Half-Baked Hall: 1920-1923

After a few ballots in a row with inner-circle players, it appears the early 20's was a time when old players just kept on playing, were permanently banned for gambling, or were killed on the field. There are only two Black Sox on this ballot. And a dude who was named after something he didn't do all that often.

Ballot Due: Tuesday, February 24

Player Stats

Last Time On The Ballot

Jack Beckley
Jimmy Collins

New Hitters

Frank "Home Run" Baker
Donie Bush
Ray Caldwell
Ray Chapman
Larry Doyle
Art Fletcher
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Clyde Milan
Slim Sallee
Hippo Vaughn

New Pitchers

Eddie Cicotte
Ed Konetchy
Smoky Joe Wood

61 thoughts on “Half-Baked Hall: 1920-1923”

      1. That assumes people haven't changed their minds since then and the voters are a representative sample of the people in that thread.

  1. Let's make a case for Bill Dahlen.

    1. There's a book about him titled The Rollicking Life and Times of an Early Baseball Star. Anybody who rollicks deserves to be in the half-baked hall.

    2. You guys voted in Jack Glasscock because of his awesome name. But he didn't rollick. And Dahlen was a better shortstop.

    3. Check out the cherry-picked graph for defensive WAR. That huge pink spot on the left? That's Dahlen. He had the record for most career defensive WAR ever until Joe Tinker.

    4. He was a way better hitter than Ozzie Smith or all of the other great defensive wizard shortstops.

    a. Bill Dahlen 110 OPS+
    b. Joe Tinker 96
    c. Ozzie Smith 87
    d. Rabbit Maranville 82
    e. Mark Belanger 68

    5. He played well for almost 20 seasons. In his age 38 season, he accumulated 3.6 defensive WAR and 2.9 offensive WAR. He led the league in range factor at AGE 38.

    6. He stole 548 bases. And. according to baseball-reference, he was caught ZERO times. Eat that Tim Raines.

    7. In his only World Series with the Giants, he led them to the title by selflessly going 0-15 with three walks and two stolen bases. He wasn't going to steal the spotlight from Christy Mathewson, who was pitching shutouts.

    1. You guys voted in Jack Glasscock because of his awesome name

      Too bad his name isn't Dill Bahlen. He'd be a shoe-in.

  2. Of the new people, only Home Run Baker, Shoeless Joe Jackson, and Smokey Joe Wood stand out in any way. Lesson learned? Have a two word nickname. Tough luck, Gavvy Cravath!

    Baker's a shoe-in (in my opinion, anyway), Shoeless is a maybe, depending on your thoughts on the 1919 series, and Wood is mostly a fun oddity.

    Let's talk Fred Clarke. Again.

    Last time, I said...

    * Fred Clarke - Elect him as a player (67 WAR), elect him as a manager (1602 wins over 19 seasons managing some very good Pirates teams). Just elect him.

    So, let's go the opposite way. Why not elect Fred Clarke? What are the arguments against?

      1. He led the National League in home runs six times in seven years. If Ruth hadn't made a mockery of the home run race just a couple of years later, that'd be ridiculous. I mean, it is, anyway, just less so after Ruth went bonkers.

        1. I messed that up.
          Gavvy "Gravy-train" Cravath
          A little bit of work from home today and a 3-year-old comes to sit on my lap and I forget what the joke was.

  3. I love learning new stuff about these guys. Home Run Baker missed two full seasons. The first was during his prime thanks to a contract holdout with Connie Mack. The second was near the end of his career after his wife and daughters were stricken with scarlet fever; his wife died. He then played for the Yankees for two years and lamented how easy it was for Ruth to hit homers compared to the old days.

    1. "The farmer doesn't care for the pitchers' battle that resolves itself into a checkers game," he once declared. "The farmer loves the dramatic, and slugging is more dramatic than even the cleverest pitching."

      Dude was born just a smidge too early.

  4. I'm going to send out the ballot on Wednesday. If you want to stump for anybody, now's a good time.

  5. Reading about Fred Clarke (from wiki)

    He remained active and seemingly indestructible into his 70s. In 1947, while ice fishing in northern Minnesota, he and his wife were thrown into icy northern Minnesota waters by a storm, but he was back out fishing the next day. Soon after, he was nearly shot accidentally while quail hunting. He then survived a gas furnace explosion in his basement.

        1. One would think them harder to confuse with quail.
          I know Bobwhites were being introduced in southern MN through the 40's, but I doubt anyone would have tried or had even temporary success in the north, unless the winter was particularly mild.

      1. He was born in Iowa and died in Kansas. I assume the quail hunting accident did not happen in Minnesota.

          1. it all depends on historical context. Compared to the history of the universe, humans developed on Earth soon after the dinosaurs died out.

