The Value Production Standings:  1998-2001

Our previous installments have examined 1946-1950, 1951-1955, 1956-1960, 1961-1965, 1966-1970, 1971-1975, 1976-1980, 1981-1985, 1986-1989, 1990-1993, and 1994-1997. Now it’s time to move into the era of “Is that your final answer?,” the Y2K scare and hanging chads.

For a review of our methodology, please see the References and Resources section below.

Here’s the key to the figures we’re examining:

WSP = Win Shares Produced: the total of major league Win Shares produced that season by all players credited to the organization
Lg. WSP = League Win Shares Produced: the percentage of the league total of WSP credited to the organization
MLB WSP = Major league baseball Win Shares Produced: the percentage of the MLB-wide total of WSP credited to the organization
W = Wins: the actual win total of the team that season
Lg. W = League Wins: the percentage of the league win total won by the team
W% – WSP% = League Wins minus League Win Shares Produced: a measure of how much better or worse a team actually performed than the league-wide value produced by its organization
Avg WSP = Average Win Shares Produced: the average WSP of the teams in a given division or league
%MLB Avg = Percentage of the major league baseball average: how the average WSP for a given division or league compares with the overall major league average

The 1998 Value Production Standings

AL Organization    WSP Lg. WSP  MLB WSP     W  Lg. W   W% - WSP% Avg. WSP % MLB Avg.

Blue Jays          358    9.9%     5.1%    88   7.8%       -2.1%
Yankees            350    9.6%     5.0%   114  10.0%        0.4%
Red Sox            245    6.7%     3.5%    92   8.1%        1.4%
Orioles            182    5.0%     2.6%    79   7.0%        1.9%
Devil Rays           0    0.0%     0.0%    63   5.6%        5.6%
East Division     1135   31.3%    16.2%   436  38.4%        7.2%      227     97.2%

Indians            311    8.6%     4.4%    89   7.8%       -0.7%
Twins              260    7.2%     3.7%    70   6.2%       -1.0%
Royals             236    6.5%     3.4%    72   6.3%       -0.2%
Tigers             208    5.7%     3.0%    65   5.7%        0.0%
White Sox          206    5.7%     2.9%    80   7.0%        1.4%
Central Division  1221   33.6%    17.4%   376  33.1%       -0.5%      244    104.6%

Athletics          347    9.6%     5.0%    74   6.5%       -3.0%
Rangers            334    9.2%     4.8%    88   7.8%       -1.4%
Angels             321    8.8%     4.6%    85   7.5%       -1.3%
Mariners           274    7.5%     3.9%    76   6.7%       -0.8%
West Division     1276   35.1%    18.2%   323  28.5%       -6.7%      319    136.6%

AL Total          3632  100.0%    51.8%  1135 100.0%        0.0%      259    111.1%

NL Organization    WSP Lg. WSP  MLB WSP     W  Lg. W   W% - WSP% Avg. WSP % MLB Avg.

Expos              361   10.7%     5.2%    65   5.0%       -5.7%
Braves             245    7.3%     3.5%   106   8.2%        0.9%
Mets               240    7.1%     3.4%    88   6.8%       -0.3%
Phillies           175    5.2%     2.5%    75   5.8%        0.6%
Marlins            101    3.0%     1.4%    54   4.2%        1.2%
East Division     1122   33.3%    16.0%   388  30.0%       -3.3%      224     96.1%

Pirates            291    8.6%     4.2%    69   5.3%       -3.3%
Brewers            250    7.4%     3.6%    74   5.7%       -1.7%
Astros             225    6.7%     3.2%   102   7.9%        1.2%
Cubs               216    6.4%     3.1%    90   6.9%        0.5%
Reds               202    6.0%     2.9%    77   5.9%        0.0%
Cardinals          194    5.8%     2.8%    83   6.4%        0.7%
Central Division  1378   40.9%    19.7%   495  38.2%       -2.6%      230     98.4%

Dodgers            358   10.6%     5.1%    83   6.4%       -4.2%
Padres             209    6.2%     3.0%    98   7.6%        1.4%
Giants             202    6.0%     2.9%    89   6.9%        0.9%
Rockies             91    2.7%     1.3%    77   5.9%        3.2%
Diamondbacks        13    0.4%     0.2%    65   5.0%        4.6%
West Division      873   25.9%    12.5%   412  31.8%        5.9%      175     74.8%

NL Total          3373  100.0%    48.2%  1295 100.0%        0.0%      211     90.3%

MLB Total         7005    n/a    100.0%  2430   n/a         n/a       234    100.0%

The Yankees had been a consistent winner since 1993, and in 1998 they reached a towering peak, with an all-time great team that won 114 regular season games and went 11-2 in the postseason. At the time, and throughout the Yankees’ tremendous late 1990s-early 2000s run, many observers pointed to the Yankees’ enormous payroll, and described the organization (usually derisively) as having “bought” success by acquiring high-priced veteran stars via free agency and trade.

Certainly, the Yankees were aggressive in acquiring high-profile talent. Several of their stars in 1998 were imported and expensive, such as right fielder Paul O’Neill, second baseman Chuck Knoblauch, first baseman Tino Martinez and pitchers David Cone, Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez and David Wells.

But the indispensable foundation of the Yankees’ success was a highly productive farm system, which had produced an extraordinary core of young stars (shortstop Derek Jeter, center fielder Bernie Williams, catcher Jorge Posada and pitchers Andy Pettite and Mariano Rivera).

