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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Retro Simba: Hitting shouldn’t disqualify Marty Marion for Hall election

No…but it sure does help! (anti-ichnofossiled SABR dude dig there)

If Marty Marion is elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, it will be because he was perhaps the finest-fielding shortstop of the 1940s, a starter on Cardinals teams that won four pennants and three World Series titles and a winner of the 1944 National League Most Valuable Player Award.

Marion wasn’t known for his hitting _ he usually batted in the seventh and eighth spots in the order during a 13-year big-league career _ but much like another Cardinals standout shortstop, Ozzie Smith, Marion worked to enhance his value at the plate.

...With a .263 career batting average and 1,448 hits in 11 seasons with the Cardinals and two with the Browns, offensive numbers alone won’t qualify Marion for the Hall of Fame, but his batting shouldn’t disqualify him either.

In 1942, his third season with the Cardinals, Marion, a right-handed batter, initially struggled at the plate so badly that some wondered whether he could remain in the big leagues. Though he was the everyday shortstop, he was hitting .188 on May 31 that season.

Years later, Marion explained to St. Louis writer Bob Broeg how he improved as a hitter. “I began studying hitting on my own, changing my batting stance, observing the pitchers, laying off bad pitches and hitting more to right field,” Marion said.

Repoz Posted: November 10, 2012 at 09:48 AM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, hof

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   1. BDC Posted: November 10, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4299548)
Nineteen comps for Marion, centered on him in terms of PAs and OPS+, ranked by WAR Fielding Runs:

Player            Rfield   PA OPS+  SB      Pos
Clete Boyer          160 6368   86  41    
*56/4
Marty Marion         130 6143   81  35     
*6/5
Scott Fletcher        98 5976   85  99  
*64/5D3
Greg Gagne            83 6209   83 108  
*6/D849
Billy Rogell          60 5919   85  82 
*65/4987
Sparky Adams          54 6175   82 154   456
/79
Ray Schalk            46 6228   83 177       
*2
Don Blasingame        30 5937   79 105    
*4/65
Alex Gonzalez         29 6098   81  30       
*6
Freddie Patek         13 6247   79 385 
*6/459D7
Frank Bolling         12 6190   85  40       
*4
Granny Hamner         12 6291   84  35   
*64/51
Howie Shanks          
-6 6420   82 185 7564/893
Jose Vizcaino        
-14 5918   76  74 *645/3D7
Vince Coleman        
-14 5970   83 752   *78/9D
Julian Javier        
-18 6197   78 135   *4/563
Tito Fuentes         
-27 6073   82  80    *46/5
Joe Dugan            
-28 5880   82  37   *56/47
Bill Wambsganss      
-60 6107   78 140   *46/53
Rafael Ramirez       
-68 5887   77 112  *6/5479 


Such comps suggest that it isn't even hitting that's kept Marion out of the HOF; it's career length.
   2. Bug Selig Posted: November 10, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4299592)
If Marty Marion is elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, it will be...


... great news for Mark Lemke!
   3. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: November 10, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4299601)
If you lowered the bar down far enough to get Marty Marion in, the HoF would have to add another wing.
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: November 10, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4299615)
Marion wasn’t known for his hitting _ he usually batted in the seventh and eighth spots in the order during a 13-year big-league career _ but much like another Cardinals standout shortstop, Ozzie Smith, Marion worked to enhance his value at the plate.


Marion was as much a product of the best talent being in the war as anything else. Also being the best defensive player at short for a short period of time, isn't enough to put you in the hof. Vizquel was as good defensively, for longer period of time in an era with higher quality play and he isn't a worthy hofer (I think he makes it eventually, but don't think he's worth it)
   5. BDC Posted: November 10, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4299616)
Well, as I thought of initially reflecting in #1 till I noticed it was long enough with just the list, Marion was extremely outstanding at one aspect of the game. New metrics and old reputation alike have him as one of the best-fielding shortstops of his era, or in fact ever. Players almost identical to Marion in career WAR include Marty McManus and Earl Torgeson, for instance, who were unremarkable good players; Marion was a remarkable good player. That doth not make a HOF case, but nobody's every made one for McManus or Torgeson.
   6. KJOK Posted: November 10, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4299631)
Here are his most similar from the Hall of Stats:

Marty Marion Hall of Stats Record


Similar in Value to Marty Marion



Player (Hall Rating)

Similarity




Billy Jurges (50)

72



Greg Gagne (41)

119



Eddie Miller (33)

134



Clete Boyer (45)

153



Jack Wilson (39)

163



Mike Bordick (38)

168



Billy Rogell (38)

172



Scott Fletcher (55)

176



Ray Schalk (48)

179



Craig Counsell (35)

179



Frank White (50)

183



Terry Turner (59)

187



Tony Pena (50)

188



George McBride (28)

201



Rick Dempsey (48)

206



Frankie Crosetti (32)

215



Bill Mazeroski (50)

219



Bill Russell (45)

230



Lou Bierbauer (20)

231



Jose Valentin (51)

232
   7. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: November 10, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4299645)
a winner of the 1944 National League Most Valuable Player Award


And that is why people who care about the HOF should care about post-season awards. Without that (hugely unjustified) award, no one would think to argue for Marty Marion. In fact, he would never make the cut to get on the ballot in the first place.
   8. Bug Selig Posted: November 10, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4299661)
In fact, he would never make the cut to get on the ballot in the first place.


