Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Albert Pujols joins 3,000 hit club, adding to latest chapter of Hall of Fame career

The hit wasn’t his most majestic, more well placed than well struck.

But there was no questioning the significance of the single, this accomplishment about an accumulation of moments rather than one crowning instant.

In his 18th season and 17 years, one month and four days after his first career hit, Albert Pujols collected No. 3,000 on Friday, overshadowing a 5-0 Angels victory and everything the game included.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 05, 2018 at 01:10 PM | 101 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: 3000 hits, albert pujols, angels

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

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.

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. The Duke Posted: May 05, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5666903)
Hats off to “El Hombre”. Hope St. Louis gets to see you one more time before you retire
   2. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 05, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5666904)
Hats off to “El Hombre”.
Hey, thanks, man!
   3. bunyon Posted: May 05, 2018 at 01:42 PM (#5666908)
I said this late in a chatter so it may have been missed, but he looks better to me this year than he did last year. I mean, he isn't the superstar he was once, but hardly anyone is this late in their career. Still, he looked utterly lost last year.

Or is this sample size? I've only seen a handful of games with him this year.
   4. eric Posted: May 05, 2018 at 02:01 PM (#5666913)
Pujols should get the Carlton Fisk treatment.
   5. bunyon Posted: May 05, 2018 at 02:15 PM (#5666918)
If they did, there are a lot of teams that could use 100 OPS+ at DH for the minimum.
   6. eric Posted: May 05, 2018 at 02:17 PM (#5666919)
Who can't run? And I'll take the under on a 100 OPS+ for the season.
   7. bunyon Posted: May 05, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5666924)
Yeah, that is the question, can he stay at 100 for the season. If he does, he's wildly overpaid but not a drain. Still, if he was released, someone would pick him up and, at the minimum, he's worth it.

As for running, do you see anyone running these days?
   8. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 05, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5666926)
Or is this sample size? I've only seen a handful of games with him this year.
It's probably sample size. His BA and OBP are basically the same, and all of his improvement is in slugging. That could change in a hurry. On the other hand, he's looked much better than expected at first base. Depending on who you're talking to, he's lost between 5 and 15 pounds over the winter, and his feet are healthy for the first time in over two years.
   9. bookbook Posted: May 05, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5666927)
Not everyone struggles to run from first to second on a single. But, yes, his lack of stolen bases isn’t a problem.
   10. bunyon Posted: May 05, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5666932)
Again, I'm not saying he's great, I'm saying DHs are overrated. If you could get him for the minimum (assuming arguendo that the Angels released him) and you didn't have a good option at DH, a 100 OPS is nice. That's all I was saying.

He's never possibly going to be worth what the Angels are paying him.
   11. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 05, 2018 at 02:56 PM (#5666946)
He's never possibly going to be worth what the Angels are paying him.
No, but how many of us expected him to post an 80 OPS+ with four years left on his contract? I didn't think the drop-off would be that precipitous.

I feel like the focus on the last couple of seasons has obscured discussion on the greatness of his overall career.
   12. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 05, 2018 at 03:18 PM (#5666954)
Despite the focus in recent years on Pujols' decline & hefty contract, 3,000 hits is still a heck of an accomplishment, and his decade-long peak isn't really diminished by Father Time later catching up to him. Looks like Miguel Cabrera & Robinson Cano are reasonably likely to join the 3,000 Hit Club, but after that we may be waiting for young guns like Altuve, who are still far away.
   13. BDC Posted: May 05, 2018 at 03:36 PM (#5666961)
Pujols' top B-Ref comps overall through age 37 are Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, and Willie Mays … B-Ref comps usually aren't very good, but that certainly sounds plausible to me.

By OPS+ and PA, Pujols' top comps at ages 35-37 are Dave Parker, Brady Anderson, and Derek Jeter. All of whom were seen as having aged pretty well, all things considered. It's just not Aaron/Robinson/Mays territory. Most players, even a lot of stars, are looking for coaching jobs or collecting motivational-speech honoraria at that age.
   14. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 05, 2018 at 03:46 PM (#5666967)
Pujols should get the Carlton Fisk treatment.


I loved Pudge the First, but at the time he was a 45 YO 3rd catcher with a 29 OPS+ for a first place team. He had no place on that team after setting the record.
   15. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 05, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5666968)
Looks like Miguel Cabrera & Robinson Cano are reasonably likely to join the 3,000 Hit Club, but after that we may be waiting for young guns like Altuve, who are still far away.


4th consecutive year with a 3,000 hit guy. Miggy is a very long shot to get there before the end of next season, but it's not impossible. He's 334 away. He needs roughly 180 this year and next. Cano is 591 away, so no way he gets there in 2020.
   16. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 05, 2018 at 04:05 PM (#5666973)
after that we may be waiting for young guns like Altuve, who are still far away.


Looking at the list of active leaders, the following are long shots but have a non zero chance (IMO):

Markakis 2093, 34 YO
Adam Jones 1683, 32 YO
Votto 1615, 34 YO
Andrus 1474, 29

Then Altuve. he's by far the most likely next one. The chances of any of the 4 ahead of him getting there are probably 20-1. Castro could get there too, but Altuve will be ahead of him.
   17. BDC Posted: May 05, 2018 at 04:46 PM (#5666989)
Other guys still pretty young who have something of a chance might include Freddie Freeman (he would have to stay healthy) and Nolan Arenado (who would seem both durable and good enough to have an eventual chance). The odds favor guys who have high BAs and aren't fanatical about walking, Altuve being the prime example.

Eric Hosmer is at least on the 3,000-hit radar too, if he continues to improve, especially in even-numbered years :) He's very durable, walks 55 times a year, is batting .314 since the start of 2017.

And Mike Trout, simply because he figures to be way better than any of them much longer. At about 170 hits a year, Trout has a long trek to 3,000 but would seem to be able to undertake it.
   18. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 05, 2018 at 10:43 PM (#5667146)
This usatoday article used James' Favorite Toy to compute some odds:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2018/05/04/after-albert-pujols-3-000-hit-club-grow-more-exclusive/543058002/

MCab 80%
Altuve 45%
Cano 40%
Andrus 24.5%
Hosmer 20%
Markakis 16%
Trout 14%

Cano seems a little low.
   19. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 05, 2018 at 10:54 PM (#5667150)
Markakis and Hosmer seem way too high.
   20. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: May 05, 2018 at 11:04 PM (#5667152)
Markakis and Hosmer seem way too high.
The Toy doesn't "know" how good an overall hitter it is looking at right? Just hit counts/totals and age. So it doesn't know that these guys have a thin margin to play long enough to make it.
   21. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 05, 2018 at 11:10 PM (#5667155)
The Toy doesn't "know" how good an overall hitter it is looking at right? Just hit counts/totals and age. So it doesn't know that these guys have a thin margin to play long enough to make it.


Yes. I should make clear I wasn't criticizing the formula or calculation.
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: May 06, 2018 at 12:00 AM (#5667188)
The Toy doesn't "know" how good an overall hitter it is looking at right? Just hit counts/totals and age. So it doesn't know that these guys have a thin margin to play long enough to make it.


It looks at the last three seasons and works off of that combined with the traditional aging patterns of hitters.

So it "knows" how good the player is over the last three seasons at a particular skill. It doesn't know how good the player is, meaning it isn't predicting whether or not the guy is going to have a job going forward.... A catcher who averages 150 hits per season probably has a better chance of keeping his job going forward than a right fielder doing the same...it basically just looks at past career, rate of whatever skill it's measuring, and aging patterns.
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: May 06, 2018 at 12:05 AM (#5667190)
(okay, it does include catchers in it's calculations... and not in the way I would include it.)

Here is an espn link for the favorite toy... it really doesn't matter whether you are looking at hits, homeruns, rbi etc... you can pretty much enter any stat and it goes from there.

From that link....

