Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Arky Vaughan

Hall-of-Famers as Seen Through Player Won-Lost Records: Arky Vaughan

Arky Vaughan was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans' Committee in 1985.

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

Arky Vaughan
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1932PIT20
93
13.412.30.5200.8
1.8
12.712.40.5060.41.4
1933PIT21
139
22.317.40.5622.8
4.4
21.217.80.5442.13.7
1934PIT22
87
13.712.60.5220.7
1.8
15.011.10.5732.03.2
1935PIT23
81
14.19.20.6072.6
3.5
14.08.60.6202.83.7
1936PIT24
132
21.117.10.5522.4
4.1
19.914.80.5742.94.4
1937PIT25
116
18.913.80.5782.6
4.0
18.314.70.5551.93.3
1938PIT26
93
13.912.20.5340.9
2.0
13.111.20.5401.02.0
1939PIT27
152
21.620.50.5131.0
2.8
23.320.70.5301.83.7
1940PIT28
156
25.220.60.5502.8
4.7
24.420.30.5452.54.4
1941PIT29
106
13.412.80.5130.5
1.6
15.112.80.5421.32.5
1942BRO30
127
17.613.40.5681.9
3.1
15.313.80.5250.51.7
1943BRO31
149
22.018.60.5421.8
3.4
22.020.10.5231.12.7
1947BRO35
64
5.83.80.6050.9
1.3
5.14.20.5450.30.7
1948BRO36
65
4.74.40.5140.0
0.4
5.04.20.5440.30.7
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,560
227.9188.70.54721.8
39.1
224.6186.70.54621.138.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
3
0.10.10.645 0.00.10.00.784 0.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,563
228.0188.80.547
39.1
224.7186.70.546 38.2


Player won-lost records are calculated based on Retrosheet play-by-play data. Retrosheet has released play-by-play data for every season of Arky Vaughan's career. Retrosheet only has complete play-by-play data, however, since 1939.

The next table presents Arky Vaughan's career, as measured by Player won-lost records, but extrapolating the missing games from his career, based on the games for which I do have play-by-play data.

Arky Vaughan
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1932PIT20
129
18.617.10.5201.0
2.5
17.717.30.5060.52.0
1933PIT21
152
24.419.00.5623.1
4.8
23.219.40.5442.34.0
1934PIT22
149
23.521.50.5221.2
3.2
25.619.10.5733.55.5
1935PIT23
137
23.915.50.6074.4
6.0
23.714.50.6204.86.3
1936PIT24
156
24.920.20.5522.8
4.8
23.517.40.5743.55.3
1937PIT25
126
20.515.00.5782.9
4.4
19.815.90.5552.13.6
1938PIT26
148
22.119.40.5341.5
3.2
20.917.80.5401.63.2
1939PIT27
152
21.620.50.5131.0
2.8
23.320.70.5301.83.7
1940PIT28
156
25.220.60.5502.8
4.7
24.420.30.5452.54.4
1941PIT29
106
13.412.80.5130.5
1.6
15.112.80.5421.32.5
1942BRO30
127
17.613.40.5681.9
3.1
15.313.80.5250.51.7
1943BRO31
149
22.018.60.5421.8
3.4
22.020.10.5231.12.7
1947BRO35
64
5.83.80.6050.9
1.3
5.14.20.5450.30.7
1948BRO36
65
4.74.40.5140.0
0.4
5.04.20.5440.30.7
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,816
268.4221.90.54725.8
46.2
264.8217.60.54926.146.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
3
0.10.10.645 0.00.10.00.784 0.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,819
268.5222.00.547
46.2
264.9217.60.549 46.2


In his New Historical Baseball Abstract, Bill James ranked Arky Vaughan as the second-greatest shortstop in major-league history. James's number one shortstop was Honus Wagner (a fairly conventional choice) whose career entirely predates the seasons for which Retrosheet has released play-by-play data. And James published the New Historical Abstract in 2001, so it predates much of the career of Alex Rodriguez (if one considers him a shortstop) and Derek Jeter. So, in effect, Bill James argues (or, at least, he would have argued in 2001) that Arky Vaughan was the best shortstop of the twentieth century for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records.

Bill James named Cal Ripken as his #3 shortstop. I would probably be inclined to reverse the order of these two (and possibly slot a few more shortstops in between the two of them), but comparing Vaughan to Cal Ripken is an interesting exercise.

For the comparison in the next table, I have extrapolated missing games for Vaughan's career and adjusted all seasons to 162 games (note: there are a couple of seasons where Vaughan played more than 154 games because of replays of tie games, which therefore translate into more than 162 games played).

Arky Vaughan Cal Ripken
Age Games Wins Losses WOPA WORL Games Wins Losses WOPA WORL
20
13619.518.01.1
2.7
280.91.4-0.2-0.1
21
16025.720.03.2
5.1
15821.517.82.33.8
22
15724.722.61.2
3.3
16224.919.33.55.1
23
14425.216.34.6
6.3
16225.819.34.56.2
24
16426.221.33.0
5.1
16223.320.52.44.1
25
13321.615.83.0
4.6
16222.020.12.03.5
26
15623.320.41.6
3.3
16219.421.3-0.11.5
27
16122.921.81.1
2.9
16220.119.90.72.2
28
16226.221.43.0
4.9
16222.519.32.43.9
29
11013.913.30.5
1.7
16220.718.61.83.3
30
13318.414.02.0
3.3
16223.420.02.54.1
31
15823.319.71.9
3.6
16219.518.91.02.5
32
 
16220.519.41.32.8
33
 
16221.618.52.44.0
34
 
16219.920.70.52.1
35
676.14.00.9
1.4
16220.519.11.43.0
36
684.94.60.0
0.5
16219.317.01.22.6
37
 
16116.417.4-0.50.9
38
 
8610.09.20.51.2
39
 
838.87.70.61.3
40
 
12811.514.0-1.2-0.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS1,907281.9233.127.1
48.5
3,074392.6359.328.958.0
CAREER RECORDS
(common rows)
1,907281.9233.127.1
48.5
2,130283.9252.625.445.6


Looking at the last row, their career records over ages at which both of them played (they both debuted in their age-20 season) are virtually identical. Ripken, however, played six more seasons than Vaughan. Basically, Vaughan was better than Ripken in their twenties but Ripken caught up to Vaughan by his early thirties and passed him in career value over his mid-to-late thirties.

Could you make a case for Vaughan over Ripken? Maybe. Both players had their best season at age 23 (1935 for Vaughan, 1984 for Ripken). I am missing more than 50 games from Vaughan's 1935 season, but the evidence I have suggest that Vaughan's 1935 season was perhaps a tick better than Ripken's 1984 season. Ranking the remaining seasons in order, the third-best season by one of these two was probably Ripken's first MVP season in 1983. But Vaughan probably had the fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-best seasons of the two.

One thing that might affect how one rates Vaughan versus Ripken is how one deals with Vaughan's missing age-32, 33, and 34 seasons. At first blush, one might presume that Vaughan missed these three seasons because of World War II. But the last of these seasons is 1946, after the war had ended. And, in fact, Vaughan simply retired after the 1942 season, because of a dispute with his manager, Leo Durocher (source: SABR Bio of Arky Vaughan by Ralph Moses). Personally, I am not inclined to give Vaughan any extra credit for those three seasons. Which puts him clearly behind Cal Ripken in my mind, were I to rank shortstops of the twentieth century. But still leaves Vaughan as a clearly deserving Hall-of-Famer.



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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