I think Lenny Harris made that cut:-)
   9. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: November 10, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4299663)
I think Lenny Harris made that cut:-)


I'm talking about the VC ballot that he is on now. He absolutely should have been on the BBWAA ballot.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: November 10, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4299698)
He shoulda changed his name to John Wayne
   11. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 10, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4299799)
Back in the 50's, every kid I knew sported a Marty Marion G600 Rawlings glove. It had a genuine floating heel, a Deep Well pocket, and by the time the 50's came along, it even had lacing to connect the fingers! Surely this should be enough to put "Mr. Shortstop" over the top!
   12. BDC Posted: November 10, 2012 at 07:38 PM (#4299802)
My childhood glove just said "Airex" on the thumb. I thought there was a ballplayer named Allen Airex.

Later in my softball days I had a Ted Williams glove, which is like having a CD of vocal lessons by Elvis Costello.
   13. Good cripple hitter Posted: November 10, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4299815)
I can top that. The last time this conversation came up, I couldn't remember whose name was on the glove when I played little league. I expected to find the name of Robbie Alomar or Devon White or another defensive star from the 80's or 90's Jays... instead I found that I had been the proud owner of an infield glove endorsed by Jose Canseco. Oof.

I also had a Juan Guzman glove, because it was bright blue. I have absolutely no regrets about that one.
   14. Monty Posted: November 10, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4299820)
I'd like to propose something called "reverse war credit." As you know, regular war credit is when someone who fought in World War II (and maybe the Korean War) gets credit for how good he would probably have been if he had been playing baseball. Reverse war credit is when you take people's stats for 1942-1945 and discount them by an arbitrary amount on the grounds that the level of competition in 1943 was a lot lower.
   15. Steve Treder Posted: November 10, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4299824)
I warmly remember my first glove. I was eight. My brother helped me pick it out at the local sports shop, and showed me how to soak it and oil it and break it in and all that. I'll be damned, however, if I can remember who's "autograph" model it was. (No, it wasn't Marty Marion; I'm ancient but not that ancient.)

But I do remember the Wilson A2000 glove I used when playing softball in the 1990s: the Jose Canseco model. All I needed was the Steve Jeltz model bat, and the perfection would be complete.
   16. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: November 10, 2012 at 10:02 PM (#4299865)
Johnny Bench catcher's mitt. Absolutely.

I don't care if the HOF never elects guys like Marion, but I'd love it if they had some kind of permanent display with film and descriptions of the greatest fielders at every position. It'd be great if they had Keith Hernandez (or Marty Marion, or Maz, or Brooks, or Andruw, etc.) game footage on some kind of loop.
   17. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 10, 2012 at 10:04 PM (#4299869)
That Wilson A2000 model glove line is far and away the longest running model in history, now 55 years and counting. Before it came along, Rawlings completely dominated the brand name glove department as thoroughly as Louisville Sluggers monopolized bats.
   18. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: November 10, 2012 at 11:27 PM (#4299906)
Reverse war credit is when you take people's stats for 1942-1945 and discount them by an arbitrary amount on the grounds that the level of competition in 1943 was a lot lower they didn't care about their country.


FTFY
   19. Walt Davis Posted: November 10, 2012 at 11:51 PM (#4299914)
Later in my softball days I had a Ted Williams glove, which is like having a CD of vocal lessons by Elvis Costello.

That just means you bought it at Sears. You coulda had a Ted Williams fishing rod too; probably a Ted Williams basketball.

My first glove was probably a Ted Williams. It lasted one day before a bunch of 14-year-old punks stole it from my 10-year-old punk self. Awwww. A blessing in disguise as I inherited a properly broken-in Rawlings Billy Williams. I was a Rawlings man for life after that although I think I had only two more gloves after that.

And remember kids, two fingers in the pinky hole.
   20. OCF Posted: November 11, 2012 at 12:24 AM (#4299924)
I had a Sears/Ted Williams glove, then I got one that said Catfish Hunter.
   21. Moeball Posted: November 12, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4300762)
Pretty much anyone who was a name in the big leagues had their own version of a glove for sale at some point.

When I was a kid I had some very flexible cool outfielders' gloves (Yastrzemski, Clemente, Kaline) and a first baseman's mitt that didn't seem to bend very well (Killebrew). How prophetic.
   22. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: November 12, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4300785)
I had a Rusty Staub glove. Fielded like him, too.
   23. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 12, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4300791)
Later in my softball days I had a Ted Williams glove, which is like having a CD of vocal lessons by Elvis Costello.

Or like having a Marty Marion bat.
   24. SoSH U at work Posted: November 12, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4300806)
That just means you bought it at Sears. You coulda had a Ted Williams fishing rod too; probably a Ted Williams basketball.


True. My cousin had Ted Williams indoor gym mats.

   25. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: November 12, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4300812)
Marion actually drew 40% of the vote in the 1970 HOF election. The year he won the mvp, he slugged .362. Had to have been a really good glove man, I guess..but was it legit? I think the "Deep Well" pocket should have been outlawed as it obviously gave its users an unfair advantage similar to Barry and steroids.
   26. vortex of dissipation Posted: November 12, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4300830)
   27. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: November 12, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4300880)
I hate America, so I use a Mizuno glove when I play softball.

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