The Hall of Very Good

Sky Kalkman has just released an announcement of a new eBook called the The Hall of Very Good. The project is hosted by Kickstarter and if they reach their pledge level the book will be produced by July. Please follow the link, check it out, and if you’re interested, pledge your support.

This sort of e-publishing is a great way to support the writing community.

I am thinking of doing such a publication myself–one that gets pledged beforehand to ensure that there’s enough interest. Any folks out there think this is a particularly good or bad idea? I’ll need people who can help me with artwork, e-publishing, etc–feel free to let me know if you’re interested.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
49 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
DaveR
DaveR
10 years ago

I LOVE this idea! There are so many players that have a small fan base, and this will expand the appreciation for them.
Looking forward to it, Andy!

Lawrence Azrin
Lawrence Azrin
10 years ago

It looks like a great idea, but one problem I see is that people will fail to distinguish between players who had a good year or two (say Mark Fidrich or Chris Sabo), and borderline HOF players (he listed Bret Saberhagen, Will Clark, Dwight Evans, Orel Hershiser).

I guess that’s a minor quibble, it looks like the purpose is more towards collecting good stories about their favorite players, than actually voting who is in this “Hall of Very Good”.

topper009
topper009
10 years ago

I like to say these players are in the Hallway of Fame, just outside the room

Lawrence Azrin
Lawrence Azrin
10 years ago
Reply to  topper009

Topper009 –
Love that phrase, I’d also suggest:

– “The Hall of Fame Waiting Room”
– “The Hall of Fame Lobby”
– “Knockin’ on HOF’s Door” (thanks Little Bobby Zimmerman)
– “Keep A Knockin’ (But You Won’t Get In)” (thanks Little Richard)

bstar
bstar
10 years ago

It will be nice to see not only those like Trammell and D Evans, who have been written about consistently from the sabermetric community for their exclusion to the Hall, but also for the guys who had very good careers but didn’t impress the new wave much(mainly due to low BB/9). Specifically I’m talking about Harold Baines and Dave Parker.

Interestingly, Baines is the actual cut-off for the Hall of Fame on the all-time hits list, not the magical 3,000. Everyone above his 2,866 total besides those ineligible yet or still active or Pete Rose are in the Hall.

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
10 years ago
Reply to  bstar

Agree 100%, bstar. Actually, when I saw the project, I thought, “good idea.” But frankly, I’ve seen more ink (pixels?) spilled on Dwight Evans, Alan Trammell, and the rest of the sabermetric favorites than needs to be. I would like to read about some other players for once. Don’t get me wrong – I love sabermetrics, which I think most people here know. But if we’re going to see a book of stories, I’d like it to be about players I don’t know as much about. Frankly, there are some of those IN the Hall of Fame who I know… Read more »

bstar
bstar
10 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Thnx, Dr. Doom, I love the new metrics too(except for the insanity of using an FIP-based WAR for pitchers, but that’s a story for another day). At first, the Evans/Trammell/Will Clark guys DID deserve to have their day in the sun, as drawing walks was not seen as an important offensive trait at the time. But, yeah, guys with very good careers were not being given any attention at all because their OBP/OPS/WAR was lessened due to not drawing a high total of walks. Other very good players ignored by sabermetrics due to low walk totals: Al Oliver, Vada Pinson,… Read more »

Lawrence Azrin
Lawrence Azrin
10 years ago
Reply to  bstar

bstar,

There’s also Rafeal Palmeiro, but that’s PED-related. Plus, if someone came oh-so-close (say 2,993 hits), it would be considered the equivalent of 3,000 hits in most voters understanding.

But your larger point is correct, Baines is the upper limit for “accumulator, not a HOFer”.

bstar
bstar
10 years ago
Reply to  Lawrence Azrin

Thnx, Lawrence. I wonder if Fred McGriff would have come closer than he has if he had hit seven more homers. I wish it wasn’t true, but I do believe his vote totals would look better. Yeah, I whiffed on Palmeiro.

Raphy
Editor
10 years ago

From the site:
“Pledge $250 or more
1 Backer • Limited Reward (4 of 5 remaining)

You tell us your favorite player (any player) and we’ll include a 1500 word article on his greatness in the book — even if your favorite player is Tony Womack. Plus one customized copy of the digital book, a week before it’s available for sale to the general public. And your name will be added to the Donors page, noting your support forever.”

Is it just me or does this offer sort of discredit the whole project?