Bill James invented Career Assessments as a projection method to predict final career totals for players. The formula presumes that a player has (42 - age)/2 seasons remaining, but not less than 1.5 seasons, and it is determined using the player's age on June 30 of the previous year. If the player is a catcher, his remaining seasons are multiplied by 0.7. Using the established norms and years remaining, the final total is projected, and the chance to reach that total can be derived. No player can have more than a 97-percent chance to reach any goal.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: May 06, 2018 at 01:12 AM (#5667197)
So it doesn't know that these guys have a thin margin to play long enough to make it.

Oh, Hosmer's got a good shot at playing long enough to make it. Just signed that 8-year deal plus, as discussed when he was looking for a job, most of his comps were still playing at age 34 or longer. The end can of course come pretty quick for a guy like Hosmer but 1 out of 5 seems close enough to me.

One of the advantages of having a full-time job at 21 are the counting stats. Through age 27, Hosmer has more hits than Mays, Rose, Carew, Waner, Gwynn and Winfield ... also Vlad, Freeman, Baines (who came close), Damon (who came close), Markakis, Oliver (who came close). He's only 43 behind Murray, 50 behind Rickey and about 70 behind Yaz and Jeter. Beltre started at 19 but was only 137 ahead through 27.

All told, of the 32 who made it to 3000 hits, Hosmer's 1132 through age 27 would rank 18th. By BA it's much worse, tied for 28th (Yount, ahead of Brock, Ripken, Biggio and Beltre, 1 point behind Winfield).

And of course weird cases like Molitor, through age 27:

PM 291/347/416, 114 OPS+, 909 hits, coming off a major injury
EH 284/342/439, 111 OPS+, 1132 hits, durable

PM sill had some 2B, 3B left in him but was mostly a DH with a chunk of 1B for the rest of his career. He got there mainly by raising his post-27 BA to 313 but then he sailed past 3000 with lots of room to spare.

Hosmer needs to maintain at his career stats for just over 11 more full seasons, possibly going over 3000 at age 39 ... like Molitor, like Murray, one year older than Beltre. That's obviously not very likely but let's call the chances ... oh, I don't know ... 20%? :-) If he steps up his BA as Molitor and Beltre did, he'll need less time than that.

Let's see, I got 60 guys within +/- 50 hits of Hosmer through 27. (That's going back to 1871 which is now the P-I default.) Only 5 of those guys made it which is a lot less than 20% but there are those 12 who had even fewer hits that made it. For the post-integration era, it's 4 out of 34 which is a bit better but still well below 20%.

Obviously he's much more likely to end up as Baines/Oliver than Beltre/Winfield. Pretty much the most promising comp I came up with for him was Mark Grace ... Grace had 1790 hits from age 28 on, which would leave Hosmer at 2922. Graced needed a 305 BA to do that and there's no reason for us to expect Hosmer to do that (he might) but Grace walked more so Hosmer wouldn't have to hit quite that well. That easily led in hits among the main comps I came up with. Add Baines at 1789 hits and Oliver at 1747. Even Damon added 1710 on just a 283 BA. This is how Hosmer gets close.
   25. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 06, 2018 at 01:27 AM (#5667201)
If they did, there are a lot of teams that could use 100 OPS+ at DH for the minimum.


The Toronto Blue Jays would KILL for a 100 OPS+ from their slow-footed DH.
   26. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 06, 2018 at 08:17 AM (#5667212)
There's something about 3000 hits that seems to reflect quality and longevity just well enough to weed out the very good vs the great. Markakis, for example: Who is the 3000 Hit member who is closest to Markakis in quality?

Brock? Biggio? Ichiro? Beltre?

I think Lou Brock is the "worst" 3000 hit member of the 32, probably by a comfortable margin. He played as long as he did, in part, because his stolen bases were overvalued. He stole a ton of bases, but didn't walk, had little power, and his SB success rate was not great many seasons. I'm not dinging him - he's being compared to the other 31 guys in history to get 3000 hits. The point is that I lot of guys end up pulling up several hundred short who are clearly not as good in hindsight as the 3000 Club, like Pinson, Staub, Oliver, Damon, etc. Brock may be the clearest exception.

The only guys active right now who are more than halfway there and seem like they fit in that category are Cabrera and Cano.
   27. Adam Starblind Posted: May 06, 2018 at 09:39 AM (#5667226)
Don't forget Bill Buckner and his 2715 hits.
   28. BDC Posted: May 06, 2018 at 10:30 AM (#5667237)
lot of guys end up pulling up several hundred short who are clearly not as good in hindsight as the 3000 Club, like Pinson, Staub, Oliver, Damon, etc

Conversely there's an earlier era of great hitters who didn't quite get to 3,000. Some of these, in retrospect, we often point to as guys who could easily have made it to 3K if they'd known or cared about the milestone. Sam Rice – who would retire with 2,987 hits nowadays? And better hitters than Rice ended up within range: Hornsby, Sisler, Simmons, Wheat, Crawford. I was just noticing the other day that Sam Crawford played another three years as a regular in the PCL after leaving the majors – no question that he could have gotten a measly 39 major-league hits. Jesse Burkett averaged an even 151 hits per year over the last three years of his career, quit 150 short of 3,000 … and then went on to get another 500 hits in the minors.

Others, like Willie Keeler and Charlie Gehringer, played as long as they could as regulars. Both of them had investments and business opportunities, and the prospect of hanging on as role players probably didn't have much appeal.

Frank Robinson was the last player to hang 'em up with 3,000 clearly within range. And Robinson was his own manager! But he was the anti-Pete-Rose: he didn't want to keep himself in the lineup to chase milestones.
   29. bunyon Posted: May 06, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5667253)
Ted Williams was about 300 shy with 4-5 missed seasons. That would put him in the 3500 range probably (and well over 600 HR).

I can't think of anyone else who missed 3,000 due to the war. But you guys know the history better than I.

But, yes, 3,000 hits is probably the "best" of the automatic numbers. It's almost impossible to do without having been a great player with a combination of peak and longevity. Maybe someday a rash of lesser players will hang on long enough but I doubt it.
   30. BDC Posted: May 06, 2018 at 11:46 AM (#5667266)
I can't think of anyone else who missed 3,000 due to the war

I remember Bill James discussing contentions that Enos Slaughter could have had 3,000 hits if he hadn't missed three seasons in WW2. James noted that if you added three absolute-peak seasons to Slaughter's line, he's at about 2,950, which looks promising till you realize that Slaughter played till he was batting .171 at the age of 43.

Luke Appling has a better argument. He missed most of two seasons at a time when he was averaging about 175 hits per season, and eventually fell just 251 hits short.

Mickey Vernon is more like Slaughter. If he'd been at his best (and Vernon had a very uneven career, much like John Olerud), Vernon would have gotten to about 2,900 hits if he'd played in 1944-45. But like Slaughter (and Appling), Vernon played into his early 40s and in steep decline as it was. So hanging around to reach 3,000 would have been very difficult for him.





   31. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 06, 2018 at 11:55 AM (#5667268)
It's a big what if, but Cecil Travis. Through age 27 he had 1370 hits. Spent 4 years in the army, suffered severe frostbite at the Battle of the Bulge, came back at age 32 and was a shell of his former self. Favorite toy gave him a 31% chance after his age 27 season.
   32. Ziggy's screen name Posted: May 06, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5667294)
I don't think that going from the majors to the PCL was a huge of a demotion in Sam Crawford's day as it is now. Especially since these weren't farm teams. I mean, if you put the 1923 Orioles up against the 1923 Red Sox, I'm not sure that I like the Red Sox's chances.
   33. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 06, 2018 at 02:38 PM (#5667351)
Actually, I'm not sure how I've never noticed this, but Harold Baines could easily have gotten to 3,000 with a little luck (or simply the absence of bad luck)...

