The @obxleatherman Hall of Fame

Photo of Jimmie Foxx

Jimmie Foxx is just one of the many great players who weren’t inducted to the Hall of Fame within their first three years of eligibility. (Photo via Flickr)

Last night, a bunch of us on Twitter were having a discussing about Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker—as we baseball geeks are wont to do late on a Sunday night.

Then something happened… something shocking:

Now, weird shit gets said on Twitter all the time. But this is different. This is David B. (@obxleatherman on Twitter)—a good friend of High Heat Stats and a guy with a really good head on his shoulders (as far as I can tell). While some fans of Al and Lou may be tempted to go on the offensive, I was fascinated. I asked:

To Dave’s credit, he gave his reasoning. It was:

 

Now, the more players I research, the more I am expanding my personal Hall. My response was:

 

So, now that I’ve thought about it a bit, I decided to take a look at how big Dave’s Hall would be based on his requirement (that players must be elected by the BBWAA within their first three years of eligibility). It’s smaller than 80.

The @obxleatherman Hall of Fame

  • P Bob Feller
  • P Bob Gibson
  • P Carl Hubbell
  • P Catfish Hunter
  • P Christy Mathewson
  • P Cy Young
  • P Dennis Eckersley
  • P Fergie Jenkins
  • P Gaylord Perry
  • P Jim Palmer
  • P Juan Marichal
  • P Lefty Grove
  • P Nolan Ryan
  • P Pete Alexander
  • P Sandy Koufax
  • P Steve Carlton
  • P Tom Seaver
  • P Walter Johnson
  • P Warren Spahn
  • P Whitey Ford
  • P Rollie Fingers
  • C Carlton Fisk
  • C Johnny Bench
  • C Yogi Berra
  • 1B Eddie Murray
  • 1B Lou Gehrig
  • 2B Jackie Robinson
  • 2B Joe Morgan
  • 2B Nap Lajoie
  • 2B Roberto Alomar
  • 2B Rod Carew
  • 2B Ryne Sandberg
  • 3B Brooks Robinson
  • 3B George Brett
  • 3B Mike Schmidt
  • 3B Paul Molitor
  • 3B Wade Boggs
  • SS Barry Larkin
  • SS Cal Ripken
  • SS Ernie Banks
  • SS Honus Wagner
  • SS Ozzie Smith
  • LF Carl Yastrzemski
  • LF Lou Brock
  • LF Reggie Jackson
  • LF Rickey Hendrerson
  • LF Stan Musial
  • LF Ted Williams
  • LF Willie McCovey
  • LF Willie Stargell
  • CF Cy Young
  • CF Joe DiMaggio
  • CF Kirby Puckett
  • CF Mickey Mantle
  • CF Robin Yount
  • CF Tris Speaker
  • CF Willie Mays
  • RF Al Kaline
  • RF Babe Ruth
  • RF Dave Winfield
  • RF Frank Robinson
  • RF Hank Aaron
  • RF Mel Ott
  • RF Tony Gwynn
  • RF Roberto Clemente

That’s 65 players. Only 65 players fit the criteria. In fact, only 107 players were voted in by the BBWAA (Lou Gehrig and Robert Clemente were not inducted via the BBWAA, but as commenter donburgh noted below, they should be included in this list). This Hall would leave out players like:

  • Rogers Hornsby
  • Eddie Collins
  • Jimmie Foxx
  • George Sisler
  • Mickey Cochrane
  • Eddie Mathews
  • Harmon Killebrew
  • Bill Dickey
  • Hank Greenberg
  • Robin Roberts
  • Phil Niekro
  • Gary Carter
  • Bert Blyleven
  • and many, many more (not to mention all Veterans choices and players still on the outside)

If Dave really feels that his Hall of Fame would look like this, then that’s fine. But when people say things like that, what I really want to see is what their personal Hall of Fame would look like. Does it actually live up to their standards? It took me a while to come up with my own personal Hall. Someone with strict standards like this wouldn’t need much time.

