The Short Career Guys Fibonacci Values

April 12, 2010

            Some years ago I introduced a way of making one-dimensional rankings of won-lost records based on combining Wins and Losses into one number.   The issue addressed here is this one.   Which of these five won-lost records is most impressive, and which is least impressive?

 

                        1-0

                        21-17

                        3-2

                      ​  19-4

                        7-1

 

            If you rank those seasons by wins, the 21-win season is first—but obviously, 21-17 is not more impressive than 19-4.   If you rank them by winning percentage, the number one season is the 1-0 record, and the worst record is 21-17—but obviously, 1-0 is not more impressive than 19-4, nor is 21-17 a less impressive won-lost record than 3-2.   There has to be a way to rank seasons which considers both wins and winning percentage.  

            That process is called Fibonacci Win Points, and let’s not worry about why it’s called that right now.    Fibonacci Win Points are calculated as:

 

            Wins

            Times Winning Percentage

            Plus (Wins Minus Losses)

 

            For the records above, that makes:

 

                        1-0       is 1 * 1.000  =  1, + 1 minus 0                                           2

                        21-17   is 21 * .553  = 11.6 + 21  minus 17                              15.6

                        3-2       is 2 * .600 = 1.8 + 2 minus 2                                          3.8

                        19-4     is  19 * .826 =  15.7  + 19 minus 4                               30.7

                        7-1       is 7 * .875 = 6.1 + 7 minus 1                                        12.1

 

            We thus rank these as:

 

                        19-4

                        21-17

                          7-1

                          3-2

                          1-0

 

            I designed this approach to rank won-lost records of pitchers.    But on April 6, a reader signing himself as “Paul” asked in the “Hey, Bill” section why, when I had Win Shares and Loss Shares and needed to rank them, I had not considered Fibonacci Win Points as a way to rank them.  Actually, that’s not exactly what he asked; what he asked was why, after I introduced Fibonacci Win Points, I had just dropped the whole concept like a bad date.

Why didn’t I apply it to the rankings of these players in the Short Career Studies?   I dunno. . .just didn’t think about it.   Let’s try it.    This is how these 71 Short-Career Players would rank, applying the Fibonacci method to the Win Shares and Loss Shares of the players and ignoring things like special consideration for catchers and players who miss seasons out of their prime due to military service:

 

           

New

Player

Wins

Losses

W Pct

Fibonacci

1

Joe DiMaggio

322

45

.876

559

2

Shoeless Joe Jackson

252

32

.889

445

3

Dick Allen

272

81

.771

400

4

Hank Greenberg

231

55

.806

362

5

Frank Chance

218

46

.825

351

6

Larry Doby

233

69

.772

345

7

Charlie Keller

191

25

.883

335

8

Jackie Robinson

211

55

.793

323

9

Mickey Cochrane

224

72

.757

322

10

Johnny Evers

261

133

.662

300

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

Joe Tinker

271

147

.649

300

12

Roy Thomas

232

100

.698

293

13

Darryl Strawberry

219

87

.716

289

14

Ross Youngs

202

71

.740

280

15

Don Mattingly

243

127

.656

275

16

Joe Gordon

229

111

.674

273

17

Babe Herman

217

97

.692

271

18

Wally Berger

206

84

.709

267

19

Tony Oliva

221

105

.678

266

20

Dolph Camilli

211

97

.685

259

 

 

 

 

 

 

21

Ralph Kiner

203

88

.698

257

22

Jacques Fournier

209

102

.673

248

23

Kirby Puckett

238

140

.630

248

24

Roger Maris

197

88

.690

244

25

Sandy Koufax

216

115

.653

242

26

Albert Belle

205

106

.660

234

27

Nomar Garciaparra

191

95

.668

224

28

Phil Rizutto

216

133

.620

218

29

Roy Campanella

166

71

.701

212

30

Smokey Joe Wood

177

86

.673

211

 

 

 

 

 

 

31

Riggs Stephenson

171

81

.678

206

32

Don Newcombe

181

96

.653

202

33

Danny Tartabull

175

93

.654

197

34

Dizzy Dean

166

80

.674

197

35

Hal Trosky

184

104

.638

197

36

Ron Guidry

176

95

.650

196

37

Addie Joss

167

85

.662

192

38

Ken Williams

179

106

.630

187

39

Johnny Pesky

168

95

.640

181

40

Rico Carty

179

112

.615

177

 

 

 

 

 

 

