Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Mark McGwire

2017 Hall of Fame Ballot: Today's Game Era Ballot, Mark McGwire

On Monday, October 3, 2016, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced the candidates for the first "Today's Game Era" ballot, the latest version of the Hall-of-Fame's Veterans' Committee. The ballot included five players. This is my fifth and final article looking at each of these players. This article looks at Mark McGwire.

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

Mark McGwire
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1986OAK22
18
1.81.50.5430.1
0.3
1.51.70.457-0.2-0.0
1987OAK23
151
17.113.50.5591.0
2.2
18.013.10.5801.72.9
1988OAK24
155
19.313.20.5932.6
3.8
16.514.10.5390.81.9
1989OAK25
143
16.012.70.5580.9
1.9
15.612.90.5470.61.6
1990OAK26
156
18.613.20.5852.1
3.2
17.113.60.5571.12.3
1991OAK27
154
13.613.00.511-0.1
1.0
14.212.50.5330.51.6
1992OAK28
139
18.012.50.5902.2
3.4
17.712.00.5962.33.4
1993OAK29
27
3.52.60.5750.3
0.6
3.32.00.6300.60.8
1994OAK30
47
4.83.50.5740.4
0.8
4.13.20.5590.30.6
1995OAK31
104
13.88.00.6342.4
3.4
12.87.50.6302.23.0
1996OAK32
130
16.610.00.6232.8
3.9
15.59.20.6262.73.7
33
156
18.215.30.5430.4
1.7
19.013.40.5861.83.1
1998SLN34
155
21.412.80.6263.2
4.6
23.313.50.6333.75.2
1999SLN35
153
17.613.10.5731.4
2.6
20.813.80.6012.63.9
2000SLN36
89
10.45.70.6451.8
2.5
9.65.60.6311.52.1
2001SLN37
97
9.48.00.5380.1
0.9
8.37.40.529-0.00.7
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,874
220.1158.90.58121.9
36.7
217.3155.70.58322.236.8
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
42
2.74.10.402 -0.63.03.70.455 -0.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,916
222.8162.90.581
36.2
220.4159.30.583 36.6


In an article I wrote looking at the Hall of Fame, I identified Willie Stargell as the player who is closest to an average Hall-of-Famer as measured by Player won-lost records. As such, I thought it might be useful to evaluate Mark McGwire's Hall-of-Fame credentials (setting aside the steroids) by comparing him to Willie Stargell.

The next table, then, compares Mark McGwire and Willie Stargell, as measured by Player won-lost records.

Mark McGwire Willie Stargell
Age Games pWins pLoss pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss pWOPA pWORL
22
181.81.50.1
0.3
100.61.0-0.2-0.1
23
15117.113.51.0
2.2
1079.210.2-0.9-0.1
24
15519.313.22.6
3.8
11712.412.4-0.50.5
25
14316.012.70.9
1.9
14418.716.30.51.9
26
15618.613.22.1
3.2
14020.714.02.84.1
27
15413.613.0-0.1
1.0
13316.615.2-0.01.3
28
13918.012.52.2
3.4
12716.616.1-0.60.8
29
273.52.60.3
0.6
14519.315.91.02.5
30
474.83.50.4
0.8
13618.216.10.21.7
31
10413.88.02.4
3.4
14122.814.13.65.0
32
13016.610.02.8
3.9
13820.213.02.43.8
33
15618.215.30.4
1.7
14825.217.62.94.7
34
15521.412.83.2
4.6
14021.615.72.33.7
35
15317.613.11.4
2.6
12415.710.81.72.7
36
8910.45.71.8
2.5
11711.310.2-0.00.8
37
979.48.00.1
0.9
635.74.00.61.0
38
12013.89.81.52.4
39
12614.510.31.52.5
40
676.45.30.30.7
41
381.61.7-0.10.1
42
742.42.6-0.10.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS1,874220.1158.921.9
36.7
2,355293.6232.318.840.1


Willie Stargell had a longer career, lasting two full-time and three partial seasons longer than Mark McGwire. In addition, McGwire lost most of his age-29 and age-30 seasons to injuries. Hence, Stargell played 482 games more than McGwire - about three full seasons. In addition to a longer career, Stargell also had two seasons (1971 and 1973) better than McGwire's best season (1998).

Overall, in terms of career value, because of the additional games Stargell beat McGwire in pWORL, 40.1 to 36.7. But even with Stargell having the top two seasons, McGwire probably had more seasons that qualify as very-good-to-great, and beats Stargell in career pWOPA, 21.9 to 18.8.

Overall, given a choice, I would choose Stargell as having had a more valuable career than McGwire. But, as I said, Stargell was an average Hall-of-Famer and, as such, being (arguably) worse than Willie Stargell does not mean that one is not a 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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