This isn’t meant to throw Dave under the bus. It is meant to illustrate just how strict some of these criteria are when people just throw them out there.

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74 Comments on "The @obxleatherman Hall of Fame"

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Ed
Guest

Adam – I have no idea who this person is but since I respect your opinion I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. But I see that he also posted the following via twitter:

@HighHeatStats @baseballtwit I just feel like you know when you’re watching a HOFer. Never felt that way with Trammell or Blyleven.

There goes any respect I might have had for him. I’m sorry but I don’t see any point in discussing the HOF with people who say things like that. It’s a completely futile exercise.

Bryan O'Connor
Editor

Ed, I’m not big on the “never felt that way” argument either, but it’s not completely meritless. Can’t we save the “there goes any respect” line for bigots and violent criminals and agree that reasonable people can view baseball differently?

donburgh
Guest

Shouldn’t Gehrig and Clemente be included? I know they were elected by special election, but why should that matter here?

Mark
Guest

donburgh beat me to it (looks like a fellow Pittsburgher, so no wonder Clemente immediately came to mind for us)! I think they certainly fit the spirit of the constraint here.

donburgh
Guest

I am from Pittsburgh and a Pirates fan, but I actually noticed Gehrig first because Murray was the only 1B listed. That really stood out to me.

Bryan O'Connor
Editor

I see no problem with David’s logic here, as long as he recognizes that his Hall of Fame looks nothing like the actual Hall of Fame. If the Hall were as exclusive as that list above, it would still be a fascinating place. Sure, those aren’t the 65 greatest players of all time, but they’re mostly legends who had clearly established themselves as worthy of the real Hall early in their careers.

Mike
Guest
It’s difficult to come up with hard & fast criteria for a Hall of Fame. I mean, you could do it like women’s golf (win 30 tourneys & you’re in), but I don’t think anyone is really in favor of that. That’s why I’m a little like Dave. I err on the side of exclusion if I’m on the fence. I’m glad the Vets Committee was revamped because it became a Ted Williams’ crony club. Statistical analysis is an important part of evaluating a potential HOFer, but I also have a subjective, personal “gut feeling” test. It’s similar to Dave’s… Read more »
nightfly
Guest

The Vets’ Committee “a Ted Williams crony club”? I’ve heard that accusation leveled against Frankie Frisch, but never the Splinter.

Richard Chester
Guest

Williams was instrumental in getting Bobby Doerr into the HOF.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest
@22/RC, Bobby Doerr is considerably better than FoFF HOFers such as Chick Hafey, Freddy Lindstrom, Jess Haines, Highpockets Kelly,and Ross Youngs. Doerr finished 19th in B-R’s JAWS at 2nd base, behind 12 players, but ahead of six (Fox, Lazzeri, McPhee, Evers, Tinker, Schoendienst). Maybe borderline, but hardly a joke. Or, what Adam said in #26. I’ve heard that had Ted Williams lived a little longer and in better health, he would’ve made a strong push in the Veteran’s Committee for Johnny Pesky and Dom Dimaggio. Not sure how truthful this is.
Brent
Guest

Hmm, I guess Vern Stephens should have worked harder to be on The Splinter’s good side then, because his numbers look a lot better to me than Doerr’s.

no statistician but
Guest

Adam:

I don’t see Ty Cobb on your list, but wasn’t he one of the original picks?

JasonZ
Guest

Allow me to continue the Pittsburgh drumbeat.

A man who many consider a mediocre
Hall of Famer.

But a man who until the 1950’s was almost universally regarded as the greatest third
baseman ever.

A man whose support ranged from 1.1% in 1938 to 76.9% in 1948 when he gained election in his 8th time on the ballot.

A man who finished in the top ten in his league
6 times in batting average.

A man who finished in the top 5 at his position
in fielding percentage 11 times.

