Customized Hall-of-Merit Ballot
Constructing a Hall-of-Merit Ballot Using Player Won-Lost Statistics
I have created an adapted version of my Customized Value Statistic page to allow people to create a customized Hall-of-Merit ballot using Player won-lost records.
Player won-lost records are calculated using play-by-play data from Retrosheet. To date, Retrosheet has only released complete play-by-play data back to 1939 along with play-by-play data for the majority of games from 1921 through 1938. The details of this, as they relate to Player won-lost records, are described here.
Hence, Player won-lost records have nothing to say for any player whose career ended before 1921 or who played exclusively in the Negro Leagues. In addition, Player won-lost records are missing full seasons for any player whose career began prior to 1921 and, in most cases, are missing games for any player whose career began prior to 1939. The table generated here will therefore have to be supplemented to incorporate such players.
In addition, the data here are based on games played. Any adjustments for time lost to World War II or minor-league credit or the like would also have to be added to the results here. One tool that I have created which may be helpful in making such adjustments is a table I have added to the Value Decomposition player page (you can access this page by clicking the "Value Decomposition" link on the basic player page). The Value Decomposition page is described in some detail here.
The final table on the Value Decomposition page applies my default set of "Uber Weights" (which are described in detail later in this article) to the player's record by season and for his career. For now, this table is tied to my weights. But even if you prefer an alternate set of weights, I think this table can still be helpful in filling in the gaps in players' careers (although, at least for now, such adjustments will have to be done manually on a case-by-case basis).
Hall-of-Merit Specific Weights
The Hall-of-Merit ballot page differs from my regular Uber-Statistic page in two primary ways. First, one can select the year for which the HOM ballot is for (the default is 2019) and the resulting table will exclude any players who have already been elected to the Hall of Merit as well as players not yet eligible for the Hall of Merit.
Second, I have added several additional weighting options that I thought people might find relevant for Hall-of-Merit voting.
As I said above, this table will not make adjustments for time which players missed due to World War II. I have, however, allowed for the reverse: adjusting player performance during World War II down to reflect the lower quality of play in those seasons. One can enter an adjustment factor for each of the final three years of the war: 1943, 1944, and 1945. A player's value statistic will be adjusted the number entered here treated as a percentage. To reduce player performance in these years (as I think makes the most sense) the numbers entered here should be negative.
World War II
The default values for 1943, 1944, and 1945 are -0.05, -0.07, and -0.10, respectively, which downgrade player performance in 1943, 1944, and 1945 by 5%, 7%, and 10%, respectively. As of now, these are the only three seasons for which I allow a year-specific adjustment factor. The same adjustment factor will be applied to both American and National League performance in the relevant years.
Adjustments of the same general type can be made for two other time periods: prior to 1947 across both leagues and between 1947 and 1965 in the American League. The former of these is, of course, the time period when Major League Baseball was segregated. In the same way that Negro League performance is typically downgraded somewhat to reflect the lower quality of that league, I think it also makes sense to downgrade the white major leagues over the same time period for the same reason. We have to take a bit of the air out of Josh Gibson's numbers because he never had to face Lefty Grove or Carl Hubbell or Bob Feller. But we also need to take a bit of the air out of Babe Ruth's numbers because he never had to face Satchel Paige or Smokey Joe Williams.
As with the World War II adjustments, the number entered here is a percentage adjustment to player values over the relevant time period (prior to 1947 in this case). The default value is -0.07 which reduces player value by 7% over these years. Note that this adjustment will be added on top of the World War II adjustments for those seasons (i.e., I'm reducing 1945 player value by 17%: 10% because of the quality of play during World War II and 7% because the major leagues remained segregated in that season). Of course, if you disagree with making such an adjustment, you can simply enter the number 0 in the relevant box.
