Four things (among many) that I have learned from doing this project:
1. Most of the other voters are more stats driven than I; “fame” is much more important to me than to others.
2. Most of the other voters are more peak oriented than I; I prefer career.
3. Most of the other voters like WAR more than I; I think it is a very marginal Great Stat for assessing greatness.
4. Most of the other voters are more forgiving than I; we elected Joe Jackson and it looks like we’ll elect Dick Allen, guys I’d never in a million years vote for.
I envision my ’85 ballot being headed by Maris, Brock and Hunter, altho I haven’t decided on the order yet.
My personal opinion on these 4:
1. I don’t use fame in my evaluation at all. To me, it is a distraction. If my Mom knows Roger Maris, but not Jimmy Wynn, it is irrelevant to who was more valuable. Who George Will or other dimwit sportswriter says is more valuable without presenting a good argument should be ignored. What I want is objective evidence, and there is no better objective evidence than the raw data.
2. I try to stay balanced, but I would rather vote for Rusty Staub than Maris so career means something to me.
3. I agree, but it useful to try and understand WAR to better comprehend others’ argument.
4. I never forgave Dick Allen because he never hurt me (his music career notwithstanding). I do feel empathetic towards a person who endured constant nasty racial insults and threats during a time when his race was fighting horrible injustices, but I try not to let that influence my evaluation. I do think we now need more players like Allen, Bill Walton, and Rodman, who spoke their mind rather than the boring corporate LeBron/Jeter of today. Viva la difference!
Hunter over Lolich? Throwing it out there…
It’s not even close to me. Comparing Hunter to Lolich is like comparing Drysdale to Pappas. I do prefer career over peak, but I don’t ignore peak. From 1971-1975 Hunter was a stud, 111-49 with a 127 ERA+. But I tend to look at ERC+ over ERA+. In those 5 years Hunter’s ERC+ was 141. Lolich never had one season where his ERC+ was 130 (okay technically he did in ’78 in 35 innings, a 136 ERC+). Adding in my “fame” subjective component (and it is huge, I admit – he was one of the “it” pitchers of the mid-’70s), he dwarfs Lolich.
I am not saying that Hunter is a no-brainer candidate. In some respects he reminds me of Dizzy Dean. Both had really good peaks of about 5 years, but not much else to add to their resume. Except a heckuva lot of fame. Dean took a while to get in. I can see Hunter taking a while as well (if he gets in at all).
1. I consider fame when voting, but use stats more. I definately don’t use fame as much as you do, but I do have Maris in third. I will probably have Brock and Hunter on my next ballot, but Brock will be ahead of Hunter.
2. I consider myself more career oriented but when it is close I go for the big year.
3. Like 3 on 3 I use WAR as another indicator. I don’t totally understand it and have questioned it for some yearly rankings. For pitchers I often look at strikeout to walk stats over WAR.
4. I am more forgiving, as I feel I helped get Joe Jackson elected. Of course with less than 15 voters, basically we help get everyone elected. The thing with Dick Allen is his stats don’t stand out (especially career) to me like Jackson’s does. One question I ask is who would I rathered of had of my team if I managed them for a career. This evaluation doesn’t help Allen.