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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dick Allen’s son has Hall of an idea

So if Miguel Cabrera’s career ended today…154 OPS+/7126 PA’s ~ 156 OPS+/7315 PA’s for Dick Allen…

When he’s not watching his son play hoops, Allen Jr. is campaigning to get his now-72-year-old father, who works on the Phillies’ community-relations team, into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Allen, who had two stints with the Phils (1963-69 and ‘75-76), is considered by many to be the best player not in the Hall. He is, apparently, not a self-promoter.

“It’s difficult because he doesn’t want to be attached to any campaign,” Allen Jr. said last night. “He feels it’s a bad thing to stand there pounding his shoe on the desk saying, ‘Let me in, let me in.’ “

Junior feels otherwise and is trying to get his father’s name on this year’s Golden Era ballot.

“It’s a last shot for him,” Allen Jr. said. “From what I understand, he’ll have exhausted his options.”

Allen Jr. is working with Mark “Frog” Carfagno to promote the cause. They even have a Facebook page - “Dick Allen Belongs in the Hall of Fame.”

“I read an article on Bill James Online by Dave Fleming and that really triggered this thing,” Allen Jr. said. “He ran off the numbers. It breaks down everything and [my father] has better numbers than 17 Hall of Famers.”

Carfagno, who worked on the Phillies’ grounds crew for 33 years, remembers thinking Allen would get in on the 2009 Veterans Committee ballot.

“There was a headline on the Baseball Hall of Fame website that said, ‘Dick Allen expected to be named to the Hall tomorrow,’ ” Carfagno said. “The next day he only got 20 percent of the vote.

“We just want to get the word out. He deserves to be in.”

Repoz Posted: March 19, 2014 at 05:29 AM | 60 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, hof

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   1. ajnrules Posted: March 19, 2014 at 06:28 AM (#4673740)
No arguments from me there. I have no idea how he didn't make the 2012 Golden Era Veteran's Committee ballot whereas guys like Tony Oliva and Ken Boyer did. If he doesn't even make the Golden Era ballot later this year then the screening committee is an absolute joke.
   2. bjhanke Posted: March 19, 2014 at 07:08 AM (#4673744)
Allen is not in the Hall of Fame DESPITE his numbers, not because of them. The reason he is not in the Hall is that there are a LOT of voters who remember him and absolutely hate his guts. I, personally, have never met the man. - Brock Hanke
   3. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 19, 2014 at 07:19 AM (#4673745)
I've had the pleasure of meeting Dick Allen. Nice guy. He wasn't anything like I'd been led to believe.
   4. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:11 AM (#4673758)
If there's one thing that Allen has shown since the day he came up its that he's a proud man.
   5. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:58 AM (#4673788)
It blows my mind that Dick Allen works in community relations.

That said, I've always gotten the impression that Allen was extremely misunderstood, a victim of the time that he inhabited and an utter (and perhaps justified) unwillingness to attempt to change his image.
   6. Ron J2 Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:46 AM (#4673827)
Well Tom N. (and others) can chime in to note that it was more than just image. My take on the matter is that he was more sinned against than anything but did not handle things at all well on his end.

As to #3 that was brought up in the testimonials that Craig Wright dug up for his response to Bill James' hatchet job in politics of glory. He had supportive comments from (among others) Gene Mauch and Bob Skinner.

Now it may be that time heals all wounds, and I doubt Skinner for instance would have had much nice to say about Allen in 1969. But the point is that people who've had to interact with Allen generally like him. And any time he feels like it he can really turn on the charm.



   7. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:58 AM (#4673838)
Allen is not in the Hall of Fame DESPITE his numbers, not because of them. The reason he is not in the Hall is that there are a LOT of voters who remember him and absolutely hate his guts.

All the more reason to highlight his numbers. Even if he was the jerkiest jerk who ever jerked, he should still be in the HOF if he was one of the best players of all time. I don't agree with keeping suspected steroid users like Bonds out of the HOF, but I can at least understand the argument. Keeping out a guy because he was a jerk makes absolutely no sense IMO, especially when someone like Cobb is in there.

Edit: That said, there's certainly a perfectly reasonable argument that he's just under the line -- bad defense, relatively short career, etc.
   8. jingoist Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4673846)
He sure was controversial, to the point of being a polarizing force, during his playing career.
Respected as a skilled player; disrespected as someone who placed personal value above that of the team for whom he played.

You could make a very strong case for him to have been MVP in 1966 when Roberto won; only Frank R has done that in both leagues.
I wonder if the older, wiser Dick Allen might have some moderating advice for a young Dick Allen.......
   9. AROM Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:11 AM (#4673852)
“It’s a last shot for him,” Allen Jr. said. “From what I understand, he’ll have exhausted his options.”