41

Chick Hafey

167

96

.634

176

42

Jim Maloney

163

91

.642

176

43

Dom DiMaggio

186

127

.595

170

44

Rollie Fingers

170

107

.612

166

45

Allie Reynolds

192

144

.572

158

46

Spud Chandler

123

54

.696

155

47

Firpo Marberry

159

104

.604

151

48

Sal Maglie

142

83

.631

149

49

Bobby Shantz

153

99

.607

146

50

Freddie Lindstrom

182

141

.564

144

 

 

 

 

 

 

51

Ray Chapman

154

103

.599

143

52

Jim Ray Hart

130

79

.622

132

53

Lu Blue

191

163

.539

131

54

Johnny Allen

145

107

.576

122

55

Thornton Lee

158

127

.555

119

56

Jack McDowell

126

87

.593

114

57

Tiny Bonham

111

69

.618

111

58

Bob Veale

145

116

.556

109

59

J. R. Richard

125

97

.565

100

60

Bobby Higginson

142

121

.540

98

 

 

 

 

 

 

61

Steve Gromek

140

120

.538

95

62

Pete Fox

161

156

.509

87

63

Johnny Murphy

88

58

.600

82

64

Bob Locker

71

46

.603

67

65

Scott Fletcher

147

153

.490

66

66

Tony Conigliaro

95

82

.537

64

67

Herb Score

75

58

.562

58

68

George Case

138

148

.482

56

69

Sam Chapman

138

152

.475

51

70

Brian McRae

134

151

.470

46

 

 

 

 

 

 

71

Vince Coleman

144

166

.465

45

 

            In essence, this ranking method (compared to the one I was using before) assumes a higher replacement level.    The system I was using before essentially assumed a replacement level of .250, and ranked players according to how far they were above a player with a .250 Winning Percentage.   This system assumes a higher replacement level (about .414), and thus favors a player who has a higher winning percentage in a shorter career.

            I actually like the Fibonacci rankings better than the rankings I was using before.   The replacement level is probably closer to .414 than it is to .250, and thus the players who are moved up in these rankings (compared to the others) probably should be moved up, and probably should have ranked higher.    The main changes in these rankings, compared to the others, are that Charlie Keller, Spud Chandler, Roy Campanella, Tiny Bonham, Bob Locker, Riggs Stephenson, Dizzy Dean, Ross Youngs, Jackie Robinson, Jim Maloney, Jim Ray Hart, Johnny Murphy, Chick Hafey, Jack McDowell, Sal Maglie and Addie Joss move up in the rankings, while George Case, Ken Williams, Ron Guidry, Scott Fletcher, Thornton Lee, Joe Gordon, Johnny Evers, Freddie Lindstrom, Don Mattingly, Hal Trosky, Dom DiMaggio, Joe Tinker, Pete Fox, Vince Coleman, Lu Blue, Kirby Puckett and Allie Reynolds will move down.

 

            What does this say about the Hall of Fame selections?    By the new rankings, the lowest-rankings players who have been selected to the Hall of Fame are Freddie Lindstrom (50th), Rollie Fingers (44th), Chick Hafey (41st), Addie Joss (37th), and Dizzy Dean (34th).    We said before that all of those were marginal or poor selections, and this is still true.

 

            The other ranking suggested that Don Mattingly (300) was a better-qualified Hall of Fame Candidate than Darryl Strawberry (285).   This method has Strawberry ahead of Mattingly, 289-275.    You might not agree with these rankings.   I might not agree with them, either.   That’s OK; we are not slaves to the data.  You and I know many things which are not embedded in the data.    We don’t need or want to set those things aside from the debate.

 

 

            While I was doing that, I also wanted to do a few other rankings, just more or less for fun.   First is a ranking of the 50 best seasons by any player in this group, ranked by Fibonacci Win Points, based on their Win Shares and Loss Shares in the seasons in question.   These are the top 50:

 

 

1.  Joe DiMaggio, 1939 (29+6). 

            Joe DiMaggio played only 120 games in 1939, due to an injury.   It is, other than that, a quite remarkable season.   In about the same number of at bats that Ted Williams had in 1941, DMaggio hit .381.   True, it’s not .400, but. . .it’s pretty close to .400.   The difference between DiMaggio in ’39 and Williams in ’41 is just 11, 12 hits.   Each player hit 30 to 40 doubles and 30 to 40 homers.   DiMaggio drove in a few more runs (126-120) and struck out a little bit less (20-27). 