So Baines ended up with 2,866, but a few points:

1) In his age 40 season, Baines could still hit enough to help a team. In 135 games, he hit .312/.387/.533, an OPS+ of 136. He was sitting at 2,783 hits at that point.

2) He pretty much fell off a cliff part way through the next season, though, especially after getting traded away from Baltimore to the White Sox. However, he is one of the few guys who had a chance at 3,000 who was really nailed by both strike seasons.

In 1981, as a 22-year-old being seen as a rising star, he missed about 50 games. He averaged a hit a game that year, so he would have added a good 50 hits to his total.

In 1994, he played in 94 games, getting 96 hits. He probably missed about 50 games that season, as well, probably costing him a good 50 hits.

If you take those 100 hits and add them to his total, you're at 2,966. When the Oriloes traded him to the White Sox at age 41, he was at about 2,845 hits - if you add the 100, he's at about 2,945, and was still hitting a little bit. There's no way Baltimore trades him with ~50 hits to go for 3,000, right?

Whatever. If he gets to 3,000, he doesn't make the Hall of Fame, does he? He survived only year on the ballot, and getting an extra 140 hits would change who he was, right?

I guess I am surprised that we have not yet had a HOF candidate who hit the 3,000 mark but was pretty clearly *not* a Hall of Famer yet, because there are a number of close calls...
   34. DanG Posted: May 06, 2018 at 02:42 PM (#5667357)
He survived only year on the ballot
Five years, actually, barely clearing 5% his first four years.
   35. eric Posted: May 06, 2018 at 03:06 PM (#5667388)
I guess I am surprised that we have not yet had a HOF candidate who hit the 3,000 mark but was pretty clearly *not* a Hall of Famer yet, because there are a number of close calls...


Some feel that Lou Brock fits that definition. For a long time, and perhaps still, 3000 hits was a validating accomplishment--if you achieved that people would find a way to view you as a HOFer. When I was growing up, Brock was listed alongside all the other immortals and I never really questioned whether or not he was actually deserving.

On the other hand, through age-37 he had 2701 hits, then proceeded to put up 81 and 46 (!!) OPS+ seasons, and yet still came back for one more year to get over the line. I suspect the same things that led to him being a first-ballot inductee allowed him to cling on for those 3000 hits: all those steals. He was likely already viewed as a HOFer and worth keeping around for the narrative/publicity, especially for a team coming off a 69-win season without much to lose.

A comparison of bWAR with some of the near-misses (and a not-so-near miss) already mentioned in this thread:

Johnny Damon: 56.4
Vada Pinson: 54.3
Mark Grace: 46.4
Lou Brock: 45.3
Al Oliver: 43.7
Harold Baines: 38.7

As examples, both Al Oliver and Johnny Damon finished 100-110 OPS+ seasons at age 37 with around 2700 hits, just like Brock did. Oliver got another half season at a 75 OPS+ before he was done, Damon got another half-season at a 72 OPS+ before he was done, while Brock got the aforementioned full season at an 81 OPS+, and a total of three seasons, 353 games played, and 322 more hits at a 79 OPS+ and got over the line.

If one of those other guys had a calling card akin to Brock's SBs (or, in the case of Damon, had played in less analytical times) perhaps they could have squeaked over the line, been elected to the HOF, and then with the constant reaffirmation that allows for, would be viewed, at least by the general public, as no-doubt HOFers instead of largely forgotten. (Imagine that last paragraph in present/future tense in the case of Damon.) :)
   36. Adam Starblind Posted: May 06, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5667407)

Johnny Damon: 56.4
Vada Pinson: 54.3
Mark Grace: 46.4
Lou Brock: 45.3
Al Oliver: 43.7
Harold Baines: 38.7


Bill Buckner: 15.1

He should get more than twice the love than any of these dudes.
   37. SoSH U at work Posted: May 06, 2018 at 03:48 PM (#5667424)

If you take those 100 hits and add them to his total, you're at 2,966. When the Oriloes traded him to the White Sox at age 41, he was at about 2,845 hits - if you add the 100, he's at about 2,945, and was still hitting a little bit. There's no way Baltimore trades him with ~50 hits to go for 3,000, right?


And you missed the 16 games he lost at the start of the less-abbreviated 1995 season.


Whatever. If he gets to 3,000, he doesn't make the Hall of Fame, does he?



No.

If one of those other guys had a calling card akin to Brock's SBs (or, in the case of Damon, had played in less analytical times) perhaps they could have squeaked over the line, been elected to the HOF, and then with the constant reaffirmation that allows for, would be viewed, at least by the general public, as no-doubt HOFers instead of largely forgotten. (Imagine that last paragraph in present/future tense in the case of Damon.) :)


Neither would have gotten elected, even with 3,000 hits.

There are no automatic numbers. Brock got in by virtue of 3,000 hits, plus holding the single-season and career stolen base records when he retired, and being a beast in the World Series and as the good end of one of the game's most lopsided trades.
   38. Adam Starblind Posted: May 06, 2018 at 03:55 PM (#5667434)
I've always been surprised at how sure certain posters are that so-and-so undeserving player woudn't have been elected if he'd gotten 3000 hits, particularly in the past (Baines, Staub). 3000 is consistently referred to as "automatic." We have no idea if it would have been so for these guys. Maybe it goes from automatic to 50/50, but that's the lowest odds I'd be comfortable with.
   39. SoSH U at work Posted: May 06, 2018 at 04:16 PM (#5667451)
I've always been surprised at how sure certain posters are that so-and-so undeserving player woudn't have been elected if he'd gotten 3000 hits, particularly in the past (Baines, Staub). 3000 is consistently referred to as "automatic." We have no idea if it would have been so for these guys. Maybe it goes from automatic to 50/50, but that's the lowest odds I'd be comfortable with.


It has been referred to as automatic, as shorthand, but it's never been. Eddie Mathews took five ballots to get in with 500 homers, and he was probably the best third baseman in history when he retired. Harmon Killebrew took four ballots, and he had the fourth-highest homer total when he retired. Don Sutton took five ballots, and he was 1/4 of the way to 400 wins.

If these numbers were "automatic" then these guys (deserving Hall of Famers all) would have gotten in within two ballots, tops. But they didn't. Many of the voters had to be convinced of their hall worthiness, for one reason or another.

When Dave Kingman retired, every previous player with 400 career homers was in the Hall of Fame. Kingman got three votes, because every voter knew that he was not a Hall of Famer, and no homer total (even the 500 he managed in Dial's Fan Fic) was ever going to change that.

A milestone can clearly grease the skids of the deserving. It can obviously help the borderliner. There's absolutely no reason to think it can lift the otherwise thoroughly unqualified.
   40. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 06, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5667458)
It has been referred to as automatic, as shorthand, but it's never been. Eddie Mathews took five ballots to get in with 500 homers, and he was probably the best third baseman in history when he retired. Harmon Killebrew took four ballots, and he had the fourth-highest homer total when he retired. Don Sutton took five ballots, and he was 1/4 of the way to 400 wins.

Don't think automatic is meant literally, or as the equivalent of 1st Ballot Hall of Famer. All those guys got in, which suggests that the "worst" 3,000 hit guy would eventually get in, too, although with Baines it would have been complicated by the DH penalty some apply to those in limited roles.
   41. cardsfanboy Posted: May 06, 2018 at 04:43 PM (#5667469)
I think 3000 hits is a bit different than 500 homeruns, especially nowadays. (and even 300 wins) ...but at the same time, 40 does a good job of making the argument that it's a number that means people will eventually get in.

As mentioned in this thread, 3000 hits often indicates a lot of skills involved to reach that number, a long career, quality enough to stay in the lineup for whatever reason even after your peak has ended.
Lou Brock is the one name that is constantly referred to as probably the only 3000 hit hofer who isn't worthy of the hof, and even that argument is a bit simplified (but probably accurate) There are 32 players to have 3000 hits. Lou has 42.5 War.. the next lowest is Ichiro with 59.3., followed by Winfield with 64.2... Biggio with 65.5, Murray with 68.7 and Gwynn with 69.2...