Harold Joseph Traynor.

A man known as Pie.

Mike
Guest

Jason, Pie Traynor was voted as 3B (over Baker & Mathews) on The Sporting News 1st 100 yrs team. Frankly, his 1976 Topps card is about the only way I’d know about him but it lets me know the respect he had in his time.

Hartvig
Guest

In his second HBA Bill James made a fairly convincing argument that most of that respect actually came after Traynor’s time. Up until about WW2 you were much more likely to see someone like Home Run Baker or Jimmy Collins or Heinie Groh or Larry Gardner as third baseman on someones All-Time team.

Views on Traynor- and a lot of other batters from the 20’s & 30’s- changed when offensive numbers returned to normal levels in the 40’s & 50’s.

Jason Z
Guest

MLB’s All Century Team in 1999 contained the following 3B’s…

Eddie Matthews
Brooks Robinson
Mike Schmidt
George Brett
Paul Molitor
Pie Traynor

Chad
Guest

Pie Traynor was referenced in a “The Simpsons” episode (Homer at the Bat) by Monte Burns. Probably the only reason a bunch of 25-40 year-olds had heard of him.

Darien
Guest

I first heard of him when I was making an all-food team and searched BBref for “Pie.”

BryanM
Guest
One of the dimensions that gets captured in the ” feeling” category that doesn’t in after the fact stats is dominance – the type of players that other teams really fear – think Pedro in 1999-2000. Mike Mussina was probably as good over his career , but he was never Dominant with a capital D . FWIW. I saw the tiger twins a fair amount, mostly on TV , and always FELT that Whitaker was the better of the two. I’m kind of a top ten at each fielding position guy when it comes to personal hall, as I am… Read more »
JasonZ
Guest

The fact that in 1976 Pie was still voted ahead
Of Eddie Matthews and Brooks, who still active
and possibly ineligible for this list, shocks me.

I had assumed that attitudes had evolved by
then.

The record shows an above average hitter
and very good fielder with good range.

He maintained this throughout his career. He became manager in 1934. The respect he
earned, and the fact that he never played at
a subpar level also helped his reputation endure

John Autin
Editor

Adam, good job laying out the implications of a 3-year HOF cut-off. One does often wonder if such absolutists have done the groundwork incumbent upon a responsible opinion.

Hartvig
Guest
Just looking at that list is fairly sobering. In just a quick scan thru the list I count more than a dozen players who are at best borderline qualifiers- meaning somewhere in the bottom 20 or so- for the Circle of Greats. There are even a few that are questionable candidates for the Hall of Fame even as it’s currently configured. And yet they sailed thru the BBWAA’s selection process with the same ease as Joe DiMaggio or Lefty Grove. To paraphrase Bill James: the Hall of Fame is a self-defining institution that has steadfastly refused to define itself. Even… Read more »
Jim Bouldin
Guest

Some of us don’t really get why the whole “Hall of Fame” idea is so appealing to so many in the first place, and have more or less stopped trying. Sort of like AM talk radio.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest
@33/JB, Baseball fans like to compare baseball players from different eras, they like the formal verification and reinforcement (that the MLB HOF bestows) that their favorites are amongst the best players ever. It’s an extension of being a sports fan. Most people like a good discussion. I don’t think it’s so hard to understand. Have you ever visited the baseball HOF? I have, and the room where the actual HOF plaques are located occupies about, I dunno, 2% of the actual floor space. What I am trying to say is, the phrase “Baseball Hall of Fame” to us means mostly… Read more »
Jim Bouldin
Guest

Fair enough Lawrence.

And to your point there, the more advanced statistics and types of analysis that have gained ascendance in recent years allows comparisons of players playing in different leagues and eras to potentially be made more fairly, which is certainly what we want. So it’s understandable, as you note. I’m just more of a team oriented, strategy type guy I guess.

