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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2009 BBTF Hall of Fame Ballot Discussion

As in past years, anybody can pretend he or she is a BBWAA voter at BBTF!

We’ll have one week of discussion and then the ballot thread will be posted next Sunday (the election will end on Dec. 28).

The eligible candidates are: Harold Baines, Jay Bell*, Bert Blyleven, David Cone*, Andre Dawson, Ron Gant*, Mark Grace*, Rickey Henderson*, Tommy John**, Don Mattingly, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Jesse Orosco*, Dave Parker, Dan Plesac*, Tim Raines, Jim Rice**, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Greg Vaughn*, Mo Vaughn* and Matt Williams*.

Just to make sure everyone knows the rules, as we have done in the past, each ballot should follow BBWAA rules. That means you can have up to 10 players on your ballot in no particular order. Write-in’s are acceptable to add to your ballot, but as in reality, they wont count.

* 1st-year candidates

** Last year of eligibility

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 16, 2008 at 01:54 AM | 202 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:02 AM (#3030081)
hot topics
   2. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:12 AM (#3030109)
Perfect, I'd vote for exactly 10 of them.
   3. OCF Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:14 AM (#3030113)
I'm inclined to just vote for my first tier, the really obvious ones: Blyleven, Henderson, McGwire, Raines, Trammell.

The question would then be: why not anyone on the second tier: Cone, Dawson, Murphy, Smith? I did even have Cone on my 2009 HoM ballot somewhere but it was a deep backlog year. And Dawson is in the HoM without me ever voting for him. Lets just say that I'm not sold that any of these belong.

For what the two veterans committees should have done, see the ballots we conducted on the subject.
   4. zonk Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:19 AM (#3030118)
I assume there are 5 BTF automatics (Blyleven, Henderson, McGwire, Raines, and Trammell).

I would add Murphy, Dawson, and John (I give guinea pig credit... I probably wouldn't vote for him without it).
   5. Chris Cobb Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:58 AM (#3030156)
Blyleven, Cone, Dawson, Henderson, John, McGwire, Raines, Trammell

and then a bunch of guys who have been dropped from the ballot . . .
   6. Howie Menckel Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:58 AM (#3030157)
zonk,
I suspect you may be right on both tiers.

McGwire the most interesting of the 5.

And Rice and Morris will draw the most brickbats.
   7. Juan V Posted: December 16, 2008 at 05:01 AM (#3030160)
I'm pretty certain I'll vote for the three automatics. The other guys I'm trending towards voting for are Cone and Murphy.
   8. Juan V Posted: December 16, 2008 at 05:01 AM (#3030161)
Of course, by "three automatics" I mean "five automatics".
   9. HGM Posted: December 16, 2008 at 05:06 AM (#3030164)
Blyleven, Henderson, McGwire, Raines, Trammell

:)
   10. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 16, 2008 at 05:13 AM (#3030168)
My personal voting theory is to fill up the ballot, because I feel that the BBWAA is too selective, and so anything that encourages them to elect anybody is a good thing. When Jim Rice gets in this year, I'm not going to be happy about it, but it also won't get me mad. So here I'm going to vote for the "Big Five", Dawson, Murphy, Cone, Smith and John. (I've voted for Parker and Morris in the past, but I'm not upset that I don't have to now.)

If I actually had a ballot, I wouldn't vote for Smith or John. I'd vote for Cone in hopes that he makes the 5% cutoff, I don't know about Dawson and Murphy. They're similar enough that I feel I have to go the same way on both of them, but they're just on the wrong side of my PHoM line, and Dawson is a strong contender to get in. I think I'd lean towards "Yes", but I'm honestly not sure.
   11. CraigK Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:06 AM (#3030246)
Bert Blyleven,
Andre Dawson,
Rickey Henderson,
Tommy John,
Mark McGwire
   12. CraigK Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:07 AM (#3030247)
*and tim raines
   13. CraigK Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:08 AM (#3030248)
and trammell

and maybe i shouldnt' be doing this at one in the damn moring
   14. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:20 AM (#3030250)
I would vote for Trammell if only because the general voter support is way too low, but then I consider Barry Larkin (eligible in 2010), and it throws me off.

From what it looks like to me, the gap between Larkin and Trammell is big enough to draw a cutoff line within it, but maybe I'm wrong.
   15. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:26 AM (#3030252)
Pastor, what about the line between Trammell and Ozzie Smith. I basically think they are the same player, just one did it with the glove, the other with the stick. But value wise they are very close.
   16. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:33 AM (#3030254)
For me it would be:

Rickey Henderson
Alan Trammell
Tim Raines
Mark McGwire
Bert Blyleven
David Cone
Andre Dawson
Tommy John

They've dropped too many guys off the ballot, I cannot ever remember not wanting 10, until recently.

I would add that I think Larkin, Trammell and Ozzie Smith are very, very close, and in that order. But there's no way that one of them is qualified and any of the other 3 aren't.

