Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Tom Gordon

2015 Hall of Fame Ballot Series: Tom Gordon

The first table below presents Tom Gordon's career as measured by Player won-lost records.

Tom Gordon
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1988KCA20
5
0.81.20.398-0.2
-0.1
1.00.90.5260.10.1
1989KCA21
49
11.19.30.5430.9
2.0
11.09.40.5380.81.9
1990KCA22
33
11.912.60.485-0.4
0.8
12.312.10.5050.11.3
1991KCA23
46
9.510.20.484-0.3
0.8
10.39.40.5250.51.6
1992KCA24
40
4.86.40.428-0.8
-0.2
5.75.50.5100.10.8
1993KCA25
48
8.26.60.5560.8
1.6
7.96.90.5350.51.3
1994KCA26
24
10.38.90.5340.7
1.8
10.38.90.5350.71.8
1995KCA27
32
12.612.60.499-0.0
1.4
12.712.50.5040.11.5
1996BOS28
34
13.612.30.5270.7
2.2
12.813.10.495-0.11.3
1997BOS29
42
10.09.60.5120.2
1.4
11.28.40.5701.42.6
1998BOS30
73
8.63.90.6892.4
3.2
7.74.80.6171.52.3
1999BOS31
21
2.01.40.5950.3
0.6
1.81.70.5190.10.3
2001CHN33
47
4.42.50.6380.9
1.4
3.92.90.5760.51.0
34
34
2.42.10.5350.2
0.5
2.52.00.5570.30.6
2003CHA35
66
5.53.80.5890.8
1.5
5.34.00.5730.71.3
2004NYA36
80
7.43.70.6641.8
2.6
7.04.20.6241.42.1
2005NYA37
79
5.73.60.6131.0
1.7
5.14.20.5510.51.1
2006PHI38
59
6.34.40.5880.9
1.7
5.35.30.5020.00.7
2007PHI39
44
3.33.30.500-0.0
0.5
3.33.40.491-0.10.4
2008PHI40
34
3.22.00.6060.6
0.9
2.62.60.491-0.00.3
2009ARI41
3
0.10.40.157-0.2
-0.1
0.10.30.247-0.1-0.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
893
141.5120.70.54010.4
25.9
139.9122.40.5338.724.3
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
21
1.01.30.447 0.01.11.40.435 0.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
914
142.5122.00.540
26.0
140.9123.80.533 24.3


The next table shows the players most similar to Tom Gordon, as measured by Player won-lost records.

Wins over Baseline
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL Batting Baserunning Pitching Fielding
Tom Gordon
893
141.5120.710.4
25.9
-0.0-0.06.30.3
Stu Miller
716
107.192.49.4
20.6
-2.0-0.15.21.1
Ron Reed
754
143.8133.98.4
21.8
-3.6-0.16.40.6
Hoyt Wilhelm
1070
138.6116.013.5
28.9
-3.3-0.17.80.6
Bob Stanley
637
98.982.58.2
18.6
0.00.04.80.6
Lindy McDaniel
988
121.7105.510.0
23.3
-2.1-0.05.20.7
Lee Smith
1021
111.378.216.9
28.6
-0.5-0.04.80.2
John Franco
1119
103.774.314.9
26.2
-0.30.04.40.8
Bobby Shantz
578
112.7103.07.7
18.4
-1.80.16.31.3
Rich Gossage
1003
131.2101.815.2
29.1
-0.6-0.06.20.2
Doug Jones
846
84.359.812.3
21.4
-0.00.05.60.1


Now there's something I didn't expect to see. Two of the 10 players most similar to Tom Gordon are Hall-of-Famers, including the player most similar to Gordon (as measured by Player won-lost record): Hoyt Wilhelm.

The next table compares the careers of Tom Gordon and Hoyt Wilhelm, as measured by Player won-lost records.

Tom Gordon Hoyt Wilhelm
Age Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
20
50.81.20.398-0.2
-0.1
21
4911.19.30.5430.9
2.0
22
3311.912.60.485-0.4
0.8
23
469.510.20.484-0.3
0.8
24
404.86.40.428-0.8
-0.2
25
488.26.60.5560.8
1.6
26
2410.38.90.5340.7
1.8
27
3212.612.60.499-0.0
1.4
28
3413.612.30.5270.7
2.2
29
4210.09.60.5120.2
1.4
7110.06.90.5921.72.9
30
738.63.90.6892.4
3.2
688.38.80.487-0.11.0
31
212.01.40.5950.3
0.6
576.24.10.5991.11.8
32
 
593.34.00.451-0.30.2
33
474.42.50.6380.9
1.4
645.75.90.492-0.10.7
34
342.42.10.5350.2
0.5
423.22.70.5440.30.7
35
665.53.80.5890.8
1.5
397.47.80.487-0.00.7
36
807.43.70.6641.8
2.6
3214.413.00.5271.22.3
37
795.73.60.6131.0
1.7
419.88.90.5240.71.6
38
596.34.40.5880.9
1.7
519.06.30.5881.52.4
39
443.33.30.500-0.0
0.5
527.06.00.5400.61.4
40
343.22.00.6060.6
0.9
558.37.30.5310.71.6
41
30.10.40.157-0.2
-0.1
739.66.50.5951.72.8
42
 
667.75.80.5701.11.9
43
 
463.93.60.5190.20.7
44
 
497.44.40.6291.62.3
45
 
724.13.30.5510.40.9
46
 
525.74.00.5870.91.5
47
 
536.05.40.5270.41.1
48
 
121.00.80.5700.10.3
49
 
160.60.50.5190.00.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS893141.5120.70.54010.4
25.9
1,070138.6116.00.54413.528.9


Both Gordon and Wilhelm have Player won-lost records very similar to their career won-lost records (138-126 and 143-122, respectively). This is true, on average, of pitchers in general, although I might have expected relief pitchers - especially closers - to earn somewhat more pWins than traditional pitcher wins. Gordon actually pitched more innings as a starter in his career (1,260.2) than as a reliever (847.1), however, while Wilhelm actually wasn't a "closer" in the modern sense - and, in fact, wasn't always a classic "fireman" anyway. Wilhelm's career high in saves (27 in 1964, when saves were not yet an official statistic) was equal to the third-most in Gordon's career (in 2001).

Wilhelm does beat Gordon in career pWins over either positional average or replacement level. Wilhelm also beats Gordon in seasons with more than two pWORL, 5 - 4. But, as measured by Player won-lost records, Gordon had the best season between the two of them, in 1998 (Gordon's age-30 season), when Gordon saved 46 games and won 7 while posting a 2.72 ERA for the Boston Red Sox.

Would I say that Tom Gordon's career was as good (or as valuable) as Hoyt Wilhelm's? No, but I would say that Tom Gordon's career was better (and more valuable) than I remember it being.

2015 Hall of Fame Ballot Series




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