Two of my favorite features we’ve added since launching the Hall of Stats were positional rankings and overall player rankings (not to mention the fact that we open sourced the code and the data). Today, I’m pleased to give you another update I’m thrilled about.
I love talking about baseball history and the Hall of Fame. One of the greatest sports debates is whether or not a player should be in the Hall of Fame. And that’s the great debate that the Hall of Stats was founded on.
But there are other great baseball debates. I recently realized that we’re rolling out features to address many of my favorites.
Best third baseman ever? Ten best catchers ever? For your positional debates, we have the positional rankings.
And how about the best players in Tigers history? The Houston Astros all time team? Best catcher the Pirates have ever had? That’s where the franchise pages come in.
Each franchise page lists the Top 200 players for that franchise, by Hall Rating accumulated with that team. Each list is filterable by position. You can also filter by Hall of Fame or Hall of Stats members who spent any time with the franchise.
Current and Defunct Franchises
Of course, franchise pages are available for all thirty big league teams. But we didn’t stop there. All 120 Major League franchises in history (from 1871 to today) have pages—from the Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs, and Phillies to the Providence Grays and Baltimore Marylands of the National Association (who went 0–6 in their brief existence).
If a team is moved or renamed, it is still technically the same franchise. So, you will see Boston Braves and Milwaukee Braves numbers mixed in with the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Browns alongside the Baltimore Orioles. You will also see several Washington Nationals teams because the name was reused often (in addition to the current franchise, there’s one that played just 11 games in 1872, another only active in 1875, a Union Association team that played in 1884, and one that lasted four years in the NL from 1886–1889).
All Time Teams
Every franchise page includes an All Time Team. This team includes the best players at each position, again based on their Hall Rating with the team. There is also a seven-man bench (made up of the seven best non-pitchers left) and a nine-man bullpen (made of the next-best pitchers).
Because all of this is automated, there are bound to be some quirks. Like:
- The two best Red Sox players are Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski. Both are left fielders. As a result, Yaz ends up on the bench where I may have slid him to first base (though Jimmie Foxx was no slouch). Similarly, the top two Padres (Tony Gwynn and Dave Winfield) are both right fielders while two of the best Braves played third (Eddie Mathews and Chipper Jones).
- Graig Nettles is the Yankees third baseman over Alex Rodriguez, even though A-Rod’s Hall Rating with the team is higher. Why? A-Rod is still considered a shortstop primarily, as he’s played 110 more games there than third base. Therefore, he ranks behind Derek Jeter. After A-Rod’s games at third pass his games at short, he’ll take the third base spot from Nettles.
- Some teams don’t have a representative at each position. This can happen when nobody on the team has that position as their primary position—which can happen a lot with short-term franchises, perhaps most notably the Boston Red Stockings of the National Association. Deacon White caught nearly every game for them, but his primary position (for his career) was third base. That leaves the catching spot vacant.
A side product of this update is a new addition to the player pages. Now we list the player’s contribution to each team he played for (by Hall Rating) as well as his overall ranking with that franchise.
- Babe Ruth had a Hall Rating of 402. He played for three different franchises. 86 of his Hall Rating “points” came with the Red Sox, ranking him 11th in franchise history. His Hall Rating just with the Yankees was 319, placing him first. Lastly, his 0 Hall Rating in that final season with the Braves ranks him 819th.
- Barry Bonds rated as a Hall of Famer before he even left Pittsburgh, putting up a 109 Hall Rating before departing (6th among Pirates). He then added a Hall Rating of 255 in San Francisco (2nd).
Also, on player pages we’ve added the team abbreviation to each row if the the single season table. In the event that a player appeared on multiple teams in one season, you can click to expand and see the contribution to each team.
A Long Time Coming
Last year, at the very first Baseball Hack Day, Hall of Stats co-creator Jeffrey Chupp and I built a Red Sox Hall of wWAR. It was based on the Hall of wWAR (the precursor to the Hall of Stats). The Red Sox Hall of wWAR re-populated the Red Sox Hall of Fame based on the wWAR players accumulated just for Boston.
Ever since we did that, I’ve been wondering how we could do something similar for every team. Of course, only some teams have their own Halls of Fame and the populations vary widely. Recently, Michael Berkowitz (another Hall of Stats co-founder and the brains behind most of our post-launch features) suggested we take a similar approach we took with the Positional Rankings. It was perfect. We can name an All-Time Team for every franchise that way. And for the teams who actually have established Halls of Fame, you can simply repopulate by taking the top players on the rankings list.
I secretly pushed a simplified version of this feature a couple weeks ago and I’ve been using it like crazy. To launch this update the right way, I needed to recreate all of my data from the original sources. As a result, there was only a bit of change, for the most part from better rounding. As a result, the tenuous Hall of Stats borderline had one swap, as two players separated by about 0.1 Hall Rating traded places. Nap Rucker is out and Jimmy Collins is in. I don’t worry too much about changes like these at the bottom. The Hall of Stats has a very large borderline and it’s not like a tenth of a Hall Rating point is anything of significance.
I hope you like it. Thanks so much to Michael for kicking so much ass on this feature.