            I will grant you that Williams’ numbers in ’41 are better, at least without context, than DiMaggio in ’39, but DiMaggio’s number in 1939 are still staggering—and then, there is Joe D’s defense in center field, for a team that lost Gehrig early in the season and still managed to win 106 games.

 

2.  Shoeless Joe, 1911 (32+3)

            Jackson did hit .400.

 

3.  Joe DiMaggio, 1941 (32+4)

            DiMaggio plucked the MVP Award from the last .400 hitter in a selection that is still controversial, and, as Williams is not a party to this ranking, I can’t tell you how I’d see it.   But DiMaggio’s season is still tremendously impressive.

 

4.   Unshod Joe Jackson, 1913 (32+3)

 

5.  Frank Chance, 1911 (31+2)

            Numbers don’t look that good, but he had a .419 on-base percentage in a league with a 2.62 ERA.   It’s a lot of runs relative to context.

 

6.   Shoeless Joe Jackson, 1912 (32+1)

            Hit .395. 

 

7.  Jackie Robinson, 1951 (30+2)

            A season with a wide array of positive--.338 average, 19 homers, 79 walks, 27 stolen bases, defensive contribution scored at 7-0.

 

8.  Dick Allen, 1972 (30+2)

            Made a run at the Triple Crown. 

 

9.   Smokey Joe Wood, 1912  (36 – 5)

            34 wins, 5 losses, 1.91 ERA, famous duel with Walter Johnson.

 

10.  Babe Herman, 1930  (31 – 1)

            .393 average, 35 homers, 130 RBI. 

 

11.  Joe DiMaggio, 1937 (31 – 2)

            Career highs of 46 homers, 167 RBI.

 

12.  Charlie Keller, 1942 (30 - 1)

            108 RBI and 100+ walks in a low-run context.   Finished 16th in the MVP voting, won by player ranking 32nd on this list. 

 

13.  Charlie Keller, 1943 (29 - 1)

            Essentially the same season.   Moved up to 14th in the voting.

 

14.  Ross Youngs, 1920 (31 -  3)

            .351 average.   Lively ball era hadn’t really hit the National League yet. 

 

15.   Ron Guidry, 1978 (30 – 2)

            25-3 actual won-lost record, 1.74 ERA.

 

16.  Dick Allen, 1964 (30 – 3)

            Not a bad rookie season, although it ended badly.

 

17.   Wally Berger, 1933 (29 – 1)

            Chuck Klein led the National League in homers (28), RBI (120), Total Bases (365), Runs Created (138) and Slugging Percentage (.602).   Berger was second in all of those categories, with 27 homers, 106 RBI, 299 Total Bases, 111 Runs Created, and a .566 Slugging Percentage.   But Klein was playing in a park with a Run Index of 153.   Berger was playing in a park with a Run Index of 86.

 

18.  Shoeless Joe, 1920 (30 – 2)

            .382 average, 121 RBI before being banned from baseball late in the season.

 

19.  Sandy Koufax, 1965 (36 – 10)

            Actual record of 26-8, 382 strikeouts.  

 

20.   Hank Greenberg, 1935 (30 – 3)

            170 RBI.  

 

21.  Dizzy Dean, 1934 (33 – 7)

            The last 30-game winner in the National League.

 

22.  Roger Maris, 1961 (30 – 4)

            Hit a few homers.

 

23.  Ross Youngs, 1924 (27 – 1)

            Had a .441 on base percentage.

 

24.   Charlie Keller, 1946 (29 – 3)

            Same stats as always, once more finished 16th in the MVP voting. 

 

25.  Ralph Kiner, 1949 (28 – 2)

            .310 with 54 homers.

 

26.   Larry Doby, 1952 (27 – 2)

            Good defense, league-leading OPS in a pitcher’s park.

 

27.  Darryl Strawberry, 1988 (29 – 3)

            39 homers, .911 OPS. 

 

28.  Sandy Koufax, 1966 (34 – 9)

            Retired after posting 27-9 record, 1.73 ERA.

 

29.  Shoeless Fella, 1916  (30 – 5)

            Had several good years.

 

30.  Frank Chance, 1905 (25 + 1)

            .450 on base percentage probably helped the team a little. 

 

31.  Hank Greenberg, 1938 (28 – 3)

            58 homers with .315 average.

 

32.  Joe Gordon, 1942 (28 – 3)

A great season; I probably would have voted for Keller.

 

33.  Albert Belle, 1995 (27 – 2)

            50 homers, 50 doubles in a strike-shortened season.  40 and 40 would have been incredible.

