Darowski: Bad Bill Dahlen and the Hall of Fame's pre-integration ballot
From Adam Darowski at Beyond the Box Score on November 14, 2012:
Nothing can get me out of blogging hibernation like a fresh new Hall of Fame ballot. While the 2013 BBWAA ballot isn't out yet, we do have the Pre-Integration Era Veterans Committee ballot to discuss.
The "Pre-Integration" part, of course, means that only players and personnel active before 1947 are considered. Ten names appear on this ballot. Three are from the "pioneer/executive" category and one is an umpire. I'm not very concerned with those four (though I do wonder how Jacob Ruppert isn't in Cooperstown yet). What I care about is the six players.
For this article, I'm consulting my most recent project—The Hall of Stats (Bryan recently wrote about it). I've spent a lot of time thinking about Pre-Integration players who are deserving of induction. Some made it to the ballot. Others did not. Below, I'll share the three players I believe should be inducted this year. I'll also cover the rest of the ballot and deserving players who did not make the ballot.
WAR loves Bill Dahlen. Dahlen ranks 75th among all players (includes pitchers) in WAR. He's 47th among position players. Basically, if you even remotely believe in the concept of WAR, Bill Dahlen is a slam dunk Hall of Famer.
In terms of Hall Rating (which I use at the Hall of Stats—it's based on WAR and Wins Above Average), Dahlen is seventh among Hall-eligible shortstops (with four more very close behind him). His Hall Rating is 143 where 100 is the Hall-worthy borderline. For comparison, Honus Wagner is a 283, Ozzie Smith is a 146, Pee Wee Reese is a 119, Joe Tinker is a 102, and Rabbit Maranville is a 71.
Dahlen, who was selected as SABR's Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legend for 2012, wasn't a dominating hitter. His 110 OPS+ is derived from a .272/.358/.382 slash line. He collected 2461 hits, but it took him 21 years. That said, he was still an above average hitter for a very long time. He has always had a reputation as a fantastic defensive player and his +139 Total Zone runs confirm it. Add in is +145 positional runs and his WAR adds up quickly.
This page was last updated November 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm MST.