Pete Palmer’s AllTime AllStar Team, 1969
(Posted by Cyril Morong)
(Pete Palmer is the author of The Hidden Game of Baseball and Total Baseball (which became the official encyclopedia of baseball). He submitted this article to The Sporting News in 1969 but it was not published. It uses the type of player evaluation methods he used later in his books)
As professional baseball enters its second century, it would be interesting to try to rank the greatest players from the first century. Comparison between players of the dead ball and lively ball eras, or between homerun sluggers and highaverage hitters is not easy with presently used yardsticks. However, if one could relate player performance to the number of wins for the team each season, a more constant measure should be available.
Analyzing the runs for and against figures for each team each year shows that for every ten runs scored more than allowed, a team will win about one more game. That is, a team that outscores its opposition by 100 runs in 162 games will win about ten games more than half or 91 games. This figure varies somewhat with total runs scored plus al1owed, as more runs are needed for each win with highscoring teams. Wins can be verified within about three a year for each club using this relationship.
The next step is to relate individual performance to runs scored or allowed for the team. The method presented will give ratings for runs more or less than average, so that an average player will have a rating of zero. A team composed of all average players would have a zero rating (runs scored equals runs allowed) and should win exactly half its games.
The details of this method are exp1ained at the conclusion of this article. In brief, pitchers and hitters are related to average league performance for each season. For pitchers, earned runs are used, while for hitters, a combination of hits, extra base hits, walks, and outs is employed. Stolen bases are not used, as caught stealing records are incomplete.
The table presents the top forty hitters and top twenty pitchers since 1900. Pre1900 play is included for Wagner. Lajoie. Crawford. Flick, and Young. The number listed for each player is the deduced number of wins contributed by the player above average performance. That is, Ruth was responsible for his team winning 124 ball games more than with an average player in his place. Bases on balls figures were gathered for the oldtimers by John Tattersall. Incomplete records in the 1890's did not allow ratings to be established for players of that period, although approximate figures are as follows:
HITTERS 


PITCHERS 

Ed Delahanty 
45 

Kid Nichols 
45 
Billy Hamilton 
45 

Clark Griffith 
33 
Jesse Burkett 
40 

Amos Rusie 
30 
Willie Keeler 
40 



Players previous to 1890 were not rated. The rules of the game were quite different then, and statistics are lacking.
Since the topforty list shows many outfielders and firstbaseman, the top six hitters at the other positions are presented.
SECOND BASE 


SHORTSTOP 

Rogers Hornsby 
82.7 

Hans Wagner 
70.8 
Nap Lajoie 
65.5 

Arky Vaughan 
36.9 
Eddie Collins 
64.4 

Ernie Banks 
30.7 
Charley Gehringer 
34.5 

Joe Cronin 
23.3 
Jackie Robinson 
27.2 

Luke Appling 
19.8 
Larry Doyle 
25.5 

Vern Stephens 
19.3 
THIRD BASE 


CATCHER 

Eddie Mathews 
50.0 

Mickey Cochran 
25.1 
Frank Baker 
28.4 

Gabby Hartnett 
23.9 
Ron Santo 
27.0 

Yogi Berra 
20.8 
Stan Hack 
25.6 

Bill Dickey 
20.4 
Bob Elliott 
25.4 

Ernie Lombardi 
18.4 
Richie Allen 
24.4 

Roy Campanella 
16.4 
It is possible to estimate ratings for seasons missed due to military service. Here, the average of the two seasons before and two seasons after service is used. The rankings would be amended as follows (old rating in parentheses).
HITTERS 


