Baseball Primer Newsblog
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Saturday, September 01, 2012
Jack Morris twirls his poliosised mustache, evilly rubs hands, and allows yet another earned run in just for funzies.
Jesse Haines, Pitcher
Surely the least talented and accomplished pitcher in the Hall of Fame. Haines had the fortune of playing with Frisch for 11 years and playing under him for five. That association helped grease the wheels for Jesse’s election to the HOF in 1970 by the Vet Committee. This despite the fact that the right-hander pitched 19 years in the National League and led the league in exactly three categories: games pitched in 1920, and complete games and shutouts in 1927. In all those years he received MVP votes in only one season, and even then he was 8th in balloting. Haines was never one of the marguee pichers in the game, or even on his own team much of his career. The Cardinals went to the World Series three times with Haines as a part of their rotation, and he never once started Game One of the Fall Classic, in fact he was usually the third pitcher in their rotation. Haines did pitch well in the post-season, but he was not a great pitcher. He pitched for a very long time and was part of four pennant-winning clubs, but he won more than 13 games only four times in his 19 seasons. His 3.64 ERA is the highest of any starting pitcher in Cooperstown.
Herb Pennock, Pitcher
For more than a decade, Pennock was a mediocre pitcher (77-72, 3.72 ERA in mostly the Deadball Era). Then when he was 29 years old he was dealt to the Yankees and he started to win games, which isn’t hard to understand considering Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were his teammates. Pennock didn’t even really win that much for a Yankee pitcher in the 1920s and 1930s – he averaged 14 victories per season with the Bombers. His ERA was good in only five of his seasons with New York, otherwise it was higher than league average. He was 5-0 in World Series games, so he has that going for him. But the lefty had a career 3.60 ERA (about 5% better than league average), gave up a ton of hits, and didn’t strike out many batters at all (three per nine innings – an abysmal mark even for that era). He was a slightly better than average pitcher who had the fortune of being on great Yankee teams. He was nowhere near as good a pitcher as say, David Cone or David Wells or Kevin Brown or Andy Pettitte. Or to take a few from his era: Wes Ferrell, Tommy Bridges, Charlie Root, or Ray Kremer. And none of those gentlemen are in the Hall of Fame.
Posted: September 01, 2012 at 08:54 AM | 74 comment(s)
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