Never say never. Deacon White got in last year.
   10. Hal Chase School of Professionalism Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4673864)
I wonder if the older, wiser Dick Allen might have some moderating advice for a young Dick Allen.......


I'd be interested to find out if he called him "Richie".
   11. DL from MN Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4673884)
Allen's highest placing in MMP balloting was actually 4th in 1964. He was 7th in 1966.
   12. DL from MN Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4673885)
Dick Allen should make it past the screening committee but the guy I want elected from the Golden Era is Minnie Minoso.
   13. Ron J2 Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4673899)
Since Allen's argument is basically peak, here's the peak 1B list (sorted by adjusted offensive wins in 5 best seasons) Allen, Killebrew and Cabrera listed as 1B (so that I can count all of their best offensive seasons). oWAR is adjusted as though they had played first. dWAR left alone. Edgar Martinez and David Ortiz also included.

First base is really tough company and Allen certainly looks good here. Can sensibly be compared to anybody but Gehrig, Foxx and Pujols.

AOW = adjusted offensive wins. batting, baesrunning, dp avoidance etc. converted to wins above average. 5 best seasons, need not be consecutive.
WAR = WAR in 5 best seasons by AOW
oWAR = oWAR in 5 best seasons by AOW. As noted, adjusted as though primary defensive position was 1B
dWAR = dWAR in 5 best seasons by AOW
OPS+ = OPS+ in 5 best seasons by AOW
POS % = percentage of time at 1B (DH for Martinez and Ortiz) in 5 best seasons by AOW
WAR 7+ = number of seasons with 7+ WAR
WAR 5+ = number of seasons with 5+ WAR
prime = WAR in best 7 year stretch with best and two worst years removed
age = average age in best 7 year stretch -- with two worst years removed

Player             AOW   WAR  oWAR  dWAR  OPS+   POS %  WAR 7+  WAR 5+  Prime  Age
Lou Gehrig        41.8  49.7  50.1  
-3.6   203   99.7%    10      12     36.2   29
Jimmie Foxx       35.2  44.5  43.6  
-1.7   192   93.5%     7      10     34.4   27
Albert Pujols     32.6  44.3  38.3   1.4   184   85.1
%     8      12     34.9   27
Frank Thomas      30.2  33.7  36.9  
-7.9   184   76.2%     2       8     26.4   25
Jeff Bagwell      29.7  37.1  35.1  
-2.7   174   99.2%     4       8     28.9   29
Jason Giambi      28.8  34.5  35.5  
-5.6   175   83.7%     3       4     19.6   30
Johnny Mize       28.5  35.8  36.6  
-4.2   173  100.0%     3       9     27.9   29
Dick Allen        27.9  35.6  35.3  
-4.5   173   41.0%     3       6     22.9   24
Willie McCovey    27.7  34.0  34.4  
-5.4   178   82.2%     2       7     25.2   30
Miguel Cabrera    27.6  34.4  34.6  
-5.2   173   39.1%     3       7     26.1   28
Todd Helton       27.4  37.4  33.4  
-0.8   160  100.0%     3       5     28.5   28
Hank Greenberg    27.4  36.0  34.7  
-2.0   169   80.2%     4       7     28.0   26
Edgard Martinez   26.5  31.8  31.4  
-5.9   168   83.3%     1       8     25.3   31
Jim Thome         25.7  30.6  32.1  
-5.9   168   78.3%     2       5     23.7   28
George Sisler     25.6  37.3  34.2   0.3   166   99.4
%     2       6     27.5   26
Mark McGwire      25.6  27.7  33.6  
-7.7   191   95.6%     1       8     23.5   32
Harmon Killebrew  24.2  28.8  32.0  
-7.9   165   48.9%     0       4     21.6   31
Joey Votto        22.9  30.5  28.1  
-2.4   162  100.0%     1       4     23.3   27
Dan Brouthers     22.4  30.4  29.7   1.2   197   99.6
%     2      10     26.6   31
Carlos Delgado    22.2  25.9  29.5  
-7.8   160   97.9%     1       3     20.7   29
Roger Connor      21.9  33.6  30.6   3.3   181   93.5
%     3       8     26.9   29
David Ortiz       21.4  26.0  26.0  
-6.7   159   92.4%     0       3     18.5   29
Bill Terry        21.3  32.1  28.1   0.7   148  100.0
%     2       5     24.0   32
Dolph Camilli     21.2  30.1  28.3  
-1.7   157  100.0%     0       5     23.4   32
Will Clark        21.1  28.1  27.2  
-3.9   157   99.1%     1       3     19.8   25
Don Mattingly     20.8  29.2  27.5  
-2.7   151   95.1%     1       4     22.0   28
Orlando Cepeda    20.4  26.9  27.8  
-5.9   155   78.2%     0       3     19.2   25
John Olerud       20.3  31.3  27.6  
-0.6   151   97.1%     2       5     20.5   27
Fred McGriff      20.2  27.3  26.7  
-4.1   150   96.5%     0       4     21.1   27
Cap Anson         20.0  29.2  28.3   1.3   180   96.6
%     1       8     23.9   34
Eddie Murray      19.7  29.5  26.2  
-1.5   155   99.2%     1       5     22.3   27
Rafael Palmeiro   19.2  28.0  26.4  
-3.0   150   76.8%     0       5     21.4   31
Mark Teixeira     18.5  29.5  25.3  
-0.1   143   96.3%     1       2     21.7   27
Keith Hernandez   18.2  31.5  24.9   0.6   143  100.0
%     1       5     23.4   28
Frank Chance      17.8  29.3  24.6   2.7   151   99.5
%     1       4     22.0   28
Tony Perez        17.7  27.2  23.3   0.3   145   37.5
%     1       4     21.9   28 
   14. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4673918)
Dick Allen for the Hall of Fame? Why, I'd sooner select a lug nut.
   15. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4673923)
Keith Hernandez with a 5-year peak 0.6 dWAR?
   16. Bug Selig Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4673942)
Keith Hernandez with a 5-year peak 0.6 dWAR?