PITCHERS 

1. Ted Williams 
153.0 (2) 

4. Pete Alexander 
59.4 (4) 
4. Stan Musial 
104.6 (4) 

5. Bob Feller 
59.3 (9) 
6. Willie Mays 
84.1 (9) 

6. Warren Spahn 
53.0 (5) 
15. Johnny Mize 
65.4 (18) 

7. Whitey Ford 
46.2 (8) 
17. Hank Greenberg 
64.2 (25) 

10. Ted Lyons 
36.9 (10) 
19. Joe DiMaggio 
60.8 (20) 

20. Red Ruffing 
29.3 () 
25. Ralph Kiner 
44.9 (28) 



27. Enos Slaughter 
40.3 (40) 



34. Charley Keller 
34.4 () 



HITTERS 


PITCHERS 

1. Babe Ruth 
124.0 

1. Walter Johnson 
75.4 
2. Ted Williams 
115.2 

2. Cy Young 
69.5 
3. Ty Cobb 
107.9 

3. Lefty Grove 
62.6 
4. Stan Musial 
98.7 

4. Pete Alexander 
54.7 
5. Tris Speaker 
85.6 

5. Warren Spahn 
48.8 
6. Lou Gehrig 
84.1 

6. Christy Mathewson 
45.2 
7. Rogers Hornsby 
82.7 

7. Carl Hubbell 
43.0 
8. Mickey Mantle 
82.3 

8. Whitey Ford 
42.6 
9. Wil1ie Mays 
77.3 

9. Bob Feller 
39.7 
10. Mel Ott 
76.5 

10. Ted Lyons 
33.0 
11. Jimmie Foxx 
74.6 

11. Lefty Gomez 
32.4 
12. Hans Wagner 
70.8 

12. Red Faber 
32.0 
13. Henry Aaron 
65.7 

12. Ed Walsh 
32.0 
14. Nap Lajoie 
65.5 

12. Hoyt Wilhelm 
32.0 
15. Eddie Collins 
64.4 

15. Eddie Plank 
31.5 
16. Frank Robinson 
61.4 

16. Dazzy Vance 
30.6 
17. Sam Crawford 
52.5 

17. Stan Coveleskie 
30.0 
18. Johnny Mize 
52.0 

17. Hal Newhouser 
30.0 
19. Eddie Mathews 
50.0 

19. Don Drysdale 
29.5 
20. Joe DiMaggio 
49.3 

20. Sandy Koufax 
29.1 
21. Harry Heilmann 
48.4 
22. Paul Waner 
47.3 
23. Joe Jackson 
45.5 
24. Al Kaline 
44.9 
25. Hank Greenberg 
44.0 
26. Duke Snider 
43.6 
27. Harmon Killebrew 
39.8 
28. Ralph Kiner 
39.5 
29. Arky Vaughan 
36.9 
30. Chuck Klein 
36.3 
31. Al Simmons 
35.9 
32. Bob Johnson 
35.8 
33. Charley Gehringer 
34.5 
34. Ducky Medwick 
34.1 
35. Sherry Magee 
33.1 
36. Dolph Camilli 
33.0 
36. Elmer Flick 
33.0 
38. Zach Wheat 
32.5 
39. Goose Goslin 
31.3 
40. Enos Slaughter 
30.8 
Using these ratings, the following alltime allstar teams can be developed:

MAJOR LEAGUES 

NATIONAL LEAGUE 

AMERICAN LEAGUE 
1b 
Stan Musial 

Stan Musial 

Lou Gehrig 
2b 
Rogers Hornsby 

Rogers Hornsby 

Eddie Collins 
3b 
Eddie Mathews 

Eddie Mathews 

Frank Baker 
ss 
Hans Wagner 

Hans Wagner 

Joe Cronin 
lf 
Ted Williams 

Hank Aaron 

Ted Williams 
cf 
Ty Cobb 

Willie Mays 

Ty Cobb 
rf 
Babe Ruth 

Mel Ott 

Babe Ruth 
c 
Mickey Cochrane 

Gabby Hartnett 

Mickey Cochrane 
p 
Walter Johnson 

Pete Alexander 

Walter Johnson 

Cy Young 

Warren Spahn 

Lefty Grove 

Lefty Grove 

Cy Young 

Whitey Ford 

Pete Alexander 

Christy Mathewson 

Bob Feller 






No allowance for fielding skills is made. It should be noted that Young and Lajoie performed for both leagues, so that their particular league performance is not as high as their record for both leagues.
The top individual performances are as follows:
HITTERS 