The bigger point here however is that Tram and Lou should be in the HOF pronto, both of ’em, numbers be damned 🙂

Lawrence Azrin
Guest
@42/JB, Thanks for responding. I understand some people here get quite frustrated with the MLB HOF, when their favorite players don’t get the support they think they deserve. However, their aggravation should be directed at the BBWAA voters (and the little temper tantrum they’ve thrown the past few years), more so than the actual HOF in Cooperstown. Even without looking at the room of HOF plaques, it is a very fascinating place to visit. Tram and Lou are certainly very reasonable HOF cadidates – at the least, Lou should’ve stayed on the ballot and Tram should have above 50% now.… Read more »
Mike
Guest

Nightly, my memories of Splinter’s influence may be overdone. I think he wanted to take up Frisch’s role but couldn’t wield that much power. Here’s an article from Baseball Prospectus http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/20030114traven.shtml

nightfly
Guest

I was not aware of that article, Mike, thanks. More information is always welcome!

Chad
Guest

My only knowledge of Williams trying to influence voting was calling for Negro Leaguers to be inducted in his HOF induction speech.

Dan McCloskey
Editor
1984 was the first year in the history of BBWAA voting that there weren’t at least 10 eventual Hall of Famers passed over. One could argue that it wasn’t until around that time that the initial Hall of Fame backlog had started to clear out. So, it would seem to me that judging a Hall of Famer by how many years on the ballot it took for him to get elected isn’t a fully thought-out idea. That’s not to say there isn’t any merit to the idea that, given a level playing field, someone who has been passed over X… Read more »
Lawrence Azrin
Guest

@23/Dan,

I think it’s mostly the mainstream media’s fault, for making waaay too much of being a “first ballot HOFer”, and making no attempt to place it in any historical context, as I tried to do in my #36.

I don’t think most serious baseball historians pay any attention to the whole first ballot distinction; even though Eckersley was a first ballot HOFer and Lefty Grove took four ballots to be elected, to most of us Eck is still not on the same planet as Grove.

David Horwich
Guest
The question of what constituted “3rd year of eligibility” can be hard to determine for the earlier ballots; I’m not sure that eligibility was well-defined in the Hall’s early years. As many of you likely know, several active players (e.g. Gehrig, Foxx, Hornsby) received votes in the initial 1936 election, although of course that wouldn’t be allowed today. To take the case of Hornsby…he received votes while still an active player (barely active, but still) in 1936 and 1937. After his last plate appearances in 1937, he then received votes in the next 3 elections: 1938, ’39, and ’42. If… Read more »
Lawrence Azrin
Guest
@24/DH, Yes, HOF “eligibility” was so poorly defined up till the late 50s (or later) that I wouldn’t deny “first ballot HOF” status to anyone who appeared on the ballot before 1962. That phrase literally has no meaning for anyone elected before 1962 (except the first class, of corse),since _no on_ e was elected on the firs HOF ballot after 1937 and before 1962. Looking at the second list above, of players who took more than three ballots to be elected to the HOF, many of them were on the ballot before 1960. These are the ones who were not:… Read more »
Doug
Editor
I wonder whether Hornsby not making it until the 3rd (or 5th) ballot had to do with being widely regarded as a jerk. I suspect it may have played into the minds (consciously or otherwise) of some voters. Some of the voters in this year’s election were quite open about why they were biased against certain players and wouldn’t vote for them. Given the human frailties involved in the voting, I would be against an early exit from the ballot. Even with the present 15-year rule, the current logjam of eligible players (most of whom are worthy of consideration) will… Read more »
birtelcom
Editor

I count 112 HOF members (including Gehrig and Clemente) who were inducted via the BBWAA route. Joe Posnanaski and others come up with the same number.

birtelcom
Editor

Adam: I think the difference between your original count of 107 and my count of 112 is, in addition to Gehrig and Clemente, there are three guys who were elected in BBWAA “runoffs” under the BBWAA election rules of the time: Luke Appling, Charlie Gehringer and Red Ruffing. I count these as BBWAA-elected, while you may not be including them.