That system also provided them with a steady supply of prospects with which to trade for key veterans. Prominent Yankee products in other uniforms in 1998 included pitchers Al Leiter (Mets), Sterling Hitchcock (Padres), Bob Tewksbury and Eric Milton (Twins), first basemen Fred McGriff (Devil Rays) and J.T. Snow (Giants), outfielders Carl Everett (Astros), Otis Nixon (Twins), Roberto Kelly (Rangers) and Gerald Williams (Braves), catcher Brad Ausmus (Astros), third baseman Russ Davis (Mariners) and infielder Andy Fox (Diamondbacks).

The 1999 Value Production Standings

AL Organization    WSP Lg. WSP  MLB WSP     W  Lg. W   W% - WSP% Avg. WSP % MLB Avg.

Yankees            336    9.1%     4.8%    98   8.7%       -0.4%
Blue Jays          319    8.6%     4.5%    84   7.5%       -1.1%
Red Sox            263    7.1%     3.8%    94   8.4%        1.3%
Orioles            194    5.3%     2.8%    78   7.0%        1.7%
Devil Rays           9    0.2%     0.1%    69   6.1%        5.9%
East Division     1121   30.3%    16.0%   423  37.7%        7.4%      224     95.9%

Indians            379   10.3%     5.4%    97   8.6%       -1.6%
Twins              269    7.3%     3.8%    63   5.6%       -1.7%
White Sox          269    7.3%     3.8%    75   6.7%       -0.6%
Royals             251    6.8%     3.6%    64   5.7%       -1.1%
Tigers             181    4.9%     2.6%    69   6.1%        1.3%
Central Division  1349   36.5%    19.2%   368  32.8%       -3.7%      270    115.4%

Rangers            366    9.9%     5.2%    95   8.5%       -1.4%
Athletics          326    8.8%     4.6%    87   7.8%       -1.1%
Mariners           294    8.0%     4.2%    79   7.0%       -0.9%
Angels             239    6.5%     3.4%    70   6.2%       -0.2%
West Division     1225   33.2%    17.5%   331  29.5%       -3.7%      306    131.0%

AL Total          3695  100.0%    52.7%  1122 100.0%        0.0%      264    112.9%

NL Organization    WSP Lg. WSP  MLB WSP     W  Lg. W   W% - WSP% Avg. WSP % MLB Avg.

Expos              309    9.3%     4.4%    68   5.2%       -4.1%
Braves             279    8.4%     4.0%   103   7.9%       -0.5%
Mets               240    7.2%     3.4%    97   7.4%        0.2%
Phillies           142    4.3%     2.0%    77   5.9%        1.6%
Marlins            114    3.4%     1.6%    64   4.9%        1.5%
East Division     1084   32.7%    15.5%   409  31.3%       -1.3%      217     92.7%

Astros             281    8.5%     4.0%    97   7.4%       -1.0%
Brewers            270    8.1%     3.8%    74   5.7%       -2.5%
Reds               217    6.5%     3.1%    96   7.4%        0.8%
Cardinals          198    6.0%     2.8%    75   5.7%       -0.2%
Cubs               195    5.9%     2.8%    67   5.1%       -0.7%
Pirates            165    5.0%     2.4%    78   6.0%        1.0%
Central Division  1326   40.0%    18.9%   487  37.3%       -2.6%      221     94.5%

Dodgers            376   11.3%     5.4%    77   5.9%       -5.4%
Giants             273    8.2%     3.9%    86   6.6%       -1.6%
Padres             184    5.5%     2.6%    74   5.7%        0.1%
Rockies             59    1.8%     0.8%    72   5.5%        3.7%
Diamondbacks        16    0.5%     0.2%   100   7.7%        7.2%
West Division      908   27.4%    12.9%   409  31.3%        4.0%      182     77.7%

NL Total          3318  100.0%    47.3%  1305 100.0%        0.0%      207     88.7%

MLB Total         7013    n/a    100.0%  2427   n/a         n/a       234    100.0%

For decades they’d had one of the weaker farm systems in baseball, but in the 1990s the Indians’ organization under GM John Hart was one of the game’s most prolific talent producers. In 1999 they led the major leagues in WSP, while winning the AL Central division for the fifth consecutive season. Home-grown talent was the backbone of their outstanding ball club, including right fielder Manny Ramirez, first baseman Jim Thome, first baseman-outfielder Richie Sexson and pitchers Bartolo Colon and Charles Nagy.

The Indians remained successful despite having exported an extraordinary volume of talent: outfielders Albert Belle (Orioles) and Brian Giles (Pirates), first baseman Sean Casey (Reds), infielders David Bell (Mariners) and Damian Jackson (Padres) and pitchers Danny Graves (Reds), Jeff Shaw (Dodgers), Paul Byrd and Robert Person (Phillies), Dave Mlicki (Tigers), Greg Swindell (Diamondbacks), Jerry Dipoto and Curt Leskanic (Rockies) and Steve Kline (Expos).