HITTERS 

AMERICAN LEAGUE 


NATIONAL LEAGUE 

1923 Babe Ruth 
11.1 

1924 Rogers Hornsby 
9.0 
1921 Babe Ruth 
10.5 

1948 Stan Musia1 
8.7 
1920 Babe Ruth 
10.5 

1922 Rogers Hornsby 
8.3 
1941 Ted Williams 
9.8 

1925 Rogers Hornsby 
7.9 
1946 Ted Williams 
9.8 

1908 Hans Wagner 
7.6 
1927 Babe Ruth 
9.4 

1946 Stan Musial 
7.3 
1926 Babe Ruth 
9.3 

1933 Chuck Klein 
7.2 
1942 Ted Williams 
9.3 

1928 Rogers Hornsby 
7.1 
1947 Ted Williams 
9.3 

1949 Stan Musial 
7.1 
1961 Norm Cash 
9.3 

1921 Rogers Hornsby 
7.0 



1951 Stan Musial 
7.0 



1951 Ralph Kiner 
7.0 



1935 Arky Vaughan 
7.0 
PITCHERS 


PITCHERS 

AMERICAN LEAGUE 


NATIONAL LEAGUE 

1931 Lefty Grove 
8.0 

1968 Bob Gibson 
8.6 
1913 Walter Johnson 
7.9 

1966 Sandy Koufax 
8.2 
1901 Cy Young 
7.7 

1915 Pete Alexander 
7.7 
1912 Walter Johnson 
7.5 

1933 Carl Hubbel1 
7.5 
1930 Lefty Grove 
7.5 

1953 Warren Spahn 
7.1 
It should be noted that twenty wins is usually enough to change a .500 club to a pennant winner, so that contributing ten wins is quite an achievement.

NATIONAL LEAGUE 


AMERICAN LEAGUE 

1b 
1939 Johnny Mize 
6.9 

1961 Norm Cash 
9.3 
2b 
1924 Rogers Hornsby 
9.0 

1910 Nap Lajoie 
7.6 
3b 
1964 Ron Santo 
6.3 

1953 Al Rosen 
6.4 
ss 
1908 Hans Wagner 
7.6 

1948 Lou Boudreau 
5.9 
lf 
1948 Stan Musial 
8.7 

1941 Ted Williams 
9.8 




1946 Ted Williams 
9.8 
cf 
1965 Willie Mays 
6.9 

1957 Mickey Mantle 
9.1 
rf 
1933 Chuck Klein 
7.2 

1923 Babe Ruth 
11.1 
c 
1951 Roy Campanella 
4.2 

1933 Mickey Cochrane 
3.9 
Alltime allstar teams for each club are listed next. The ratings are based on performance for that club only and no allowance for fielding is made. If fielding were considered, the following would probably replace those listed.
Reds ss McMillan over Cardenas
Giants 3b Thompson over Hart
Pirates 2b Mazeroski, with Grantham switching to
first base over Fletcher
Cardinals ss Marion over Hemus
White Sox 3b Kamm over Ward
Tigers ss Bush over Kuenn
Outfielders listed are the top three hitters, with the field assignments made to present the best defense. In most cases a bona fide centerfielder is shown.

Braves 
Dodgers 
Cubs 
Reds 
Giants 
Phils 
Pirates 
Cards 
1b 
Adcock 
Hodges 
Cavaretta 
Kluszewski 
Terry 
Camilli 
Fletcher 
Mize 
2b 
Hornsby 
Robinson 
Herman 
Rose 
Doyle 
Lajoie 
Grantham 
Hornsby 
3b 
Long 
Reese 
Santo 
Cardenas 
Davis 
Bartell 
Wagner 
Hemus 
ss 
Mathews 
Lavagetto 
Banks 
Groh 
Hart 
Allen 
Traynor 
Boyer 
lf 
Berger 
Wheat 
Williams 
Pinson 
Youngs 
Delahanty 
P.Waner 
Medwick 
cf 
Aaron 
Snider 
Wilson 
Roush 
Mays 
Magee 
Clemente 
Slaughter 
rf 
Holmes 
Walker 
Nicholson 
Robinson 
Ott 
Klein 
Kiner 
Musial 
c 
Torre 
Campanella 
Hartnett 
Lombardi 
Bresnahan 
Davis 
Burgess 
McCarver 

Spahn* 
Vance 
Brown 
Rixey* 
Mathewson 
Alexander 
Leever 
Gibson 

Nichols 
Drysdale 
Griffith 
Luque 
Hubbell* 
Roberts 
Cooper* 
Breechen* 

Buhl 
Koufax* 
Alexander 
Walters 
Rusie 
Bunning 
Phillippe 
Dean 

Burdett 
Rucker* 
Warneke 
Hahn* 
Marichal 
Simmons* 
Adams 
Lanier* 



(Vaughn*) 












Browns 
Senators 

Red Sox 
White Sox 
Indians 
Tigers 
Yankees 
Athletics 
Orioles 
Twins 
1b 
Foxx 
Bonura 
Trosky 
Greenberg 
Gehrig 
Foxx 
Sisler 
Killebrew 
2b 
Doerr 
Collins 
Lajoie 
Gehringer 
Lazzeri 
Collins 
Pratt 
Myer 
3b 
Cronin 
Appling 
Boudreau 
Kuenn 
Peckinpaugh 
Joost 
Stephens 
Cronin 
ss 
Collins 
Ward 
Rosen 
Kell 
Baker 
Baker 
Clift 
Yost 
lf 
Williams 
Jackson 
Jackson 
Cobb 
Mantle 
Valo 
Williams 
Goslin 
cf 
Speaker 
Felsch 
Speaker 
Kaline 
DiMaggio 
Simmons 
Jacobson 
Allison 
rf 
Yastrz'ski 
Minoso 
Averill 
Heilmann 
Ruth 
Johnson 
Robinson 
Oliva 
c 
Schang 
Lollar 
Romano 
Freehan 
Berra 
Cochrane 
Schang 
Battey 