To be fair, any 1B with positive dWAR is pretty awesome.
   17. gehrig97 Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4673945)
Yeah, the dWar numbers for 1b (well, dWar in general,really) are always vexing to me. I basically ignore them. To suggest Keith Hernandez provided sub-replacement level defense is ludicrous. If you want to say that positional adjustments render even the best first baseman defensively neutral, I might buy it... but to suggest turn-of-the-century guys are the only 1b in history who could field worth a damn is absurd (unless you use the "WAR is context specific" argument, in which case it's feasible Cap Anson, playing with rudimentary equipment on terrible fields and slick, brown baseballs, did provide a lot of value relative to his peers)
   18. The District Attorney Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4673950)
If you want to say that positional adjustments render even the best first baseman defensively neutral, I might buy it
That is what it's saying.
   19. Ron J2 Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4673957)
#15 That's not his best 5 years by dWAR. It's the dWAR in his 5 best offensive seasons.

I've chosen to go with dWAR because it has built in adjustments for players (like Allen) who spent substantial time at other defensive positions.

As noted, Hernandez's total is very good. Second best on the list above for lively ball 1B.
   20. Booey Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:28 PM (#4673974)
Allen would be a fine HOFer and his personality probably did cost him some votes, but he's not the no-brainer his supporters make him out to be. Remember, he played before the days of WAR and OPS+ (and with his short career, even WAR puts him in the borderline category), and his traditional numbers really are pretty low for a HOF 1B with a poor defensive reputation. Going off memory so correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't he have something like 350 homers, 1200 rbi's, and less than 2000 hits? It's not hard to see why someone with those totals would be ignored, even if they were the saintliest player who ever played.
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4673991)
Allen would be a fine HOFer and his personality probably did cost him some votes, but he's not the no-brainer his supporters make him out to be. Remember, he played before the days of WAR and OPS+ (and with his short career, even WAR puts him in the borderline category), and his traditional numbers really are pretty low for a HOF 1B with a poor defensive reputation. Going off memory so correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't he have something like 350 homers, 1200 rbi's, and less than 2000 hits? It's not hard to see why someone with those totals would be ignored, even if they were the saintliest player who ever played.

Yeah. Great hitter, but short career, only 6 complete seasons, bad D. He's one of the guys defining the border line. Inner Circle HoFG, or just squeaks into to HoF. Really hard to call.
   22. Lassus Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4674030)
As noted, Hernandez's total is very good. Second best on the list above for lively ball 1B.

I don't know Bill Terry, but I have a hard time grasping how he could have been a better defender than Keith Hernandez.
   23. DL from MN Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4674058)
Bill Terry was one of the best fielding 1B of his era so it's not surprising he does well. The numbers above are cherry picking "best 5" by offensive seasons. Hernandez is better than Terry when comparing defense over peak (best 5) and career measures.
   24. Davo Dozier Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4674064)
Dick Allen is one of two eligible players in baseball history who put up multiple 8-WAR seasons who was not elected to the Hall of Fame.

The other? Of course, Snuffy Stirnweiss.
   25. Ron J2 Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4674078)
#22 He came up under McGraw. MGraw placed a lot of emphasis on infield defense in general and an unusual emphasis on 1B defense in particular. No surprise that Terry grades out very well. The guy he replaced could have handled second -- and did a capable job when required.

