Retroplay RE-set Hall of Fame

SITE-WIDE RE-CONSTRUCTION IN PROGRESS (BEGINNING MARCH, 2021)

Look for piecemeal, incremental updates all the way up to wholesale changes on ALL RetroPlay.net pages in the next few months. The “staff” is working virtually every available waking hour on the time-consuming task of data RE-entry involving hundreds of thousands of spreadsheet cells; re-checking every qualifying player’s historical year-by-year WAR values, per-162-game rates, positions, and birthplace; producing thereby sorted-and-ranked regional and era groups; and finally, posting to the web, publishing in print media, and providing a Retro-Fantasy League framework. So there’s a lot on “our” plate!

So for now, please be patient. At present (March 12, 2021), the spreadsheets covering all qualifying MLB AND NLB players from 2020 on back to 1931 — we’re moving backwards to avoid having to recalculate WAR values all over again — are quite close to being “nailed down”/ “locked in place” with WAR data generously made available at Baseball-Reference.com to this point (remember, we’re including Negro League players, too! we’ve been far ahead of MLB on this score, with my decades-long vision for this expansive historical “replay” project finally being made possible by those two indispensables, www.baseball-reference.com AND… http://seamheads.com (Negro Leagues Database)). Eventually, we’ll get everything cemented into place for all MLB-NLB (historically-recorded) seasons from 1871 through 2020. When all of that’s tied up into a package, the combination birthplace/WAR-value register and summary read-out of those first 150 years of baseball at the highest levels will be available to all in various formats and media outlets.

See you later! Back to work for “the staff”….

[FYI, with regard to this page: The criteria for induction into this RetroPlay “RE-set Hall of Fame” have been revised slightly and the pertinent numbers are being reviewed (career WAR value and WAR-per-162-games (average full season) rates; minimum plate appearances/innings pitched required for eligibility, with NLB and 19th-Century offsets that take into consideration the shorter (official) schedules in those two areas of major-league baseball). ONE CHANGE TO NOTE: The bar has been raised — from 200 to 225 RetroPlay Points. As stated below, the formula that determines who makes this virtual HOF (or whatever it’s called in the end) is very straightforward: Career WAR (to 1 decimal point) times WAR-per-162-games (full season) rate (to one decimal point, as well); if  a player’s (Career WAR) X (per-162 rate) = 225 or more, and he meets the PA/IP minimums, that player is automatically  “inducted.” Other things to keep in mind: 1) The formula is set up to reflect BOTH a sufficiently lengthy career (counting stat of Career WAR) and one that has been consistently productive (rate stat of average WAR-per-162-games-played, indicating that the player had All-Star-type seasons — WAR of 5+ — year in and year out; and regardless of the voting foibles of fans or veterans committees, for example); 2) If a player gets to a healthy Career WAR total of 40 or 50 or so, but his per-162 average is only about 2.5 (indicating a starter, but not an All-Star, on average), well, his RP Points total will be only 100 or 125, and he’s been exposed as someone who merely accumulated those career numbers over the course of a long career, and has not been consistently dominant or a true, virtually-annual All-Star (rhetorical question: is that a Hall of Famer in your book?); 3a) We’re looking objectively at the metrics only, and not trying to assess character/morality/off-field behavior in any of this, and 3b) only regular-season performance is being weighed in the scales (subject to change if post-season data can be normalized, supplied, and added in somehow); 4) All of the material below should serve only as background at this point, since the system is being revamped and updated as the research and data-entry process moves toward completion. The separate calculation for relief pitchers is something you might find particularly interesting, however, and that’s not being abandoned for our purposes here. [This update made 3/12/2021]

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4/18/19: Posted below are 10 pages (.jpg/JPEG format) that together comprise a nearly-final version of the Retroplay RE-set Hall of Fame (or better, Hall of [on-field] Achievement). In constructing this cleaned-up, trimmed-down version* of a players-only, numbers-only HOF/HOA, we’ve asked nobody for an opinion on any particular player. No, we’ve let the numbers make the case via a simple, tight formula, and that’s pretty much it.

[* — The original, complete list of 333 players who “made the cut” included those otherwise-qualified who were declared ineligible (by MLB) for HOF induction; PED-cheaters; those not yet retired 5 years, and even some still-active players like Pujols and Kershaw. You can download the Excel spreadsheet — “The Fortunate 440” — right here to facilitate comparison: RRHOF Register This spreadsheet includes: a) All official HOFers elected as players, managers, or “pioneers” with on-field MLB experience; b) All of those who met the RRHOF minimum 200 point standard, whether retired or active. The total number of men involved was 440. They were/are “fortunate” because they made it into either one HOF/HOA or both.]

