Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shoeless Joe, Carl Mays and Max Carey

There are three players in the Hall of Fame set who aren't actually in the Hall: Shoeless Joe Jackson, barred for his role in the fixing of the 1919 World Series; Pete Rose, under lifetime suspension for his gambling transgressions; and Carl Mays, widely believed to be unofficially blackballed for killing Ray Chapman with a pitch.

That probably had something to do with Mays' exclusion, but there are two other factors:
  • His is a marginal case to begin with;
  • Fred Lieb, a longtime writer and member of the Veterans Committee, said the Yankees suspected Mays of throwing World Series games in the early 1920s. Those suspicions were supposedly reported to Commissioner Landis, who took no action against Mays. One should presume him innocent, but Lieb's writings clearly indicate that he doubted Mays.
For purposes of this league, I assigned Mays to the Teddys (he could have gone into the Franklins). He didn't make the Teddys or the Obamas, and wouldn't have make the Franklins either.

Jackson did make the Teddys. I wanted to skip him, but
  • I needed a fourth outfielder;
  • He was the best in the group; and
  • There were no right-handed options.
The Teddys' starting OF is Cobb, Speaker and Crawford, left-handed hitters all. Oddly enough, every HoF outfielder in that group is left-handed.

I had put Max Carey into the Franklins group. It's a tough call; he split his career pretty evenly between the 1910s and the 1920s, and his Win Shares are split pretty closely too (171 in the '10s, 180 in the '20s).
Carey's a switch hitter, plays all three OF positions with a 1 (Jackson is a 1 in the corners). But all three starters can play CF, and Jackson is by far the better hitter.

I may change my mind before the season starts, because Carey (who didn't make the Obamas either) is a historical favorite of mine, one of the handful of guys in the running for the title of "greatest leadoff hitter pre-Rickey Henderson."

But for now, Shoeless Joe gets to lace 'em up.

No comments:

Post a Comment