   26. alilisd Posted: March 19, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4674092)
Remember, he played before the days of WAR and OPS+ (and with his short career, even WAR puts him in the borderline category), and his traditional numbers really are pretty low for a HOF 1B with a poor defensive reputation. Going off memory so correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't he have something like 350 homers, 1200 rbi's, and less than 2000 hits? It's not hard to see why someone with those totals would be ignored, even if they were the saintliest player who ever played.


Well, if you're going to go "traditional" on his analysis, you should also recognize that he won the ROY and an MVP. He also kills it in
Black Ink and Grey Ink for someone with a short career. His 27 Black Ink is right on the average for a HOF (higher than Stargell), and his 159 Grey Ink is a tick above average (higher than both Stargell and McCovey). He had 6 top 10 finishes for BA, 6 for runs including leading the league (248th all time in a low offense era with a short career), 4 in doubles, 6 in triples including leading the league, 8 in HR including leading the league twice, 4 in RBI including leading the league (194th all time).

I think if you look at era (late 50's to early 80's), he's pretty clearly in the company of McCovey, Stargell, and Killebrew in terms of his quality as a hitter, though not in terms of longevity. None of those three are know for stellar defense, but all three are in the HOF (though admittedly with much higher counting stats). He's more similar in counting stats to Norm Cash and Frank Howard, but I think he's pretty clearly a superior hitter to them in terms of peak. Myself I'd tend to say he didn't stay healthy enough to make it as a HOF, but he certainly played well enough in terms of quality, and I'd have no problem with him being inducted as a peak candidate. I don't think he was really overlooked due to low counting stats. I'm more of a mind it was due to personal issues with the writers. YMMV.
   27. DanG Posted: March 19, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4674127)
Highest OPS+, ages 22-32, 1954-85, minimum 3500 PA

Rk             Player OPSoWAR   PA From   To
1       Mickey Mantle  185 87.4 6427 1954 1964
2          Dick Allen  165 68.2 6270 1964 1974
3         Willie Mays  165 80.7 6670 1954 1963
4          Hank Aaron  162 79.2 7369 1956 1966
5      Willie McCovey  160 53.0 5639 1960 1970
6      Frank Robinson  160 68.3 6815 1958 1968
7      Reggie Jackson  151 58.3 6668 1968 1978
8        Mike Schmidt  150 60.9 6223 1972 1982
9       Eddie Mathews  150 72.5 7115 1954 1964
10   Harmon Killebrew  149 49.9 6015 1958 1968
11       George Brett  148 62.7 6423 1975 1985 
   28. Howie Menckel Posted: March 19, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4674130)

somebody should post those videos of Hernandez attacking bunts - he was like a kitten with a toy dangled in front of him. I used to wonder if at some point he'd advance to where he simply gloved the ball before it even left the bat, lol.
   29. Booey Posted: March 19, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4674143)
Myself I'd tend to say he didn't stay healthy enough to make it as a HOF, but he certainly played well enough in terms of quality, and I'd have no problem with him being inducted as a peak candidate.


Agreed, but isn't saying he didn't stay healthy enough kind of the same thing as saying his counting stats aren't high enough? His counting stats aren't high enough because he didn't stay healthy enough. Sort of the Larry Walker problem.
   30. Davo Dozier Posted: March 19, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4674150)
28--
somebody should post those videos of Hernandez attacking bunts - he was like a kitten with a toy dangled in front of him. I used to wonder if at some point he'd advance to where he simply gloved the ball before it even left the bat, lol.


Link.

Unbelievable. I grew up reading about how good Keith Hernandez was at fielding bunts, but never got to see it before (he'd retired by the time I started watching baseball).

But if that play is any indication...my God. It's a good bunt down the third base line, and Hernandez fields it on a hop!
   31. alilisd Posted: March 19, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4674178)
Agreed, but isn't saying he didn't stay healthy enough kind of the same thing as saying his counting stats aren't high enough?


Definitely. I just tend to think a guy who had the award recognition, as well as leading the league (or being among the league leaders) in offensive categories as much as he did, got short shrift due to the rather significant personal issues moreso than by his short career. But it's easy to make an argument he wouldn't have made it even so, as you did, which is convincing as there are very few non-VC inductees with careers as short as Allen's.
   32. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 19, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4674180)
Link.

Unbelievable. I grew up reading about how good Keith Hernandez was at fielding bunts, but never got to see it before (he'd retired by the time I started watching baseball).

But if that play is any indication...my God. It's a good bunt down the third base line, and Hernandez fields it on a hop!


That's impressive.
   33. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4674182)
Link.