Admittedly, something had to be done to accommodate the relief specialists, since WAR smiles on the innings-chewers, and not even one RP met the threshold of 200 points. Even Mariano Rivera, the Gold Standard by which all relievers can be measured, came in short at 191 (career WAR of 56.2 multiplied by WAR per 162 games of 3.4). Since we all should be able to agree that at least a small, representative contingent of the RP variety belongs in the Hall of Fame or a “Hall of Achievement,” some different criteria had to be developed to correct any across-the-board injustice at the hands of WAR and/or my use of it for all other players. So here’s what I hit upon:

1) Set Rivera’s totals of Saves (652), Career WAR (56.2), and WAR Per 162 Games (3.4) at the 100th percentile in each of those 3 categories; 2) Looked at each RP inducted into Cooperstown and all relievers in MLB history with 300+ saves to compare their numbers with Rivera’s in each of the 3 categories (expressed as a ratio and resulting percentile; e.g, 326 saves would be 326/652, or 50% — for a total of 50 points in that category); 3) Worked through the numbers, added ’em up, and the top 8 were named RRHOF members in good standing (we picked 8 because there are 8 official HOFers who made the Hall primarily as relievers). This way, apples are compared with apples, and ultimately with the “Golden Apple,” the only HOFer to go in with unanimous backing (100% of the vote).

Scroll down beyond the next couple of paragraphs to see the RRHOF “balloting results,” displayed on the 10 summary pages.

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What’s afoot, April 8 – April 30 (or so): all RRHOF data to be tightened down, graphics streamlined and upgraded. And with this RE-set HOF in place, all of the ensuing controversy can begin (if that’s your thing). In any case, what you’ll find here (all of this is IMO, you understand, right?) is a more objective, numbers-only (and players-only) gallery of the very best diamond achievers; call it a “Hall of Achievement,” if you will, rather than a Hall of Fame. Admittedly, I’m leaning very heavily on Wins Above Replacement (WAR) as the best one-figure measure of seasonal or career performance (with any apology due to Bill James cheerfully offered; the fact is, WAR numbers are just so readily available and fairly-well standardized, even if the Win Shares system of Mr. James should prove to be a truer measure). I started out way back at the tail end of the 20th Century with the Batter-Fielder- and Pitcher- Wins system (Palmer and Thorn, et al, as seen in the Total Baseball encyclopedia series), but since I had to put the whole birthplace-based historical replay project on the shelf for almost two decades — as life took me in other directions — WAR came roaring in and supplanted previous systems. So I cast my lot with WAR as the most readily-available-yet-quite-accurate stat, and I’m sticking with that.

Hence, the whole RRHOF “selection” process hinges on only two WAR figures, multiplied by each other. If a player’s career WAR total (__._) times his “per 162 games” average WAR (_._) equals or exceeds 200, he’s in (automatically; all questions of character, PED-usage, etc. are irrelevant here as factors, though I do have my opinions on how relevant they should be with regard to THE National Baseball HOF in Cooperstown). I think that when you see the “new” (RE-set) roll call of superior players (only, according to less subjective criteria), the overall picture will be improved. But by all means, check out my claims, compare the numbers of the “ins” and the “outs,”and form your own opinion. Even controversy can be fun, right?

RRHOF P01

RRHOF P02

RRHOF P03

RRHOF P04

RRHOF P05

RRHOF P06

RRHOF P07

J-u-u-u-st a bit outside… (Harry Doyle/Bob Uecker on the call):  https://youtu.be/ucqo5aqip1w

RRHOF P08

RRHOF P09

RRHOF P10

FORMULA, R.R.H.O.F. POINTS: CAREER WAR (__._) X WAR AVG. PER 162 GAMES (_._) TOTALS OF 200+ EARN AUTOMATIC INDUCTION

OTHER HELPFUL TIDBITS: LRF=Corner outfielder, but primarily a Left Fielder; RLF=Corner outfielder, but more a Right Fielder (RF) than LF; OF=Could handle any Outfield position (usually a Center Fielder); RPI=Relief Pitcher Index (separate formula; these are the numbers displayed in the RRHOF PTS. column in the RP section); Underlined players are those whose WAR figures include some/only NLB (Negro League Baseball) stats, which were treated as equal to MLB numbers for this purpose; DO=Dominican Republic (ISO code used instead of DR); “RETROPLAY TEAM(S)”= In the Retroplay system, each player is assigned on the basis of birthplace, but the local state/national entity for which he plays can join a co-op or go it alone if/when possible (ALL of the players shift together when the state/nation makes a change; no trades or free agency are allowed, so it’s one man aligned with one franchise for his whole career); refer to the Regions page for details.

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[This page last updated 5/3/19; Much more coming down the pipeline…]