If you look at the players who have 2700-3000 hits and didn't make the hof you have
Doc Cramer 7.5 war,
Bill Buckner 15.1
Harold Baines 38.7
Dave Parker 40.1
Al Oliver 43.7
Omar Vizquel* 45.6
Rusty Staub 45.8
Vada Pinson 54.3
Johnny Damon* 56.4
Carlos Beltran* 69.8
Barry Bonds* 162.8

It does look like 3000 hits has been a pretty accurate measure of quality of players making the hof. You don't get to 3000 hits without being a 60 or so plus war player(with one notable exception---two if you want to include Ichiro in that equation) Meanwhile the voters have done a pretty good job of making sure that the 2700-3000 hit guys who have quality do make it in. Beltran is going to make it.. Bonds is out for reasons not related to the valuation of his ability to play the game....
   42. SoSH U at work Posted: May 06, 2018 at 05:27 PM (#5667487)
Don't think automatic is meant literally, or as the equivalent of 1st Ballot Hall of Famer. All those guys got in, which suggests that the "worst" 3,000 hit guy would eventually get in, too.


No, it only suggests that if you reach a milestone, and you're deserving, you'll eventually get in.

Hal Baines never received more than 6.1 percent of the vote. If you think that hanging around to get 3,000 hits would have converted 69 percent of the electorate from yes to no, well, you don't really have anything to support that position.

Lou Brock is the one name that is constantly referred to as probably the only 3000 hit hofer who isn't worthy of the hof, and even that argument is a bit simplified (but probably accurate)


Lou Brock would have gotten in the Hall of Fame if he'd come up short of 3,000 hits. And Lou Brock is one of the few guys where the Hall of Fame and Hall of Merit both got it right with two different outcomes.

   43. Walt Davis Posted: May 06, 2018 at 06:03 PM (#5667507)
I'm not at all confident that a guy with 3,000 hits wouldn't have always made it. It's a big f'ing deal, you need only look at all the guys who hung on with badly under-productive years just to squeak over the line. Maybe it's no longer such a big deal and it clearly wasn't in the pre-war years. But 3,000 hits had a solid 50-year run as a massive achievement.

I'm reasonably confident it's enough to get Baines up to at least 20-25% on his first ballot. From there, you get the other variables coming into play like the strength of ballots and whether they decide to Rice him. In WAR terms, the difference between Baines and Tony Perez is almost entirely dWAR/positional adjustment -- nobody should have faith in the BBWAA properly adjusting for position. (Granted, Baines the DH probably gets dinged by the BBWAA.)

300 wins has been automatic for a while and surely is only moreso these days. Again, it's an indicator of being a quality pitcher for a long time so it's difficult to imagine a 300-win starter (at least post-deadball) that wouldn't be worthy of the HoF.

It may have changed but 500 HR was always that sort of indicator too. The lowest WARs among 500-HR hitters are Ortiz at 55 and Sosa at 58. They have really done an excellent job in the 400-500 HR range. Assuming Beltran makes it, everybody from Billy Williams (64 WAR) up has made it. Andruw is the only one over 60 WAR who probably won't make it. Piazza, Vlad and Stargell are 3 of the top 4 under 60 WAR (Darrell Evans). There's then a 5-WAR gap between Stargell and McGriff and nobody with less WAR than McGriff and 400 HR has made it, pretty sure most haven't made it past the first ballot.

That list looks much the same by WAA ... 15 of the top 16 made it (Andruw) and the only one below Stargell to make it was Winfield (3000 hits). Of course you get pretty much the same result if you sort it by RBI with Piazza the C being the main exception but possibly being part of the reason why Evans and Andruw get little love. Of course we could probably sort by almost anything and get a "good fit."

Here's a trivia question whose answer is obvious from the fact I'm asking it -- fewer career GDP, Beltran or Stargell?
   44. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 06, 2018 at 06:08 PM (#5667510)
You don't get to 3000 hits without being a 60 or so plus war player(with one notable exception---two if you want to include Ichiro in that equation)


Ichiro got his 3,000th hit in 2016. He was at 60.1 WAR after 2016.
   45. eric Posted: May 06, 2018 at 06:10 PM (#5667511)
Neither would have gotten elected, even with 3,000 hits.


One point of my post is how reaching certain milestones can change the media's and the general fan's perceptions of a player.

Would Craig Biggio have gotten in if he had retired two years sooner, with 2795 hits? As it was it took him three years to get elected. When it was still very much an open question whether he would get to 3000 or not, I remember the general consensus was one of uncertainty: is Biggio a HOFer? Statheads had their own opinion, but it's popular opinion that is paramount in these situations. Once he got to 3000 hits, the tide turned and people threw up their hands: whelp, I guess he's a HOFer. Anyways, my guess is he likely would have gotten in, but it would have taken close to the full term.

Similar situation, but with a pitcher: Nolan Ryan. In 1988, Ryan was still seen as an extraordinarily talented freak show. He was a .500 pitcher who could strike out anyone if he didn't walk them. There were quite a few questions about his candidacy: does someone with 270-odd wins and 4000+ Ks deserve to be in the HOF if he also has 250+ losses and 2500 BBs? Once he passed 300 W, 5000 K, and added a couple no-hitters he went from an on-the-fence peculiarity straight to Mount Rushmore.

In short, I believe it's often the milestones that cause the sports culture as a whole to evaluate a player positively or negatively. If Damon had put up two more average-ish seasons to come in at 3000 hits (and also, coincidentally enough, right at around 60 WAR), would that milestone have caused people to then remember The Caveman! Two-time World Sereis champ and key part of the fun-loving Sox team that broke the curse! Dynamic leadoff hitter with 1800 runs scored!

I think even though in a stat-head sense his career value was more or less set by the time he retired in reality, if he had those two additional fictional years, people would have more looked for reason to include him. Maybe he wouldn't get elected anyways, but he would have had a much stronger showing than one-and-done, and would at least be a controversial name on the ballot for the full ten years, and even then a long time after.
   46. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 06, 2018 at 06:20 PM (#5667513)
Would Craig Biggio have gotten in if he had retired two years sooner, with 2795 hits?


Like with Kershaw, we need to stamp out the idea that a guy is not qualified for the HOF unless he puts up a bunch more sub replacement seasons. In 2006-7, Biggio hit .249/.296/.402, a 78 OPS+ with awful defense. His WAR was -1.7. Any voter who thinks that is the difference between being HOF worthy or not should have their vote taken away.
   47. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 06, 2018 at 06:28 PM (#5667516)
Similar situation, but with a pitcher: Nolan Ryan. In 1988, Ryan was still seen as an extraordinarily talented freak show. He was a .500 pitcher who could strike out anyone if he didn't walk them. There were quite a few questions about his candidacy: does someone with 270-odd wins and 4000+ Ks deserve to be in the HOF if he also has 250+ losses and 2500 BBs? Once he passed 300 W, 5000 K, and added a couple no-hitters he went from an on-the-fence peculiarity straight to Mount Rushmore.


Not a similar situation. Ryan added actual value, and actual noteworthy achievements (the no-hitters, 2 seasons leading the league in K including a 300 K season). Post 1988 Ryan had seasons of 5.1, 3.5, 5.2 and 2.0 WAR. That's nothing like Biggio crawling to 3,000 hits. Post 1988, Ryan had 7.5 WAA. That's more than Catfish Hunter had his entire career, and not far from Jack Morris.
   48. SoSH U at work Posted: May 06, 2018 at 06:40 PM (#5667519)
One point of my post is how reaching certain milestones can change the media's and the general fan's perceptions of a player.


As I said, reaching a milestone can help the deserving get noticed (though, obviously, it's not enough by itself, as the waits of the various qualified players attests). There's simply no evidence that it can do what some people seem to think it can. I don't know why people think the election of qualified players is proof unqualified players will also get elected.