The Dodgers dominated the National League West in talent production in the 1990s, but under GM Fred Claire they hadn’t quite matched that in performance on the field. Claire was replaced by Kevin Malone in 1999, yet despite leading the NL in WSP by a wide margin, the team stumbled to a 77-85 record. The ’99 Dodgers featured a few home-grown standouts, in right fielder Raul Mondesi, first baseman Eric Karros, third baseman Adrian Beltre and pitcher Ismael Valdez, but they’d let way too many get away: pitchers Pedro Martinez (Red Sox, the AL Cy Young Award winner), Pedro Astacio (Rockies), Omar Daal (Diamondbacks), Juan Guzman (Orioles-Reds) and John Wetteland (Rangers), catcher Mike Piazza (Mets), outfielders Henry Rodriguez (Cubs) and Roger Cedeno (Mets), first baseman Paul Konerko (White Sox) and catcher Darrin Fletcher (Blue Jays).

Meanwhile, in their second season of existence, with virtually no farm system production, the Diamondbacks were runaway NL West champs. Taking a page from the book the Marlins had written a few years earlier, Arizona had defied the coventional expansion-team wisdom of patiently building with young players. Instead the Diamondbacks traded their prospects for established veterans, and spent lavishly on big-name free agents, including Cy Young Award winner Randy Johnson. The notion that it was impossible for an expansion team to quickly achieve championships was fully dashed.

The 2000 Value Production Standings

AL Organization    WSP Lg. WSP  MLB WSP     W  Lg. W   W% - WSP% Avg. WSP % MLB Avg.

Blue Jays          335    9.3%     4.8%    83   7.3%       -2.0%
Yankees            318    8.8%     4.5%    87   7.6%       -1.2%
Red Sox            229    6.4%     3.3%    85   7.4%        1.1%
Orioles            215    6.0%     3.1%    74   6.5%        0.5%
Devil Rays           7    0.2%     0.1%    69   6.0%        5.8%
East Division     1104   30.7%    15.8%   398  34.8%        4.2%      221     94.6%

Indians            329    9.1%     4.7%    90   7.9%       -1.3%
Twins              272    7.6%     3.9%    69   6.0%       -1.5%
White Sox          267    7.4%     3.8%    95   8.3%        0.9%
Royals             220    6.1%     3.1%    77   6.7%        0.6%
Tigers             159    4.4%     2.3%    79   6.9%        2.5%
Central Division  1247   34.6%    17.8%   410  35.9%        1.2%      249    106.8%

Athletics          326    9.1%     4.7%    91   8.0%       -1.1%
Rangers            317    8.8%     4.5%    71   6.2%       -2.6%
Angels             309    8.6%     4.4%    82   7.2%       -1.4%
Mariners           298    8.3%     4.3%    91   8.0%       -0.3%
West Division     1250   34.7%    17.8%   335  29.3%       -5.4%      313    133.9%

AL Total          3601  100.0%    51.4%  1143 100.0%        0.0%      257    110.2%
 
NL Organization    WSP Lg. WSP  MLB WSP     W  Lg. W   W% - WSP% Avg. WSP % MLB Avg.

Expos              366   10.8%     5.2%    67   5.2%       -5.5%
Mets               303    8.9%     4.3%    94   7.3%       -1.6%
Braves             251    7.4%     3.6%    95   7.4%        0.0%
Phillies           171    5.0%     2.4%    65   5.1%        0.0%
Marlins            136    4.0%     1.9%    79   6.1%        2.2%
East Division     1227   36.1%    17.5%   400  31.1%       -4.9%      245    105.1%

Astros             291    8.6%     4.2%    72   5.6%       -2.9%
Brewers            239    7.0%     3.4%    73   5.7%       -1.3%
Pirates            239    7.0%     3.4%    69   5.4%       -1.7%
Cardinals          225    6.6%     3.2%    95   7.4%        0.8%
Reds               172    5.1%     2.5%    85   6.6%        1.6%
Cubs               158    4.6%     2.3%    65   5.1%        0.4%
Central Division  1324   38.9%    18.9%   459  35.7%       -3.2%      221     94.5%

Dodgers            353   10.4%     5.0%    86   6.7%       -3.7%
Giants             240    7.1%     3.4%    97   7.5%        0.5%
Padres             149    4.4%     2.1%    76   5.9%        1.5%
Rockies             82    2.4%     1.2%    82   6.4%        4.0%
Diamondbacks        28    0.8%     0.4%    85   6.6%        5.8%
West Division      852   25.0%    12.2%   426  33.2%        8.1%      170     73.0%

NL Total          3403  100.0%    48.6%  1285 100.0%        0.0%      213     91.1%

MLB Total         7004    n/a    100.0%  2428   n/a         n/a       233    100.0%

The situation in Montreal was a surreal nightmare. Years of tight-fisted ownership pursuing policies that amounted to an anti-marketing campaign had driven the franchise into a death spiral, as it stubbornly persisted in its attempt to extort the city into building it a new stadium. Nearly every key player opted to leave via free agency as soon as he was able, or was sent away in a payroll-dump trade before he could. Yet through it all the Expos’ farm system kept on producing talent at an extraordinary rate. The organization led the National League East Division in WSP in 2000 for the ninth straight year, and led the major leagues as well.

The 2000 Expos were a bad team, at 67-95. But the core of talent they had was home-grown, and it was quite impressive, particularly 24-year-old right fielder Vladimir Guerrero, 25-year-old second baseman Jose Vidro, 28-year-old left fielder Rondell White, 25-year-old shortstop Orlando Cabrera and 23-year-old starting pitcher Javier Vazquez.