paget
Guest
To me your evaluation of both Whitaker and Trammel has everything to do with 1)how much you trust dWAR and 2)exactly how much stock you place in positional adjustments. If you look at their cumulative WAR on b-ref they both obviously belong in the Hall. But if you don’t trust dWAR (which I don’t), and you think that b-ref over-emphasizes positional adjustments (which I do), you’re going to be a lot less impressed with their careers. I haven’t voted for either of them in the CoG, and don’t feel too bad about either of them not being in the Hall.… Read more »
birtelcom
Editor

Actually, Trammell ranks 12th among shortstops all-time in career overall WAR, but moves up to 11th if you count only oWAR, so dWAR isn’t really doing him any great favors (going from oWAR to WAR moves Ozzie ahead of Trammell without moving Trammell ahead of anybody). At second base, Whitaker is ninth in oWAR and 7th in overall WAR, so dWAR is helping (it moves him past Biggio and Alomar) but that oWAR rank still seems pretty Hall-worthy.

bells
Guest

correct me if I’m wrong, but I was under the impression that oWAR also has a positional adjustment, does it not? I think I’ve heard that as explanation as to why oWAR and dWAR simply don’t add up. Although perhaps you weren’t trying to refute his second point, and only his first.

paget
Guest

Yeah, the positional adjustment in oWAR is exactly what I was driving at. The premise behind positional adjustments, offensively speaking, is unassailable I think everyone agrees; but precisely how much you’re supposed to adjust is open to interpretation. If you completely buy into b-ref’s evaluation, then you’ll vote for Trammell and Whitaker. But if you think their oWAR is inflated, then you’re going to have a harder time seeing them as Hall of Famers.

BryanM
Guest
Piaget, I am 100 % behind your suspicion on position adjustments., I too am reluctant to rely on them too much when comparing catchers to left fielders or 2B to DH, that said , whether or not Whitaker (my favorite of the two and the one I have consistently voted for in the COG) belongs in your personal hall, depends on how many 2B you want in there there are only a handful in history who were better than Lou. To take position adjustment out of the equation, where would you rank him – about 10th all time?
birtelcom
Editor

Bryan@52: Using just WAR’s offensive components — batting runs (Rbat), plus baserunning runs (Rbaser) plus avoiding-grounding into-double-play runs (Rdp), and not using any fielding value or position adjustment numbers at all, I get the following top totals for players with at least 1,000 games played:

1. Hornsby 849
2. Collins 668
3. Lajoie 566
4. Morgan 549
5. Carew 407
6. Gehringer 376
7. Biggio 327
8. Alomar 300
9. Kent 279
10. Whitaker 252
11. Grich 249
12. Utley 239
13. Sandberg 236

You don’t have to have a deep belief in fielding metrics to estimate that taking into account some element of defensive value moves Whitaker past Jeff Kent.

birtelcom
Editor

Adam @53, I was doing my post at the same time you were doing yours — we were on exactly the same wavelength, but I defer to your more complete lists (especially since your criteria for second base brings in Jackie Robinson, as it should — although your criteria didn’t bring in Carew).