In fact, in my rankings of all players, the 3 are in order, with no one between them. I have Luke Appling, Eddie Mathews and Robin Yount as the players just above the group; Wade Boggs, George Brett and Charlie Gehringer just below.
   17. RollingWave Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:36 AM (#3030257)
1.Ricky Henderson
2.Bert Blyleven
3.Tim Raines
4.Mark McGwire

(4 obvious deservers, albiet McGwire obvious has other issues)

5.Jim Rice (just put him in so we don't need to waste a million post on this anymore)
6.Dave Parker (because we're putting Rice in)
7.Alan Trammell (because we're putting Rice in)
8.Tommy John (because we're putting Rice in)
9 Andre Dawson (because we're putting Rice in)
10. Lee Smith ( because we're putting Rice in)
   18. rawagman Posted: December 16, 2008 at 01:14 PM (#3030274)
I support a large Hall of Fame, so as to be more representative to baseball fans everywhere and validate more of their great memories of the game. Off the cuff, I would vote for:
Bert Blyleven
David Cone
Andre Dawson
Rickey Henderson
Mark McGwire
Dale Murphy
Tim Raines
Jim Rice
Lee Smith
Alan Trammell

Of the above ten, I reserve the right to reconsider Lee Smith for my actual ballot later.
   19. karlmagnus Posted: December 16, 2008 at 02:07 PM (#3030292)
Rickey Henderson
Bert Blyleven
Mark McGwire
Dale Murphy
Tim Raines
Jim Rice
Tommy John
Alan Trammell
David Cone

several others not on the list that I'd want, starting with Parisian Bob Caruthers, and only two of these -- Rickey and Blyleven --do I think it an outrage if they don't make it. Couldn't see a 10th I wanted.
   20. Rusty Priske Posted: December 16, 2008 at 02:22 PM (#3030296)
In alphabetical order, I would vote for:

Bert Blyleven
Andre Dawson
Mark Grace
Rickey Henderson
Mark McGwire
Dale Murphy
Dave Parker
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
   21. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: December 16, 2008 at 02:38 PM (#3030301)
I vote for Harold Baines because I felt him once and he "feels like a Hall of Famer".

I have not felt any of the other candidates.

Now I must go back and write my column and plan my BBWAA bowling retreat.
   22. Mark Donelson Posted: December 16, 2008 at 02:47 PM (#3030306)
Blyleven
Cone
Henderson
McGwire
Raines
Trammell
Dawson
Parker
Murphy

All but the last three are definite; those three I might change my mind about (or add to).
   23. plim Posted: December 16, 2008 at 03:10 PM (#3030314)
because I felt him once

you felt up harold baines?
   24. RJ in TO Posted: December 16, 2008 at 03:15 PM (#3030320)
Alphabetically:

Bert Blyleven
Andre Dawson
Rickey! Henderson
Mark McGwire
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell

Given the standards that the Hall has set for relievers (Bruce Sutter? Seriously?), I could also easily be talked into voting for Lee Smith, but I won't.
   25. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 16, 2008 at 03:26 PM (#3030325)
Rickey Henderson
Bert Blyleven
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 16, 2008 at 03:26 PM (#3030326)
(I could easily be wrong about Dawson and Murphy, in particular. I didn't feel like looking it up.)
   27. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 16, 2008 at 03:27 PM (#3030327)
Rickey
Raines
Lee Smith

Fairly easy decision for me. Smith is very comparable to Gossage, and had he come up when the Goose did I think he'd have had a similar career; it's not his fault that the definition of his role changed during his career.

Blyleven I've gone over ad nauseam; if you want to know why he's not here, search the site. McGwire's not here because I think that he needs his post-1995 career to make it; that even if the PED use didn't help him hit HRs, the one thing it did do was make it possible to stay on the field so that he COULD pad his stats; and that without the PEDs he had have a couple more injury-plagued seasons and retired well short of HOF numbers. Trammell's not here because 1987 sticks out like a sore thumb among his numbers, and I don't see the rest of his career as being much different than that of Jim Fregosi, who isn't sniffing the Hall (although maybe that means we should have taken a closer look at Fregosi).

-- MWE
   28. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 16, 2008 at 03:28 PM (#3030328)
Oh yeah, and Smith was a "much" better pitcher than Sutter.

-- MWE
   29. Davo Dozier Posted: December 16, 2008 at 03:30 PM (#3030329)
Bert Blyleven
Tommy John
Alan Trammell
Rickey Henderson
Tim Raines
Mark McGwire
________________________


I suppose if Jim Rice is going to get elected, I'd have to add Dave Parker, Dale Murphy, Andre Dawson, Harold Baines, and Ron "Extrava" Gant to the list.
   30. RJ in TO Posted: December 16, 2008 at 03:33 PM (#3030331)
Oh yeah, and Smith was a "much" better pitcher than Sutter.


I agree. I just don't understand why Sutter is in, and would have set the bar for relievers much higher than the HoF did, such that Sutter and Smith (and Fingers) would have been excluded.
   31. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 16, 2008 at 03:38 PM (#3030336)
If you set the bar high enough to exclude Smith, then you almost have to exclude every modern day reliever except possibly for Mariano Rivera. That seems to me to be penalizing modern relievers because of something beyond their control (the change in their role).

-- MWE
   32. RJ in TO Posted: December 16, 2008 at 03:46 PM (#3030346)
What other modern day relievers, apart from Rivera, would you consider to be worthy of enshrinement? The only other one that I suppose would be considered could be Hoffman, but I'm not thrilled with the idea of electing any pitcher with less than 1000 IP, no matter the leverage.