 

34.   Roy Campanella, 1951 (26 – 1)

            Won his first MVP Award.   Our system prefers Jackie, but Campy wasn’t bad, either. 

 

35.   Don Mattingly, 1986 (29 – 5)

            Hit .352 with 238 hits, 53 doubles, 31 homers.)

 

36.  Charlie Keller, 1941 (26 – 2)

            Finished 6th in the MVP voting, which I think was his career best.  

 

37.  Jackie Robinson, 1952 (26 – 2)

            Much like Jackie Robinson in 1951.

 

38.  Frank Chance, 1903 (25 – 1)

            Are we repeating ourselves?

 

39.   Dick Allen, 1966 (26 – 1)

            Career-high 40 homers.

 

40.  Joe DiMaggio, 1940 (25 – 1)

            Hit .352 and drove in 133 runs, but the Yankees failed to win. 

 

41.   Joe DiMaggio, 1942 (29 – 6)

 

42.   Jackie Robinson, 1949 (28 – 4)

            This was the one year he did win the MVP Award.  

 

43.  Joe DiMaggio, 1948 (28 – 5)

            Drove in 155 runs. 

 

44.  Dolph Camilli, 1941 (26 – 3)

            Camilli won the MVP Award which, in legend, has been transferred to his teammate Pete Reiser.   Reiser was pretty good, too; don’t know for sure how he would compare to Camilli.

 

45.  Roger Maris, 1960 (25 - 2)

 

46.   Larry Doby, 1951 (24 – 1)

            Perhaps the most impressive 69-RBI season ever for an outfielder.

 

47.  Sandy Koufax, 1963 (32 – 10)

            Sandy’s first great season and his only MVP season.   I have in the past propounded the theory that when a player performs at the same level year-in and year-out, the MVP voters take him for granted—for example, Koufax in 1963, 1965, 1966.   The Dodgers won the pennant all three seasons; Koufax was Koufax all three seasons.   But only the first one won an MVP Award; after that it was kind of expected of him.

 

48.  Bobby Shantz, 1952 (29 – 6)

            Actual MVP.

 

49.  Larry Doby, 1950  (25 -2) 

            .326 average, 102 RBI. 

 

50.  Don Mattingly, 1985 (28 – 6)

            Career high 145 RBI. 

 

 

            This is how good this group of players is:  There are ten MVP seasons in this study which didn’t rank among the top 50 seasons in the study.  

 

Johnny Evers, 1914                  22-9

Mickey Cochrane, 1928           20-9

Mickey Cochrane, 1934           19-5

Hank Greenberg, 1940 26-5

Spud Chandler, 1943               25-4

Joe DiMaggio, 1947                 25-3

Phil Rizzuto, 1950                     27-6

Roy Campanella, 1953 25-2

Roy Campanella, 1955 21-4

Don Newcombe, 1956 26-9

 

 

            OK, one more phase to this project.  This is really silly; I confess freely that it is really silly, it doesn’t mean anything, but I just like to organize these kind of competitions in my head and see where they go, so if you want to follow along, follow along, and if you want to have a life, well, Be That Way, see if I care.

            The other thing that I wanted to do is to compare these 71 short-career players by age; who was the best player in this group at age 23, at age 24, etc.?   I made up a top ten list at each age, and then I credited “points” for being on the list, 10 points for first, 9 points for second, etc. etc.   The only thing was that this would have given Johnny Evers ten points for playing in one game when he was 47 years old and Smokey Joe Wood 9 points for pitching a couple of games when he was 18 years old, so I made a special rule that the “points” awarded for age-group leadership could not exceed you Fibonacci Win Value for the season.   These are the leaders—and again, I emphasize that these players here are not competing with Mickey Mantle or Babe Ruth or Barry Bonds.   They are “only” competing with one another:

 

Age 18:

            1.  Freddie Lindstrom, 1924, .253 average, 4 RBI, unfortunate post-season.

            2.  Smokey Joe Wood, 1908, 1-1 record, 2.38 ERA.

            3.  Shoeless Joe Jackson, 1908, .130 average in 5 games.

 

Age 19:

            1.  Joe Wood, 1909, 11-7, 2.18 ERA.

            2.  Tony Conigliaro, 1964, 24 homers, .290 average.

            3.  Freddie Lindstrom, 1925, .287 average, 33 RBI.

 

Age 20:

            1.  Fred Lindstrom, 1926, .307 average, 76 RBI.

            2.  Tony Conigliaro, 1965, led American League in homers with 32.

            3.  Smokey Joe, 1910, 12-13 record but 1.68 ERA.

 

            At this point in the battle, Smokey Joe Wood and Tony Conigliaro are tied for first with 18 points apiece, Lindstrom has 13.