BryanM
Guest
Thanks , Adam and Birtelcom your lists are exactly where I start when comparing players, well , not exactly, since I’m too lazy to count Rdp, without questioning its validity. I do not deny , as some appear to do either the importance of defense or the, validity of the advanced defensive metrics that we use today either, so I have no trouble moving people up and down on the list for defensive reasons over a career, Comparing defense over a season or less can be problematic due to sample size , and comparing between positions runs straight into iffy… Read more »
paget
Guest
Those lists are great, Adam and birtlecom, and revealing of just how good these guys were. BryanM, you hit the nail on the head when you say that whether LW makes it in to your personal Hall “depends on how many 2B you want in there.” Personally, I’ve got no problem with the idea that there could be a higher representation of, say, Right fielders than Second basemen. I definitely see the logic of saying “top 10 at every position make it in,” but don’t personally subscribe to it. I lean toward a small(er) Hall and wouldn’t have been saddened… Read more »
BryanM
Guest
Paget@67 I’m with you, I think the easiest thing is to ignore the stat called oWAR . Wille McCovey was a MUCH better offensive player than Lou, as shown by the offensive runs difference. Lou was a much better fielder playing a harder position and therefore a more valuable defender. We don’t need a stat which has all the offensive value and some of the defense to muddy the waters, IMHO. I would rank Mac as high among 1B as I rank Lou among 2B , which to me makes them roughly equally hall-worthy , recognizing that your mileage may… Read more »
obxleatherman
Guest
One thing about Twitter: It is impossible to communicate complex thoughts 140 characters at a time. The illusion of the Baseball Hall of Fame is that it represents the best players to have ever played the game. That’s a lie. If it was true, then Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens would be members. You may argue that they will be there one day, but we don’t know that. All we know is that they were eligible and soundly rejected. So, HOF membership must be something more than simply being one of the greatest players of all time. I like to… Read more »
David Horwich
Guest
Thanks for taking the time to explain your thinking in detail. You make some good points. One comment: I doubt that the word “Fame” was chosen after careful deliberation. Per wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hall_of_fame): “The English-language term was popularised in the United States by the Hall of Fame for Great Americans at Bronx Community College, in New York City, completed in 1900.” Bill James, “The Politics of Glory”, ch. 1: “The term ‘the Hall of Fame’…[had] been used in baseball since about 1905….A pitcher who threw a no-hitter would often be described as ‘having entered the Hall of Fame’. A sportswriter who… Read more »
birtelcom
Editor

Part of the problem with this argument, though, is it seems circular — it seems to make every vote entirely self-justifying and inarguable by definition. That is, it seems to make the case that because the voters of the time voted for player x as opposed to player y, they must by definition have been right, because you seem to be defining “fame” as “whatever the qualities that the voters of the time found worth voting for”.

BryanM
Guest
One element of fame that perhaps CAN be captured is ” bright promise, not entirely unfulfilled” if we compare Lou Whitaker to Ryne Sandburg , we can see that Ryne had a great season early, and was voted the MVP in his age 24 season , he remained a perennial all star, although he never had a better year, he had plenty that were almost as good, so the great player label stuck. For his near- contemporary Lou Whitaker, the “wow, this guy is real good” truck never gathered momentum .you don’t need advanced stats to see that the two… Read more »
Lawrence Azrin
Guest

@41/obxleatherman,

I understand what you are saying about the “fame” component of the Baseball Hall of Fame, but I’d give it somewhat less weight than you. At most, I’d consider it a tiebreaker, if the candidate is borderline.

For instance: Rube Waddell, Rabbit Maranville and Dizzy Dean are probably considered less than fully qualified HOF candidates by some people here. However, if I consider their contributions to the lore of MLB history, that would push them over the borderline for me.

I understand that others will favor a strictly analytical evaluation.

obxleatherman
Guest
Like I mentioned earlier, Twitter can sometimes make communicating difficult. In my tweet where I say “I generally disapprove of the guys that get elected after their 3rd year of eligibility,” I had 5 characters left. I would prefer to only discuss the HOF elections for the last 25 years to make my point. Let’s look at who was elected in their first 3 years of eligibility since 1988: Willie Stargell, Johnny Bench, Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Palmer, Joe Morgan, Rod Carew, Gaylord Perry, Fergie Jenkins, Tom Seaver, Rollie Fingers, Reggie Jackson, Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt, Nolan Ryan, George Brett, Robin… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest
I divided the 2 groups of Hall of Famers that you listed into 3 groups: 1) no doubt about it, 2) as good as or better than the average HOFer at their position 3) worse than the average HOFer at their position. I’ll admit that I gave the whole process only a couple of minutes consideration and if I did it again tonight I might come out with slightly different #’s but my guess is also that if polled all of the regular COG voters on HHS that if anything I’m probably being overgenerous in my assessment of both groups… Read more »
Lawrence Azrin
Guest