Incidentally, I could probably be talked into supporting Smith - double checking his stats, he pitched several hundred more innings than I remembered.
   33. JPWF13 Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:05 PM (#3030365)
and I don't see the rest of his career as being much different than that of Jim Fregosi, who isn't sniffing the Hall (although maybe that means we should have taken a closer look at Fregosi).


The nearly 2000 more PAs mean nothing?

OPS+
Trammell: 155, 138, 138, 137, 135
Fregosi: 141, 127, 125, 114, 114

Trammell had few more years where he hit poorly and wracked up PT, Fregosi tended not to play when he wasn't hitting- Fregosi (especially in his decline phase) had far less defensive value.

Fregosi was a good player (as a Mets fan it hurts to say that), he was a similar type player to Trammell- but he wasn't as good, lower peak and less career value.
   34. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:22 PM (#3030396)
Someone needs to convince me on Plesac because I'm just not seeing it.
   35. Joey Nelson Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:33 PM (#3030409)
Without a doubt David Cone, Andre Dawsson, Rickey Henderson, Don Mattingly, and Lee Smith deserve to be in the hall of fame. Hopefully the Baseball Writers get it right this time!
   36. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:36 PM (#3030414)
I think I've been convinced on Smith. And while I didn't support Sutter, I could see leaving him has the 'bottom bar' so to speak, an Hall that included every ace more valuable than Sutter wouldn't be bad IMO.

My issue is mostly that I had Sutter so far behind Wilhelm, Gossage and Fingers. I have Smith kind of in the middle of that group and Sutter. I guess I thought Smith would be the 'tough call' on in/out and not Sutter. Since they elected Sutter, I should probably adjust and vote for Smith.

I could always leave him off in years where there are 10 others I like better. But in a year where I'm only voting for 8, a Smith vote seems reasonable. I'll add him.
   37. Delorians Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:39 PM (#3030418)
Voting for 10 because the real hall has been too restrictive of late compared to past standards:

Henderson
Raines
Blyleven
McGwire
Trammell
Murphy
Dawson
Rice
L Smith
John
   38. andrew siegel Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:45 PM (#3030432)
Henderson
Raines
Blyleven
McGwire
Trammell

(Smith, Dawson, probably Murphy, possibly Cone clear the HoF's existing bar but I'm feeling cantakerous this year)
   39. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:50 PM (#3030437)
Bert Blyleven, Rickey Henderson, Mark McGwire, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell.
   40. Cacciaguida Posted: December 16, 2008 at 05:22 PM (#3030484)
Blyleven
Cone
Henderson
John
McGwire
Raines
Smith
Trammell
   41. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 16, 2008 at 05:22 PM (#3030485)
Blyleven
Henderson
McGwire
Raines
Trammell
Dawson
L.Smith
   42. OCF Posted: December 16, 2008 at 05:29 PM (#3030496)
Note that this is officially the discussion thread, not the ballot thread. Half or more of the posts here look like ballots; if you want those to count, you'll have to repeat yourself in a week.
   43. Soul Man Posted: December 16, 2008 at 05:37 PM (#3030509)
Gut rankings: The first six will be on my ballot, Smith and Murphy might, and everyone from Cone down is out.

1) Rickey
2) Raines
3) McGwire
4) Blyleven
5) Trammell
6) Dawson

7) Smith
8) Murphy

9) Cone
10) Mattingly
11) Parker
12) Rice
13) Grace
14) Baines
15) Williams
16) John
17) Bell
18) Mo Vaughn
19) Morris
20) Gant
21) Orosco
22) Greg Vaughn
23) Plesac
   44. Jeff K. Posted: December 16, 2008 at 05:44 PM (#3030517)
I assume there are 5 BTF automatics (Blyleven, Henderson, McGwire, Raines, and Trammell).

If I had a HOF vote, so subject to all the same rules and context (this isn't what I'd say for PHOF):

Blyleven
Henderson
Raines
McGwire

That's no order, btw.

Cone and Trammell just miss for me.
   45. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 16, 2008 at 05:44 PM (#3030518)
What other modern day relievers, apart from Rivera, would you consider to be worthy of enshrinement?


Hoffman, definitely. Wagner should be considered. If KRod and Nathan keep on doing what they have been doing for 5-7 more years, they'll get into the discussion (I think Rodriguez probably will and Nathan probably won't, FWIW).

-- MWE
   46. JPWF13 Posted: December 16, 2008 at 05:44 PM (#3030519)
preliminary guesstimate rankings

Rickey Henderson
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Bert Blyleven
Andre Dawson
Tommy John
Lee Smith
-----------
David Cone
Dale Murphy
Don Mattingly
Jay Bell
Harold Baines
Matt Williams
Dave Parker
Jim Rice
Jack Morris
Mark Grace
Jesse Orosco
Ron Gant
Mo Vaughn
Greg Vaughn
Dan Plesac

Really don't know what to do with: Mark McGwire
   47. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 16, 2008 at 06:14 PM (#3030572)
Mike:

Typically we see eye to eye on these matters so I wanted to address the Trammell/Smith comments.

