October 21, 2011

State All-Stars: Pennsylvania vs. Ohio

Filed under: Uncategorized — sometimesphylan @ 12:17 pm

Let’s do something stupid, and sort of fun. And really nerdy. Baseball-Reference incorporates hometown information into its Play Index, which makes it a trivial exercise to check out the most productive players in MLB history from a given country or U.S. state. WhatIfSports, a truly amazing website, allows you to create teams of players from different franchises and eras and seasons and match them up against other “dream teams” and real historical MLB squads. Using the Baseball-Reference, I constructed 25 man “all star” rosters for players from the states of Pennsylvania and Ohio — 8 starters, 6 bench players, 5 starting pitchers, and 6 relief pitchers. The only restrictions were that player seasons had to be from the year 1900 or later, and they had to have played most (or a reasonable amount) of games in the season selected at the position I assigned them to. Choosing the players themselves mostly involved looking at cumulative offensive RAR (runs above replacement) totals, and selecting each player’s best season based on OPS+ (with some exceptions). For pitchers, career WAR and seasonal ERA+ was the basis for selection. And the rosters turned out thusly:

Stan Musial LF Donora, PA
Reggie Jackson RF Abington, PA
Mike Piazza C Norristown, PA
Dick Allen 1B Wampum, PA
Ken Griffey JR. CF Donora, PA
Honus Wagner SS Chartiers, PA
Danny Murphy 2B Philadelphia, PA
Whitey Kurowski 3B Reading, PA
Jack Clark OF New Brighton, PA
Sherry Magee OF Clarendon, PA
Hack Wilson OF Ellwood City, PA
Gene Tenace C Russellton, PA
Mickey Vernon IF Marcus Hook, PA
Eddie Stanky IF Philadelphia, PA
Christy Mathewson SP Factoryville, PA
Eddie Plank SP Gettysburg, PA
Mike Mussina SP Williamsport, PA
Ed Walsh SP Plains, PA
Stan Coveleski SP Shamokin, PA
Bruce Sutter RP Lancaster, PA
Sparky Lyle RP Du Bois, PA
Gary Lavelle RP Scranton, PA
Gene Garber RP Lancaster, PA
Curt Leskanic RP Homestead, PA
Doug Brocail RP Clearfield, PA
Mike Schmidt 3B Dayton, OH
Frank Howard LF Columbus, OH
Jim Wynn CF Hamilton, OH
Ed Delehanty RF Cincinnati, OH
Roger Bresnahan C Toledo, OH
Barry Larkin SS Cincinnati, OH
Jim Delahanty 2B Cleveland, OH
George Sisler 1B Manchester, OH
Tommy Henrich OF Massillon, OH
Elmer Flick OF Bedford, OH
Al Oliver OF Portsmouth, OH
Sal Bando IF Cleveland, OH
Kevin Youkilis IF Cincinnati, OH
Pete Rose IF Cincinnati, OH
Roger Clemens SP Dayton, OH
Phil Niekro SP Blaine, OH
Cy Young SP Gilmore, OH
Urban Shocker SP Cleveland, OH
Ned Garver SP Ney, OH
Kent Tekulve RP Cincinnati, OH
Rollie Fingers RP Steubenville, OH
Jeff Montgomery RP Wellston, OH
Jeff Russell RP Cincinnati, OH
Grant Jackson RP Fostoria, OH
Jeff Shaw RP Washington Court House, OH

Plenty of room to quibble and hand-wring over some of those choices, I’m sure. We also have to pick home stadiums for each team, for WhatIfSports to simulate the games in. So, how about the stadium in each state that hosted games in one form or another for the longest. Going by Wikipedia, that’s actually a tie between Shibe Park and Forbes Field in Pennsylvania — both were open for 61 years. Let’s take the one with the higher capacity and the cooler dimensions: Forbes. In Ohio, there seems to be no contest; the site that came to be known as Crosley Field, while shifting grandstand and field orientations over the years, hosted baseball in some capacity from 1884 to 1970. Let’s go with the earliest iteration available to us, the 1910 League Park dimensions. Our ballparks:

Best of seven series, 2-3-2, no DH. By virtue of winning a coin flip, Ohio gets home field advantage.

The lineups look like this (I constructed them roughly based on each player’s OBP and SLG):

Game 1: Box Score and Play-by-Play

Game 2: Box Score and Play-by-Play

Game 3: Box Score and Play-by-Play

Game 4: Box Score and Play by Play

Game 5: Box Score and Play by Play

Yep, the series ended on a walk-off walk to Mike Piazza. Pennsylvania, four games to one. So what state challenges the reigning Pennsylvanians next?


1 Comment »

  1. Wow, League Park had some strange dimensions. I wonder how many homers there to right would still be homers in Forbes and vice versa. An 84-foot difference would probably have some significance.

    Comment by Max — November 3, 2011 @ 12:33 am

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