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
10 years ago
Reply to  Raphy

Whether or not it does, I’m seriously considering rounding up 250 big ones just to force them to add a mini-chapter on the greatness of Alvaro Espinoza.

JoshG
JoshG
10 years ago
Reply to  Raphy

It will when someone nominates Wilson Valdez

John Autin
Editor
10 years ago
Reply to  Raphy

That depends on whether they just write a puff piece, or unearth some plausible rationale for a new appreciation of Tom Brookens.

topper009
topper009
10 years ago
Reply to  Raphy

What if my favorite player is Babe Ruth. That sorta goes against the point of the book

Bells
Bells
10 years ago
Reply to  Raphy

Yeah, more like hall of the very rich…

Steven
Steven
10 years ago

“The Hall of a Place Where A Lot Of Baseball Fans Think Lou Brock May or May Not Belong.”

birtelcom
birtelcom
10 years ago

50 or more career WAR (non-pitchers, 1901-2011), not in the Hall of Fame or on the current ballot, retired since at least 2006, not banned from baseball, going from lowest WAR to highest: Ted Simmons Fred McGriff Ron Cey Cesar Cedeno Jose Cruz Bob Elliot Minnie Minoso Norm Cash Bob Johnson Stan Hack Jack Clark Robin Ventura Joe Torre John Olerud Bobby Bonds Willie Davis Darrell Evans Will Clark Ken Boyer Sherry Magee Jim Wynn Willie Randolph Sal Bando Buddy Bell Keith Hernandez Dick Allen Craig Nettles Dwight Evans Reggie Smith Bobby Grich Lou Whitaker You wouldn’t lose many games… Read more »

Hartvig
Hartvig
10 years ago
Reply to  birtelcom

Unless I’m very much mistaken, Crime Dog is still on the current ballot.

bstar
bstar
10 years ago
Reply to  Hartvig

Correct. 23.9% of the vote in 2012.

Hartvig
Hartvig
10 years ago
Reply to  birtelcom

Your listed is a very good jumping off point for this idea. I’m a big Hall guy and there are at least a dozen players on that list that I would vote for. But there are also at least half a dozen or more that, while they were very good players, I can’t imagine my ever voting for as well and that’s where The Hall of Very Good should come into play. I would guess that at the very least a significant minority if not even an outright majority of the followers of this website would agree that Ted Simmons… Read more »

birtelcom
birtelcom
10 years ago
Reply to  Hartvig

Pinson and Staub both are over 50 WAR on offense, but dip below with below average defense. Pinson just barely misses my 50 overall WAR cutoff, with a 49.3 career cutoff. One thing about a Hall of the Very Good, and all similar concepts, is that you get a kind of infinite regress: wherever you draw any line (be it arithmetical or just a matter of personal judgment) there will always be guys who just barely miss out. So those who just miss the Hall of the Very Good lead us to the Hall of the Almost Very Good, and… Read more »

Lawrence Azrin
Lawrence Azrin
10 years ago
Reply to  birtelcom

There are a number of 20th century HOFers under 50 WAR (I counted 29 non-pitchers), so I do not attach much significance that Pinson and Staub just missed the cut-off. Even between those two, I would consider Pinson a quite viable HOF candidate, while I would not do so for Staub. Pinson had an excellent peak from ages 21-26, plus I don’t see how his defense is a negative; he was (at the least) an average full-time defensive CFer his first ten full years. Perhaps he is getting penalized for the high level of CF offense then (Mays, Mantle, etc…).… Read more »

bstar
bstar
10 years ago
Reply to  Hartvig

I took a closer look at Vada Pinson’s career, and he seems to be a guy who did a lot early in his career but flamed out too quickly to make the Hall of Fame. In fact, thru his age 28 season, Pinson had amassed a career hits total that was the THIRD-highest in baseball history: Hits thru age 28 season 1. Ty Cobb 1,935 2. Mel Ott 1,775 3. Vada Pinson 1,746 4. Robin Yount 1,727 5. Rogers Hornsby 1,713 6. Alex Rodriguez 1,707 7. Hank Aaron 1,697 8. Jimmie Foxx 1,690 He’d accumulated 43.7 WAR by age 28,… Read more »

Ed
Ed
10 years ago
Reply to  bstar

I’ve often wondered why Pinson (and Cesar Cedeno) stopped hitting. Both reached the majors at age 19, and were on a HOF track through their mid to late 20s. And then neither did much in their 30s. I remember having their baseball cards when I was a kid and staring at the back of them and thinking “what the heck?”