Look at Kingman. When he retired, every player in history with 400 homers was in the Hall of Fame. He got three votes. And if he hit 58 more homers, he still wasn't getting anywhere near Cooperstown, because no one thought he was worthy.

If Johnny Damon had managed to hang around long enough to earliwinn it across the 3,000-hit mark at replacement level production, he'd be seen for exactly what he was - a decent player who hung around trying to reach a milestone. The original evaluation, nice HOVG player, would merely be confirmed.

Now, a Damon who got the extra 231 hits in his existing number of plate appearances. That guy might get in, because that guy's a much more valuable player over the course of his career than the real Johnny Damon.
   49. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 06, 2018 at 07:00 PM (#5667522)
If you think that hanging around to get 3,000 hits would have converted 69 percent of the electorate from yes to no, well, you don't really have anything to support that position.

Had Baines hung around, what he would have gotten was his own Countdown to 3000!!! with the requisite hagiographic career retrospectives on video and in print that portrayed his career in the best possible light.... former #1 overall draft pick, six-time All-Star, eight .300 AVG seasons (and another at .299), five .500 SLG seasons, three 100-RBI seasons, White Sox retiring his number while he was still an active player, hitting the home run to end a 25-inning game, etc. It may not have converted 69% of voters on the first ballot, but he most likely polls high enough out of the gate that a consensus coalesces around him to get him to 75%.
   50. SoSH U at work Posted: May 06, 2018 at 07:09 PM (#5667526)
Had Baines hung around, what he would have gotten was his own Countdown to 3000!!! with the requisite hagiographic career retrospectives on video and in print that portrayed his career in the best possible light.... former #1 overall draft pick, six-time All-Star, eight .300 AVG seasons (and another at .299), five .500 SLG seasons, three 100-RBI seasons, White Sox retiring his number while he was still an active player, hitting the home run to end a 25-inning game, etc. It may not have converted 69% of voters on the first ballot, but he most likely polls high enough out of the gate that a consensus coalesces around him to get him to 75%.


None of that happened with Biggio. So, no it doesn't.

Or, for that matter, Albert over the last two days.
   51. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 06, 2018 at 07:11 PM (#5667527)
Now, a Damon who got the extra 231 hits in his existing number of plate appearances. That guy might get in, because that guy's a much more valuable player over the course of his career than the real Johnny Damon.


that Damon has a .308/.373/.469 line, ~ a 112 OPS+. I think he gets in rather easily.
   52. SoSH U at work Posted: May 06, 2018 at 07:14 PM (#5667529)
that Damon has a .308/.373/.469 line, ~ a 112 OPS+. I think he gets in rather easily.


Was that 231 extra singles, or his normal distribution of hits?
   53. The Duke Posted: May 06, 2018 at 07:18 PM (#5667530)
I can’t see putting Markakis in the Hall. He plays RF in Atlanta and my seats are right above where he plays. He’s about the most average player I’ve seen. His big quality is that he shows up every day. He has no distinguishing characteristic that will get him in the Hall even if he gets close to 3000.
   54. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 06, 2018 at 07:35 PM (#5667534)
It has been referred to as automatic, as shorthand, but it's never been. Eddie Mathews took five ballots to get in with 500 homers, and he was probably the best third baseman in history when he retired. Harmon Killebrew took four ballots, and he had the fourth-highest homer total when he retired. Don Sutton took five ballots, and he was 1/4 of the way to 400 wins.


It took Early Wynn four ballots, too.
   55. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 06, 2018 at 08:02 PM (#5667540)
Or, for that matter, Albert over the last two days.

Albert hasn't gotten that, you say?
   56. SoSH U at work Posted: May 06, 2018 at 08:02 PM (#5667541)
It took Early Wynn four ballots, too.


If Sutton's career ended the way Wynn's did, just scraping over the line, I don't think he gets in through the BBWAA. It was his 324 career wins, and fourth-place spot on the career strikeout list, that kind of took him from compiler to super compiler, and he was still a very hesitant pick from the writers.

   57. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: May 06, 2018 at 08:29 PM (#5667550)
Look at Kingman. When he retired, every player in history with 400 homers was in the Hall of Fame. He got three votes. And if he hit 58 more homers, he still wasn't getting anywhere near Cooperstown, because no one thought he was worthy.


I just don't see how you can say that with such certainty. You can assert it as though it's true over and over, but that doesn't actually make it any more true.
   58. SoSH U at work Posted: May 06, 2018 at 08:38 PM (#5667553)
I just don't see how you can say that with such certainty. You can assert it as though it's true over and over, but that doesn't actually make it any more true.


Have you ever read a single writer, just one, who believed that a player simply reaching a milestone number meant that guy would get his vote? Have you read a single writer who said he would have voted for a 500-homer Kingman? You'd need a lot more than one, but I'd love to find even one who said either of those things.

400 was every bit a "magic number" before Kong. Every single player with 400 career home runs was in the Hall when he retired. And Kingman blew past 400. And yet it didn't change the perception of him one bit. He got three votes. The writers knew he wasn't much of a ballplayer, and it showed in how he was viewed both during and after his career.

Would 500-homer Kingman gotten more than three votes? Absolutely. But 75 percent of the vote? Not a chance.
   59. BDC Posted: May 06, 2018 at 08:42 PM (#5667556)
Weren’t there oddly few guys between 400 and 499 HR when Kingman retired, or at least for much of his career? And they were HOFers thanks to much fuller resumés (Gehrig, Musial, Snider). There was virtually no “400 HR club” at one point, just the 500s plus a couple of guys.
   60. SoSH U at work Posted: May 06, 2018 at 08:50 PM (#5667559)
And they were HOFers thanks to much fuller resumés (Gehrig, Musial, Snider).


Plus Yaz, Stargell and Williams.

   61. Adam Starblind Posted: May 06, 2018 at 09:06 PM (#5667565)
If you think that hanging around to get 3,000 hits would have converted 69 percent of the electorate from yes to no, well, you don't really have anything to support that position.


Nor do you.

I don't know why people think the election of qualified players is proof unqualified players will also get elected.


Actually, nobody has said that.
   62. greenback slays lewks Posted: May 06, 2018 at 09:09 PM (#5667567)
I just don't see how you can say that with such certainty. You can assert it as though it's true over and over, but that doesn't actually make it any more true.

Kingman was a .236 lifetime hitter. That puts him 20 points of BA worse than Harmon Killebrew, the lowest BA I could find among HoFers. And obviously Kingman was nowhere near the hitter that Killebrew was.

That's the statistical obstacle that Lou Brock or any other position player with 3,000 hits won't/didn't have to deal with.
   63. SoSH U at work Posted: May 06, 2018 at 09:16 PM (#5667570)

Nor do you.


But I do. The multi-year waits of qualified players such as Wynn, Mathews, Killer and Sutton says that the BBWAA is not automatically ushering in candidates who reach a certain statistical threshold, with up to two-thirds of the electorate (in the case of Mathews) still needing to be convinced a player is worthy. This refutes the idea of the "automatic" number, and strongly argues that if a sizable portion of the electorate must be convinced of the worthiness of a qualified player, as these men were, the obviously unqualified should not be expected to make similar headway.
   64. DanG Posted: May 06, 2018 at 09:43 PM (#5667581)
Had Baines hung around, what he would have gotten was his own Countdown to 3000!!! with the requisite hagiographic career retrospectives on video and in print that portrayed his career in the best possible light.... former #1 overall draft pick, six-time All-Star, eight .300 AVG seasons (and another at .299), five .500 SLG seasons, three 100-RBI seasons, White Sox retiring his number while he was still an active player, hitting the home run to end a 25-inning game, etc.
In addition, if Baines had gotten the extra playing time to reach 3,000 hits, his other career numbers would increase similarly.