In addition to allowing for an adjustment for both leagues prior to 1947, I also allow one to add a second adjustment for the American League from
1947 through 1965. This adjustment is more speculative than the others and I understand if others disagree with it. In that case, simply enter the number 0 in the relevant box and move on. My rationale for this adjustment is that it seems clear to me that National League teams integrated more quickly (and more extensively) than American League teams and that this had a significant impact on the relative quality across the two leagues. This is probably most evident in the 1954 World Series when the 111-win Cleveland Indians were swept by the 97-win New York Giants. I only allow for a single multi-year adjustment rather than year-by-year, league-by-league adjustments for simplicity. I chose to end the adjustment in 1966 largely arbitrarily. That season Frank Robinson won the American League MVP award (the second black player to do so - Elston Howard did so in 1963) and the Baltimore Orioles swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. My default value here is -0.035, reducing the value of American League players over these years by 3.5%.
The additional weights here mirror those which can be found on my Customized Value Statistic page. These weights are described in an article found elsewhere on my website. The bulk of that article is repeated here for convenience.
I calculate Player won-lost records two ways: pWins are tied to team records while eWins control for context. One can enter any numbers one wishes in the two boxes on this line.
pWins vs. eWins
Wins are simply raw wins - a pure counting stat. WOPA stands for Wins over Positional Average and measures value relative to average. WORL stands for Wins over Replacement Level. Replacement Level is set one standard deviation below positional average. WO*, or Wins over Star, is a new measure introduced here as a way to give greater weight to "star" seasons vis-a-vis merely good ones. Star level is set equal to one standard deviation greater than positional average.
Wins vs. WOPA vs. WORL vs. WO*
One can enter any numbers one wishes in these three boxes.
Approximately half of all WOPA and a majority of WO* values will be negative, by construction. It is even possible, although fairly rare, for WORL to be negative for a season. If a "y" is entered in any of these boxes, negative seasonal values for WOPA, WORL, and/or WO* will be treated as zeroes in calculation. A value of "n" will rely upon raw WOPA, WORL, and/or WO* values, regardless of sign.
Zero Out Negative Values?
There are 14 separate positions to which one can apply distinct weights: the 8 fielding positions, designated hitter, pinch hitter, pinch runner, a pitcher's offensive contributions, starting pitching, and relief pitching. One can enter any numbers one wishes in these fourteen boxes.
Player won-lost records are calculated for postseason games exactly the same way as they are calculated for regular-season games. One can assign whatever weights one would like for postseason wins, WOPA, and WORL. The weights chosen earlier for pWins vs. eWins and for Wins vs. WOPA vs. WORL will be applied to postseason records as well.
Weights for Postseason
That is, suppose one chose a weight of 0.75 for pWins (vs. eWins), 0.25 for Wins (vs. WOPA vs. WORL) and a weight of 2 for postseason wins. The combined weight, then, for postseason pWins would be 0.75*0.25*2 = .375 (vs. a weight for regular-season pWins of 0.75*0.25 = .1875).
Entering a positive number, p, in this box will normalize all team seasons to p games. So, for example, if a player played in 120 of his team's 162 games in a season and p was set equal to 100, the player's statistics would be scaled down by (100/162), which would reduce the player's effective games played to 74 games (120*[100/162]). Leaving this box blank, or entering the number zero, would use the actual number of team games for all seasons.
Normalize seasons to _ Games
For seasons before 1937, Retrosheet is missing play-by-play data for some games. In these cases, Player won-lost records are calculated only for games for which Retrosheet has released play-by-play data.
Extrapolate missing player games?
Entering "y" in this box, a player's Player won-lost records for these seasons will be blown up in proportion to his actual games played. So, for example, if a player actually played in 110 games in a particular season, but I only have data for 83 of his games, his record for the season will be multiplied by (110/83) = 1.325. Entering "n" in the box, player statistics will be based only on games for which Retrosheet has released play-by-play data.
The number entered in this box will be the number of players presented in the final table of players. The table is constructed on the fly and the larger the number entered here, the longer the table may take to be built. Please be patient.
Show top _ players
After filling in any boxes of interest, press the "Go" button and the table will populate itself. Any boxes which are left blank will retain their most recent value.
The rest of this article looks in some more detail at the factors that I allow someone to weight. The default weights if one simply goes to the Hall-of-Merit ballot page were derived for and explained in my book Baseball Player Won-Lost Records: 150 Players, 50 Years.
Normalizing Season Length
Wins vs. WOPA vs. WORL vs. WO*
Treatment of Postseason Wins
Differences by Position
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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