 

Age 21:

            1.  Shoeless Joe Jackson, 1911, .408 average.

            2.  Hal Trosky, 1934, 35 homers, 142 RBI.

            3.  Smokey Joe Wood, 1911, 23-17 record with 2.02 ERA.

            4.  Joe DiMaggio, 1936, 29 homers, 125 RBI, .323 average, 206 hits.

            5.  Ross Youngs, 1918, .318 average.

            6.  Darryl Strawberry, 1983, 26 homers.

 

Age 22:

            1.  Shoeless Joe Jackson, 1912, .395 average.

            2.  Smokey Joe Wood, 1912, 34-5.

            3.   Joe DiMaggio, 1937, 167 RBI.

            4.  Dick Allen, 1964.

            5.  Charlie Keller, 1939, .334 average.

            6.  Freddie Lindstrom, 1928, .358, 107 RBI, 231 hits.

            7.  Ross Youngs, 1919.

            8.  Johnny Pesky, 1942.

            9.  Jim Ray Hart, 1964, 31 homers.

            10.  Herb Score, 1955, 16-10, 245 strikeouts.

 

Age 23:

            1.  Joe Jackson, 1913.   Average dropped to .373, but the league offense was down.

            2.  Ross Youngs, 1920.   .351 average.

            3.  Don Mattingly, 1984.   .343 with 23 homers, 110 RBI.

            4.  Dick Allen, 1965.  

            5.  Hank Greenberg, 1933.   .339 with 63 doubles, 139 RBI.   

            6.  Herb Score, 1956.   20-9, 263 strikeouts, 2.53 ERA.

            7.  Tony Oliva, 1964.   .323 with 43 doubles, 32 homers, 217 hits.

            8.  Darryl Strawberry, 1985.   .947 OPS.

            9.  Charlie Keller, 1940.

            10.  Joe DiMaggio, 1938.  Drove in 140 runs.

 

Age 24:

            1.  Joe DiMaggio, 1939.   .381 average.

            2.  Hank Greenberg, 1935.  170 RBI.

            3.  Dizzy Dean, 1934.   Thirty wins.

            4.  Charlie Keller, 1941.

            5.  Dick Allen, 1966.

            6.  Don Mattingly, 1985.

            7.  Ralph Kiner, 1947.  .313 average, 54 homers.

            8.  Tony Oliva, 1965.  Won pennant and batting title; lost MVP award to Zoilo.

            9.  Joe Gordon, 1939.   .284 with 28 homers, 111 RBI.

            10.  Phil Rizzuto, 1942.

 

Age 25:

            1.  Charlie Keller, 1942.

            2.  Don Mattingly, 1986.  Both Mattingly and DiMaggio hit .352 with 31 homers.

            3.  Frank Chance, 1903.

            4.  Joe DiMaggio, 1940.

            5.  Roger Maris, 1960.   The prequel.

            6.  Nomar Garciaparra, 1999.   .357 average.

            7.  Jim Maloney, 1965.  20-9, 2.54 ERA, 244 strikeouts.

            8.  Darryl Strawberry, 1987.  39 bombs.

            9.  Dick Allen, 1967.   The season only looks bad by comparison.

            10.  Jacques Fournier, 1915. 

 

            At this point in the battle, despite a “down” year at age 25, Joe Jackson is in first place with 37 points, followed by Smokey Joe Wood with 35, Joe DiMaggio with 33, Charlie Keller with 25, Ross Youngs with 23, Don Mattingly and Dick Allen, tied with 22, Freddie Lindstrom with 21 and Tony Conigliaro with 20.   Conigliaro drove in 116 runs at age 25, but failed to make the list above, and that of course was his last good season. 