Alan's 1987 is no different than any other "great" type season by a fine player. And even then it isn't several standard deviations away. It's just one step better than a 1984, 1988 or 1990. And it's a curious logic that a player be penalized for having a special season. Particularly when not only did he perform at a high level but he was the offensive and defensive anchor for a team that won its division.

And what REALLY gets lost in Alan's career is his 1988 when offense was down but he dragged a now old and completely beat up Tigers team to the brink of a second straight division title. Has anyone ever really LOOKED at that team? You know who led the team in PA's? Chet Lemon. The Tigers had not one but TWO regulars hit .210 or lower in Darrell Evans and Gary Pettis. Not a single starting pitcher had an ERA better than league average. Yet that team won 88 games. And if Trammell doesn't get hurt and collapse in September Detroit could have easily won the division.

Fine hitter. Fine defender. Central figure on a historically great team (1984) and THE player on several other winning teams. Key position. Played a long time.

What, precisely, was Alan supposed to do to make it more obvious that he was a Hall of Fame player?

As for Smith, the guy is the Harold Baines of pitchers. He was just a guy after age 33 with nowhere near the mileage of a Gossage. The few times he was in the postseason he was lit up like a Christmas tree. Half the time he was in a All-Star game they didn't bother to pitch him because nobody noticed he was on the d*mn roster.

You wanna give Smith a gold watch for attendance like they do for mediocre employees who fill a role but never really distinguish themselves that's fine. But the Hall of Fame? Please

Trammell
Raines
Henderson
Blyleven

NEXT!!!
   48. Steve Treder Posted: December 16, 2008 at 06:25 PM (#3030593)
Blyleven
Henderson
McGwire
Raines
Trammell
   49. Scoriano Flitcraft Posted: December 16, 2008 at 06:29 PM (#3030598)
Rickey
   50. DanG Posted: December 16, 2008 at 06:38 PM (#3030608)
In a ranking game I'm currently involved in, here's where we have ranked the leading candidates among all-time players:

#40 Rickey Henderson
#91 Tim Raines
#95 Bert Blyleven
#115 Mark McGwire
#117 Alan Trammell
#206 Andre Dawson
#240 Dave Parker
#249 Jim Rice
#261 Dale Murphy
#316 Tommy John
#322 Don Mattingly
#345 Jack Morris
#361 David Cone
#362 Lee Smith
   51. sunnyday2 Posted: December 16, 2008 at 06:39 PM (#3030610)
Apologies if anybody has already pointed this out:

It's Jim Rice's last chance. You know what to do.
   52. sunnyday2 Posted: December 16, 2008 at 06:43 PM (#3030620)
If I was placing them in order, off the top of my head it would be:

1. Rickey

2. Raines
3. McGwire
4. Blyleven

5. Trammell
6. Mattingly

7. Murphy
8. Dawson
9. Rice
10. Parker (or Parker, Rice)

Yeah, yeah, I know all about Jim Rice. But he's better than at least half-a-dozen corner OF who are already in the HoF. My own PHoF would be a small hall which would only have the top 4.
   53. RJ in TO Posted: December 16, 2008 at 06:43 PM (#3030621)
It's Jim Rice's last chance. You know what to do.


Savagely beat anyone who votes for him?
   54. frannyzoo Posted: December 16, 2008 at 06:43 PM (#3030622)
Blyleven
Henderson
Raines
Trammell
McGwire (even if the whole HR hitting, slow-moving, "only talking about the future" shtick irritates me)

Trammell not getting in pisses me off even more than the Blyleven debacle. Maybe if "Ironman" Cal would do some lobbying...

P.S.: I humbly suggest the phrase "Well, if X is in you must consider/enshrine Y" result in the immediate execution-style slaying of the utterer. But then I'm a Small Hall/lots of dead bodies kinda guy.
   55. RJ in TO Posted: December 16, 2008 at 06:44 PM (#3030623)
Yeah, yeah, I know all about Jim Rice. But he's better than at least half-a-dozen corner OF who are already in the HoF.


Were they guys who were voted in by the BBWAA or the VC?
   56. Steve Treder Posted: December 16, 2008 at 06:47 PM (#3030627)
I humbly suggest the phrase "Well, if X is in you must consider/enshrine Y" result in the immediate execution-style slaying of the utterer.

What, no sadistic torture before the slaying?
   57. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 16, 2008 at 06:48 PM (#3030628)
And because Ernie always enjoyed mentioning this item Trammel OWNED Roger Clemens. It was one of those things at the time that folks talked about openly and marvelled at.

.364/.391/.561

Trammell faced Clemens more than he faced just about anybody.

Trammell also smacked around Dave Stieb and Bret Saberhagen. When they were good.

The guy who owned Alan that folks will recognize. Bert. Yeah, that guy. And Bobby Witt. Witt punked Alan.
   58. RJ in TO Posted: December 16, 2008 at 06:50 PM (#3030631)
P.S.: I humbly suggest the phrase "Well, if X is in you must consider/enshrine Y" result in the immediate execution-style slaying of the utterer. But then I'm a Small Hall/lots of dead bodies kinda guy.