The list of Expos products performing elsewhere was simply remarkable, including outfielders Larry Walker (Rockies), Cliff Floyd (Marlins), John Vander Wal (Pirates), Matt Stairs (Athletics), Wil Cordero (Pirates-Indians), and Marquis Grissom (Brewers), second basemen Delino DeShields (Orioles), Mark Grudzielanek (Dodgers), and Mike Lansing (Rockies-Red Sox), first basemen Andres Galarraga (Braves) and Greg Colbrunn (Diamondbacks), designated hitter Brad Fullmer (Blue Jays), and pitchers Gabe White (Rockies), Antonio Alfonseca (Marlins) and Kirk Rueter (Giants).

The 2001 Value Production Standings

AL Organization    WSP Lg. WSP  MLB WSP     W  Lg. W   W% - WSP% Avg. WSP % MLB Avg.

Blue Jays          345    9.6%     5.0%    80   7.0%       -2.5%
Yankees            320    8.9%     4.6%    95   8.3%       -0.5%
Red Sox            219    6.1%     3.2%    82   7.2%        1.1%
Orioles            186    5.2%     2.7%    63   5.5%        0.4%
Devil Rays          26    0.7%     0.4%    62   5.4%        4.7%
East Division     1096   30.4%    15.8%   382  33.6%        3.1%      219     94.7%

Indians            341    9.5%     4.9%    91   8.0%       -1.5%
Twins              296    8.2%     4.3%    85   7.5%       -0.7%
Royals             268    7.4%     3.9%    65   5.7%       -1.7%
White Sox          252    7.0%     3.6%    83   7.3%        0.3%
Tigers             185    5.1%     2.7%    66   5.8%        0.7%
Central Division  1342   37.3%    19.3%   390  34.3%       -3.0%      268    115.9%

Athletics          338    9.4%     4.9%   102   9.0%       -0.4%
Rangers            291    8.1%     4.2%    73   6.4%       -1.7%
Mariners           282    7.8%     4.1%   116  10.2%        2.4%
Angels             253    7.0%     3.6%    75   6.6%       -0.4%
West Division     1164   32.3%    16.8%   366  32.2%       -0.2%      291    125.7%

AL Total          3602  100.0%    51.9%  1138 100.0%        0.0%      257    111.1%

NL Organization    WSP Lg. WSP  MLB WSP     W  Lg. W   W% - WSP% Avg. WSP % MLB Avg.

Expos              350   10.5%     5.0%    68   5.3%       -5.2%
Braves             256    7.7%     3.7%    88   6.8%       -0.8%
Mets               232    6.9%     3.3%    82   6.4%       -0.6%
Phillies           171    5.1%     2.5%    86   6.7%        1.6%
Marlins            129    3.9%     1.9%    76   5.9%        2.0%
East Division     1138   34.0%    16.4%   400  31.0%       -3.0%      228     98.3%

Astros             370   11.1%     5.3%    93   7.2%       -3.9%
Cardinals          281    8.4%     4.0%    93   7.2%       -1.2%
Pirates            249    7.4%     3.6%    62   4.8%       -2.6%
Cubs               180    5.4%     2.6%    88   6.8%        1.4%
Brewers            166    5.0%     2.4%    68   5.3%        0.3%
Reds               154    4.6%     2.2%    66   5.1%        0.5%
Central Division  1400   41.9%    20.2%   470  36.4%       -5.4%      233    100.8%

Dodgers            299    8.9%     4.3%    86   6.7%       -2.3%
Giants             187    5.6%     2.7%    90   7.0%        1.4%
Padres             154    4.6%     2.2%    79   6.1%        1.5%
Rockies             98    2.9%     1.4%    73   5.7%        2.7%
Diamondbacks        68    2.0%     1.0%    92   7.1%        5.1%
West Division      806   24.1%    11.6%   420  32.6%        8.5%      161     69.6%

NL Total          3344  100.0%    48.1%  1290 100.0%        0.0%      209     90.3%

MLB Total         6946    n/a    100.0%  2428   n/a         n/a       232    100.0%

The Astros’ farm system had been moribund through the 1980s and early ’90s, but in the late 1990s under GM Gerry Hunsicker it emerged as a strong one. In 2001 the organization generated a franchise-record 370 WSP, leading the league (and the major leagues) for the first time. Winning the NL Central for the fourth time in five seasons, the ’01 Astros featured home-grown standouts in left fielder Lance Berkman, second baseman Craig Biggio, center fielder Richard Hidalgo and pitchers Wade Miller, Roy Oswalt, Billy Wagner and Shane Reynolds.

Yet there were quite a few first-rate Houston products playing elsewhere as well, including outfielders Luis Gonzalez (Diamondbacks), Bobby Abreu (Phillies) and Kenny Lofton (Indians), third baseman Phil Nevin (Padres), shortstop Carlos Guillen (Mariners), outfielder-infielder Melvin Mora (Orioles) and pitchers Freddy Garcia (Mariners) and Darryl Kile (Cardinals).

The Blue Jays had presented one of the most productive systems in baseball since the early ’90s. But their 2001 results were frustratingly typical of how they’d been for several years: They led the league in WSP while posting a mediocre 80-82 record. Toronto had retained a few of its best system-developed talents, in first baseman Carlos Delgado, left fielder Shannon Stewart, shortstop Alex Gonzalez and pitchers Chris Carpenter, Roy Halladay, Kelvim Escobar and Billy Koch.

