In “Hardball Retrospective: Evaluating Scouting and Development Outcomes for the Modern-Era Franchises”, I placed every ballplayer in the modern era (from 1901-present) on their original team. Therefore, Dan Quisenberry is listed on the Royals roster for the duration of his career while the Tigers declare Charlie Gehringer and the Senators claim Goose Goslin. I calculated revised standings for every season based entirely on the performance of each team’s “original” players. I discuss every team’s “original” players and seasons at length along with organizational performance with respect to the Amateur Draft (or First-Year Player Draft), amateur free agent signings and other methods of player acquisition. Season standings, WAR and Win Shares totals for the “original” teams are compared against the “actual” team results to assess each franchise’s scouting, development and general management skills.
Expanding on my research for the book, the following series of articles will reveal the finest single-season rosters for every Major League organization based on overall rankings in OWAR and OWS along with the general managers and scouting directors that constructed the teams. “Hardball Retrospective” is available in digital format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes and KoboBooks. The paperback edition is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and CreateSpace. Supplemental Statistics, Charts and Graphs along with a discussion forum are offered at TuataraSoftware.com.
Don Daglow (Intellivision World Series Major League Baseball, Earl Weaver Baseball, Tony LaRussa Baseball) contributed the foreword for Hardball Retrospective. The foreword and preview of my book are accessible here.
OWAR – Wins Above Replacement for players on “original” teams
OWS – Win Shares for players on “original” teams
OPW% – Pythagorean Won-Loss record for the “original” teams
The 1977 Pittsburgh Pirates OWAR: 53.6 OWS: 347 OPW%: .524
GM Joe Brown acquired all of the ballplayers on the 1977 Pirates roster. Based on the revised standings the “Original” 1977 Pirates tied for second place with the Phillies, one game behind the Cardinals. Pittsburgh topped the Senior Circuit in OWS during consecutive campaigns (1977-78).
Dave Parker (.338/21/88) collected his first batting title and paced the League with 215 base knocks and 44 two-baggers. “Cobra” merited his first All-Star nomination and Gold Glove Award while placing third in the NL MVP balloting. Mitchell Page (.307/21/85) pilfered 42 bags and finished runner-up in the Rookie of the Year vote. Don Money cracked a career-best 25 circuit clouts and received his third All-Star nod. Al “Scoop” Oliver contributed a .308 BA with 19 round-trippers. Richie Zisk clubbed 30 long balls and knocked in 101 baserunners. Willie Randolph laced 11 triples and tallied 91 runs.
Willie Stargell swatted 13 big-flies despite missing almost two-thirds of the 1977 campaign. “Pops” ranks ninth among left fielders according to Bill James in “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.” Teammates enumerated in the “NBJHBA” top 100 rankings include Parker (14th-RF), Randolph (17th-2B), Oliver (31st-CF), Manny Sanguillen (42nd-C), Dave Cash (50th-2B), Money (55th-3B), Richie Hebner (56th-3B), Zisk (69th-RF), Freddie Patek (73rd – SS), Bob Bailey (79th – 3B), Tony Armas (89th-RF) and Rennie Stennett (90th-2B).
John “Candy Man” Candelaria earned his lone All-Star appearance with a 20-5 record along with a League-best 2.34 ERA. Dock Ellis supplied 12 victories and an ERA of 3.63. Rick Langford surpassed the 200-innings mark while losing 19 of 27 decisions. The bullpen subdued late-inning rallies by the opposition, co-anchored by Gene Garber (2.35, 19 saves) and Kent Tekulve (10-1, 3.06).
|Bruce Dal Canton||RP||0.25||1.6|
The “Original” 1977 Pittsburgh Pirates roster
|NAME||POS||WAR||WS||General Manager||Scouting Director|
|John Candelaria||SP||8.07||24.69||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Mitchell Page||LF||6.07||29.41||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Dave Parker||RF||5.02||32.6||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Willie Randolph||2B||4.69||20.08||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Don Money||2B||4.11||21.87||Joe Brown|
|Rennie Stennett||2B||3.57||17.98||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Richie Hebner||1B||2.7||16.01||Joe Brown|
|Dock Ellis||SP||2.37||16.07||Joe Brown|
|Gene Garber||RP||2.19||15.16||Joe Brown|
|Al Oliver||LF||2.04||20.19||Joe Brown|
|Art Howe||2B||1.83||13.91||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Richie Zisk||RF||1.82||20.15||Joe Brown|
|Milt May||C||1.66||9.63||Joe Brown|
|Freddie Patek||SS||1.55||14.76||Joe Brown|
|Tony Armas||CF||1.49||7.76||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Dave Cash||2B||1.11||17.12||Joe Brown|
|Rick Langford||SP||1.02||8.44||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Frank Taveras||SS||1.01||13.78||Joe Brown|
|Kent Tekulve||RP||0.95||11.48||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Ed Ott||C||0.67||10.69||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Timothy Jones||SP||0.64||1.73||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Willie Stargell||1B||0.63||8.47||Joe Brown|
|Omar Moreno||CF||0.47||12.62||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Bruce Kison||SP||0.39||5.71||Joe Brown|
|Ed Whitson||SP||0.27||1.21||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Bruce Dal Canton||RP||0.25||1.6||Joe Brown|
|Doug Bair||RP||0.21||5.46||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Craig Reynolds||SS||0.1||6.74||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Woodie Fryman||SP||0.08||1.95||Joe Brown|
|Gene Clines||LF||0.04||5.48||Joe Brown|
|Bob Bailey||–||0.02||1.61||Joe Brown||Rex Bowen|
|Rick Honeycutt||SP||0.02||1.18||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Jimmy Sexton||SS||-0.05||0.58||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Al Holland||RP||-0.09||0||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Mike Edwards||2B||-0.12||0.16||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Silvio Martinez||RP||-0.22||0.07||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Odell Jones||SP||-0.28||2.24||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Miguel Dilone||LF||-0.33||0.32||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Dale Berra||3B||-0.41||0.42||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Manny Sanguillen||C||-0.44||10.27||Joe Brown|
|Ken Macha||3B||-0.55||0.66||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Mario Mendoza||SS||-0.58||1.22||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
|Bill Laxton||RP||-0.64||3.32||Joe Brown|
|Ramon Hernandez||RP||-0.67||0.1||Joe Brown|
|Bobby Tolan||1B||-0.68||0.26||Joe Brown||Rex Bowen|
|Larry Demery||SW||-1.04||2.06||Joe Brown||Harding Peterson|
The “Original” 2012 Pirates OWAR: 46.1 OWS: 303 OPW%: .597
The Bucs seized the National League pennant with 97 victories and topped the circuit in OWS. Andrew McCutchen (.327/31/96) led the League with 194 base hits, earned a Gold Glove Award and finished third in the 2012 National League MVP balloting. Aramis Ramirez (.300/27/105) drilled a League-leading 50 doubles. Pedro Alvarez went yard 30 times while Jose A. Bautista launched 27 bombs in an injury-shortened campaign. Jeff Keppinger delivered a .325 BA in a utility role. Paul Maholm posted a record of 13-11 with a 3.67 ERA and fellow hurler Bronson Arroyo accrued 12 wins with a 3.74 ERA in 202 innings.
The “Original” 1931 Athletics
References and Resources
James, Bill. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. New York, NY.: The Free Press, 2001. Print.
James, Bill, with Jim Henzler. Win Shares. Morton Grove, Ill.: STATS, 2002. Print.
Derek Bain is a New Jersey native with a passion for baseball, statistics, computers and video games. He has written a number of articles for Fangraphs and Seamheads, and enjoys spending quality time with his family.