I have no problem with 'consider', as it allows you the freedom to reject said player, especially if the "If X" guy was obviously a mistake. 'Enshrine' annoys me, as it implies a certain degree of infallibility of both the BBWAA (generally does a good job) and the VC (generally done a mediocre job). I'll save my offers of violence for those who go the 'must enshrine' route.
   59. Steve Treder Posted: December 16, 2008 at 06:55 PM (#3030633)
'Enshrine' annoys me, as it implies a certain degree of infallibility of both the BBWAA (generally does a good job) and the VC (generally done a mediocre job). I'll save my offers of violence for those who go the 'must enshrine' route.

Fair enough. Because if indeed every ballplayer as good as Fred Lindstrom, Rube Marquard, or Tommy McCarthy is enshrined, we are talking about a BIG hall.
   60. JPWF13 Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:01 PM (#3030770)
Yeah, yeah, I know all about Jim Rice. But he's better than at least half-a-dozen corner OF who are already in the HoF.


Name them
seriously

Lou Brock....

Sam Rice?
Harry Hooper?
   61. DL from MN Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:02 PM (#3030771)
Here's my placement among my all-time list:

1) Rickey Henderson (29th) just behind Frank Robinson among outfielders
2) Bert Blyleven (45th) fits with Niekro/Perry/Carlton/Roberts and ahead of Jenkins/Palmer/Ryan
(Barry Larkin)
3) Tim Raines (86th) better than Gwynn
4) Alan Trammell (112th) grouped with Banks and Yount who were both better when they played SS but moved to lesser positions early in their careers
5) Mark McGwire (164th) this is without a PED penalty, just not much there other than his bat
6) David Cone (~175th) hurt by the strike, I like the staff ace on loan description best. Grouped with Stieb, Reuschel and Tiant, as good as Red Faber and better than Mordecai Brown
(Edgar Martinez)
7) Lee Smith (~190th) not nearly as good as Gossage but better than Fingers, way better than Sutter
(Roberto Alomar)
8) Tommy John (~245) not currently above my in-out line but close enough that he deserves discussion
9) Andre Dawson (~255) not currently above my in-out line, too many outs
10) Matt Williams (somewhere in the high 300s to low 400s)
   62. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:11 PM (#3030784)
grouped with Banks and Yount who were both better when they played SS but moved to lesser positions early in their careers

I will continue to dispute this characterization of Yount's move to centerfield.

He played 11 full seasons at shortstop, 1479 games. Everyone keeps focusing on Robin's chronological age during the time the move happened due to injury as he played his last game at short at age 28. But Yount began his career at age 18 and played almost two full seasons more than Banks did at the position.

Since Robin's career ended after the 1993 season at age 37 I cannot understand nor will ever understand how folks keep referring to this transition as being early in his career. His career was more than half over by any measure. Games. Innings. Seasons played. At bats. What have you.

Good grief.......
   63. TomH Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:14 PM (#3030790)
Hey guys -
Don't know where the 'right' place to ask this question (and recieve the answers) is, but this seems as good a spot as any.
I'd like to make a brief list of "Hall of Famers who likely got elected by the skin of one tiny event outside of their control". In other words, guys who, if circumstances had turned ever so slightly, would probbaly not be in the HoF.

Off the top fo my head, I can only think of one; I storngly suspect that if a certain groundbal had not popped Tony Kubek in the throat, contributing greatly to a Pirate rally in game 7 of the 1960 W.S., that Bill Mazeroski would not be in the HoF today.

One possibility for hte future: If Jack Morris ever gets in, he will do so only because of a famous Lonnie Smith baserunning gaffe, without which he would have pitched a fine game 7 of the '91 Series, but gotten tagged with a 1-0 loss.

So, historians: what other barely-in HoFers are there who made their case with the help of a single solitary performance, maybe set up by one crucial play?
   64. Steve Treder Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:16 PM (#3030796)
So, historians: what other barely-in HoFers are there who made their case with the help of a single solitary performance, maybe set up by one crucial play?

Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance turned a 6-4-3 double play in a crucial late-season game against the Giants (in 1908, I believe), that prompted a sportswriter to write a cute little rhyme about it. Without that it's a near-certainty they wouldn't have been elected as a trio to the HOF in 1946.
   65. DL from MN Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:17 PM (#3030797)
If Yount had moved 3 years earlier, he might not be considered a shortstop.
   66. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:27 PM (#3030817)
Name them

Jim Rice: 128 OPS+, 8225 AB

Leaving off guys who have obvious qualifications outside of their OPS+ (Brock would fit here, although you can argue that Rice was better anyway)...
Tom McCarthy (102, 5128)
Sam Rice (112, 9269)
Chick Hafey (133, 4625)
Ross Youngs (130, 4627) - I did not realize that Hafey's career was as short as the guy who died young.

I'd probably draw the line here as far as "clearly worse than Jim Rice" goes - Brock and Hooper have arguments for being worse as well. So do a few other guys - Heinie Manush is in the same area, Kiki Cuyler. A non-war credited Enos Slaughter.

