Thursday, December 29, 2005

More on the Hall of Fame

On the other HoF thread, someone asked who will be the first DoG player enshrined. I said it was Mooney, if for no other reason than he's so much older than the rest of us.

But he will be one of the "inner-circle" members of the Hall. Bill James, the baseball stat guy/writer/Red Sox employee, has studied baseball's Hall of Fame a lot, and we've drawn from his insights in crafting ultimate's Hall (disclaimer: I'm currently on the HoF Committee). One of the ideas concerns "peak" and "career" value.

Sandy Koufax is the classic example of a "peak" HoFer, someone with a short career (just 12 years in the majors, only six of them as above-average) but at such a brilliant high that you can't ignore him. Eddie Murray is a good example of "career", as he almost never led the league in anything but was pretty damn good for a pretty damn long time.

Well, Mooney is one of the tops in ultimate for both peak and career. His career value easily outdistances the rest of the field, even Kenny Dobyns, the only other player in the discussion when you combine your "peak" and "career" top 10 lists into "best player ever." (I write this only because I know neither of them will ever read this.)

It will be interesting to see how DoG and NYNY populate the Hall over the years. It will be a few more years until most of the core of those teams become eligible. As a rough guess, each team will probably have about five HoFers and another five guys who belong in the Hall of Very Good, guys who were either one of the very best for a short time or guys who were consistently excellent but never one of the elite of the elite. But these numbers really depend on how the Hall plays out.

A maximum of 5 players and contributors can be elected per year. There is currently a backlog of Hall-worthy players, so you'd expect that there'd be five new inductees each year, but it's possible that qualified candidates will split the vote and thus only three or four will be inducted. (There is a multi-step process to make sure that this isn't too much of a problem.) I'll guess without calculating that it will take 10-15 years for the Hall to be really current, such that the leading candidates in any given year will be those who just hit the minimum age (48 for men/45 for women this year, moving down to 43/40 by 2010).

It's an unfortunate reality that some of the early greats will probably not make it because of the dense field.


Anonymous said...

Jim, I play Ultimate in St. Louis with a bunch of the old Tuna's guys (Doug Parish, Tim Dougan, Mark Houska, to name a few). I wonder was wondering if you could comment on them, and where they stand in this hall of fame sort of stuff? Thanks, George, Wash. U. in St. Louis, Contra #9

dix said...

Jim, who do you think the other 4 or 5 DoG and NY players will be? I'll take a stab at Mooney, yourself, Seeger, Greff and Billy Rodriquez (DoG and NY). For NY I'd guess Dobyns, Pat King, Danny Weiss (NY and Flying Circus), maybe Skip, maybe Gewirtz. Any pre DoG Boston players besides Mooney and Seeger? Nick Donahue maybe?

parinella said...

I am not really able to comment on any of the older guys, as that might reveal things that should be kept private. Anything I say here is just speculation from one guy who has played for a long time. This year's inductees and some of the other guys drawing support had their peaks in the late 70s/early 80s, before the Tunas were at the top. I'm sure they'll get their due.

Dix, that's about the list I had in mind. Gewirtz will be an interesting case. He's probably the best defender I've played against, but he was turnover prone, and had a bad reputation. It's impossible to say how the voters will weigh that in a few years. He strengthened his case by helping Seattle get to the bigtime, and possibly for adding another title with Furious.

Corey said...

C'mon jim, you think JG should get in just for being a good defender? I thought you said defense was meaningless.

Anonymous said...

Dix- really, Jim should be in the hall? Just like that? Knowing what you know about him, and all the things most others don't, you'll still put him in there. Jim is clearly the best self-promotoer in the game, and may even sit on a few committees, but I have some reservations. Does the hall have a section for front-office personnel or media, that could work.
dick (too lazy too register).

parinella said...

As I said somewhere else, we (pre-DoG) actually changed our offensive scheme because of Gewirtz, something that we've never done for anyone else. He wouldn't get in for being a _good_ defender, or even a great defender, but as one of the best of all time, and on winners wherever he went. Holding him back would be his reputation as a bad guy on the field and his turnovers. It will really be up to the Hall when it's his time.

Dick, others are slowly finding out I'm not the nice guy I appear to be, if that's what you mean. My off-field contributions really should have no bearing on whether I'm Hall-worthy as a Player or not, although I could imagine it being used as a tie-breaker on someone's ballot. There is also a Contributor category, but I would expect that I'm well short of being worthy there, certainly in comparison to the people who have been elected so far.