Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Toby Harrah
Toby Harrah, Hall of Famer: Seriously?

In a previous article that looked at Player won-lost records and the Hall of Fame, I identified the seven players with the best Player won-lost records who are in neither the Hall of Fame nor the Hall of Merit. This article looks at one of these players: Toby Harrah.

Toby Harrah was the last batter in Washington Senators history (although he didn't have the last plate appearance - Tommy McCraw was caught stealing while Harrah was up to bat) and the last active major-leaguer to have played for the Senators. In 1972, he was the first All-Star selection in Texas Rangers history. On June 25, 1976, Harrah played both games of a doubleheader at shortstop without a single fielding chance. On August 27, 1977, Harrah and Bump Wills became the only teammates in major-league history to hit back-to-back inside-the-park home runs. And last, but certainly not least, Toby Harrah has a sneaky-good case for the Hall of Fame.

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

Toby Harrah
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1969WS220
6
0.00.00.5350.0
0.0
0.00.00.250-0.0-0.0
1971WS222
125
11.313.60.454-0.6
0.3
12.513.20.4850.11.2
1972TEX23
115
13.012.60.5090.7
1.7
13.412.00.5271.22.2
1973TEX24
118
14.415.80.476-0.2
1.1
14.514.50.5000.61.8
1974TEX25
161
19.818.90.5121.4
2.8
19.318.10.5151.42.8
1975TEX26
151
21.516.90.5603.2
4.7
22.117.00.5663.55.0
1976TEX27
155
21.320.40.5111.3
2.9
21.920.00.5231.83.4
1977TEX28
159
19.915.30.5652.2
3.6
19.815.90.5541.83.3
1978TEX29
138
16.513.80.5431.5
2.7
16.814.40.5391.42.6
1979CLE30
149
17.316.00.5200.8
2.1
17.815.80.5311.22.5
1980CLE31
160
19.516.20.5461.6
3.0
18.215.80.5361.22.5
1981CLE32
103
12.910.10.5611.3
2.2
11.910.00.5420.81.7
1982CLE33
162
19.716.30.5471.5
2.9
21.116.50.5622.23.6
1983CLE34
138
15.516.20.489-0.5
0.7
16.215.50.5110.21.4
1984NYA35
85
7.47.80.487-0.1
0.5
7.98.20.492-0.10.6
1985TEX36
125
15.214.30.5160.6
1.7
14.912.70.5411.22.3
1986TEX37
95
8.99.30.4900.1
0.7
9.49.80.4910.10.8
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,145
254.1233.50.52114.7
33.6
257.7229.30.52918.637.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
0
0.00.0 0.00.00.0 0.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,145
254.1233.50.521
33.6
257.7229.30.529 37.4


Players Most Similar to Toby Harrah
The next table shows the 10 players most similar to Toby Harrah as measured by career Player won-lost records.

Most Similar Players to Toby Harrah in Value
Wins over Baseline
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL Batting Baserunning Fielding
Toby Harrah
2145
254.1233.514.7
33.6
9.92.07.5
Ryne Sandberg
2161
287.6255.116.6
37.2
9.21.98.4
Chase Utley
1850
235.7197.118.5
34.6
9.21.66.0
Carlos Beltran
2585
328.9292.714.2
38.9
13.32.47.0
Kiki Cuyler
1660
241.1202.212.2
30.6
10.81.85.6
Amos Otis
1991
262.6222.816.3
35.5
6.12.78.7
Arky Vaughan
1560
227.9188.721.8
39.1
12.41.07.4
Roberto Alomar
2373
314.4280.720.9
44.3
7.52.47.8
Frankie Frisch
1776
256.7214.122.3
41.6
4.22.58.9
Al Simmons
1837
274.9220.919.2
39.8
13.30.97.1
Ian Kinsler
1672
223.0202.012.7
28.4
4.31.86.4


Overall, of the eight players on Harrah's list who have been retired long enough to have appeared on a Hall-of-Fame ballot, three of them are in the Hall of Fame and two others are in the Hall of Merit.

Toby Harrah's Rank by Position
One interesting thing about the list of players most similar to Harrah above is that the positions these guys played is all over the place - six second basemen (one of whom played several other positions), a third baseman, and three outfielders (all of whom spent a lot of time in center field). This seems fitting, because Toby Harrah played all over the place. He came to the majors as a shortstop and played over 100 games at shortstop five times. But he played over 100 games at third base six times and over 100 games at second base once. He also had two seasons (1973, 1978) where he played over 100 games but no more than 91 at any single position.

Because Harrah moved around so much, he doesn't necessarily stand out at any one position. Yet, he still ranks among the top 25 players in (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) shortstop wins over positional average among players for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records and just outside the top 25 players in third base wins over positional average. The top 35 players at each of these positions are shown in the next two tables. The statistics shown in these two tables only reflect value accrued at these respective positions.