The general thrust being that Rice is near the bottom of the Hall if/when he goes in, bottom quarter or so (and I think he'd be a mistake). But there are worse guys. (As Ryan Jones points out, everyone in this area except for Brock is a VC selection, or the Old-Timers committee.)
   67. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:30 PM (#3030823)
It amuses me that the HOM will remind folks to focus on what a player actually did.....until that discussion is not convenient.

Ha!!
   68. RJ in TO Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:32 PM (#3030825)
Leaving off guys who have obvious qualifications outside of their OPS+ (Brock would fit here, although you can argue that Rice was better anyway)...
Tom McCarthy (102, 5128)
Sam Rice (112, 9269)
Chick Hafey (133, 4625)
Ross Youngs (130, 4627) - I did not realize that Hafey's career was as short as the guy who died young.


You also forgot the lesser Waner, who was also a VC selection.
   69. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:35 PM (#3030827)
You also forgot the lesser Waner, who was also a VC selection.

He was a center fielder, yes? I was just looking for corner outfielders. But yeah, he's also clearly in the very bottom group.
   70. AROM Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:36 PM (#3030830)
My votes:
1. Rickey
2. Blyleven
3. Dawson
4. McGwire
5. Raines
6. Trammell
7. John

And if I were allowed, Lou Whitaker.
   71. RJ in TO Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:37 PM (#3030833)
He was a center fielder, yes? I was just looking for corner outfielders.


My mistake. For whatever reason, I thought the better Waner also played CF, which made the lesser's selection to the Hall even more baffling.

I still like the rumor that his election was the result of someone presenting the VC with the stats of his brother.
   72. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:50 PM (#3030858)
Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance turned a 6-4-3 double play in a crucial late-season game against the Giants (in 1908, I believe), that prompted a sportswriter to write a cute little rhyme about it.


Franklin P. Adams (F.P.A.) wrote that poem in 1910, in July. And it had very little to do with Tinker, Evers, and Chance making the HOF.

-- MWE
   73. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:57 PM (#3030870)
I don't know that I'd defend this argument to the death, but I wonder if Tony Lazzeri would have made the Hall if he hadn't been the guy that Grover Cleveland Alexander struck out in the 1926 Series. Yes, he was a very good player, with the Yankees for a long time, and is a better pick than a lot of people. But being a central figure in one of the most famous stories in baseball history helped keep his name alive in people's minds, and a long time later, the VC picked him out.

Does Richie Ashburn get in if the Whiz Kid Phillies don't make it to the Series? But then again, he was the guy who threw out Cal Abrams.

Who knows how Nellie Fox's career would have developed if Connie Mack hadn't been dumb enough to trade him to the White Sox? (OTOH, if he stayed with the A's, maybe they would have traded him to the Yankees in the mid-50s and the BBWAA votes him in after a few years.)
   74. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:59 PM (#3030871)
By "a lot of people", I mean there's a definite chunk of guys we'd kick out before Tony.
   75. JPWF13 Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:01 PM (#3030872)
Yeah, yeah, I know all about Jim Rice. But he's better than at least half-a-dozen corner OF who are already in the HoF.

Name them
seriously


More pertinent, my list of OFs as good or better than Rice who are not in the Hall:

Barry Bonds
Rickey Henderson
Manny Ramirez
Gary Sheffield
Ken Griffey
Tim Raines
Sherry Magee
Larry Walker
Dwight Evans
Bob Johnson
Vladimir Guerrero
Rusty Staub
Sammy Sosa
Jack Clark
Brian Giles
Reggie Smith
Bobby Abreu
Frank Howard
Bobby Bonds
Ken Singleton
Andre Dawson
Jim Edmonds
Jimmy Wynn
Albert Belle
Babe Herman
Bernie Williams
Luis Gonzalez
Dave Parker
   76. RJ in TO Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:08 PM (#3030881)
More pertinent, my list of OFs as good or better than Rice who are not in the Hall:


Could you strip that down to guys who are eligible? It doesn't seem reasonable to compare Jim Rice to guys who haven't been voted in because no one has had a chance to vote on them yet.
   77. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:11 PM (#3030886)
In: Blyleven, Rickey!, Raines, Trammell.
Will consider over the next week: Dawson, McGwire.
Will consider sympathy vote, but don't view as HOFer: John, Murphy (my favorite player as a kid).
   78. Chris Dial Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:13 PM (#3030891)
Will consider sympathy vote, but don't view as HOFer: John, Murphy
I think his work with the HOM puts him in...
   79. JPWF13 Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:14 PM (#3030892)
Could you strip that down to guys who are eligible? It doesn't seem reasonable to compare Jim Rice to guys who haven't been voted in because no one has had a chance to vote on them yet.


Tim Raines
Sherry Magee
Dwight Evans
Bob Johnson
Rusty Staub
Jack Clark
Reggie Smith
Frank Howard
Bobby Bonds
Ken Singleton
Andre Dawson
Jimmy Wynn
Albert Belle
Babe Herman
Dave Parker
   80. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:24 PM (#3030900)
Babe Herman?
   81. RJ in TO Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:30 PM (#3030907)
Babe Herman?


I was wondering about that too. 6200 PA of 140 OPS+ balanced by legendarily bad fielding and baserunning in a non-integrated league doesn't seem superior to 9000 PA of 128 OPS+ with better fielding in a much more competitive league.
   82. DanG Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:38 PM (#3030920)
And if I were allowed, Lou Whitaker.