But those who’d gotten away included outfielder Shawn Green (Dodgers), second baseman Jeff Kent (Giants), first baseman John Olerud (Mariners) and pitchers David Wells (White Sox), Woody Williams (Padres-Cardinals) and Jose Mesa (Phillies).

Coming into the league at the same time as the Blue Jays, the Mariners had rarely shown as productive a farm system, and 2001 was no exception, as the Mariners’ WSP was middle-of-the-pack. Yet they put a spectacularly successful 116-46 team on the field. Only two of the key members of this tremendous squad were system-developed—second baseman Bret Boone (whom they’d traded away years earlier, and then re-acquired as a free agent) and designated hitter Edgar Martinez. The best Mariner product, shortstop Alex Rodriguez, had gone to the Rangers as a free agent. Among the many excellent acquisitions GM Pat Gillick had achieved was the purchase of MVP/Rookie of the Year Ichiro Suzuki from the Orix Blue Wave of the Japanese Pacific League.

The Value Production Standings Summary, 1946-2001
American League

Year NYY   DET   BOS   CLE   OAK   MIN   BAL     CHW      CAL      WAS    AL WSP
1946  1     2     3     4     5     6     7       8        x        x      56.5%
1947  1     2     4     3     5     6     8       7        x        x      55.3%
1948  1     3     4     2     5     7     6       8        x        x      55.6%
1949  1     3T    3T    2     5     7     6       8        x        x      51.9%
1950  1     3     4     2     7     6     5       8        x        x      50.5%
1951  2     4     3     1     5     6     8       7        x        x      49.0%
1952  1     4     3     2     5     6     8       7        x        x      47.9%
1953  2     4     3     1     7     6     8       5        x        x      46.2%
1954  1T    4     3     1T    7     6     8       5        x        x      47.5%
1955  1     4     2     3     5     6     8       7        x        x      46.7%
1956  1     4     2     3     7     5     8       6        x        x      47.1%
1957  1     4     2     3     6     8     7       5        x        x      46.3%
1958  1     4     3     2     8     7     6       5        x        x      46.4%
1959  1     4     3     2     8     7     5       6        x        x      46.5%
1960  1     5     3     2     8     7     4       6        x        x      46.0%
1961  1     4     3     2     8     7     5       6        9       10      48.3%
1962  1     3     4     2     8     6     5       7       10        9      43.1%
1963  1     5     4     2     8     7     3       6       10        9      43.6%
1964  1     3     4     5     8     7     2       6        9       10      45.0%
1965  1     2     7     4     8     6     3       5        9       10      44.5%
1966  1     3     6     5     7     8     2       4        9       10      44.4%
1967  7     4     1     6     8     3     2       5        9       10      45.5%
1968  7     1     4     5     2     8     3       6        9       10      45.8%
American League East Division

Year BAL   DET   BOS   NYY   CLE   WAS        Avg. WSP % ML Avg  ALE WSP  AL WSP
1969  1     2     3     4     5     6            259    108.3%    27.1%    45.3%
1970  2     4     1     3     5     6            260    108.3%    27.1%    44.7%
1971  2     3     4     1     5     6            244    101.5%    25.4%    46.0%

     BAL   DET   BOS   NYY   CLE   MIL        Avg. WSP % ML Avg  ALE WSP  AL WSP
1972  1     5     2     4     3     6            219     95.4%    23.9%    43.0%
1973  1     5     2     4     3     6            219     91.5%    22.9%    42.0%
1974  2     3     1     4     5     6            215     90.5%    22.6%    43.8%
1975  2     4     1     3     5     6            193     81.6%    20.4%    44.4%
1976  2     4     1     5     3     6            204     85.9%    21.5%    44.3%

     BAL   DET   BOS   NYY   CLE   MIL   TOR  Avg. WSP % ML Avg  ALE WSP  AL WSP
1977  1     3     2     5     4     6     7      193     82.2%    22.1%    46.1%
1978  2     3     1     5     4     6     7      210     88.9%    23.9%    46.7%
1979  2     3     1     6     5     4     7      213     90.7%    24.4%    47.7%
1980  3     2     1     6     4     5     7      199     84.9%    22.8%    49.4%
1981  3     2     1     6     4     5     7      138     89.2%    24.0%    49.0%
1982  2     3     1     6     5     4     7      215     91.0%    24.5%    47.7%
1983  2     5     1     4     6     3     7      222     94.7%    25.5%    48.0%
1984  2     4     1     3     5     6     7      206     87.0%    23.4%    47.1%
1985  3     4     1     2     7     5     6      206     87.6%    23.6%    47.7%
1986  3     5     1     2     6     4     7      200     85.6%    23.0%    47.7%
1987  5     4     1     3     6     2     7      216     91.3%    24.6%    49.3%
1988  6     5     1     3     4     2     7      216     91.7%    24.7%    49.2%
1989  4     6     1     3     5     2     7      211     88.6%    23.9%    49.9%
1990  6     5     1     2     7     4     3      215     90.8%    24.4%    50.1%
1991  6     4     1     2     7     4     5      212     89.2%    24.0%    50.9%
1992  4     6     3     2     7     1     5      219     91.4%    24.6%    51.6%
1993  6     5     3     1     7     4     2      227     96.0%    24.0%    51.5%

