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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best
Monday, December 22, 2003
Joss, Koufax and Dean
I think a separate thread to discuss the likes of Addie Joss, Sandy Koufax and Dizzy Dean is appropriate.
These guys are in a family unto themselves. I suppose if Pedro Martinez were to retire tomorrow, he’d be in the group too, though he’s a notch above those three.
These guys were amazing pitchers, who for one reason or another only had 6-8 years of greatness.
Where should we rank them? I was surprised at how little support Joss received in his first go-round. I didn’t vote for him either, but I think I could easily be convinced to, I’m waiting for my revised Pennants Added numbers before I vote for Joss. Players like Hughie Jennings and Bob Caruthers received much more support, but I don’t see them as being any better than Joss. How can one justify keeping Joss of the ballot, but voting for Dean or Koufax? I’m not saying you can’t, but it’s not immediately obvious, and I have to think Koufax and probably Dean will do much better than Joss did.
You don’t rack up a 142 ERA+ (especially in a low ERA era, where it’s tougher to have an extreme ERA+) over 2300 IP without being a great pitcher. Sure he didn’t pitch an incredible amount of innings every year (in the context of his time), but neither does Pedro, and Koufax was only in the top 10 in the NL 4 times, though he did lead the league twice. Dean was a horse during his 6 year run.
I think these three pitchers are probably the most fascinating candidates we’ll see.
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