So Baines would have 400 HR, 1700 RBI (numbers that Perez fell short of), and 500 2B in addition to the 3000 hits. That would be hard for the Hall to ignore, especially at a time when "nobody" was looking at WAR.
   65. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 06, 2018 at 09:44 PM (#5667583)
Was that 231 extra singles, or his normal distribution of hits?


normal distribution. ~ 1.5 TB/hit, his career average.
   66. bookbook Posted: May 06, 2018 at 09:46 PM (#5667584)
Just to state the obvious, an Ichiro who could have gone to mlb from the start. Of his career essily breaks 70 WAR.
   67. DanG Posted: May 06, 2018 at 09:51 PM (#5667586)
Most career RBI, not in HOF, no longer BBWAA eligible (retired 2003 or before):

Player         RBI   PA  From  To
Harold Baines 1628 11092 1980 2001
Dave Parker   1493 10184 1973 1991
Rusty Staub   1466 11229 1963 1985
Joe Carter    1445  9154 1983 1998
Mark McGwire  1414  7660 1986 2001
Jose Canseco  1407  8129 1985 2001
Ted Simmons   1389  9685 1968 1988
Dwight Evans  1384 10569 1972 1991
Lave Cross    1378  9741 1887 1907
Chili Davis   1372  9997 1981 1999
Darrell Evans 1354 10737 1969 1989 
   68. greenback slays lewks Posted: May 06, 2018 at 10:15 PM (#5667591)
But I do. The multi-year waits of qualified players such as Wynn, Mathews, Killer and Sutton says that the BBWAA is not automatically ushering in candidates who reach a certain statistical threshold, with up to two-thirds of the electorate (in the case of Mathews) still needing to be convinced a player is worthy. This refutes the idea of the "automatic" number,

This ignores the fact that there is a limit to the number of candidates that a voter can select in a given year. It also ignores the fact that some voters treat their vote has something beyond binary. For example, some candidates are deemed unworthy of first ballot Hall of Fame status.

I mean, it would be more direct to say that selection for the Hall of Fame is based on human perceptions and feelings, which are not mechanical in nature. In that sense, yes, the 3,000 hits / 300 wins plateau is not an automatic qualifier. But that's not a particularly useful or interesting observation. The question is how bad does a player have to be overall to miss selection for the Hall if they achieve such a milestone. Or similarly is it possible for a player to be that bad with a great statistical marker? Kingman is the obvious (and maybe only) example for home runs. Name a number, and he was so awful aside from home runs, that he could be out. It's not clear that it's possible for a player with 3,000 hits to get dinged badly by the rest of his game. I think it's almost impossible to construct a case where a pitcher has 300 wins and doesn't make the Hall (obvious situation would be something like Jack Morris without a Game 7, or maybe Jamie Moyer with a bit more success in his 20s).
   69. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 06, 2018 at 10:39 PM (#5667596)
It's not clear that it's possible for a player with 3,000 hits to get dinged badly by the rest of his game.


Bill Buckner. 2715 hits, 15.1 WAR. Poking around Buckner's career, let's do some what ifs. Say he doesn't get hurt in 1975, and puts up a season between 1974 and 1976. Further, because he's not hurt in 1975, he's more durable in 1977 and 78. Also, 1981 was one of his better hitting seasons. Say there's no strike and he plays 155 games instead of 106. These get him up to ~2950 hits, and add about 5 WAR to his total. 2950 hits and 20 WAR. I don't think you could make him HOF worthy by adding 50 HR in 50 AB to his career.
   70. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 06, 2018 at 11:03 PM (#5667600)

I remember as a kid some of the debates about how good Ryan really was, largely based on his W-L %. He's an interesting case -- his FIP of 2.97 is much lower than his ERA of 3.19, suggesting that he played in front of poor defensive teams. On the other hand, he appears to have allowed a lot of unearned runs, especially for a guy who struck out that many hitters. And at least some of that was his own doing -- he committed more errors than most pitchers of his error.

If I am reading BB-Ref correctly, then given his run support, Ryan would have been expected to have a .568 winning percentage not .526, and even with average run support and adjusting for the quality of his defense, he would have been expected to have a .544 W%. I'm just not sure how many runs or wins he himself gave up with the glove -- I don't think BB-Ref calculates pitcher defensive value, as every pitcher I've checked has 0 Rfield in every season.
   71. SoSH U at work Posted: May 06, 2018 at 11:13 PM (#5667601)
This ignores the fact that there is a limit to the number of candidates that a voter can select in a given year.


A factor for Biggio and his three trips before the electorate. Not a factor for the others, who didn't debut or have to work through crowded ballots.

For example, some candidates are deemed unworthy of first ballot Hall of Fame status.


Which is why I only mentioned those candidates who failed multiple times with the BBWAA.

I mean, it would be more direct to say that selection for the Hall of Fame is based on human perceptions and feelings,


Agreed. And for many, many voters, the primary governing rule is "did he feel like a Hall of Famer." Which is why those statistical markers simply aren't as meaningful as conventional wisdom dictates. A Hal Baines who eked out 3,000 hits doesn't feel any different than the one who pulled up 134 short.

These voters can be convinced (Sutton didn't pass the feel test, for instance). But assuming they can be convinced about the case of a player who "doesn't feel like a Hall of Famer" and also didn't "actually play like a Hall of Famer" is an argument without any supporting evidence. And the undeservings who have been elected through the years by the BBWAA had narrative, rather than numerical, hooks (Perez, Rice, Morris).

It's not clear that it's possible for a player with 3,000 hits to get dinged badly by the rest of his game.


Baines is interesting here, because he could have done it without either making him a better player or tacking on too much extra filler at the end, if you just add in the 120 or so games he lost to labor issues. He's probably got to play an extra month or so more to get there, but he'd basically still be the same 38 WAR, good but never great compiling DH that the BBWAA rightfully ignored, and still would have with 3K.

I will say that over the years I've probably been a little harder on Damon than I should be. He's much closer to a borderline player that if he had managed 3,000 without totally dragging over the line, he might have been able to build a case given some of the other things he had going for him (key figure on two WS champs, including one rather famous drought-ending one), a little bit more fame than some other guys of his playing record. I'm not sure the fact that he's one of the only players to ever sign two long-range free agent contracts and provide good value to his team both times would really help his case, though I always found it interesting.

   72. QLE Posted: May 07, 2018 at 02:14 AM (#5667618)
#59 and #60-

And that's the complete list of the people who retired with between 400 and 499 home runs before Dave Kingman.

That said, the idea that 400 home runs could be enough was a real concept into the early 1990s- I have somewhere in storage a book analyzing speculating in rookie cards that came out about a year or two before the market completely caved, and it speculated that Kingman probably would have had a better shot at the HOF if he hadn't antagonized the press and that Darrell Evans would be the first major test case as for whether or not 400 home runs would be seen as meriting induction.
   73. Adam Starblind Posted: May 07, 2018 at 07:02 AM (#5667629)
he multi-year waits of qualified players such as Wynn, Mathews, Killer and Sutton says that the BBWAA is not automatically ushering in candidates who reach a certain statistical threshold,


All four of those are clearly qualified HOFers. They say nothing about what would happen if Harold Baines got to 3000 hits, much less does it "refute" anything.
   74. Adam Starblind Posted: May 07, 2018 at 07:10 AM (#5667633)
I have somewhere in storage a book analyzing speculating in rookie cards that came out about a year or two before the market completely caved, and it speculated that Kingman probably would have had a better shot at the HOF if he hadn't antagonized the press and that Darrell Evans would be the first major test case as for whether or not 400 home runs would be seen as meriting induction.


I have a clear recollection of what may be the same book. Did it have a spiral binding?

I read it over and over. I think they even talked about 300 HR as HOF level. I don't know how correlated that was at the time.
   75. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: May 07, 2018 at 09:17 AM (#5667657)
Now, a Damon who got the extra 231 hits in his existing number of plate appearances. That guy might get in, because that guy's a much more valuable player over the course of his career than the real Johnny Damon.