I count 8 HoMers victimized by the 5% rule who retired in the past 20 years. Chronologically:

Darrell Evans
Keith Hernandez
Dwight Evans
Willie Randolph
Dave Stieb
Lou Whitaker
Bret Saberhagen
Will Clark

BBWAA eligibility for HoMers Ted Simmons and Graig Nettles expired last year.
   83. RJ in TO Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:47 PM (#3030935)
Of those guys, the only two I'm surprised by are Whitaker and Hernandez. All the rest fit quite well with the things the BBWAA generally doesn't like - low averages (Evans), relatively short careers (Will Clark, Saberhagen, Stieb), and emphasis on secondary skills (the walktastic nature of Evans, Evans, and Randolph).

Hernandez was surprising, due to the BBWAA love of defense and his MVP award, and Whitaker was surprising due to the long career (2300 games at 2B), generally good fielding (3 GG), and power from a non-power spot (244 HR), as well as the association with Trammell.

I still think he got screwed by the "He's not a first ballot Hofer, but I'll vote for him next year" crowd.
   84. JPWF13 Posted: December 16, 2008 at 10:03 PM (#3030958)
Babe Herman?



I was wondering about that too. 6200 PA of 140 OPS+ balanced by legendarily bad fielding and baserunning in a non-integrated league doesn't seem superior to 9000 PA of 128 OPS+ with better fielding in a much more competitive league.


I thought about removing Herman, I had him only 16 runs better than Rice (using a very high replacement value of 4r/g) but then said what the hell:
The late 70s AL was notably weaker than the late 70s NL.
I use a park adjusted run estimator (ERP) rather than OPS+- and Rice has a lower r/g than virtually anyone else with his OPS+.

anyway, I've decided to tweak the #s... I hadn't noticed that my totals only had GDP #s for 1/2 Herman;'s career, so I doubled them (I already had plugged in a CS figure)... that brings Herman down to a dead tie with Rice...

everything else considered, yeah, I should drop Herman from that list- I might add Strawberry though
   85. Steve Treder Posted: December 16, 2008 at 10:13 PM (#3030971)
And it had very little to do with Tinker, Evers, and Chance making the HOF.

Seriously? You think that if that memorable poem hadn't cast those names in iambic pentameter (or whatever it is), all three would have been elected? And simultaneously?
   86. TomH Posted: December 16, 2008 at 10:20 PM (#3030978)
After a breathtakingly brief study, I conclude that every baseball-playing trio who has been the subject of imabic pentameter have subsequently simultaneously been elected to the Hall. Q.E.D.!

Yes, agree with Steve T, it would have affected their entrance somehow, with Chance making it in anyway (credit for managing); the other two, maybe not, hard to tell.
   87. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 16, 2008 at 10:26 PM (#3030986)
After a breathtakingly brief study, I conclude that every baseball-playing trio who has been the subject of imabic pentameter have subsequently simultaneously been elected to the Hall. Q.E.D.!

Somebody want to get started on "Santo to Dahlen to Grich"?

And on Tom's topic, because someone has to bring it up - Ray Chapman/Joe Sewell.
   88. Steve Treder Posted: December 16, 2008 at 10:31 PM (#3030992)
Chance making it in anyway (credit for managing); the other two, maybe not, hard to tell.

I agree that Chance probably makes it (he was roughly comparable to Fred Clarke, who was elected in 1945). Tinker, no way in hell. Evers, perhaps, but I doubt it.
   89. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 16, 2008 at 10:31 PM (#3030993)
And maybe this is straying from the idea, but probably Ray Schalk, and possibly Red Faber, don't get in if the Black Sox don't decide to throw the World Series - or, as Rob Neyer has pointed out, if the White Sox hadn't replaced Jack Fournier with Chick Gandil. Although the non-Black Sox universe would be different in so many ways that we don't even know what the Hall of Fame would look like.
   90. Steve Treder Posted: December 16, 2008 at 10:37 PM (#3031000)
Although the non-Black Sox universe would be different in so many ways that we don't even know what the Hall of Fame would look like.

I wouldn't go that far. My guess is if the Black Sox scandal hadn't blown open the issue of gambling in MLB, something else would have; it was pretty rampant.

I agree that Schalk was elected to the HOF as a martyr. Faber probably would be in anyway. And of course, Joe Jackson would be in, as well as perhaps Eddie Cicotte.
   91. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 16, 2008 at 10:44 PM (#3031005)
True, but no Black Sox Scandal might mean no Commissioner Landis, and lots of little things could change. Something like the Hall of Fame would probably have come into existence anyway, but where and when and how they pick people could be very different.
   92. Steve Treder Posted: December 16, 2008 at 10:50 PM (#3031016)
True, but no Black Sox Scandal might mean no Commissioner Landis, and lots of little things could change. Something like the Hall of Fame would probably have come into existence anyway, but where and when and how they pick people could be very different.

Obviously it's impossible to know, but again I suspect that even without the Black Sox per se, there probably would have been a different scandal involving game throwing, and Landis (or someone else like him) would have been brought in anyway. Perhaps the Cobb/Speaker thing would have been the triggering event.

