Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Frank McCormick

2016 Veterans' Committee HOF Ballot: Frank McCormick

The Baseball Hall of Fame recently announced their 2016 Veterans' ballot for the Pre-Integration Era. The ballot includes 10 names, including "three executives and one of the game's earliest organizers". Player won-lost records don't really have anything to say about non-players. Player won-lost records also don't really have anything to say about players who played before 1921 (and relatively little to say about players who played before 1921). So, I don't really have anything to say about the non-players on the ballot or about 19th-century major-league players Bill Dahlen and Harry Stovey.

But I have calculated Player won-lost records for at least part of the careers of four of the candidates on the Pre-Integration ballot. This article looks at one of these players: former major-league first baseman Frank McCormick. The first table below presents Frank McCormick's career as measured by Player won-lost records. The records here have been extrapolated based on the games for which I have play-by-play data to estimate results for those games for which I do not have play-by-play data. The number of games actually played by Frank McCormick are identified as "Total"; the number of games for which Player won-lost records are calculated are identified as "Known".

Frank McCormick
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Games
Season Team Age Total Known pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1934CIN2312
12
0.30.40.379-0.1
-0.0
0.50.50.499-0.0
0.1
1937CIN2624
24
1.73.40.337-1.0
-0.8
2.42.50.487-0.2
0.0
1938CIN27151
151
18.015.40.5390.1
1.5
16.615.60.514-0.7
0.6
1939CIN28156
156
20.616.00.5631.0
2.5
19.015.40.5520.6
2.0
1940CIN29155
155
23.115.10.6043.1
4.7
19.114.80.5641.4
2.8
1941CIN30154
154
17.816.10.525-0.3
1.1
15.915.90.500-1.1
0.3
1942CIN31145
145
17.215.10.5330.1
1.4
16.215.50.511-0.6
0.7
1943CIN32126
126
12.411.30.5230.0
0.9
13.311.70.5320.3
1.2
1944CIN33153
153
21.815.40.5852.3
3.8
18.815.10.5551.0
2.4
1945CIN34152
152
16.817.30.492-0.8
0.5
16.415.60.512-0.1
1.1
1946PHI35135
135
15.613.10.5430.3
1.5
13.412.40.518-0.3
0.7
3696
96
7.87.50.511-0.1
0.5
6.96.50.513-0.1
0.5
1948BSN3774
74
5.15.60.476-0.3
0.2
4.54.90.479-0.2
0.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season) 1,533
1,533
178.2151.80.5404.4
17.8
163.0146.60.526-0.112.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career) 14
14
1.31.50.462 -0.11.21.40.474 -0.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED 1,547
1,547
179.5153.30.540
17.8
164.3148.00.526 12.5


Retrosheet has full play-by-play data for every season since 1939. Frank McCormick played every game of his career before then for the Cincinnati Reds. Retrosheet has better coverage of Reds games than for virtually any other team, as Retrosheet was able to secure copies of the scorebooks of Tom Swope from the Hall of Fame. Swope covered the Reds for the Cincinnati Post from the 1910's through the 1960's. Because of this, I have extremely strong coverage of Frank McCormick's career. Overall, I am missing only 0 games from Frank McCormick's career.

Frank McCormick was the starting first baseman for back-to-back pennant winners in 1939 and 1940. He also ended his career as a platoon first baseman for the NL pennant-winning 1948 Boston Braves (of "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain" fame).

Frank McCormick won the NL MVP award in 1940. McCormick had an excellent year in 1940, batting .309/.367/.482 with 19 HR, 127 RBI, and leading the league with 191 hits and 44 doubles, while playing excellent defense at first base. The next table shows the top 10 players in the major leagues in 1940, as measured by pWins over either positional average or replacement level. Results have been extrapolated here to fill in missing player games (note that this doesn't affect McCormick because of the Swope scorebooks).

pWins over Positional Average
Top 10 Players
          pWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL           Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
1Bob Feller25.016.64.9
6.7
1Bob Feller25.016.64.9
6.7
2Hank Greenberg26.617.33.7
5.5
2Hank Greenberg26.617.33.7
5.5
3Dolph Camilli20.112.03.3
4.6
3Lou Boudreau23.718.63.1
4.8
4Frank McCormick23.115.13.1
4.7
4Arky Vaughan25.220.62.8
4.7
5Lou Boudreau23.718.63.1
4.8
5Frank McCormick23.115.13.1
4.7
6Jimmie Foxx19.112.53.0
4.2
6Dolph Camilli20.112.03.3
4.6
7Joe DiMaggio22.015.22.9
4.4
7Joe DiMaggio22.015.22.9
4.4
8Rudy York21.113.92.8
4.3
8Lonny Frey22.116.92.7
4.3
9Arky Vaughan25.220.62.8
4.7
9Rudy York21.113.92.8
4.3
10Claude Passeau17.913.32.8
4.2
10Jimmie Foxx19.112.53.0
4.2


Per the tables above, Frank McCormick was the 4th-most valuable player in the 1940 National League, behind Dolph Camilli (Brooklyn Dodgers first baseman), Harry Danning (New York Giants catcher), and Enos Slaughter (St. Louis Cardinals right fielder). In the cases of Danning and Slaughter, however, I have play-by-play data for fewer than half of their actual games, so their numbers should be taken with a grain (or more) of salt.

Obviously, Frank McCormick was before my time, so that all I know of him is a set of statistics on a page. To try to put those numbers in some context, then, the final table of this article shows the 10 players most similar in career value to Frank McCormick, as measured by Player won-lost records.

Wins over Baseline
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL Batting Baserunning Pitching Fielding
Frank McCormick
1,533
178.2151.84.4
17.8
5.00.20.01.2
Bill Skowron
1,657
162.7140.04.2
16.6
5.7-0.20.01.0
George Kelly
1,217
140.7119.35.7
16.0
3.80.40.01.9
Elbie Fletcher
1,318
142.7121.93.5
14.2
8.30.30.00.7
Donn Clendenon
1,358
136.9124.0-0.3
10.4
5.30.10.00.6
Hal Trosky Sr.
1,270
146.7123.23.3
14.6
7.4-0.20.01.1
Carl Everett
1,404
151.2145.10.5
13.3
4.00.30.01.1
Mike Hargrove
1,663
159.1149.01.3
13.4
7.4-0.20.01.7
Justin Morneau
1,545
167.1149.83.3
15.7
6.5-0.40.01.4
Kevin Seitzer
1,437
160.3149.94.2
16.6
2.8-0.00.02.6
Dan Driessen
1,727
168.0146.14.5
16.7
5.71.00.01.1






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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