2012 Hall of Merit Plaques
Here are the 2012 Hall of Merit plaques! Thanks to theorioleway for writing them up and to rwagman for proofing them.
Click for the complete plaque room.
Rafael Palmeiro - 2012 - 1B
17.9 seasons with Chicago (NL) 1987-1988; Texas (AL) 1989-1993, 1999-2003; Baltimore (AL) 1994-1998, 2004-2005
Cap: Texas Rangers (AL)
The Cuban-born Rafael Palmeiro was one of the best 1B in the game during 1990s, a player who was remarkable for his consistency. From 1993-2003 (excluding the strike-shortened 1994 season), Palmeiro never finished with fewer than 37 home runs and 104 RBI in any given season. His prolonged excellence allowed him to put up impressive career numbers, as at the time of his induction, he ranked in the top 25 all-time in G (18th – 2,831), AB (15th – 10,472), PA (15th – 12,046), H (25th – 3,020), TB (10th – 5,388), 2B (16th - 585), HR (12th - 569), RBI (16th – 1,835), XBH (6th – 1,192), and times on-base (18th – 4,460). Palmeiro became the fourth player in history to reach both the 3,000 hits and 500 HR milestones. He was an integral member of two division winning teams (1997 Baltimore Orioles and 1999 Texas Rangers) and one wild-card winner (1996 Orioles). Led the AL in R (1993 - 124), H (1990 - 191), and 2B (1991 - 49). All-time Ranger leader in walks (805). Four-time All-Star (1988, 1991, 1998-1999) who won two Silver Slugger awards (1998-1999) and three Gold Gloves (1997-1999) and received MVP votes in ten separate seasons (1990, 91, 93-99, and 2001).
Rick Reuschel - 2012 - P
Chicago (NL) 1972-1981, 1983-1984; New York (AL) 1981; Pittsburgh (NL) 1985-1987; San Francisco (1987-1991)
Cap: Chicago Cubs (NL)
Pitching in an era saturated with star pitchers, Rick Reuschel was often overlooked during his time, but that lack of recognition should not reflect on the quality he brought to the bump. A workhorse moundsman during both the 1970s and 1980s (he threw over 200 innings in 12 different seasons),”Big Daddy” had his best season in 1977. That year, in 252 innings, he won 20 games with a 2.79 ERA (good for a 158 ERA+) and a league-best 0.5 HR/9. In 1987, not long removed from a serious rotator cuff injury, Reuschel led the NL in CG (12), SHO (4), WHIP (1.097) and BB/9 (1.7). The portly right-hander was a key component of two pennant winning teams (1981 New York Yankees and 1989 San Francisco Giants) and another division winner with San Francisco in 1987. He led the NL in GS (1980-38 and 1988-36). Three-time All-Star (1977, 1987, 1989) who won two Gold Gloves (1985, 1987). Reuschel also received votes for the Cy Young Award in three seasons (1977, 87 and 89), finishing as high as third in the two earlier years.
David Cone - 2012 - P
Kansas City (AL) 1986, 1993-1994; New York (NL) 1987-1992, 2003; Toronto (AL) 1992, 1995; New York (AL) 1995-2000; Boston (AL) 2001
Cap: New York Yankees (AL)
Known as an “ace-for-hire” for the numerous times contenders acquired him to make a playoff push, Cone was one of the most dominant pitchers of the 1990s. He was especially noteworthy for winning the AL Cy Young Award in the strike-shortened 1994 season, during which he won 16 games with a 2.94 ERA in 171.2 innings with a 1.072 WHIP. It was one of five season in which he picked up votes for the award, finishing in the top four in 1988, 1995 and 1998, as well as a sixth place finish in 1999. As great as Cone was during regular season action, he also repeatedly came up big in the postseason. A member of five World Series winning teams (1992 with the Toronto Blue Jays as well as 1996 and 1998-2000 all with the New York Yankees) along with a division winner in 1988 (New York Mets) and two wild-card winners (1995, 1997, both the Yankees), Cone went 8-3 with a 3.80 ERA in 111.1 postseason innings pitched. Those numbers look even better when focusing on baseball’s biggest stage, as in six World Series games he went 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA in 29.2 innings pitched. Led his league in W (1998 - 20), W-L% (1988 - .870%), IP (1995 – 229.1), SO (1990-233 and 1991-241), SO/9 (1990 - 9.9 and 1991 - 9.1), and SO/BB (1990 – 3.58). Cone was also a five-time All-Star (1988, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999).