Unbelievable. I grew up reading about how good Keith Hernandez was at fielding bunts, but never got to see it before (he'd retired by the time I started watching baseball).

But if that play is any indication...my God. It's a good bunt down the third base line, and Hernandez fields it on a hop!


That's.

Just.

#######.

Insane.
   34. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 19, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4674186)
Yeah it is. And he made it look eeeeeeeasy.
   35. jingoist Posted: March 19, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4674189)
Well, if the HoF is not in the cards for Keith he can console himself by making even more men's hair care product commercials with Clyde Frazier
   36. Lassus Posted: March 19, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4674197)
I hope Keith Hernandez makes it into the HOF before one of us is dead, because he deserves it.
   37. Booey Posted: March 19, 2014 at 07:06 PM (#4674205)
But it's easy to make an argument he wouldn't have made it even so, as you did, which is convincing as there are very few non-VC inductees with careers as short as Allen's.


Yeah. Ralph Kiner got elected as a peak candidate with similar counting stats to Allen, likely due to all the black ink (7 straight HR titles holds a lot of sway), but it took him quite a while. Jim Rice also had a lot of black ink and MVP love and got elected with less than awesome counting stats, but it took him quite a while too.

On the flip side, Dale Murphy had a pretty good amount of black ink and plenty of MVP support (and was beloved by just about everybody), but never came close to getting elected cuz the useful part of his career just wasn't long enough.

So yeah, I could see it going either way. Which I guess is the very definition of a borderline candidate. :-)
   38. zenbitz Posted: March 19, 2014 at 07:09 PM (#4674209)
somebody should post those videos of Hernandez attacking bunts - he was like a kitten with a toy dangled in front of him. I used to wonder if at some point he'd advance to where he simply gloved the ball before it even left the bat, lol.


I told the 4th graders yesterday to attack the "bunts" (basically swinging bunts) like they were candy from a pinata.
   39. Walt Davis Posted: March 19, 2014 at 07:28 PM (#4674216)
Yeah, the dWar numbers for 1b (well, dWar in general,really) are always vexing to me. I basically ignore them. To suggest Keith Hernandez provided sub-replacement level defense is ludicrous. If you want to say that positional adjustments render even the best first baseman defensively neutral, I might buy it

As noted, that's exactly what dWAR does. Also dWAR is really dWAA. So dWAR is essentially saying the Hernandez could have been an average 2/3B if he'd been right-handed or potentially an average CF. You don't find guys like that playing 1B very often.

I won't call that Hernandez play amazing without knowing where he started. He obviously was way in and broke immediately. True, you don't see any other 1B make that play but no 1B would have positioned as closely as he had to on that play. (Dude wasn't Carl Lewis, no way he covers that much ground from a standard 1B bunt-defense position).
   40. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 19, 2014 at 07:45 PM (#4674221)
I won't call that Hernandez play amazing without knowing where he started. He obviously was way in and broke immediately. True, you don't see any other 1B make that play but no 1B would have positioned as closely as he had to on that play. (Dude wasn't Carl Lewis, no way he covers that much ground from a standard 1B bunt-defense position).


Are you being possessed by the ghost of Ray?
   41. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 19, 2014 at 07:45 PM (#4674222)
A couple of things about Allen:

As stated above, he was not a strong defensive first baseman. But he was athletic enough to play other positions, like third base and left field, and that versatility gave his managers some flexibility.

Allen was a terrific baserunner. He not only had speed, but he was aggressive and smart, and had a knack for taking out the middle infielder on the double play. His baserunning made him an even more complete offensive player.
   42. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:14 PM (#4674244)
Allen was a terrific baserunner. He not only had speed, but he was aggressive and smart,

he had 2 inside-the-park homers in one game
   43. Don Malcolm Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:15 PM (#4674245)
Are you being possessed by the ghost of Ray?


No, no, what most people don't realize is that this is a computer-generated Walt Davis. The flesh-and-blood guy passed away five or six years ago, but not before creating a program (which is now being "condensated" by a third-party developer into an app...) that could ingeniously simulate the peregrinations of Walt's mind when plugged into any BTF thread. It was, of course, a glorious way to ensure that he'd live on with us forever...but the program has a few glitches now and then, which create some genuinely puzzling posts amongst the stuff that is otherwise a spot-on simulation of Walt. (There's apparently a "recessive algorithm" that will kick out "surfer lingo" on a semi-random basis, and some old-school biases that occasionally come into play...you have to look carefully for 'em, though.)

In five years, we'll all be able to do something similar, but it's not really surprising that Walt got there first. Dude wasn't the gnarliest computer geek in the BTF pantheon, but he could turn an algorithm like nobody's business. He had a knack for being in the right place at the right time, except for that one night when he stumbled into the path of that oncoming semi...