Hartvig
Hartvig
10 years ago
Reply to  Ed

Early in his career Cedeno had some of the same type of attitude problems that Garry Templeton had plus he had some personal issues unrelated to baseball (his pistol went off and accidentally killed his girlfriend in his hotel room in 1980), he went into the stands after a fan (according to James’ Historical Baseball Abstract he may have had good reason) & then injuries all wound up costing him focus and the equivalent of a couple of full seasons in his prime. In his case, I really think that if the right person had been able to get thru… Read more »

John Autin
Editor
10 years ago
Reply to  Ed

Hartvig @42 — I don’t know his psychology, and his defensive prowess is a matter of great debate. But yeah, Cedeno was one of the very best young offensive players in baseball history.

– 10th in total WAR thru age 22 (19.0) and 17th thru age 25 (35.7).
– 6th highest season WAR age 21 or under (8.2).
– 3rd player ever with two 7-WAR seasons by age 22 (Cobb, Mathews, Cedeno, Henderson, A-Rod, Andruw).
– One of 12 with two qualified years of 150+ OPS+ by age 22; only Pujols has done that since.

Hartvig
Hartvig
10 years ago
Reply to  Ed

Of course, most of that is at best second hand information and probably a lot of it is much further down the line than that. And I know when I was 18 years old pretty much any action of mine much beyond the level of breathing could easily have been accompanied by an adjective such as foolishly or thoughtlessly or stupidly. A lot of what I think I “know” about a lot of players, especially from my youth in the ’60’s & ’70’s, comes entirely from what some sportswriter has said and quite a lot of it is almost certainly… Read more »

Ed
Ed
10 years ago
Reply to  Ed

Seems like Cedeno’s problems extended beyond “youthful indiscretions”. “More drama followed Cedeno as his demons resurrected in 1985. He had an argument with a new girlfriend in Houston and ran his Mercedes into a tree. He then got violent with the police, trying to kick out a window of the squad car & refusing a breathalyzer. In 1986 a man bumped him accidentally in a bar. Cedeno smashed a glass into his face. He was charged with assault and resisting arrest. In 1988 he attacked his latest girlfriend also in Texas. As she tried to run away Cesar took their… Read more »

birtelcom
birtelcom
10 years ago

Using the same critiera I did before for non-pitchers, here’s the list for pitching WAR (to repeat the criteria — 50 or more career WAR, not in the Hall of Fame or on the current ballot, retired since at least 2006, not banned from baseball), again going from lowest career WAR to highest: Kevin Appier Tommy Bridges Orel Hershiser Dave Stieb Billy Pierce Bret Saberhagen Chuck Finley Frank Tanana Larry Jackson David Cone Jerry Koosman Tommy John Luis Tiant Keven Brown Rick Reuschel and just missing this list, with career WAR of 46.9 to 49.7 : Dennis Martinez, Urban Shocker,… Read more »

Ed
Ed
10 years ago

How about the “Hall of What if” or the “Hall of What Might Have Been”. For which I’ll nominate Tony Oliva. Oliva has many of the markers that HOF voters traditionally look for: 3 batting titles, 5 times leading the league in hits, 4 times in doubles, once each in runs, slugging percentage, and total bases, 5 top ten MVP finishes including two seconds, 8 All star games, one Gold Glove. For the SABR crowd he has 4 top ten WAR finishes (including a 2nd and 3rd among position players), 5 top ten offensive WAR finishes, and 4 top ten… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
10 years ago
Reply to  Ed

I’ve kind of always thought the reason Oliva has yet to be elected is that Zoilo Versalles won the MVP in 1965. Oliva was the runner-up. Any simple measure of offense would tell you that Oliva hit better than Versalles that year. However, while Oliva led the league in hits and batting average, Versalles led in PA, AB, R, 2B, 3B, and TB. Looking at rWAR indicates that the voters got it right: because of playing a more demanding position (and playing it well) as well as putting up a pretty darn good offensive year for a a shortstop in… Read more »

Ed
Ed
10 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Not sure an MVP would have been enough. His career totals (less than 2,000 hits, 1,000 runs and RBIs) are a lot lower than what outfielders normally need to get elected.

That being said he definitely deserves to be remembered and is, by all accounts, a class act. He still lives in the house he bought in 1972 and all 3 of his kids live within 10 miles.

Luis Gomez
Luis Gomez
10 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Tony Oliva’s stats are pretty similar with Kirby Pucket’s. Both had carrers cut short by injuries, but in Oliva’s case his skills diminished as he got older and more injured. I think Oliva deserves the HOF.