@44,

I agree with Adam in #49; I don’t see a huge difference between Group #1 (3-or-less years) and Group #2 (3+ years). The weaker players in Group #1 (Fingers,Puckett, Eck) are clearly not as good as the best [players in Group #2 (Niekro, Carter, Blyleven).

If we go back further than 1988, there are more players who(IMHO) took way too long to be elected; this is since the five-year elegiblity was strictly enforced:

– Snider (11 yrs)
– Mathews (5 yrs)
– Campanella (5 yrs)
– Killebrew (4 yrs)
– Roberts (4 yrs)

RJ
Guest

The virtual lack of first basemen is remarkable, although the total goes up one if you list Willie McCovey there instead of left field.

mosc
Guest
I’d like to make the point that players up for induction on the borderline are always talked about roughly 5-15 years after their career has finished. That puts them squarely in the lens of people watching live baseball 5-10 years after their careers had finished. Guys who finished up in the mid 90s (Trammel, Whitaker, et al) were evaluated most closely by the BBWAA during the peak of the steroids era where middle infielders hitting 15HR’s a year were “light on power”. It was easy to Compare Trammel to 2002 vintage ARod and brush him off. Arod already had 1350… Read more »
Lawrence Azrin
Guest
The same thing happened with Johnny Mize. When he retired in 1953, he was 7th all-time in career HRs. By the time he appeared in his first HOF ballot in 1960, Ted Williams, Ralph Kiner and Stan Musial had passed him, then in subsequent years, sluggers were passing him left and right: Snider, Colavito, Hodges, Mantle, Banks, Kaline, Aaron, Killebrew, Frank Robinson etc… So almost year, several people were passing Mize in career HR, and eventually he just didn’t look all that special. Of course, he was much more than just a HR hitter. Those three years he missed because… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Tiant managed to rack up a 3.2 WAR in 1969 while leading the league in

Losses
Walks, and
Homeruns

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Interesting. Tiant got 30% his first year.
His second year on the ballot, 10.5%, same as Roy Face.
This was the year of Bench and Yaz… and also the first year on the ballot for

Gaylord Perry
Fergie Jenkins
Jim Kaat

Also the 13th year for Jim Bunning, getting a late ballot push.
_____

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

And on the 2013 ballot, Deacon White’s 45 WAR would have been 19th best on the main ballot, sandwiched between Dale Murphy and Jack Morris.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/hof_2013.shtml#BBWAA

Lawrence Azrin
Guest
@71/VZ, White played from 1871 to 1890, when there were considerably less games played. I don’t think that you can compare his 1560 games played and 45 WAR one-on-one with a modern era (post-1900) player. Those are actually quite impressive totals for that time period. On the teams he played for, in 1871 there were 31 games, in 1890 there were 132 games, and there was not a 100-game schedule till 1884, 14 years into his career. Plus, he was a catcher, in the days of little or no equipment protection, which I’m sure cut into his playing time. He… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Mize is tied for 13th place on the all-tme OPS+ list with Hank Greenberg at 158, just one point below Musial.

BryanM
Guest
On the other hand, there is no doubt that in his time Ryne Sandburg was regarded as great, whereas Lou Whitaker and Bobby Gritch were regarded as good. We now see all three as much the same, and I don’t think it is unfair to notice that the same thing happens all the time in the arts – music that was in its time only a modest success goes on to be a classic, while a big hit is all but forgotten. Is Chase Ulttley among modern keystone men destined to be appreciated better from the perspective of 2032?
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