     BAL   DET   BOS   NYY   TOR              Avg. WSP % ML Avg  ALE WSP  AL WSP
1994  4     5     3     2     1                  190    114.0%    20.4%    53.0%
1995  5     4     3     1     2                  222    105.9%    18.9%    53.2%
1996  4     5     3     1     2                  251    106.1%    18.9%    53.9%
1997  4     5     3     2     1                  272    115.1%    20.6%    53.8%

     BAL   TBD   BOS   NYY   TOR              Avg. WSP % ML Avg  ALE WSP  AL WSP
1998  4     5     3     2     1                  227     97.2%    16.2%    51.8%
1999  4     5     3     1     2                  224     95.9%    16.0%    52.7%
2000  4     5     3     2     1                  221     94.6%    15.8%    51.4%
2001  4     5     3     2     1                  219     94.7%    15.8%    51.9%
American League Central Division

Year KCR   MIN   CHW   MIL   CLE              Avg. WSP % ML Avg. ALC WSP  AL WSP
1994  1     2     3     4     5                  163     97.8%    17.5%    53.0%
1995  1     2     5     4     3                  210    100.0%    17.9%    53.2%
1996  2     1     5     3     4                  241    101.6%    18.1%    53.9%
1997  4     2T    5     2T    1                  232     98.3%    17.6%    53.8%

     KCR   MIN   CHW   DET   CLE              Avg. WSP % ML Avg. ALC WSP  AL WSP
1998  3     2     5     4     1                  244    104.6%    17.4%    51.8%
1999  4     2T    2T    5     1                  270    115.4%    19.2%    52.7%
2000  4     2     3     5     1                  249    106.8%    17.8%    51.4%
2001  3     2     4     5     1                  268    115.9%    19.3%    51.9%
American League West Division

Year OAK   MIN   CHW   CAL   KCR   MIL        Avg. WSP % ML Avg. ALW WSP  AL WSP
1969  1     2     3     4     5T    5T           175     73.0%    18.2%    45.3%
1970  1     2     3     4     5     6            169     70.4%    17.6%    44.7%
1971  1     3     4     2     6     5            198     82.3%    20.6%    46.0%

     OAK   MIN   CHW   CAL   KCR   TEX        Avg. WSP % ML Avg. ALW WSP  AL WSP
1972  1     2     3     4     6     5            177     76.8%    19.2%    43.0%
1973  1     2     3     4     6     5            183     76.5%    19.1%    42.0%
1974  1     2     5     4     6     3            201     84.7%    21.2%    43.8%
1975  1     2     5     3     6     4            228     96.2%    24.0%    44.4%
1976  1     4     5     2     6     3            217     91.5%    22.9%    44.3%

     OAK   MIN   CHW   CAL   KCR   TEX   SEA  Avg. WSP % ML Avg. ALW WSP  AL WSP
1977  1     2     6     4     5     3     7      209     88.9%    23.9%    46.1%
1978  1     3     6     4     5     2     7      200     84.5%    22.7%    46.7%
1979  1     4T    6     2     4T    3     7      203     86.5%    23.3%    47.7%
1980  1     4     6     5     3     2     7      231     98.7%    26.6%    49.4%
1981  1     5     6     3     4     2     7      143     92.6%    24.9%    49.0%
1982  1     5     6     4     3     2     7      204     86.2%    23.2%    47.7%
1983  2     5     6     1     4     3     7      196     83.5%    22.5%    48.0%
1984  3     4     6     1     2     5     7      207     87.8%    23.6%    47.1%
1985  3     5     7     2     1     4     6      210     89.6%    24.1%    47.7%
1986  2     5     7     1     4     3     6      213     91.4%    24.6%    47.7%
1987  2     6     7     4     1     3     5      217     91.9%    24.7%    49.3%
1988  2     4     7     3     1     6     5      214     90.9%    24.5%    49.2%
1989  4     5     7     3     2     5     1      230     96.7%    26.0%    49.9%
1990  3     6     7     4     2     5     1      226     95.4%    25.7%    50.1%
1991  1     7     6     5     3     4     2      237     99.7%    26.8%    50.9%
1992  1     6     5     2     4     3     7      239    100.1%    27.0%    51.6%
1993  4     6     7     3     2     1     5      260    110.0%    27.5%    51.5%

     OAK   TEX   SEA   ANA                    Avg. WSP % ML Avg. ALW WSP  AL WSP
1994  1     2     4     3                        178    106.4%    15.2%    53.0%
1995  2     1     4     3                        241    114.7%    16.4%    53.2%
1996  2     1     4     3                        278    117.5%    16.8%    53.9%
1997  3     2     4     1                        260    109.9%    15.7%    53.8%
1998  1     2     4     3                        319    136.6%    18.2%    51.8%
1999  2     1     3     4                        306    131.0%    17.5%    52.7%
2000  1     2     4     3                        313    133.9%    17.8%    51.4%
2001  1     2     3     4                        291    125.7%    16.8%    51.9%