Ed
Ed
10 years ago
Reply to  Luis Gomez

Except Puckett has the advantage of 2,000+ hits, 1,000+ runs and 1,000+ RBIs. There just aren’t many examples of outfielders making the Hall of Fame without reaching those markers (at least 2 of the 3). Larry Doby is one example but he had the advantage of being the first black player in the AL.

bstar
bstar
10 years ago
Reply to  Ed

And even 2 MVPs doesn’t guarantee enshrinement…..just ask Dale Murphy.

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
10 years ago
Reply to  Ed

Of course 2 MVPs doesn’t guarantee enshrinement. You can ask Roger Maris, too, while you’re at it. 🙂 However, I think that Oliva was generally so well-regarded that he would have been put in on peak value, if he had an MVP. His polling was generally pretty good (in the upper 30% range most of the time). That means he would have needed to double his support. I suppose an MVP wouldn’t necessarily do that, but I think for a lot of voters it could have been a lot more decisive. Obviously, it’s all conjecture, but it seems that the… Read more »

Ed
Ed
10 years ago
Reply to  Ed

His vote total actually increased from 15.2% in 1982 to 47.3% in 1988. He then got “wiped out” by the 1989 newcomers which included Yaz, Bench, Jenkins and Perry. He dropped to 30.2% that year and his vote total never recovered.

He was one of the finalists for the Veterans Committee last time around so maybe someday he’ll make it in.

bstar
bstar
10 years ago
Reply to  Ed

Dale Murphy surpassed all three of those benchmarks, and also had 398 HR(which puts him in the top 20 in the National League). He also won two MVPs, five Gold Gloves, and surpassed three of four Bill James HOF qualification standards(including the hardest one of all: black ink). Put Murph in.

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
10 years ago
Reply to  Ed

Yeah, bstar, I’m not quite sure why Murphy’s candidacy has never gotten off the ground. I mean, I don’t necessarily think he’s qualified, but he was a very good player for a while, and he has some pretty decent stats. I guess it’s potentially the fact that the VC hasn’t really gotten its crack at 1980s players yet. We’ll see what happens thereafter.

bstar
bstar
10 years ago
Reply to  Ed

Yeah, as I posted earlier, he just flamed out too quickly. He’s my second favorite player ever(next to Greg Maddux) so I’m heavily biased. Agreed, he should get in on a Vet’s choice sometime in the next twenty years.

Ed
Ed
10 years ago
Reply to  Ed

I just don’t see it. He basically had 6-7 quality seasons and not much else.

bstar
bstar
10 years ago
Reply to  Ed

We can say the same about Oliva, too.

Ed
Ed
10 years ago
Reply to  Ed

Agreed. That’s why I said Oliva belongs in the “Hall of What If”.

Sky
Sky
10 years ago

Cool to read the comments, thanks all. While I definitely love stats and debates about who’s in/out/better/worse/etc., this project is pretty much at the other extreme. We’ve picked a large group to be in the Hall of Very Good, but we’re not focusing on who made it or not. This is more about picking a bunch of player worth remembering and telling their stories. There are certainly other bunches of players worth remembering, but we can’t cover everyone. We all have guys on our favorite teams that we remember with emotion and have a connection to a certain time in… Read more »

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
10 years ago

It looks like what needs to happen is that this website needs to come up with its own
Hall of Fame
Hallway of Fame
Closet of Infamy
and any/every other tier of saber/personality based categorizing.

Done well enough, it could conceivably usurp the status of that museum in Cooperstown.

bstar
bstar
10 years ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

I really like Lawrence’s name from earlier, “Knockin on HOF’s Door”. Yes, it would be great fun, and we’ve still got ?five? weeks to burn til Opening Day.

Lawrence Azrin
Lawrence Azrin
10 years ago
Reply to  bstar

bstar,

Thanks, I depreciate that, also thanks Mr. Dylan. Although to nitpick, “Knockin on HOF’s Door” might more accurately apply to players from a few years ago like Alomar and Blyleven, who were _on the verge_ of being elected to the HOF,falling just short.

“Keep A Knocking (But You Won’t Get It)” might apply to players on the current HOF ballot such as Raines and Trammell, that we think are obviously HOF-worthy, but do not get enough support yet.

John Autin
Editor
10 years ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

Conceivably … but then, our Voomo has a league-leading imagination. 🙂

street
7 years ago

If some one wishes expert view on the topic of blogging then i suggest him/her to visit this weblog,
Keep up the pleasant work.