.817.4
38.3
202.4183.913.234.0
Mark McGwire
1,874
220.1158.921.9
36.7
217.3155.722.236.8
Larry Walker
1,983
266.9214.717.2
36.3
261.8208.817.736.5
Tim Raines Sr.
2,481
313.2275.910.7
33.9
317.9274.213.937.2
Rafael Palmeiro
2,829
307.6267.39.0
33.4
307.0261.511.835.9
Jack Morris
552
224.0208.411.4
32.5
219.8212.47.228.4
Kenny Lofton
2,098
268.6241.912.3
32.4
269.5251.18.128.7
Joe Torre
2,209
244.4209.713.6
32.0
237.9202.214.132.0
Bernie Williams
2,076
259.9236.311.6
31.7
255.9235.410.130.0
Fred McGriff
2,458
276.9230.810.0
30.5
266.5221.79.929.7
Sammy Sosa
2,349
313.8281.45.9
29.9
318.0270.513.637.3
Julio Franco
2,523
265.2256.96.9
28.5
260.5255.25.426.7
Steve Finley
2,572
308.8291.93.9
27.5
296.0286.90.123.0
Lee Smith
1,021
111.378.213.3
25.1
63.756.01.99.3
Reggie L. Sanders
1,767
224.7194.48.1
24.8
215.5188.66.622.8
Dale Murphy
2,180
280.8256.84.3
24.6
282.2240.913.132.9
Ryan Klesko
1,732
186.0156.87.3
21.0
182.6158.64.718.4
Aaron Sele
404
130.6123.16.3
20.2
129.5126.73.917.9
Gregory 'Woody' Williams
441
134.1137.44.3
18.3
136.3144.52.016.5
Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Average
1,860.1
256.0217.016.3
36.5
250.7213.515.535.3


Performance-Enhancing Drugs and the Hall of Fame

Unfortunately, it is impossible to talk about the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot, even a little bit, without bumping up against the subject of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). This is not a topic that I'm particularly keen on discussing here. My interest is in the data and, as far as the data are concerned, a home run is a home run and a Player win is a Player win, regardless of what a player did to hit that home run or earn that Player win.

Which is not to say that I have no opinion on PEDs in baseball. I have been a baseball fan for more than 30 years, with a passionate interest in baseball players, baseball history, and the Hall of Fame. It would have been almost impossible to have been a baseball fan over the past decade and not have formed an opinion about PEDs, baseball, and the Hall of Fame. And I have one. Which I will try to state here - and only here. Beyond this statement, I really want this site to be about what Major-League Baseball players have done on the field, how those accomplishments can be measured in terms of Player wins and Player losses, and what the resulting Player won-lost records can tell us about baseball players, baseball teams, and baseball games, past and present.

I think that Major-League baseball's current testing and punishment policy with respect to drugs is a good thing that, so far as I can tell from afar, is reasonably well-implemented and treated appropriately seriously by everybody involved. Based on both law and Major-League policy, I think that PED use prior to 2003 (when MLB started testing) could reasonably be characterized as "cheating". That said, I think it is clear that the culture of Major-League Baseball in at least the late 1990s and early 2000s (and probably before that) was one in which PED use and abuse was at least tolerated and might have even been encouraged (albeit perhaps only implicitly).

There is an old adage in Major-League Baseball (and sports generally), "It you ain't cheatin', you ain't competin'." There is a long history of Major-League baseball players who have cheated in one way or another. Many of these forms of cheating have been looked upon fondly and some of these cheaters are viewed as some of the colorful characters that have filled baseball history. It is not obvious to me that the cultural response within baseball to PED use in the late 1990s was qualitatively different from baseball's view of "greenies" in the 1970s or to the "fine art" of ball-scuffing employed by generations of pitchers - some of whom have made their way into the Hall of Fame.

I am not saying that the impact of steroid use on baseball is equivalent to the impact of scuffing a ball or corking a bat, or that amphetamines ("greenies") are equivalent to steroids. I am saying, rather, that they are, in some sense, points along the same line of cheating. Steroids may be farther along that line, but, in my opinion, it's a difference in degree, not a difference in kind. My best guess, based on quotes by major-league players and the Mitchell Report, among other things, is that PED use (and abuse) was widespread in Major-League Baseball, with perhaps 50% of Major-League Baseball players using drugs that are now illegal.

Given this, I think the proper way to view PED use during the so-called "Steroid Era" is to simply view it as part of the context in which baseball was played at that time. If I had a vote for the Hall of Fame, my first instinct would therefore be to ignore PED use. I would do so for two reasons. First, I think that PED use was probably sufficiently widespread that distinctions between "known" users and "clean" players are arbitrary and, in many cases, are likely to be wrong. Second, in a culture in which the use of certain products is widely acceptable, I don't feel comfortable holding an individual personally responsible for going along with something that is (at least implicitly) culturally acceptable. Obviously, there are limits in the latter case, depending on the actions we're talking about. I just don't think voluntary personal steroid injections rise to a level that approaches those limits.

Having said that, I will add two caveats. First, I think it can be reasonable to use "known" steroid use as a tie-breaker. Given a choice between a player who is a "known" steroid user and a player who is not a known user, I am okay with using the steroid use as a tie-breaker to prefer the player who was not known to use (but understanding, "not known to use" is not the same as "known to not use").

Second, I think it is important to adjust for the context created by steroids (or by non-steroid factors - this caveat is not really dependent on "steroids" being the explanation for the offensive explosion of the "steroid era"). Specifically, the late 1990s and early 2000s were perhaps the most favorable environment in major-league history for hitting home runs. As such, hitting 60 home runs in this time period was simply less valuable (significant, impressive, pick your word) than it was in earlier times. In evalauting the players of this (or any other) era, therefore, I think it is important to evaluate them based on the value of what they produced, rather than simply looking at their raw output. Mark McGwire hit 583 home runs in his career, including 135 home runs over two seasons in 1998 and 1999: How valuable were those 583 home runs given the context in which he hit them? I'm not saying there's a definitive right answer to that question; but it's a question that I think it's important to ask and to make a good-faith effort to answer.

The Individual Players on the 2013 Hall of Fame Ballot

Over the next several weeks, I am going to try to write up an article about each of the 37 players on the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot. These will not be advocacy articles: plenty of other people will post plenty of those. But hopefully, they will be interesting articles that may reveal something new and/or interesting, or at least a little fun, about these players, using Player won-lost records. I hope you enjoy them.

I will post links to these articles below as I post them.

Sandy Alomar, Jr.
Jeff Bagwell
Craig Biggio
Barry Bonds
Jeff Cirillo
Royce Clayton
Roger Clemens
Jeff Conine
Steve Finley
Julio Franco
Shawn Green
Roberto Hernandez
Ryan Klesko
Kenny Lofton
Edgar Martinez
Don Mattingly
Fred McGriff
Mark McGwire
Jose Mesa
Jack Morris
Dale Murphy
Rafael Palmeiro
Mike Piazza
Tim Raines
Reggie Sanders
Curt Schilling
Aaron Sele
Lee Smith
Sammy Sosa
Mike Stanton
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker
Todd Walker
David Wells
Rondell White
Bernie Williams
Woody Williams


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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