                1. Land-bound reptiles and mammals were on the 6th day "the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals"
                  Birds and fish were on the 5th day "the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it [...] and every winged bird"

                  Though it's unclear where Arthropods (excepting Crustaceans), Crocodilians, Amphibians, aquatic turtles (such as the Snapping Turtle), sea snakes, Sirenians, Cetaceans, and Pinnipeds fall in the timeline, it's pretty clear that Dinosaurs were not "creatures of the sea" nor "winged", and thus were clearly on the 6th day.

                  Unless we put stock in the present tense of "move" and allow that the story is silent on creatures that once moved but no longer do. Then dinosaurs may have been created at any point along the way.

                    1. Came back to peruse the discussion before submitting and see this comment.
                      Well done AMR, well done.

                    2. If people were to ask me my favorite type of tree, I'd say "Pedan-tree" except for the fact that there's no such tree of that name.
                      So instead I would answer "Eastern Cottonwood".

        1. It did not--the hunting accident took place after he was back in Winfield, Kansas. Here's a slightly more detailed account of events:

          While on a fishing trip to a lake in Minnesota with his wife, Clarke's boat capsized during a storm, and he and Mrs. Clarke remained in the water for three hours until they were rescued. [65] Then, after returning to Winfield, Clarke was nearly killed in a Dick Cheney-like incident "when the bill of his hunting cap deflected the pellets from a companion's accidental shot." [66] And to top things off, following his hunting misadventure, Clarke went home, turned on his gas furnace, and found himself flying across his basement floor. The furnace had exploded, but once again, the old player-manager was able to survive. [67]

          The quote about the hunting trip appears to be from a Baseball Digest article published in March 1948. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find their archives online anywhere.

          Bottom line, though, is that were I a voting Citizen, this guy would unquestionably get my vote. Why? He was the older brother of major league outfielder Joshua "Pepper" Clarke.

          1. In Winfield, game birds currently found include Turkey, Pheasant, Prarie Chicken, and Bobwhite (quail).
            Though I can't speak to the historical availability of such quarry, if any of those four were not present in southern Kansas in the 1940s, it would be the Turkey, which was extirpated from much of its historical range, and whose continued existence as a wild bird [outside of a few preserves] was very much in question.
            I have no doubt that there were Bobwhite present to hunt near Winfield at the time of the story.

            Conclusion: Vote for Clarke, his story checks out!

    1. Voting the first day it hits the ol' inbox makes everything so much easier. Now if I could only apply that to spookyworks...

  6. Not that it isn't too late, but let me stump against Shoeless Joe (and Eddie Cicotte). They were cheaters. I know I posted the link above re: Pete Rose. And truth be told, I'll probably vote yes on Pete Rose. The difference? Pete Rose is a singularly unique baseball historical figure, and that alone can overcome the taint of gambling. Alright, I guess that's all I have to say about it.

    Also, I'm voting yes on Slim Sallee and Hippo Vaughn, because they both sound like Spookymilk Survivor names.

    1. I have no problem voting against Cicotte, as he was borderline, anyway. Shoeless? Harder to say. I voted 'yes' this time, but may waffle in subsequent votes.

      1. Same. I was wavering on Jackson on career numbers, but his OPS+ of 170 just was too high to ignore. Rose wasn't as dominant, but he was all-star level for a very long-time. Cicotte may have put up hall numbers had he played out his whole career, but he may not have. He was on the wrong side of the borderline for me.

        And I fully support voting for players with silly names.

        1. Of course, Shoeless was just hitting his decline phase, so who knows how things like OPS+ would have dropped for him...

          1. True. But if he plays seven more years, he may put up more eye-popping career totals. And I wonder if decline phase was as predictable back then. And, I wonder if Shoeless declines that much.

            Does Rose get credit for not getting banned until after his playing career was over?

            1. Yeah, I suppose in some ways that's a lucky break for Rose. But not dealing with a decline phase is an equally lucky break for Shoeless Joe. And to my mind, it's almost a luckier break than Rose, as we're able to evaluate Rose's entire career, in a way we can't for Shoeless Joe.

              1. Not entirely similar, but Puckett "lucked out" a bit too, I think. If he hits a hard decline phase on some really bad Twins teams and has some of the bad personal publicity before he gets a chance for election (say in 2004)...

                1. I had the exact same thought.

                  Of course, I think there was probably some cause and effect there with Puckett, and his personal declines were probably tied, in some part, to the abrupt professional tragedy. But that's getting a bit afield.

                  Either way, for me, Shoeless Joe didn't overcome the hurdle. Rose probably will, but I put a little more stock in totals than rate stats, for Hall consideration.

                  1. Yeah, I go back and forth. I vote for Joss because his rate stats were insane and he died during his peak from a stupid illness.

        1. I learned that 3 acres is apparently the difference between solvency and foreclosure.

          Have you seen corn prices these days? Farmers would plant corn on their roofs if they could.

          1. Yeah, my FIL is a farmer. Corn, soybeans, just renting out the land, it doesn't matter. Still...

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