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Friday, November 16, 2012

The Hall of Fame case for umpire Hank O’Day

There are currently nine umpires enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, a perfect baseball number. But with his name on the HOF’s Pre-Integration Ballot, Hank O’Day is now a step closer to becoming the tenth. Three of the umpires were elected in the last 20 years: Bill McGowan, Nestor Chylak, and Doug Harvey. We can argue the merits of inducting umpires into the Hall, but that’s another article. Let’s just say that no one makes a pilgrimage to Cooperstown to see an umpire inducted into the Hall of Fame or to look at an umpire exhibit. Except maybe the family of the honored umpires.

Wahoo Sam Posted: November 16, 2012 at 02:22 PM | 5 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

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   1. UCCF Posted: November 16, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4304613)
I worry sometimes that, fifty years from now, we'll see articles arguing that Joe West should be on the HoF ballot.
   2. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 16, 2012 at 09:11 PM (#4304742)
I worry sometimes that, fifty years from now, we'll see articles arguing that Joe West should be on the HoF ballot.

Not happening. In fact, I think we've moved past the point where an umpire will even be considered for the HoF in the future - umpires don't stand out for good reasons, and I think that's the way MLB wants it.

-- MWE
   3. John Northey Posted: November 16, 2012 at 10:02 PM (#4304753)
Actually, I see a day where a sub-segment of fans (like those here) is very knowledgeable of which umps are the best thanks to things like Pitch-Fx and various tools that will determine how often umpires get out calls and fair/foul calls right. Right now we have stats on which umps call a game correctly for balls-strikes, and we have catchers who make a career out of tricking those umps. The umps who aren't tricked will get recognized eventually by the stats addicts and that will lead to more general knowledge about them which will most likely match up with players and executives views of those same umps. That will make it a lot easier to get them voted in as the true standout will be able to show that they did stand out.

For example, grabbing a couple at random...
Angel Campos' zone can be seen and compared to Jim Joyce. Both are circular with Joyce being very nice for RHH (perfectly centered) but weak vs LHH (outside pitches he never calls for them). Campos is more oval and appears fairly small vs LHH. If I read it right, Campos gets fastballs right 86.1% of the time while Joyce gets them right 87.7%. Joe West is at 85% for comparison with a very odd looking zone vs LHH.
   4. John Northey Posted: November 16, 2012 at 10:30 PM (#4304762)
double post...oops.
   5. Wahoo Sam Posted: November 20, 2012 at 02:39 AM (#4306567)
Mike, I think the fact that three of the 9 HOF umpires were inducted in the last 20 years shows that we aren't "past the time when umpires are considered for the HOF."

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