A Damon who was good enough to deserve a roster spot for two more seasons also would have been a more valuable player and would have deservedly gotten more support. Which is another thing that seems to get missed in all these hypotbeticals about undeserving players reaching milestones.
   76. John DiFool2 Posted: May 07, 2018 at 09:21 AM (#5667662)
Here's a litmus test of all the above, esp. given how he was one and done: Kenny Lofton.

With 3K, he almost certainly would not have vanished after his 1st year, and would have had a chance to build a narrative.
   77. BDC Posted: May 07, 2018 at 09:27 AM (#5667664)
they even talked about 300 HR as HOF level. I don't know how correlated that was at the time

In the '60s and '70s, various almanacs and sports annuals would print the entire list of 300-HR hitters; it was a small enough club to do so comfortably. But even then, the 300-399 group included Adcock, Hodges, Colavito, Frank Howard – even Ralph Kiner took a long time to make the Hall. I don't think 300 HR was ever a threshold to the HOF.
   78. SoSH U at work Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5667680)
They say nothing about what would happen if Harold Baines got to 3000 hits, much less does it "refute" anything.


Of course it does. Seriously, this isn't complicated. If it takes someone 5 ballots to get elected despite reaching a milestone, that milestone can't be deemed automatic. If it were, it would take no more than two (still allowing for the possibility of the first-ballot silliness). That Eddie Mathews received 32 percent of the vote his first time out absolutely says that at least 68 percent of the voters still have to be convinced of a player's merits before they'll pencil him in.

With 3K, he almost certainly would not have vanished after his 1st year, and would have had a chance to build a narrative.


That's also 500 more hits than the real Kenny Lofton got. I'm not sure what that is supposed to say. And, Lofton is a bit of a special case anyway, as he was part of the single most impressive class of first-year eligibles since the first year of voting. If he debuted in 2018, for instance, he wouldn't have gone one and done either.

If you think I'm suggesting that hitting a milestone isn't good for a player's Hall case, you're mistaken. It's easy to envision Biggio falling short of induction without the fact he dragged himself over the line. But that would have been a mistake of omission.


A Damon who was good enough to deserve a roster spot for two more seasons also would have been a more valuable player and would have deservedly gotten more support. Which is another thing that seems to get missed in all these hypotbeticals about undeserving players reaching milestones.


If he kept up his last full-season numbers, it could have helped a little. But a series of 0-1.5 WAR seasons aren't really doing a whole lot for anyone's Hall case.
   79. SoSH U at work Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:11 AM (#5667682)
That said, the idea that 400 home runs could be enough was a real concept into the early 1990s- I have somewhere in storage a book analyzing speculating in rookie cards that came out about a year or two before the market completely caved, and it speculated that Kingman probably would have had a better shot at the HOF if he hadn't antagonized the press and that Darrell Evans would be the first major test case as for whether or not 400 home runs would be seen as meriting induction.


And it wasn't enough for either of them to see a second ballot. Because these numbers aren't remotely magic.
   80. McCoy Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:31 AM (#5667692)
That said, the idea that 400 home runs could be enough was a real concept into the early 1990s- I have somewhere in storage a book analyzing speculating in rookie cards that came out about a year or two before the market completely caved, and it speculated that Kingman probably would have had a better shot at the HOF if he hadn't antagonized the press and that Darrell Evans would be the first major test case as for whether or not 400 home runs would be seen as meriting induction.

That might have been a Bill James or Neyer book. I believe it was in the New Historical Abstract where James argues that it was the presence of Kingman in the "400 Club" that caused the standard to be 500 homers to get into the Hall as no writer viewed Kingman as a HoFer nor wanted to vote for him into the hall, which then meant Darrell Evans got shafted for the Hall. At least in the eyes of Bill, I think.
   81. SandyRiver Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:43 AM (#5667702)
It has been referred to as automatic, as shorthand, but it's never been. Eddie Mathews took five ballots to get in with 500 homers, and he was probably the best third baseman in history when he retired. Harmon Killebrew took four ballots, and he had the fourth-highest homer total when he retired.

IMO, both players were "victims" of BA-love. (quotes because delay wasn't denial) If they had retired 5 years ago (and thus were still living so no Santo-guilt), Mathews is 1st ballot no matter who else is under consideration, while Killebrew might have to wait a year if the ballot is really crowded with worthies.
   82. McCoy Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5667717)
It was clear that both Harmon and Eddie were going into the Hall. Albeit Eddie started from a lower starting position than you would expect for someone with hus numbers. Not going in on the first ballot doesn't mean you weren't an "automatic" especially during that era of Hall of Fame voting.
   83. Rally Posted: May 07, 2018 at 04:13 PM (#5668008)
If they had retired 5 years ago (and thus were still living so no Santo-guilt), Mathews is 1st ballot no matter who else is under consideration, while Killebrew might have to wait a year if the ballot is really crowded with worthies.


I think Killebrew is first ballot and a near match for Jim Thome. Thome does have a slight edge in OPS+ (147-143). I just think if Killebrew played in the 90s instead of the 60s he easily tops 600 homers. That is, assuming Killebrew in the sillyball era doesn't do something stupid like take the kind of drug to help you hit 60+ homers one year - that would keep him out.

   84. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 07, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5668028)
Great discussion on this thread.

   85. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 05:08 PM (#5668059)
[Ryan's] an interesting case -- his FIP of 2.97 is much lower than his ERA of 3.19, suggesting that he played in front of poor defensive teams.

Ryan was also notoriously awful at holding runners on base and is by far the career leader in SB allowed. My database -- which hasn't been updated for 2017 but is still probably close enough for these purposes -- shows:

Ryan 757
Maddux 596
RJohnson 519
JNiekro 500
Blyleven 492
Sutton 479
Gooden 473
PNiekro 471
Seaver 453
Wakefield 448

The pitcher closest to HALF of Ryan's total is Jack Morris at #16 (373).

Ryan also allowed a 75% success rate on steals, and that's a LOT of walks turning into 2B. Or to put it another way, Ryan's career SB-CS was 757-252. Vince Coleman's was 752-177.
   86. Zach Posted: May 07, 2018 at 06:56 PM (#5668112)
Put me down as someone who thinks Johnny Damon with 3000 hits would be an interesting candidate.

It doesn't seem quite fair, but giving a HOVG player a couple of extra seasons as a productive regular or making him slightly better over an extended period of time can make a real difference.

For 3000 hits, I think you should assume the player is in unless you can make a compelling reason he should be out.
   87. Zach Posted: May 07, 2018 at 07:08 PM (#5668120)
In fact, the sheer difficulty that so many HOVG guys have had in making it over the line is an argument that it should be taken seriously.

231 hits is a lot of value. It's 17 more hits than Damon's best year, and more than his last two years combined. If you take away Damon's 2012 line and duplicate his 2011 line for 2012 and 2013, Damon's at 3027. But that means he puts up a 110 OPS+ for ages 37-39, which isn't a bad HOF credential in its own right.

A Johnny Damon who's a productive hitter at 40 years old would get some votes. You've got the Idiot thing, the big home run against the Yankees in 2004, two World Series, two All Star games...
   88. Adam Starblind Posted: May 07, 2018 at 08:53 PM (#5668207)

Of course it does. Seriously, this isn't complicated. If it takes someone 5 ballots to get elected despite reaching a milestone, that milestone can't be deemed automatic. If it were, it would take no more than two (still allowing for the possibility of the first-ballot silliness). That Eddie Mathews received 32 percent of the vote his first time out absolutely says that at least 68 percent of the voters still have to be convinced of a player's merits before they'll pencil him in.