Young 
Lyons 
Feller 
Newhouser* 
Ford* 
Grove* 
Shocker 
Johnson 

Grove* 
Faber 
Lemon 
Bridges 
Ruffing 
Plank* 
Wilhelm 
Leonard 

Parnell* 
Walsh 
Coveleskie 
Trout 
Gomez* 
Rommel 
Pappas 
Marberry 

Wood 
Pierce* 
Joss 
Bunning 
Hoyt 
Waddell* 
Garver 
Mogridge* 



(Gregg*) 



(Weilman*) 

*lefthanded pitcher (parentheses indicate top lefthander was not among top four pitchers)
outstanding alltime player for each team is underlined
DETAILS OF RATING SYSTEM
For pitchers, the actual number of earned runs allowed is compared the number that would have been allowed if the pitcher had the same earned run average as the league. For example, in 1968 the National League had an earned run average of 2.99.


Earned 

Earned runs 

Pitcher 
Innings 
run average 
Earned runs 
at 2.99/game 
Runs rating 
Gibson 
305 
305 
38 
102 
64 
Carlton 
232 
232 
77 
77 
0 
Wise 
182 
182 
92 
61 
31 
For hitters, the task is more difficult. Several systems have been developed independently that are quite similar. For each hitter, his walks, singles, doubles, triples, homers, and outs are multiplied by different factors to give a total number of runs contributed. The following values are used.
walk, hitbypitch, 




or interference 
0.333 

Triple 
1.036 
Single 
0.489 

Homer 
1.421 
Double 
0.749 

Out 
0.231 
Since the number of outs made by each hitter is not available from the records atbats minus hits is used in its place. In order for league totals to be zero each season, the out factor is varied as shown below (National League 1968)
walk, hitbypitch,
or interference 4634*.333 = 1545
Singles 10106*.489 = 4942
Doubles 1995*.749 = 1495
Triples 359*1.036 = 372
Homers 891*1.421 = 1266
9620
Atbats 54913
Hits 13351
Atbats minus hits 41562
41562*.231 = 9600
(NoteThe original had this at 9620. This may be due to rounding)
Looking at three examples of individual ratings
Hitter 
McCovey 
Javier 
Lanier 
.333 * (bb+hp) 
26 (77) 
8 (25) 
4 (12) 
.489 * singles 
48 (97) 
50 (102) 
42 (85) 
.749 * doubles 
12 (16 ) 
19 (25) 
10 (14 ) 
1.036 * triples 
4 (4 ) 
4 (4) 
1 (1) 
1.421 * homers 
51 (36) 
6 (4) 
0 (0) 
.231 * abhits 
85 (370) 
89 (384) 
89 (386) 




Runs rating 
56 
2.0 
32 
The runs rating is then divided by the runs to wins ratio to give the appropriate number of wins. This ratio is about ten, but varies with actual runs scored and allowed. For rating purposes, it is assumed that a team scores an average number of runs and that the individual adds or subtracts from that total. In 1968 the National League scored an average of 6.8 runs per game (both teams). So for Gibson, since he allowed less runs than average, the total in his games should be less. It is equal to 6.8 less 64 (rating) times 9 (innings per game) over 305 (innings pitched) or 4.9. For McCovey, two adjustments must be made. First his average runs per game is 6.8 plus 56 (rating) over 148 (games) or 7.1. The related runswins ratio is 8.9. However, since league totals include pitchers as hitters, a correction for this is made so that hitters are compared only with nonpitchers as hitters. Rather than add all the hitting totals for pitchers, an estimated 0.5 wins for each 154 games played is subtracted from each hitter rating. Thus McCovey is 56 (rating) over 8.9 (constant) less 0.5 or 5.8. Therefore Gibson is credited with 8.6 wins and McCovey with 5.8.
The equation to determine the value of the runswins ratio is ten times the square root of the ratio of runs plus opponent’s runs divided by innings. Thus if both teams combined score an average of one run per inning, the ratio will be ten. This relationship was determined from the runswins figures over the last fifty years.