 

Age 26:

            1.  Joe DiMaggio, 1941.   56 straight.

            2.  Charlie Keller, 1943.

            3.  Roger Maris, 1961.   61*.

            4.  Ralph Kiner, 1949.   51 homers.

            5.  Darryl Strawberry, 1988.  39 more bombs.

            6.  Shoeless Joe, 1916.  

            7.  Bobby Shantz, 1952.

            8.   Larry Doby, 1950.

            9.  Nomah, 2000.   .372 average, 21 homers.

            10.  Hank Greenberg, 1937.   183 RBI.

 

Age 27:

            1.  Babe Herman, 1930. 

            2.  Ron Guidry, 1978.

            3.  Wally Berger, 1933.

            4.  Ross Youngs, 1924.

            5.  Frank Chance, 1905.

            6.  Hank Greenberg, 1938.  58 homers.

            7.  Joe Gordon, 1942.   MVP.

            8.   Joe DiMaggio, 1942.

            9.  Larry Doby, 1951.

            10.  Sandy Koufax, 1963.   25-5, MVP.

 

Age 28:

            1.  Frank Chance, 1906.

            2.  Larry Doby, 1952.

            3.  Albert Belle, 1995.

            4.  Ralph Kiner, 1951.

            5.  Addie Joss, 1908.

            6.  Mickey Cochrane, 1931.

            7.  Joe Gordon, 1943.

            8.  Wally Berger, 1934.

            9.  Danny Tartabull, 1991.

            10.  Sandy Koufax, 1964.

 

Age 29:

            1.  Sandy Koufax, 1965.

            2.  Charlie Keller, 1946.

            3.  Roy Campanella, 1951.   MVP.

            4.  Shoeless Joe, 1919.

            5.  Frank Chance, 1907.

            6.  Hank Greenberg, 1940.  MVP.

            7.  Babe Herman, 1932.   .326 with 16 homers, 87 RBI.

            8.  Tony Oliva, 1970.   .325 with 23 homers, 107 RBI.

            9.  Albert Belle, 1996.  48 homers, 148 RBI.

            10.  Larry Doby, 1953.

 

Age 30:

            1.  Dick Allen, 1972.  His MVP season with the White Sox.

            2.  Shoeless Joe Jackson, 1920.  His last season.

            3.  Sandy Koufax, 1966.  Also his last season.

            4.  Jackie Robinson, 1949.   MVP.

            5.  Larry Doby, 1954. 

            6.  Dolph Camilli, 1937.    .339 average.

            7.  Rico Carty, 1970.   .366 average.

            8.  Don Newcombe, 1966.   MVP with 27 wins, wins the first Cy Young Award.

            9.  Johnny Evers, 1912.

            10.  Mickey Cochrane, 1933. 

           

            OK, at this point our leader in this greatest-player-in-the-group competition is Shoeless Joe Jackson, with 58 points.   DiMaggio has been in the Army for a couple of years and is stuck at 46 points, while Keller is back from the Army and in third place with 43, although Keller, like Joe Jackson, will never be able to earn any more.    Smokey Joe Wood, although he hasn’t earned a point in eight years, is still fourth at 35 points, followed by a tie between Frank Chance and Dick Allen, 32 points each.    Ross Youngs is not merely out of baseball but actually dead, in 7th place at 30 points.    Hank Greenberg is in a long holding pattern at 26 points, and Sandy Koufax has just retired with 23.    Don Mattingly is in tenth place with 22 points, but he also is done, although he remains active in theory for several more years.   That’s what makes this a short-career contest; those guys got hurt, and the other guys were late getting started.

 

Age 31:

            1.  Roy Campanella, 1953.   41 homers, 142 RBI, MVP Award.

            2.  Albert Belle, 1998.  48 doubles, 49 homers, 152 RBI.

            3.  Jackie Robinson, 1950.

            4.  Roy Thomas, 1905.

            5.  Kirby Puckett, 1992.  .329, 110 RBI.

            6.  Joe DiMaggio, 1946.

            7.  Riggs Stephenson, 1929.  .362.

            8.  Dolph Camilli, 1938.

            9.  Mickey Cochrane, 1934.   MVP.

            10.  Jacques Fournier, 1921.   .343 Average.

 

Age 32:

            1.  Jackie Robinson, 1951.

            2.  Joe DiMaggio, 1947.  MVP, although numbers were down.

            3.  Ken Williams, 1922.   39 homers, 37 steals, 155 RBI. 

            4.  Phil Rizzuto, 1950.   MVP.

            5.  Dolph Camilli, 1939.

            6.  Roy Thomas, 1906.

            7.  Mickey Cochrane, 1935.

            8.  Albert Belle, 1999.

            9.  Joe Gordon, 1947.  Now with Cleveland.

            10.   Johnny Evers, 1914.  MVP with Miracle Braves. 

 

Age 33:

            1.  Jackie Robinson, 1952.

            2.  Joe DiMaggio, 1948.   39 homers, 155 RBI.

            3.  Ken Williams, 1923.  .357 average.

            4.  Jacques Fournier, 1923.  .351 average, 102 RBI.

            5.  Roy Campanella, 1955.   His last MVP season.

            6.  Don Newcombe, 1959.  13-8 record, but also good pinch hitter.

            7.  Dolph Camilli, 1940.

            8.  Joe Gordon, 1948.  Had his best numbers, and the Indians won it all.

            9.  Sal Maglie, 1950.   18-4 record in first real season.

            10.  Roy Thomas, 1907. 

 

Age 34:

            1.  Dolph Camilli, 1941.   MVP.

            2.  Jacques Fournier, 1924.  .334, 116 RBI.

            3.  Thornton Lee, 1941.   22-11, 2.37 ERA.

            4.  Sal Maglie, 1951.   23-6, 2.93 ERA.

            5.  Jackie Robinson, 1953.

            6.  Joe DiMaggio, 1949.   67 RBI in half a season.

            7.  Rollie Fingers, 1981.   MVP.

            8.  Spud Chandler, 1942.   16-5 record, 2.37 ERA.

            9.  Steve Gromek, 1952.  18-16 record, 2.74 ERA.

            10.  Roy Thomas, 1908.

 

Age 35:

            1.  Hank Greenberg, 1946.   Returned with a vengeance, but his last good year.

            2.  Spud Chandler, 1943.   MVP.

            3.  Dolph Camilli, 1942.

            4.  Jacques Fournier, 1925.   .350 with 130 RBI.

            5.  Joe DiMaggio, 1950.

            6.  Phil Rizzuto, 1953.

            7.  Riggs Stephenson, 1933.   .329 average, only 51 RBI.

            8.  Jackie Robinson, 1954.  .311 with 15 homers.

            9.  Allie Reynolds, 1950.   16-12.

            10.  Sal Maglie, 1952.   18-8. 

 

            OK, through the age of 35 DiMaggio has taken a commanding lead with 80 points.   Our group is fading fast now, and will continue to do so as we look at the higher ages.  Part-time players are now showing up on our leader lists.   Joe Jackson is now in second place with 58 points, while Jackie Robinson, with a series of outstanding seasons, has jumped to third place with 44.   Keller has 43.   Hank Greenberg and Dolph Camilli are tied for 5th at 36 points, Joe Wood is now 7th with 35; hasn’t scored a point in thirteen years.   Frank Chance and Dick Allen are tied for 8th with 32, and Ross Youngs is tenth with 30.

 

Age 36:

            1.  Rico Carty.   .310 with 83 RBI.

            2.  Hank Greenberg.   25 homers, 74 RBI with the Pirates.

            3.  Allie Reynolds, 1951.   17-8.

            4.  Joe DiMaggio, 1951.   .263 with 12 homers, 71 RBI.

            5.  Rollie Fingers, 1983.   1.96 ERA, 23 saves.   Woo-woo; 23 saves.

            6.  Jackie Robinson, 1955.   .256 as part-time player.

            7.  Dolph Camilli, 1943.   .246.

            8.  Bobby Shantz, 1962.  2.18 ERA in the bullpen.

            9.   Darryl Strawberry, 1998.   24 homers in a comeback season.

            10.  Jacques Fournier, 1926.

 

Age 37:

            1.   Allie Reynolds, 1952.   20-8, 2.07 ERA.

            2.  Sal Maglie, 1954.   14-6.

            3.  Jackie Robinson, 1956.  Retired after season.

            4.  Bobby Shantz, 1963.   2.62 ERA in the bullpen.

            5.  Ken Williams, 1927.   .327 with 17 homers.

            6.  Rico Carty, 1977.   .280 with 80 RBI.

            7.  Darryl Strawberry, 1999.  .327 in 49 at bats.

            8.  Jacques Fournier, 1927.

            9.  Phil Rizzuto, 1955.

            10.  Bob Veale, 1973.   11 Saves.

 

Age 38:

            1.  Spud Chandler, 1946.   20-8, 2.10 ERA.

            2.  Thornton Lee, 1945.   15-12, 2.45 ERA.

            3.  Rico Carty, 1978.  31 homers, 99 RBI as a DH.

            4.  Allie Reynolds, 1953.   13-7, 3.41 ERA.

            5.  Johnny Murphy, 1947.   2.78 ERA, 9 Saves.

            6.  Sal Maglie, 1955.

            7.  Ken Williams, 1928.  .303 as part-time player.

            8.  Bobby Shantz, 1964.

 