And in any case I don't see that it has anything to do with the HOF, which was conceived as a way to attract tourists to visit the resort town of Cooperstown during the depression.
   93. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2008 at 10:50 PM (#3031017)
So, historians: what other barely-in HoFers are there who made their case with the help of a single solitary performance, maybe set up by one crucial play?


Kirby Puckett's HR in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series.
   94. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 16, 2008 at 11:09 PM (#3031040)
You think that if that memorable poem hadn't cast those names in iambic pentameter (or whatever it is), all three would have been elected?


In 1939 - the fourth year of the vote, when Sisler, Collins, and Keeler were elected - Chance drew 57.7% of the vote, more than any 1B other than Sisler, and Evers drew 39.1%, more than any other 2B but Collins and Hornsby. Both were easily in the top 10, and both had been building support over the four years of the voting to that point. Then the HOF stopped voting for three years. In 1942, Chance for some reason got no votes (I think player-managers might have been ruled ineligible, or something), but Evers held steady even after the introduction of more players, moving up to sixth. Then the HOF didn't vote for three more years. In 1945, Chance (back on the ballot) was first, but came up a handful of votes shy of 75%, and Evers was fourth. As time passed with no one being elected, more players were becoming eligible, making it more difficult to find consensus, and after 1946, when Chance and Evers were 1/2 but with diminishing percentages, and after some prodding by MLB, the HOF re-established the VC, which put in a whole boatload of players including T/E/C.

Evers and Chance were established as major stars BEFORE the F.P.A. doggerel came about, and Tinker was well-known as a solid clutch performer (he "owned" Christy Mathewson, thanks to a couple of well-timed hits off of Matty). Their reputations weren't built overnight because of some press puffery.

-- MWE
   95. Steve Treder Posted: December 16, 2008 at 11:22 PM (#3031061)
Evers and Chance were established as major stars BEFORE the F.P.A. doggerel came about, and Tinker was well-known as a solid clutch performer (he "owned" Christy Mathewson, thanks to a couple of well-timed hits off of Matty). Their reputations weren't built overnight because of some press puffery.

Sure. But every major star doesn't get elected to the HOF, and well-known solid clutch performers never do (unless they're good buddies of Frankie Frisch). Of course they had lots of HOF support; they eventually were elected, after all. The issue is whether they would have received as much support as they did without having their names celebrated in the second-most-famous baseball poem of all time.

And as I've said, I think Chance would have, but I'm doubtful about Evers, and Tinker wouldn't have had a prayer.
   96. Esteban Rivera Posted: December 16, 2008 at 11:29 PM (#3031070)
I'm in agreement with Mike. That's one thing that drives me nuts about some of Bill James' fans (and I like his work). They tend to regurgitate whatever he has written as gospel without coming to conclusions themselves about the subject he has written. James tends to strongly word his opinions, sometimes exaggerating his comparisons for effect, and not always for the benefit of the reader, especially in the cases where he is not entirely correct. But since he comes off as very sure and delivers it in such a snarky matter, most people take it at face value.

IMO, anybody who regurgitates that the poem is what got T-E-C into the Hall of Fame is showing a parrot mentality without looking to see if what is said is true. Saying that the poem is what got them into the Hall is like saying that Reggie's in because he had a candy bar. These are not the reasons for their enshrinement. They are symptoms, evidence of the esteem they were held, of how they were viewed.

Frank Chance: Think Joe Torre managing the Yankees while simultaneously being its best player.

Johnny Evers: Think Jeter before Jeter reputationwise (read how the newspapermen of his time described him)

Joe Tinker: Ozzie Smith like with clutch reputation

That's what got them in the Hall, not some poem.
   97. Steve Treder Posted: December 16, 2008 at 11:39 PM (#3031088)
Well, you won't find a bigger Bill James fan than me, but I was a vocal proponent of the-poem-is-what-got-TE&C;-into-Cooperstown at least 15 years before I'd ever heard of Bill James.
   98. Guapo Posted: December 16, 2008 at 11:42 PM (#3031092)
Somebody want to get started on "Santo to Dahlen to Grich"?


Six words that anger sabermetricians:
"No Santo, No Dahlen, No Grich."
Baseball Valhalla's most wretched omissions:
Santo and Dahlen and Grich.
Laden with WARP, but lacking in fame;
Vet'rans Committee, you should be ashamed;
Lo! From Mom's basement, hear the cry of their names:
"Santo, and Dahlen, and Grich."
   99. Steve Treder Posted: December 16, 2008 at 11:45 PM (#3031095)
Primey!
   100. OCF Posted: December 16, 2008 at 11:47 PM (#3031100)
The problem with Tinker and Evers isn't that they're horrible HoF selections - they're not, and the HoF has some horrible selections other than them. The problem is that they were selected while George Davis and Bill Dahlen were passed over - Davis for another half century and Dahlen still on the outside. Between the late 90's - the heyday of Davis and Dahlen - and the late Oughts, when the Cubs ruled the world, there has to have been a major shift in the quality and quantity of press coverage and literary attention paid to major league baseball. With the HoF vote depending on reputation and anecdote, those who fell on the wrong side of that divide in the written word were at a disadvantage.
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