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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

10 good Hall of Fame candidates most MLB fans have never heard of

Another good one from Graham Womack.

Home Run Johnson

Most underrated player in baseball history? Every player mentioned here might have a case, though Johnson could lay the most claim.

Four of these ten are in the Hall of Merit. Here’s Johnson’s plaque:

“Arguably the greatest player at the turn of the 20th century. “Home Run” Johnson was the premier Negro League shortstop before John Henry Lloyd. The right-handed slugger had great power for the Deadball Era, impressive strike zone judgment and was also a terrific contact hitter. An excellent defensive player, he moved to second base at an advanced age only because a greater defensive player (Lloyd) became the full-time shortstop (though Johnson’s defense was still of high quality). His famous nickname was born after many a timely clout helped his team to victory.  Member of three Eastern winners (1896, 1903, 1905) and four Western champions (1899-00, 1910, 1913). Holway 1913 Eastern All-Star. Batting champ (1913).”

DanG Posted: May 17, 2017 at 12:28 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, hall of merit, home run johnson, negro leagues

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. ReggieThomasLives Posted: May 17, 2017 at 10:22 PM (#5458079)
How can there be a black Ty Cobb?
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: May 17, 2017 at 10:29 PM (#5458083)
where are Pebbly Jack Glasscock (a HOMer) and Cannonball Dick Redding (has gotten within a handful of votes to election)?
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 17, 2017 at 10:34 PM (#5458085)
where are Pebbly Jack Glasscock (a HOMer) and Cannonball Dick Redding (has gotten within a handful of votes to election)?

If I had to guess, I'd go with a same-sex adult film.
   4. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 18, 2017 at 12:06 AM (#5458126)
So they didn't have to take eight balls, they wanted to take eight balls?
   5. DanG Posted: May 18, 2017 at 12:19 AM (#5458129)
where are Pebbly Jack Glasscock (a HOMer) and Cannonball Dick Redding
Everyone's heard of them.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 18, 2017 at 12:26 AM (#5458132)
So they didn't have to take eight balls, they wanted to take eight balls?

...probably a film titled "Eight Men Out."
   7. QLE Posted: May 18, 2017 at 01:11 AM (#5458145)
Everyone's heard of them.


I'm not sure Glasscock and Redding are any more familiar that Creighton, Adams, Barnes, Johnson, or Bennett- I've always gotten the impression that anyone familiar with one of those seven will know the other six.
   8. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 18, 2017 at 06:05 AM (#5458157)
Charlie Bennett
Baseball researcher Adam Darowski, who chairs the 19th Century Committee for the Society for American Baseball Research, recently lamented that Bennett is so overlooked as to not even qualify for the committee's annual honor for most overlooked 19th century legend. Statistically, though, he rates among the best catchers in baseball history and did so in a bare-knuckled era where backstops played with little protection. Darowski elaborated on Bennett's case in a recent article on his website.


The name "Chas. W. Bennett" (written like that) is very familiar to me. Does anyone know why? Is it just from his old Allen & Ginter baseball card, or is there a street or a park named after him, or is it on a monument or something? (I'm from Michigan, so it's possibly a local thing.)
   9. GGC:BTF's Biggest Underachiever Posted: May 18, 2017 at 06:11 AM (#5458160)
Is Darowski the guy from 3rd Bass? A quick Google Search say no; he's the HallofStats guy. I had no idea he was a 19er like John Thorn and the late Fred Ivor-Campbell.
   10. DanG Posted: May 18, 2017 at 07:56 AM (#5458173)
is there a street or a park named after him
Wikipedia: "Bennett Park was a ballpark, named after Charlie Bennett, that formerly existed in Detroit, Michigan, at Michigan and Trumbull. It was home to the Detroit Tigers. The ballclub began play here in the minor Western League with a 17-2 win over the Columbus Senators on April 28, 1896. That league was renamed the American League in 1900 but was still officially a minor league. The AL declared itself a major league starting in 1901.

The ballpark sat 5,000 when opened in 1896 and was gradually expanded to 14,000 by the time it was closed after the 1911 season. That did not count the "wildcat" bleachers that were built on the rooftops of houses behind the left field fence."

Also:

"Bennett's baseball career ended in January 1894 when he lost both legs in a train accident in Kansas."

"When a new ballpark was opened in Detroit in 1896, it was named Bennett Park in his honor. Bennett caught the first pitch at Bennett Park in 1896. It became a Detroit tradition for Bennett to catch the first pitch in Detroit, an honor that Bennett continued for every home opener through 1926."
   11. Rennie's Tenet Posted: May 18, 2017 at 08:10 AM (#5458183)
My brain has permanently fused Charlie Bennett and Charley Jones into a single catcher-outfielder who was blackballed for a while.
   12. DanG Posted: May 18, 2017 at 11:39 AM (#5458373)
Lip Pike

Pike signed baseball's first professional contract in 1866, $20 with Philadelphia and ranks among the game's brightest early stars. But baseball's first league, the National Association didn't come along until 1871. There's been some dissension in the historical community about whether to treat this short-lived league as a professional circuit...Pike's stats, at least as officially recorded, look nothing like that of a Hall of Famer.
The NA was the highest level of play at the time, so of course it should be counted.

Ten players (minimum 1000 PA) had a career OPS+ of 140+ through 1881 (the last year for Barnes and Pike). All but Meyerle and Hall are in the Hall of Merit. The four hall of famers (Anson, White, O'Rourke and Kelly) had most of their play after 1881.

Player       OPSWARWAA/   PA   BA  OBP  SLG
Ross Barnes   167 27.9 20.1 2507 .360 .389 .468
Charley Jones 165 13.0  7.7 1529 .303 .334 .457
Levi Meyerle  164 11.5  6.7 1442 .358 .362 .481
Lip Pike      158 14.2  7.6 2026 .323 .340 .469
Cap Anson     154 30.1 20.0 3035 .354 .377 .438
Cal McVey     152 20.4 12.1 2543 .346 .354 .447
Deacon White  148 25.2 15.3 2974 .339 .354 .430
Jim ORourke   147 20.7 10.3 3106 .314 .344 .430
King Kelly    145  9.8  5.2 1322 .314 .336 .420
George Hall   143 10.3  4.8 1708 .322 .337 .451 

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