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Sunday, December 20, 2020

The best non-Hall of Famer at every position

CF: Kenny Lofton
Lofton always seemed to be on the move (he played for 11 teams, and stayed one season or less with every club except the Indians), perhaps diluting how valuable he really was. The only four players more valuable by combined Baseball-Reference WAR from 1992-97 were Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., Jeff Bagwell and Frank Thomas, and Lofton remained an offensive catalyst and stolen-base threat well into his 30s. Lofton got on base more times than Hall of Fame outfielders Larry Walker, Jim Rice and Joe DiMaggio—and he did more damage with his legs once he got on base, too.

The differences between Lofton and Andruw Jones’ peak WAR and JAWS totals are negligible, and so Lofton’s longevity gives him the slight edge here.

Honorable mentions: Jones, Jim Edmonds, Dale Murphy, Jim Wynn (Carlos Beltrán not yet eligible)

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 20, 2020 at 10:03 AM | 58 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

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   1. ckash Posted: December 20, 2020 at 10:17 AM (#5995203)
No mention of Concepcion at SS or Lynn for CF. My two favorite players as a kid. Concepcion was Vizquel without the abuse and arguably a better defensive SS in his prime, and Lynn was essentially the 70's version of Andruw Jones.

Also no mention of Reggie Smith, and I always considered Buddy Bell a sleeper HOF considering the lack of 3B.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: December 20, 2020 at 10:25 AM (#5995205)
There really aren't many shortstops left (as opposed to 1B or CF where there are 5+ good candidates). If you ignore the long-ago candidates and the no-peak candidates, you're left with like Nomar, Jim Fregosi and Miguel Tejada.
   3. DL from MN Posted: December 20, 2020 at 11:02 AM (#5995210)
There really aren't many shortstops left


Bill Dahlen
   4. DL from MN Posted: December 20, 2020 at 11:21 AM (#5995212)
I'll do my list, the article is actually pretty good. Interesting when looking through this that Clemens and Schilling clearly are the two best pitchers not inducted yet.

RHP Roger Clemens
LHP Johan Santana - Billy Pierce should have been mentioned
C Charlie Bennett - Bill Freehan is a good choice but I like the pioneer here. Also like Quincy Trouppe at least as much as Freehan. Neither was mentioned in the article.
1B Mark McGwire - here was a choice that looked obvious to me but somehow they picked Palmeiro. The unknown pick here would be Joe Start.
2B Bobby Grich - Whitaker is worthy but Grich was better
SS Bill Dahlen - shortstops are generally well represented but Bad Bill has been overlooked forever. Omar Vizquel wouldn't have made my honorable mentions. Campaneris and Concepcion both overlooked.
3B Scott Rolen - the article is nice to give attention to Allen but Rolen is a no brainer
LF Barry Bonds
CF Jim Edmonds - they argued between Lofton and Andruw and completely overlooked Edmonds
RF Pete Rose - they went with a different banned RF because they called Pete a LF. Funny thing is you could put Jackson or Rose in either corner. If you want someone not banned from the HoF the best pick is Gary Sheffield. If you want someone without the steroid baggage go with Dwight Evans.
   5. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 20, 2020 at 11:27 AM (#5995214)
Relief RHP:

Relief RHP:


Supporting my contention from the HOF thread.
   6. DL from MN Posted: December 20, 2020 at 12:39 PM (#5995223)
I didn't name a best DH, RH reliever, LH reliever but I could. You can have bests of those things without thinking they're worthy of induction just like anything else.

Best DH - The article notes the pickings here are pretty slim. I think I might call Jason Giambi or Jose Canseco a DH here instead of picking McRae.

RH Reliever - the same guys are in the article but the author left out Doug Jones. I might take Tekulve over Quiz. I vote for over 50 RH starting pitchers instead.
LH Reliever - I agree with Billy Wagner but Aroldis Chapman might last long enough to make the discussion interesting. I would vote for a few dozen LH starting pitchers instead.
   7. puck Posted: December 20, 2020 at 12:40 PM (#5995224)
SS Bill Dahlen - shortstops are generally well represented but Bad Bill has been overlooked forever.


Why isn't he in? He had quite a long career and seems qualified. Good bat, good glove, long career.
   8. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 20, 2020 at 12:50 PM (#5995225)
I will confess I didn't think of splitting up pitchers by handedness. If you do that, and "LH Reliever" is a position, then there are no lefty relievers in the HOF currently. If you want some minimal degree of balance, then Wagner is the obvious way to plug the hole. I wonder if that explains his popularity with the writers.
   9. alilisd Posted: December 20, 2020 at 01:08 PM (#5995228)
Relief RHP:

Relief RHP:


Supporting my contention from the HOF thread.


And perhaps mine that electing relievers is a slippery slope. Also, the mention of Baines in support of a HOF article is awful. It's entirely possible, perhaps even likely, that this article is indicative of nothing, or nothing more than the need for content. However, it bugs me as a HOF enthusiast that ideas like "best LH relief pitcher" even exist, or the idea that Baines can be used to propose ideas like Hal McRae is the "best DH" not in the HOF. It's painfully obvious the Hall is willing to put almost anyone on a ballot, and then writers and VC members have shown themselves more than willing to vote for anyone on a ballot. Will McRae be coming to a VC ballot soon, Quisenberry? Will writers seriously start thinking they need to vote for Wagner because there needs to be a LH reliever in the Hall?
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2020 at 01:20 PM (#5995232)
The steroid guys need to be left out of any exercise like this. There's nothing interesting in telling us that a top-10 all time hitter and pitcher are the best guys not in the Hall.
   11. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: December 20, 2020 at 03:02 PM (#5995237)
Vizquel provided excellent defense and durability, and he is the only non-Hall of Fame shortstop besides Alex Rodriguez (not eligible until 2022) with at least 2,500 hits.