RE Dick: the proper quote from Bill J. (who really needs Walt's app...) was: "If that's a Hall of Famer, then I'm a lugnut." Seems to have been something of a prophetic statement, actually...
   44. Tubbs & Minnie Miñoso don't fear Sid Monge Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:48 PM (#4674260)
Dick Allen should make it past the screening committee but the guy I want elected from the Golden Era is Minnie Minoso.


I certainly hope to see the Golden Era put Minoso in later this year. I look forward to seeing how he ranks on the 1950's MMP ballots


I hope Keith Hernandez makes it into the HOF before one of us is dead, because he deserves it.

I hope the VC elects Minoso while he is still alive and we actually see the Screening Committee add Hernandez and Dwight Evans to the Exp Era ballot. How big do sabermetrics have to get for people to take guys like Hernandez, Evans, and Grich who were strong with the bat and glove get their due?
   45. bjhanke Posted: March 20, 2014 at 03:52 AM (#4674312)
I, personally, think that Dick Allen should be in the Hall, just in case anyone misinterpreted comment #2. However, he's come to be linked in my mind with Ted Simmons and a couple of other guys as players who clearly should have been elected, but can't get in even on one of these new-fangled old-timer ballots. I am nothing like a baseball insider, but there do seem to be a small group of great players who somehow managed to get on the wrong side of the BBWAA. I would not be at all surprised if both Allen and Simmons went in just as soon as they die, because what the voters seem to be trying to do is deprive them of the satisfaction and joy of actually going to the induction ceremony and delivering a speech.

One reason that Keith Hernandez, and all modern 1B, rank lower than the guys from the dead ball era is that the amount of opportunity had dropped off so much. In the Dead Ball Era (DBE), people bunted all the time. A player with Hernandez' skills might see three times as many bunts as Keith actually did. Maybe more than three. Obviously, that's going to produce a lot more dWAR or whatever, because of the volume. It's like Bill James "Johnny Bench Problem." Bench "only" rates as an A- player in Win Shares because he doesn't prpduce enough profit on the stolen base game to get him to A+. But the reason for that is that no one would run on him, not that he was bad at throwing them out. He was caught in one of the stats where defensive numbers can be controlled by the offense. Suppose that no one EVER attempted to steal on Bench ever. What would his defensive value be with regard to stolen bases? Exactly the same as a guy who throws runners out at exactly the break-even point, which is (approximately) 2 stolen bases for every CS. Well, this is also true about bunting. You see Keith Hernandez, you don't bunt at him, so his dWAR are weaker than they should be because the offense has control over whether they bunt or not, and also whether they bunt to 1B or to 3B.

There's a REALLY funny clip, from somewhere in the 1986 playoffs, I think, where the Mets are playing Gregg Jeffries(?) at third, who was a lousy third baseman. The pitcher was Ron Darling, and there was a man on 1B. The normal play against the bunt is this: a righty pitcher, like Darling, falls to the 1B side of the infield at the end of his pitch. So he takes bunts to the 1B side. The 3B charges the bunt. SS goes to third, 2B says home, and so does 1B. Well, the bunt goes down, and Hernandez starts to charge. Then he stops, looking confused, and then runs back to first and then stops, looking even more confused. Why? Jeffries was a lousy fielder, especially weak on bunts. The Mets had decided to run the play differently. They had Jeffries stay at 3B, Darling do his best to recover and deal with any bunts to 3B, Hernandez to charge, 2B to go to first, and SS to cover second. What happened, I am very sure, is that Keith started to charge the bunt, saw Darling, realized that Darling was a righty, and his instincts to stay home on a bunt with a righty pitcher kicked in. And then he remembered that no, the Mets were running this play the opposite of all Hernandez' training and experience, and he was SUPPOSED to charge, righty pitcher or no. It's hilarious to watch, but what it points out is how GOOD Hernandez was (and also how awful the 3B was).

It's not Keith's fault that no one would bunt on him in his time, but I have no idea how a WAR system is going to adjust for that, especially since some 1B (George Kelly) are going to see more bunts, because they are playing on teams with good 3B, than others (George Sisler), who played opposite lousy 3B almost all his career. The one thing I do know is that 1B was a MUCH more important defensive position then than it is now, certainly more valuable than Right Field, where teams hid bad-glove good hitters at the time. Hernandez, being a lefty, just wasn't going to play 2B, SS, or 3B. When Whitey got to STL, he wanted to move Ted Simmons to 1B, and move Hernandez to LF. Hernandez refused to move, which is why Simmons got traded. But behind all that is that Hernandez didn't have the speed for CF or the arm for RF, and was a lefty. Sometimes things just don't work out, and you end up at a position where there just isn't enough opportunity for you to show off how good you really are. And, other times, things just get weird for no reason that I can figure out. Dick Allen had both the speed and the arm to play CF. I don't know why that was never tried, unless managers just thought that Allen would not pay enough attention to defense to be risked at CF. - Brock Hanke
   46. Lassus Posted: March 20, 2014 at 07:41 AM (#4674320)
Are you being possessed by the ghost of Ray?