And the case against 3000-hit Baines in the pre-SABR era would be what exactly? That he was a DH? Color me unconvinced by your "evidence."
   89. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 09:21 PM (#5668222)
And the case against 3000-hit Baines in the pre-SABR era would be what exactly? That he was a DH? Color me unconvinced by your "evidence."

Not to nitpick, but Baines *was* on the ballot during the SABR era. He was on the ballot from 2007-2011 -- that last year was the year Blyleven was elected.

As for the argument against him, he didn't feel like a HOFer. "Future Hall of Famer Harold Baines" said nobody ever. In 22 seasons, he only once led the league in any offensive category (SLG), only made 6 All Star teams, and never finished higher than 9th in the MVP voting. And while that's not disqualifying for a guy who has a good statistical case, it probably is for a guy who doesn't. He was a good or average player for a very long time and I'm not completely convinced that he wouldn't have gotten in with 3,000 hits, but I don't think it's a difficult argument to make.
   90. Adam Starblind Posted: May 07, 2018 at 09:32 PM (#5668229)

Not to nitpick, but Baines *was* on the ballot during the SABR era. He was on the ballot from 2007-2011



Ha, didn't remember it being so recent. Still, I think the voters are significantly more advanced now as a group. Blyleven went in but took forever. Raines took much too long(did either pass the "feels like a HOFer test?). Rice went in because of teh fear. Even now, Hoffman is going in fairly easily (did he feel like a HOFer?). The process isn't nearly as sophisticated as some give it credit for.
   91. Srul Itza Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:51 PM (#5668301)
Similar situation, but with a pitcher: Nolan Ryan. In 1988, Ryan was still seen as an extraordinarily talented freak show.


I remember having this specific discussion in 1988. At that time, he already had well over 4,000 strikeouts, the single year record of strike outs, and five no-hitters.

That last one was the end of the argument. He was going in. What happened after that raised him to another level as a folk hero, but he was going in at that point.
   92. Booey Posted: May 08, 2018 at 01:04 AM (#5668320)
I started following baseball after the 1987 season and I thought of Ryan as a future HOFer back then.

I was 8 though, so take that with a grain of salt...
   93. Lassus Posted: May 08, 2018 at 08:28 AM (#5668347)
Blyleven went in but took forever. Raines took much too long(did either pass the "feels like a HOFer test?).

Subjectively, the latter yes, the former no. To me, that is.
   94. McCoy Posted: May 08, 2018 at 08:52 AM (#5668357)
I remember getting a book on baseball facts and records back in 1990 or so. It was a little after Puckett got his big salary and in that book Nolan Ryan looked like and was treated like a god. Being a young kid at the time that didn't know a ton of baseball history it looked like Nolan Ryan was the greatest pitcher of all time according to that book.
   95. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 08, 2018 at 08:58 AM (#5668359)
Put me down as someone who thinks Johnny Damon with 3000 hits would be an interesting candidate. It doesn't seem quite fair, but giving a HOVG player a couple of extra seasons as a productive regular or making him slightly better over an extended period of time can make a real difference.


Yeah, I don't get why someone would handwave away a guy like Damon with a few hundred extra hits. Not vote for him? Sure. But dismiss him out of hand?
   96. SoSH U at work Posted: May 08, 2018 at 10:13 AM (#5668397)
Yeah, I don't get why someone would handwave away a guy like Damon with a few hundred extra hits. Not vote for him? Sure. But dismiss him out of hand?


As I admitted earlier, I've probably been a little harder on JD than warranted. If he hangs around as a productive player and gets over the mark, he's a non-embarrassing candidate, and would have a chance (no guarantee, as it would depend on many circumstances).

If he gets there the way Biggio did by crawling across the mark as a shitty player, I don't think so.

And if he got there in the same number of PAs that the real JD managed, he's a deserving candidate.

At any rate, he's not really in the same class as Baines, one time "what if guy", Edgar Renteria or current version, Nick Markakis.
   97. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 08, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5668443)
At any rate, he's not really in the same class as Baines, one time "what if guy", Edgar Renteria or current version, Nick Markakis.


Yeah, I think that was my point. JD isn't a HOFer, but he's a lot better than Baines or Markakis.

I wouldn't fight for the crawl-across version of Damon to be in the Hall of Fame, but I wouldn't protest his induction either.
   98. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: May 08, 2018 at 01:01 PM (#5668525)
Yeah, I think that was my point. JD isn't a HOFer, but he's a lot better than Baines or Markakis.


Huh, while I don't think Baines is a HoFer no matter how one pads his counting numbers - I am rather surprised that Damon is indeed a lot better. Like 17 WAA and nearly a dozen WAR better. I think I both over-appreciated Baines and underappreciated Damon.
   99. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 08, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5668553)
Blyleven went in but took forever. Raines took much too long(did either pass the "feels like a HOFer test?). Rice went in because of teh fear. Even now, Hoffman is going in fairly easily (did he feel like a HOFer?).

I don't think Blyleven felt like a HOFer but I wasn't around for his prime. I also missed Raines's big years -- my impression is that he did during the first half of his career but didn't during the second half (In retrospect, he was underrated during the latter half, and maybe even during the former).

But that's sort of besides the point -- neither of those guys would have gotten in without support from the sabermetric community (it's obvious that Blyleven doesn't get elected without Rich Lederer's advocacy), because they didn't have the subjective emotions of the writers behind them.

Rice won an MVP and had six top-5 finishes. 8 ASG in 16 seasons. Again, I'm too young to judge, but the facts at least support the narrative that he was viewed as one of the top players in the game. Baines, OTOH, had one top-10 MVP finish and 6 ASG in 22 seasons, in a career that largely overlapped. I don't want to say he wouldn't have Riced his way into the HOF after 10-15 years on the ballot, but at that point are we really talking about an "automatic" number?
   100. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 08, 2018 at 01:55 PM (#5668556)
Doublepost
Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Traderdave
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP 2018 October 15: The shift in focus from sport to politics
(973 - 1:57am, Oct 18)
Last: Davo and his Moose Tacos

NewsblogLEAGUE CHAMPION SERIES OMNICHATTER! for the 2018 Playoffs!
(2031 - 1:54am, Oct 18)
Last: BackNine

NewsblogOT - NBA Thread (2018-19 season kickoff edition)
(629 - 1:49am, Oct 18)
Last: Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean

Sox TherapyALCS Thoughts
(68 - 1:31am, Oct 18)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature

NewsblogChili Davis ‘not going to blame myself,’ wishes next Cubs hitting coach better
(62 - 12:58am, Oct 18)
Last: Zonk just has affection for alumni

NewsblogDerek Jeter gets his wish: The Marlins home run sculpture is outta there
(34 - 12:52am, Oct 18)
Last: Hank Gillette

NewsblogEmpty vows, Alderson back-stab: Inside Mets’ GM search mess
(4 - 12:05am, Oct 18)
Last: Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb

NewsblogCatch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (October 2018)
(304 - 11:02pm, Oct 17)
Last: Rennie's Tenet

NewsblogRosenthal: Manny Machado still has work to do if he wants to keep the focus on his performance – The Athletic
(87 - 10:50pm, Oct 17)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

Hall of Merit2019 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(169 - 10:43pm, Oct 17)
Last: Dr. Chaleeko

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-17-2018
(30 - 9:38pm, Oct 17)
Last: Man o' Schwar

NewsblogThis unbelievable catch by Tony Kemp killed a Red Sox rally, but is it too good to be true?
(21 - 9:32pm, Oct 17)
Last: Man o' Schwar

NewsblogManny Machado not worth the trouble for the Yankees
(6 - 7:47pm, Oct 17)
Last: Khrushin it bro

NewsblogMetro Exclusive: Astros may have been cheating in Game 1 against Red Sox
(22 - 7:15pm, Oct 17)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

NewsblogSources: Indians warned Red Sox about man stealing signs for Astros
(3 - 5:49pm, Oct 17)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim

Page rendered in 0.7873 seconds
46 querie(s) executed