National League

Year STL   LAD   CHC   CIN   PHI   PIT   ATL     SFG      HOU      NYM    NL WSP
1946  1     2     3     4     5     6     7       8        x        x      43.5%
1947  1     2     4     3     7     6     8       5        x        x      44.7%
1948  1     2     3     4     6     7     8       5        x        x      44.4%
1949  1     2     3     4     5     7     8       6        x        x      48.1%
1950  1     2     5     6     4     7     8       3        x        x      49.5%
1951  1     2     5     4     6     7     8       3        x        x      51.0%
1952  1     2     5     4     6     8     7       3        x        x      52.1%
1953  2     1     7     4     5     8     3       6        x        x      53.8%
1954  2     1     7     5     6     8     3       4        x        x      52.5%
1955  3     1     6     5     7     8     2       4        x        x      53.3%
1956  2     1     8     4     6     7     3       5        x        x      52.9%
1957  2     1     7     5     4     8     3       6        x        x      53.7%
1958  4     1     8     6     7     5     2       3        x        x      53.6%
1959  3     1     7     5     8     6     2       4        x        x      53.5%
1960  3     1     8     6     7     5     4       2        x        x      54.0%
1961  2     1     7     5     8     6     3       4        x        x      51.7%
1962  4     1     7     5     8     6     2       3        9       10      56.9%
1963  5     1     7     4     8     6     3       2        9       10      56.4%
1964  6     3     7     4     8     5     2       1        9       10      55.0%
1965  6     2     8     3     7     5     4       1        9       10      55.5%
1966  6     4     7     2     8     5     3       1        9       10      55.6%
1967  5     3     6     2     7     8     4       1        9       10      54.5%
1968  5     4     6     2     8     7     3       1        9       10      54.2%
National League East Division

Year PIT   STL   CHC   NYM   PHI   MON   FLA  Avg. WSP % ML Avg. NLE WSP  NL WSP
1969  1     2     3     4     5     6     x      218     91.1%    22.8%    54.7%
1970  1     2     4     5     3     6     x      221     91.9%    23.0%    55.3%
1971  1     3     5     2     4     6     x      230     95.7%    23.9%    54.0%
1972  1     2     4     3     5     6     x      244    106.1%    26.5%    57.0%
1973  1     3     5     2     4     6     x      239     99.7%    24.9%    58.0%
1974  1     4     5     3     2     6     x      249    104.9%    26.2%    56.2%
1975  1     2     5     3     4     6     x      247    104.2%    26.1%    55.6%
1976  1     2     5     3     4     6     x      254    106.8%    26.7%    55.7%
1977  1     2     5     4     3     6     x      290    123.4%    28.5%    53.9%
1978  1     3     5     4     2     6     x      285    120.7%    27.9%    53.3%
1979  1     3     6     4     2     5     x      289    123.5%    28.5%    52.3%
1980  1     2     6     4     3     5     x      280    119.7%    27.6%    50.6%
1981  1     2     6     3     4     5     x      185    119.5%    27.6%    51.0%
1982  1     3     6     5     2     4     x      289    122.3%    28.2%    52.3%
1983  3     1     6     5     2     4     x      272    115.8%    26.7%    52.0%
1984  2     3     6     4     1     5     x      280    118.5%    27.4%    52.9%
1985  4     2     6     3     1     5     x      276    117.7%    27.2%    52.3%
1986  4     3     6     2     1     5     x      280    120.0%    27.7%    52.3%
1987  5     2     6     3     1     4     x      272    115.2%    26.6%    50.7%
1988  2     5     4     1     3     6     x      280    119.0%    27.5%    50.8%
1989  2     6     4     1     3     5     x      271    113.8%    26.3%    50.1%
1990  2     6     4     1     5     3     x      280    118.4%    27.3%    49.9%
1991  1     6     5     2     4     3     x      269    113.2%    26.1%    49.1%
1992  2     3     4     5     6     1     x      271    113.4%    26.2%    48.4%
1993  2     3     5     4     6     1     7      233     98.6%    24.7%    48.5%

     MON   ATL   FLA   NYM   PHI              Avg. WSP % ML Avg. NLE WSP  NL WSP
1994  1     2     5     3     4                  146     87.6%    15.6%    47.0%
1995  1     2     5     3     4                  180     85.9%    15.3%    46.8%
1996  1     2     5     3     4                  198     83.7%    14.9%    46.1%
1997  1     2     5     3     4                  208     87.8%    15.7%    46.2%
1998  1     2     5     3     4                  224     96.1%    16.0%    48.2%
1999  1     2     5     3     4                  217     92.7%    15.5%    47.3%
2000  1     3     5     2     4                  245    105.1%    17.5%    48.6%
2001  1     2     5     3     4                  228     94.3%    16.4%    48.1%
National League Central Division

Year STL   PIT   CHC   CIN   HOU   MIL        Avg. WSP % ML Avg. NLC WSP  NL WSP
1994  1     2     3     4     5     x            175    105.0%    18.8%    47.0%
1995  2     1     3     4     5     x            223    106.4%    19.0%    46.8%
1996  2     1     3T    3T    5     x            243    102.5%    18.3%    46.1%
1997  2     1     4     5     3     x            238    100.7%    18.0%    46.2%
1998  6     1     4     5     3     2            230     98.4%    19.7%    48.2%
1999  4     6     5     3     1     2            221     94.5%    18.9%    47.3%
2000  4     2T    6     5     1     2T           221     94.5%    18.9%    48.6%
2001  2     3     4     6     1     5            233    100.8%    20.2%    48.1%
National League West Division

