Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Billy Pierce

2015 Veterans' Committee HOF Ballot: Billy Pierce

The Baseball Hall of Fame recently announced their 2015 Veterans' ballot. One player on the ballot is Billy Pierce.

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

Billy Pierce
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1945DET18
5
0.10.50.136-0.2
-0.2
0.20.30.381-0.1-0.0
1948DET21
22
2.32.50.473-0.1
0.2
2.12.70.446-0.20.1
1949CHA22
39
10.512.30.461-0.6
0.3
11.211.70.4890.01.0
1950CHA23
40
15.215.10.5010.5
1.9
15.914.30.5271.32.7
1951CHA24
39
16.912.70.5722.5
3.8
15.913.70.5381.52.8
1952CHA25
35
15.513.30.5381.6
2.9
16.212.50.5632.43.6
1953CHA26
42
18.315.40.5431.9
3.4
18.115.70.5351.63.1
1954CHA27
38
12.512.10.5090.6
1.8
11.812.80.480-0.11.1
1955CHA28
34
15.910.40.6053.1
4.2
14.711.50.5602.03.0
1956CHA29
39
17.514.80.5421.8
3.3
16.915.30.5241.32.7
1957CHA30
41
18.414.50.5602.5
3.8
17.815.10.5422.03.2
1958CHA31
35
17.214.50.5421.8
3.1
15.915.80.5020.61.8
1959CHA32
34
15.113.50.5281.2
2.5
14.414.30.5020.51.7
1960CHA33
31
12.810.20.5571.7
2.6
11.511.60.4970.31.3
1961CHA34
39
10.99.90.5240.8
1.7
10.410.50.4980.21.2
1962SFN35
30
11.58.50.5751.9
2.7
10.49.60.5200.81.6
1963SFN36
38
6.07.60.440-0.6
0.1
6.27.40.458-0.40.3
1964SFN37
34
2.12.00.5170.1
0.4
2.12.00.5160.10.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
615
218.8189.80.53520.6
38.4
211.9196.80.51813.731.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
5
1.00.80.541 0.21.21.00.550 0.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
620
219.8190.70.535
38.5
213.1197.80.518 31.6


The bulk of Billy Pierce's career fell within the 1950's. The next table shows the top 10 pitchers of the 1950's, as measured by Player won-lost records, measured by net pitching wins.

Top 10 Pitchers of the 1950's: Pitching Only
eWins eLosses eWinPct Net Wins
1Warren Spahn146.6123.40.54323.3
2Robin Roberts159.3139.90.53219.4
3Billy Pierce128.1111.00.53617.1
4Bob Rush110.094.20.53915.8
5E. Mike Garcia101.587.80.53613.7
6Early Wynn136.5124.40.52312.1
7Curt Simmons85.474.80.53310.6
8Johnny Antonelli90.180.30.5299.8
9Whitey Ford80.071.00.5309.0
10Harvey Haddix85.076.10.5288.9


Billy Pierce looks very good in the above table, fourth place overall, behind two Hall-of-Famers and Mike Garcia of the Cleveland Indians. The next table looks at the top 10 pitchers of the 1950's as measured by overall value over replacement level.

Top 10 Pitchers of the 1950's: Overall Value
pWins pLosses pWinPct pWORL
1Warren Spahn190.4153.90.55338.5
2Robin Roberts197.8169.50.53835.4
3Early Wynn180.9154.50.53932.8
4Billy Pierce162.5136.20.54430.5
5Bob Lemon141.6120.80.54026.2
6E. Mike Garcia132.2108.90.54825.8
7Whitey Ford105.981.90.56423.0
8Don Newcombe119.7104.50.53420.9
9Sal Maglie106.988.80.54620.4
10Johnny Antonelli117.4105.50.52718.9


Pierce is still in fourth place, but now everybody ahead of him is a Hall-of-Famer.

So, how does being one of the best pitchers of the 1950's rate over the longer term? The final table of this article shows the top 50 pitchers in pWins over positional average for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records (completely since 1937, mostly since 1921).

Top 50 Pitchers
(ranked by pWOPA)
pWins pLosses pWinPct pWOPA
1Roger Clemens318.1228.10.58246.3
2Lefty Grove254.8176.50.59144.7
3Warren Spahn353.9293.40.54740.8
4Greg Maddux328.5271.30.54839.9
5Tom Seaver308.9256.70.54634.4
6Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson281.2220.90.56034.2
7Mariano Rivera126.660.80.67632.9
8Bob Gibson263.9217.60.54831.7
9Jim Palmer242.8186.00.56631.2
10Pedro J. Martinez193.6137.40.58531.1
11Juan Marichal232.1187.10.55429.7
12Whitey Ford210.3164.30.56129.0
13Steve Carlton337.9303.90.52627.6
14John Smoltz239.7201.10.54426.6
15Bob Feller257.0217.60.54226.1
16Mike Mussina224.2173.10.56425.9
17Clayton Kershaw144.7104.60.58025.0
18Tom Glavine279.4249.50.52824.8
19Fergie Jenkins286.7250.80.53323.6
20J. Kevin Brown204.5164.60.55423.3
21Curt Schilling206.9172.00.54622.7
22Dennis Eckersley217.2174.40.55522.4
23Bob Lemon198.3165.40.54522.3
24Carl Hubbell198.9165.00.54722.1
25Robin Roberts296.9269.70.52422.1
26Early Wynn309.2284.10.52121.9
27Dazzy Vance172.2135.90.55921.8
28Roy Halladay171.4133.10.56320.9
29Billy Pierce218.8189.80.53520.6
30Don Sutton320.8295.30.52120.5
31Tim Hudson198.8167.40.54320.4
32Gaylord Perry317.7289.20.52320.3
33Tommy John277.6247.70.52920.1
34Andy Pettitte211.5174.60.54819.9
35Nolan Ryan356.8328.00.52119.7
36Wes Ferrell168.3138.70.54819.7
37Sandy Koufax157.6126.20.55519.7
38Hal Newhouser199.3170.80.53819.7
39Trevor Hoffman100.762.30.61819.5
40Dwight Gooden184.0156.00.54119.4
41Luis Tiant225.8194.90.53718.6
42Ted Lyons228.8204.50.52818.3
43Bret Saberhagen154.9120.60.56218.3
44David Cone184.5153.70.54618.1
45C.C. Sabathia213.6179.20.54418.1
46Bert Blyleven291.2260.00.52818.0
47Max Scherzer142.9112.60.55918.0
48Jim Bunning239.1217.50.52417.7
49Zack Greinke174.3147.00.54217.6
50E. Mike Garcia146.3118.60.55217.5


Measured by career pWOPA, Billy Pierce ranks among the top 30 pitchers of the past 70-some years. Every player above Pierce on the list who was eligible for the Hall of Fame by 2010 has been elected to the Hall of Fame except for Tommy John. That looks like a pretty solid Hall-of-Fame case to me.



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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