No, it's the Mets.
   47. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:28 AM (#4674375)
Myself I'd tend to say he didn't stay healthy enough to make it as a HOF, but he certainly played well enough in terms of quality, and I'd have no problem with him being inducted as a peak candidate.


It's not really that Allen "didn't stay healthy." He wasn't exceptionally durable, but the bigger problem was that he retired at age 32, and though he eventually came back for a couple more seasons, he was finished as a productive player by that point.
   48. Morty Causa Posted: March 20, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4674396)
Allen was a great hitter, especially considering the context of the times, but he wasn't great long enough. And despite all the equivocating of some, he was definitely a lousy fielder. He had just enough athleticism to play a couple-three position badly. He's Sheffield--with a higher peak in context, but much shorter period of hitting excellence. Is Sheffield your idea of a guy who has to be in the HOF?
   49. DL from MN Posted: March 20, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4674406)
I wonder if you could use Hernandez' aggressiveness against him and push bunt it past the pitcher.
   50. dejarouehg Posted: March 20, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4674443)
Allen used to abuse the Mets, especially in 68. Hit 2 bombs off Ryan in one game and had a 3HR game at the end of the year that Seaver talks about where he lauds Allen's ability. (IIRC, Seaver said it was the longest HR he'd ever given up.)

Is Sheffield your idea of a guy who has to be in the HOF?
Having seen both, I'd take Allen.
   51. alilisd Posted: March 20, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4674530)
So yeah, I could see it going either way. Which I guess is the very definition of a borderline candidate. :-)


Kiner, Murphy, and Rice are interesting cases in this regard. Kiner, I think, poses an interesting juxtaposition to Allen. Yes, Kiner was elected because he was a peak candidate, and because of that incredible HR run. But isn't it also likely he was elected because he stayed around the game and became a "beloved" announcer with the Mets? He took time to build momentum on the ballot, only at 24.5% in his fourth election/sixth year on the ballot. He made a big jump in 1967, but then no progress until 1970, and not making any real progress in the following four elections before finally making the move from 58.9% in 1974 to barely scraping by at 75.4% in his last year. I'd think it's likely his being in the broadcsting industry in New York played a big role in this, whereas Allen faces the opposite problem. He's well out of the public eye, and far from "beloved" in the voters eyes.

Murphy seems to have been overwhelmed by circumstances, unless one believes the writers are truly so circumspect as to realize that outside of his 8 year prime he really wasn't worth anything. And even then it may not explain why they still wouldn't vote for a two time MVP with five straight GG in CF and four straight SS. Seems like it's possible retiring in 1993 he was just overshadowed by events of the Silly Ball Era. He comes on the ballot during the HR chase of 1998, and the backlash, which might have saved him, doesn't really start until he's been on the ballot for seven or eight years. By then he's languishing at 10%, the electorate is focused on Rice, Blyleven, and Morris, while Murphy is 11th on the backlog and can't even outpoll McGwire. In 2011 the ballot starts to fill up and his time is all but up.

Rice, by voting looks like the sort of guy who would be elected. Reasonable debut at 29.8%, built each year from there until taking a big hit in 1999 (understandably with three first ballot inductees) but got it all back and more in 2000. He has trouble building from there, staying in the 50% range for the next five years, but relatively weak ballots allow him to stay in the voters minds. Now why he received this treatment, and not Murphy, is a good question. But taking a more "traditional" view of his career and candidacy makes it fairly apparent why he ended up going in, even while more advanced metrics show him to be a poor selection.
   52. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 20, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4674533)
Part of the knock on Allen is not just that he was a difficult guy to get along with, but that he quit on his team in 1974. It was before my time so I don't know what the public reaction was, but he left the White Sox after September 8 with 21 games left in the season. They were 10 games out at the time, but still, that is an example where Allen's personality clearly did impact on-field results.

Due to his short career length, I can understand having Allen on the borderline where off-the-field stuff actually plays a role in your vote.
   53. alilisd Posted: March 20, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4674536)
It's not really that Allen "didn't stay healthy." He wasn't exceptionally durable, but the bigger problem was that he retired at age 32, and though he eventually came back for a couple more seasons, he was finished as a productive player by that point.