Year SFG   CIN   ATL   LAD   HOU   SDP   COL  Avg. WSP % ML Avg. NLW WSP  NL WSP
1969  1     2     3     4     5     6     x      306    127.7%    31.9%    54.7%
1970  1     2     3     4     5     6     x      311    129.4%    32.3%    55.3%
1971  1     2     3     4     5     6     x      289    120.4%    30.1%    54.0%
1972  2     1     4     5     3     6     x      280    121.7%    30.4%    57.0%
1973  1     2     5     3     4     6     x      317    132.2%    33.1%    58.0%
1974  2     1     5     3     4     6     x      285    120.0%    30.0%    56.2%
1975  1     2     5     4     3     6     x      279    118.0%    29.5%    55.6%
1976  1     3     5     2     4     6     x      275    115.9%    29.0%    55.7%
1977  1     3     5     2     4     6     x      259    110.3%    25.5%    53.9%
1978  1     3     4     2     5     6     x      261    110.3%    25.5%    53.3%
1979  1     3     5     2     4     6     x      242    103.1%    23.8%    52.3%
1980  4     1     5     2     3     6     x      233     99.5%    23.0%    50.6%
1981  4     2     3     1     5     6     x      157    101.6%    23.5%    51.0%
1982  5     2     3     1     4     6     x      247    104.4%    24.1%    52.3%
1983  5     2     3     1     4     6     x      258    109.7%    25.3%    52.0%
1984  4     2     3     1     5     6     x      262    110.9%    25.6%    52.9%
1985  5     2     3     1     4     6     x      256    108.9%    25.1%    52.3%
1986  3     2     4     1     6     5     x      249    106.9%    24.7%    52.3%
1987  3     2     4     1     6     5     x      247    104.4%    24.1%    50.7%
1988  3T    2     3T    1     6     5     x      238    101.3%    23.4%    50.8%
1989  3     1     5     2     6     4     x      246    103.3%    23.8%    50.1%
1990  3     1     4     2     6     5     x      232     97.8%    22.6%    49.9%
1991  4     1     3     5     6     2     x      237     99.8%    23.0%    49.1%
1992  5     3     4     1     6     2     x      231     96.4%    22.2%    48.4%
1993  5     4     3     1     6     2     7      225     95.3%    23.8%    48.5%

     SFG   SDP   COL   LAD   ARI              Avg. WSP % ML Avg. NLW WSP  NL WSP
1994  3     2     4     1     x                  147     88.0%    12.6%    47.0%
1995  3     2     4     1     x                  184     87.5%    12.5%    46.8%
1996  3     2     4     1     x                  213     90.1%    12.9%    46.1%
1997  3     2     4     1     x                  209     88.1%    12.6%    46.2%
1998  3     2     4     1     5                  175     74.8%    12.5%    48.2%
1999  2     3     4     1     5                  182     77.7%    12.9%    47.3%
2000  2     3     4     1     5                  170     73.0%    12.2%    48.6%
2001  2     3     4     1     5                  161     69.6%    11.6%    48.1%
24-karat diamond-writing gems bonus

The ripple effects of this sudden, unprecedented era of ballpark construction would be felt for years and in far-flung locales. By the time Seattle defeated the Yankees in a captivating 1995 Division Series, the Mariners and the Washington state legislature had resurrected a push for a new ballpark. The Mariners lost the battle on the field, falling short of the World Series when Cleveland handled them in a six-game Championship Series, but they won the war. The Mariners’ 1995 season had been the catalyst for a stadium drive that resulted in the 1999 opening of Safeco Field, a $17-million ballpark, complete with retractable roof, natural grass, and $10 sushi. The irony was that Safeco Field not only saved the Mariners but turned them into a financial powerhouse, even though Seattle voters originally rejected paying for a stadium. It helped, however, to have baseball fans in the machinery of government. Only intervention by a friendly state legislature gave the Seattle story, at least for baseball fans, a happy ending, with the public paying the bill.

The success of the Mariners was not lost on the people of Montreal. Rondell White, a young player with the Expos in 1994, would reflect back on the chain of events that would ultimately lead to the Expos’ leaving Montreal after the 2004 season to become the Washington Nationals. For him, it all came back to the 1994 strike. Had the Expos been given the same opportunity as Seattle, perhaps history would have changed. “We would have won it that year,” White said. “We had the team to do it, but we never got the chance. You look around, and you see all these new parks going up and a lot of us were thinking, even after we left and played in other places, ‘That should have been us. That should have been Montreal.’”

- Howard Bryant

References & Resources

Methodology

First, we identify every player in the major leagues each season with at least five career Win Shares. Then we identify which major league organization was responsible for originally signing and developing that player (or perhaps not originally signing him, but clearly being the organization most responsible for developing him). Finally, we credit every season’s production of major league Win Shares by that player to that organization, regardless of whether he actually played that season for that organization.

Sometimes it’s impossible to assign a player to one organization. Lots of players were signed by one team, but then acquired by another organization while still young minor leaguers. For such players, we assign half-credit to each of the two organizations (and in a few cases, we assign one-third-credit to each of three organizations).

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, a small but increasing number of players weren’t the products of any major league team’s farm system, having been purchased from independent teams, either in the Mexican League, the Northern League, or increasingly, the Japanese Leagues. The Win Shares of such players aren’t counted in this analysis.

Howard Bryant, Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power, and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball, New York: Viking, 2005, p. 64.

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