2011 Hall of Merit Plaques
Thanks to theorioleway for writing these! And to Ryan Wagman for proofing them. 2012 and 2013 will be posted as well.
Click for the complete plaque room.
Jeff Bagwell - 2011 - 1B
13.6 seasons with: Houston (NL) 1991-2005
Cap: Houston Astros (NL)
The greatest player in the history of the Houston franchise, Bagwell was consistently the best all-around first baseman during the 1990s. ‘Bags’ combined exceptional plate discipline (.408 career OBP) with great power (.540 lifetime SLG) to be one of the most dangerous hitters in his era (149 career OPS+). His 1994 MVP season was sublime, as he led the league in R (104), RBI (116), SLG (.750), OPS+ (213), and TB (300). Besides being a masher, Bagwell could run (202 career SB, including two seasons of at least 30) and was considered a plus defensive 1B (winning the Gold Glove in 1994). The 1991 NL Rookie of the Year came to the Astros fully formed as the return in one of history’s most lopsided trades, acquired from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for 22 innings out of the bullpen for Larry Andersen. An integral member of the “Killer Bs” along with long-time teammate Craig Biggio, Bagwell was part of four division winners (1997-1999, 2001) and two wild-card winners (2004-2005) making the World Series in 2005 (the first Houston team to win a pennant). A four-time NL All-Star (1994, 1996, 1997, 1999) and three-time Silver Slugger award winner (1994, 1997, 1999). NL leader in games played four times (1992, 1996, 1997, 1999), Runs three times (1994, 1999, 2000) 2B (1996), BB (1999), and HBP (1991). He holds career franchise records for most HR (449), RBI (1,529), BB (1,401), and OPS+ (149).
Larry Walker - 2011 - RF
12.6 seasons with: Montreal (NL) 1989-1994; Colorado (NL) 1995-2004; St. Louis (NL) 2004-2005
Cap: Colorado Rockies (NL)
Walker was a great all-around OF in the 1990s whose presence in Colorado played a major role in putting them on the baseball map. One of only 17 players with 8,000 or more career PA who have a BA of at least .300, an OBP reaching .400, and a SLG of .500 or greater (.313/.400/.565, good for a 140 OPS+). His 1997 MVP season was one for the ages, as he hit .366 while leading the NL in HR (49), OBP (.452), SLG (.720), OPS (1.172), and TB (409). His 1999 season was nearly as productive, as he led the NL in BA (.379), OBP (.458), SLG (.710) and OPS (1.168). He also led the NL in BA in 1998 and 2001, led the NL in 2B in 1994, and won three Silver Slugger awards (1992, 1997, 1999). Besides his abilities with the stick, Walker added tremendous value with his legs (230 career SB) and fielding ability, as he won seven Gold Gloves while retiring with the 12th most RF assists over the course of his career with 150, leading the NL in 2002 with 14. Walker was part of two division winners (2004-2005) and one wild-card winner (1995) and made the World Series in 2004 (hitting .357/.438/.929 with two HR in a losing cause). Five-time NL All-Star (1992, 1997-1999, 2001). Has the highest career BA (.334), OBP (.426), SLG (.618), OPS (1.044), OPS+ (147), and OWP (.789) of any Rockies player.
Kevin Brown - 2011 - P
Texas (AL) 1986; 1988-1994; Baltimore (AL) 1995; Florida (NL) 1996-1997; San Diego (NL) 1998; Los Angeles (NL) 1999-2003; New York (AL) 2004-2005
Cap: Los Angeles Dodgers (NL)
Brown played on six different teams, but not because of a lack of results; he pitched well for each team he played for and had an excellent overall career. Possessing a nasty sinker, Brown was able to get players out both via strikeouts (2,397, 39th all-time) and weakly-hit ground balls. Brown was an All-Star with four different teams (Texas, Florida, San Diego, and Los Angeles) racking up a total of six appearances in the Mid-Summer Classic overall (1992, 1996-1998, 2000, 2003). He was the ace of two different teams pitching in back-to-back World Series (winning in 1997 with Florida, losing in 1998 with San Diego). Besides the wild-card winning Marlins and division-winning Padres, Brown also pitched for the division-winning 2004 Yankees. Led the AL in wins (21) and IP (265.2) in 1992. Led the NL in ERA twice (1996 and 2000), ERA+ (1996), WHIP twice (1996 and 2000), and SO/BB (2000).