122 games at 25, 118 and 122 at 27 and 28, 72 games at 31. Call it a lack of durability or a lack of health, it amounts to the same thing.

Also, how does he retire at 32 if he played 119 games the next season and parts of the next two seasons?
   54. alilisd Posted: March 20, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4674548)
He's Sheffield--with a higher peak in context, but much shorter period of hitting excellence.


I think you misplaced your much. It was a much higher peak, but it was not much shorter, IMO.

Top 10 WAR finishes for Allen: 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 10th. Sheffield: 4th, 4th, 9th, 10th. oWAR for Allen: 1st, 1st, 2nd, 4th, 4th, 4th, 6th, 7th. Sheffield: 2nd, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th. OPS+ for Allen: 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th. Sheffield: 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 4th, 4th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 10th. Allen's peak dwarves Sheffield's, which wasn't a bad peak.

It was only two or three years shorter, depending on how you define their peaks, which doesn't strike me as "much shorter." YMMV.

Is Sheffield your idea of a guy who has to be in the HOF?


From 1994 to 2005 Sheffield put up a 153 OPS+ in 8,150 PA's. An average of 4 WAR per season over a 14 season span. Yes, that's certainly worthy of the HOF.
   55. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 20, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4674558)
Also, how does he retire at 32 if he played 119 games the next season and parts of the next two seasons?


As Dave notes in the post above yours, Allen left the White Sox on September 8, 1974, and announced he was retiring. The team spent much of the off-season trying to get him to come back, but Allen insisted he was serious. Eventually, the Sox traded his rights to the Braves for a PTBNL, but the Braves couldn't get him to un-retire either. In May 1975, the Braves traded Allen's rights back to his hometown Phillies, and Allen finally agreed to play again.
   56. alilisd Posted: March 20, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4674612)
Thanks Tom!
   57. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 20, 2014 at 11:29 PM (#4674698)
I would not be at all surprised if both Allen and Simmons went in just as soon as they die, because what the voters seem to be trying to do is deprive them of the satisfaction and joy of actually going to the induction ceremony and delivering a speech.


Allen? Maybe. But not Simmons. I just don't think the majority of voters, either in the BBWAA or now the Veteran's Committee, think he was good enough. The same problem that's bugged Grich or Sweet Lou (though I think both of those guys are far more obvious choices than Ted).





   58. Walt Davis Posted: March 21, 2014 at 12:23 AM (#4674707)
Rumors of my assimilation by the Borg have been greatly exaggerated. Honest. I am One with the Collective purely of my own free will.

To clarify:

a) Keith Hernandez is the greatest defensive 1B that I've ever seen. I have no problem acknowledging that despite his Cards and Mets affiliation.

b) This play. I suppose it depends on why people are amazed by it. If you consider it great because Hernandez was smart enough and skilled enough to charge bunts to the point where he was about 30-40 feet from the batter at the time the ball reached the plate then OK. If you consider it great because of the quickness of his release and accuracy of the throw then that's mighty damn impressive.

c) But he makes this play not so much because of his fielding superiority to other 1B but because he was a maniac. A 2:07 of the frame, Orosco hasn't even started his motion. At 2:08 he's just releasing the pitch. As you can see from the replay (I didn't know that was on there), he starts even with the rubber. He breaks in with the pitch. By the time the bat meets the ball, he's only 3 steps from where the bunt ends up and he's at something pretty close to full speed.

I don't know that I've ever seen a 1B that close on a bunt. But being that close, daring to break when he did -- any number of good-fielding 1B could have fielded that bunt on the 3rd base side.

If you want to say that only a 1B of his consummate skill would have the quickness and hands to even dare stand that close to begin with, break as early as he did, I won't disagree with you. But once you've done that, the play is impressive but not jaw-dropping. It's the equivalent of Andruw robbing some line drive in short RCF because he was positioned only 3 steps away from the ball -- still a nice grab but one that is not that amazing given where he started. (I couldn't find any youtube clips of Andruw doing something like that but he must have at some point.)
   59. bjhanke Posted: March 21, 2014 at 03:46 AM (#4674726)
"Rumors of my assimilation by the Borg have been greatly exaggerated. Honest. I am One with the Collective purely of my own free will."

That's what they all say. And in exactly these words. Makes you wonder.... - Brock Hanke (who used to call Boog Powell "Borg Daggle" for no good reason. Really.)
   60. BDC Posted: March 21, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4674842)
The Hernandez bunt play reminds me of a great slip catch in cricket – I used to see Ian Botham make such catches back when I followed cricket in a desultory way. The skill is impressive, but it's coupled with positioning that is fairly insane.

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