Age 39:

            1.  Sal Maglie, 1956.  8-6, 2.69 ERA.

 

            Maglie is the only player in this group worthy of a point at age 39, and no one in the group scores at age 40 or above.   These are the final standings in the year-by-year best-ball tournament:

 

Joe DiMaggio

87

Shoeless Joe Jackson

58

Jackie Robinson

57

Hank Greenberg

45

Sal Maglie

44

Charlie Keller

43

Dolph Camilli

40

Smokey Joe Wood

35

Allie Reynolds

35

Dick Allen

32

Frank Chance

32

 

 

            So DiMaggio ranks first no matter how we rank these guys.   This complete the series of articles about the Short Career players.  Thank you for reading, and thank you all for the varied and intelligent comments that you have posted.

 
 

COMMENTS (10 Comments, most recent shown first)

jkberts1
I think that you have an awesome system, backed up with the data. Great job, keep up the good work !!!
2:22 PM Jun 15th
 
doncoffin
You commented that Keller's 1941 had him 6th in the MVP voting, and was his best finish ever. Baseball Refernece has him 5th in '41. 22nd in 1939, 14th in '42, 13th in '44, and 15th in '46, his last full-time season. He only had 6 full-time seasons (counting his 101 gamesin 1939 as FT) and finished in the top 15 in what passed for MVP voting then 4 times...not too shabby...and in his other FT season (1940) his OPS was only .919 (OPS+ of 141), and he managed to get no MVP votes...
12:24 AM Apr 28th
 
evanecurb
Vic Fibonacci, P, StL Browns, 1935-1942: 34-62, 182 G, 975 IP, 5.28 ERA

Not much of a pitcher on the surface, but pitched in a hitters' park in a hitters' league, for a poor defensive team, so actually had a win shares record of 58-59, and was the only player with actual Fibonacci Win Points.
10:18 AM Apr 13th
 
elricsi
I love Fibonacci Win Points. I have been playing around with them in my own spreadsheets for years and was wondering why Bill ever stopped using them.
3:08 PM Apr 12th
 
rgregory1956
Hey Bill et al, if either 300 Win Shares or a plus 100 Win Shares minus Loss Shares is a viable HOFer (or at least , well qualified for enshrinement), a player with exactly 300 Win Shares and 200 Loss Shares (meeting your minimum standards) would have 280 Fibonacci Points. Seems pretty reasonable to me. Over 325 Fibonacci Points looks like a "sure" HOFer, provided there's no albatross flying over their head, dropping steroids or gamblers on their heads. Less than 235 Fibonacci Points is a marginal candidate, unless he has some other positives that can be assessed, like Campanella or Rizzuto. Between 235 and 325 points, looks like we can still have some debate on whether they are viable or not.
1:49 PM Apr 12th
 
rangerforlife
Trailbzr,

It looks like just a mistake in the ranking. The method works just fine outside of [0,1] - I've used it myself.
1:06 PM Apr 12th
 
CharlesSaeger
Bill, you give periodic notes of the age-based rankings as you go forward in age. How do the rankings progress as you go backwards? This might be fun to see the ex-Negro Leaguers.
12:39 PM Apr 12th
 
glkanter
Enjoyed every word of the whole series.

So, Bill, you've gone this far, based on all this analysis, who would you take out of the HOF, and who would you enshrine?

Me? I think the arguable guys are still arguable, and that my comments/opinions on Koufax, Oliva, and Mattingly and their membership hold up to scrutiny. I'm floored by Dick Allen's results. I've followed him for a long time, and never really considered him HOF-worthy, although I did not consider him a bad guy. Just misunderstood.

Thanks!
12:04 PM Apr 12th
 
Trailbzr
This method might work better for pitching records that are strictly limited to the interval [.000-1.000] than for hitters who can win more games than they "play." It's a little hard to see why 31+2 is better than 32+1, for example.

11:53 AM Apr 12th
 
taosjohn
The Fibonacci rankings here make a pretty eloquent case for W/L Shares, at least to me. Other than Nomah being ahead of Rizzuto and Campy, and maybe Score and Fletcher seeming a little too low, the rest of it seems pretty right on... more than passes the smell test.

I do have to accept that Tinker, Evers and Chance are revealed for the players they were, where the short seasons and low run environment made it hard to see even for those of us who knew those things were creating illusions; but I find that easy to believe.

11:45 AM Apr 12th
 
 
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