Regular HHS contributor “no statistician but” (or nsb) continues his series examining where the Hall of Fame cutoff line really lies with his look at marginal Hall of Famers. In Part 4, nsb takes a look at the outfield positions, and 14 selected Hall of Fame outfielders who are outside of the Hall of Stats. More after the jump
We’ve just recently concluded four rounds of argument with an underlying premise: that certain baseball players, because of their superior performance or impact over a number of seasons, should belong to a select group called the Circle of Greats. Choosing this year’s inductees was a difficult and sometimes contentious process owing to the lack of any candidates with a clear-cut edge over their peers, save in the case of Derek Jeter—and his reputation did not come through the process unscathed.
‘Not Just Friends of Frisch’ addresses a very different issue concerning players similar to those we considered during recent Circle of Greats elections. Specifically, I want to assess those players who have been elected to the official baseball Hall of Fame but whose credentials, according to one compelling measure, fall below a set standard, that of the Hall of Stats. It’s well to remember that the official HOF has no set criteria in terms of levels of performance; it’s for the voters, whether members of committees or journalists, to decide and they’re not bound by this or that statistical construct, nor are they instructed to ignore non-statistical factors that to them might seem relevant in considering who deserves enshrinement. In particular, some HOF voters may be more sensitive to certain nuances, such as record-setting figures and awards, and less sensitive to more progressive statistical analyses.
In contrast, the present exercise is to examine certain of those players who are in the HOF but not in the HOS, with an eye to determining which, if any, “belong” despite falling below the HOS evaluative level of 100. In part IV, I look at outfielders. As before, I am providing the HOS rating for each player as well as the number of plate appearances, plus the OPS+ and WAR figures. As a point of comparison, I’m also providing the 7th highest ranked retired players at each position, as ranked by JAWS.
Heinie Manush 79—8420 PA; 121 OPS+; 38.7 WAR
Ralph Kiner 93—6256 PA; 149 OPS+; 49.4 WAR
Lou Brock 72—11240 PA; 109 OPS+; 45.3 WAR
Jim Rice 84—9058 PA; 128 OPS+; 47.7 WAR
JAWS 7th: Al Simmons 132—9519 PA; 133 OPS+; 68.8 WAR
Max Carey 96—10768 PA; 108 OPS+; 54.0 WAR
Edd Roush 87—8147 PA; 126 OPS+; 45.3 WAR
Hack Wilson 77—5555 PA; 144 OPS+; 38.9 WAR
Earle Combs 75—6514 PA; 125 OPS+; 42.5 WAR
Earl Averill 88—7220 PA; 133 OPS+; 48.0 WAR
JAWS 7th: Duke Snider 130—8237 PA; 140 OPS+; 66.4 WAR
Harry Hooper 83—10255 PA; 114 OPS+; 53.5 WAR
Sam Rice 82—10252 PA; 112 OPS+; 52.7 WAR (WW I: 1 year)
Kiki Cuyler 88—8100 PA; 125 OPS+; 46.7 WAR
Enos Slaughter 95—9086 PA; 124 OPS+; 55.3 WAR (WW II: 3 years)
Harold Baines 58—11092 PA; 121 OPS+; 38.7 WAR (60% of starts at DH)
JAWS 7th: Al Kaline 187—11596 PA; 134 OPS+; 92.8 WAR
The challenge, again, is this, to argue for (or against) the presence in the Hall of Fame of any or all of the players listed here with a HOS rating below 100. One argument is disqualified: saying that Richard Roe doesn’t belong because John Doe, who was better, has been passed over for inclusion; this fails on every count to meet the terms of the challenge. The merits or demerits of the listed players, comparisons to other HOFers, the use of more detailed statistics, historical and biographical information—these and similar bases for argumentation are all welcome.
So: who belongs? I’ll make my usual follow-up remarks later on.