Top 35 Shortstops
(sorted by eWOPA at Shortstop Only)
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Cal Ripken302.1274.20.52425.5
2Alex Rodriguez182.4146.50.55523.2
3Alan Trammell265.4247.00.51820.2
4Pee Wee Reese279.4248.40.52919.8
5Ernie Banks167.9137.80.54918.6
6Barry Larkin272.0244.70.52618.5
7Derek Jeter347.1330.10.51318.4
8Lou Boudreau214.5186.60.53517.2
9Arky Vaughan187.1158.30.54217.0
10Vern Stephens191.2165.10.53715.6
11Joe Cronin188.6167.10.53013.8
12Luke Appling280.9260.70.51913.7
13Bert Campaneris272.6269.70.50313.6
14Ozzie Smith331.4321.30.50813.3
15Robin Yount195.6188.10.51012.9
16Jim Fregosi186.6172.60.52012.4
17Nomar Garciaparra145.6130.30.52811.8
18Hanley Ramirez150.6130.20.53611.8
19Joe Sewell166.1151.80.52211.2
20Troy Tulowitzki167.5149.70.52810.8
21Dave Concepcion260.4257.50.50310.6
22Eddie Joost175.4161.80.5208.9
23Toby Harrah101.292.90.5218.8
24Miguel Tejada247.3241.50.5068.8
25Rico Petrocelli99.488.50.5298.6
26Travis Jackson155.9145.40.5178.6
27Roy Smalley III131.2126.70.5098.4
28Tony Fernandez196.6196.40.5007.0
29Dave Bancroft129.5122.00.5157.0
30Jimmy Rollins290.5283.20.5066.8
31Chris Speier213.6215.80.4976.7
32Jose Valentin138.8133.80.5096.4
33Denis Menke98.691.00.5206.4
34Jose B. Reyes217.1210.20.5086.4
35Luis Aparicio329.7337.10.4946.1


Top 35 Third Basemen
(sorted by eWOPA at Third Base Only)
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Mike Schmidt307.1234.20.56731.0
2Eddie Mathews294.4229.40.56227.6
3Chipper Jones259.6209.30.55421.3
4Wade Boggs276.6244.20.53116.2
5George Brett223.4189.50.54116.1
6Ron Santo277.7236.40.54016.1
7Scott Rolen248.9213.60.53814.6
8Adrian Beltre319.0287.30.52614.0
9Alex Rodriguez153.0125.70.54913.2
10Evan Longoria166.2141.60.54012.1
11Ken Boyer227.9197.20.53611.7
12Sal Bando228.1200.00.53311.7
13Stan Hack219.7194.00.53111.5
14Ron Cey243.4211.30.53511.5
15David Wright205.8177.00.53811.0
16Pie Traynor214.6198.20.52010.5
17Harlond Clift164.5141.90.53710.3
18Matt D. Williams208.6183.30.53210.2
19Robin Ventura216.4195.80.52510.2
20Bob Elliott181.7156.80.5379.6
21Eric Chavez161.5143.20.5309.3
22Graig Nettles281.0257.20.5229.0
23Josh Donaldson100.281.10.5539.0
24Troy Glaus157.5139.00.5319.0
25Al Rosen119.595.80.5559.0
26Darrell Evans179.6156.00.5358.6
27Dick Allen95.675.80.5587.9
28Harmon Killebrew97.077.20.5577.8
29Whitey Kurowski110.693.60.5417.6
30Doug DeCinces181.1164.70.5247.5
31Miguel Cabrera90.973.80.5527.4
32Tony Perez100.482.40.5497.2
33Ken Caminiti202.5183.50.5256.6
34Toby Harrah126.3111.60.5316.6
35Eddie Yost245.1222.40.5246.3


One player ranks ahead of Toby Harrah in both of these tables. One could, perhaps, say that Toby Harrah was a poor man's Alex Rodriguez.

The next table combines Player wins (over positional average) at the three "defensive" infield positions: second base, third base, and shortstop.

Top 20 Players: 2B, 3B, SS
(sorted by eWOPA at These Positions Only)
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Joe L. Morgan358.8295.40.54837.1
2Alex Rodriguez335.3272.10.55236.5
3Mike Schmidt308.4235.80.56730.9
4Eddie Mathews294.4229.40.56227.6
5Cal Ripken372.8346.00.51925.2
6Rogers Hornsby179.5133.00.57423.1
7Bobby Grich248.2216.30.53421.8
8Chipper Jones265.7214.70.55321.7
9Alan Trammell270.0252.30.51719.9
10Lou Whitaker283.1255.30.52619.5
11Pee Wee Reese291.0260.80.52719.3
12Ernie Banks176.5145.10.54919.2
13Barry Larkin272.2244.90.52618.5
14Derek Jeter347.1330.10.51318.4
15Arky Vaughan211.6179.90.54018.2
16Lou Boudreau221.3192.50.53517.5
17Ryne Sandberg290.5256.50.53117.2
18Toby Harrah254.8229.20.52617.1
19Ron Santo283.7242.10.54016.3
20Wade Boggs276.6244.20.53116.2


Of the 20 names on the above table, four are not yet eligible for the Hall of Fame: Alex Rodriguez, Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter, and Chase Utley. Jones and Jeter will make the Hall of Fame as soon as they are eligible. Alex Rodriguez will make the Hall of Merit as soon as he is eligible and the weakness of his Hall-of-Fame case obviously has nothing to do with his statistical record. That leaves Chase Utley, who ranks below Harrah.

There are three players on the above list who are in the Hall of Merit but are not in the Hall of Fame: Bobby Grich, Lou Whitaker, and Alan Trammell. Grich, Whitaker, and Trammell are all frequently cited as among the most egregious omissions from the Hall of Fame.

Twelve of the 20 names on the above table are in both the Hall of Fame and the Hall of Merit.

That leaves one name unaccounted for: Toby Harrah. Toby Harrah received one Hall-of-Fame vote in his only appearance on the ballot. His best showing in Hall-of-Merit voting was two down-ballot votes (one 14th place, one 15th place) in "1997". He deserves better.



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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