No RE2PECT
   12. Ron J Posted: December 20, 2020 at 03:20 PM (#5995238)
#7 When he came up for vote you only had narrative HOF cases. With an emphasis on stories told by John McGraw (which is a big why Keeler went in so early). McGraw got to manage Dahlen at the end of his career and that may well have shaped his impression. (Geez I had never really thought about it. Mike Donlin, Roger Bresnahan and Bill Dahlen -- among other -- in the same clubhouse. That must have been fun)

The narrative in Dahlen's case focused on the "Bad Bill" side of things (and not in a positive way as they were spun about Bresnahan for instance). And when we finally had the ability to make some sense of the numbers from his day nothing really stands out.

In the first cut at middle infielders missed, Bill James mentions Herman Long rather than Dahlen (who was a better hitter, had a longer career and as best we can tell despite contemporary reputation as an occasional airhead seems to have been the better player)
   13. BrianBrianson Posted: December 20, 2020 at 04:13 PM (#5995240)
The steroid guys need to be left out of any exercise like this. There's nothing interesting in telling us that a top-10 all time hitter and pitcher are the best guys not in the Hall.


Sure there is. It's pointing out how idiotic the situation is, and how it would be completely idiotic to write an article about who the best players not in the Hall are and ignore the best players not in the Hall.

Really, at the moment, the whole idiotic situation is making who is or isn't in the Hall pretty irrelevant, so it's hard to talk about anything else?
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2020 at 04:15 PM (#5995241)
Sure there is. It's pointing out how idiotic the situation is, and how it would be completely idiotic to write an article about who the best players not in the Hall are and ignore the best players not in the Hall.

Really, at the moment, the whole idiotic situation is making who is or isn't in the Hall pretty irrelevant, so it's hard to talk about anything else?


Note them separately then. The reason they're not in has nothing to do with on field accomplishments.

It's far more interesting to read about Dave Stieb or Luis Tiant or David Cone and their HoF cases than to rehash the Clemens story for the 173rd time.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: December 20, 2020 at 05:07 PM (#5995247)
And I'll chime in with "why do it by position?" It can be worthwhile when focusing on a position like C or (yes) 3B where there seems to be an under-representation -- in which case you need to offer thoughts on why that position is under-represented and this person meets the criteria for inclusion. But it simply doesn't matter who the best X (much less LHP/LHR) not in the HoF is. In main, Dick Allen's 646 career starts at 3B with terrible defense do not make him the best 3B not in the HoF -- they aren't enough to make him a "3B" in any meaningful career sense. (A bit over 4 full seasons ... Tony Perez had more starts at 3B ... we're gonna group him with Nettles' 2324 starts, Bell's 2160 and Rolen's 1994?)

Dick Allen was a great hitter and that's the only reason to discuss his HoF eligibility. He might be something like the 3rd-best non-roid/banned player not in (I just grabbed that number out of the air) which strikes me as the way to frame this argument. If you think the position a player played is key to HoF arguments then that is an argument AGAINST Allen as a HoFer. This also answers the "DH" question. A DH doesn't "deserve" a spot in the HoF and shouldn't in any way be compared with other DHs, a great hitter deserves a spot in the HoF if they compare well with other great hitters.

If for some reason you want an Allen positional HoF comp group? Perez, Da Evans, Rose, Molitor, Edgar, Thome (471 starts), Sheffield (465 + 93 at SS). You can stretch to Carew if you think 2B and 3B are sufficiently similar. Hitter plunked down at 3B for a few years is hardly rare. Some of these guys were poor defensively, some pretty good but fragile. Rose is unusual in the mid-career move (but don't forget they tried this with Pedro Guerrero and Miggy too). By prime, Allen holds his own with the best of this group; by career he's down at the Perez/Evans/Sheff end of the spectrum. I put him clearly ahead of Perez (who I don't think belongs), probably ahead of Evans (without checking I assume Alleen's prime is much more impressive) but I assume it's pretty close with Sheff.

Huh, in it's current formulation, Allen and Da Evans have exactly the same career WAR to the decimal point.

EDIT: If you prefer, there is a position in baseball that gets overlooked: Hitter with indifferent to poor defense. Almost every team of every era has one in the lineup nearly every day. Usually they are located at 1B, LF, RF or DH but sometimes 3B (or 2B in the early days) or even on rare occasion C (Cliff Johnson) and they frequently bounce around those positions during their career. Obviously they are more likely to be Robbie Grossman or Trey Mancini or Kyle Schwarber than Dick Allen ... and sometimes their teams are wrong about their ability to hit (maybe Kyle Schwarber). But there they are, nearly every team, nearly every day.
   16. DL from MN Posted: December 20, 2020 at 05:24 PM (#5995249)
It's far more interesting to read about Dave Stieb or Luis Tiant or David Cone and their HoF cases than to rehash the Clemens story for the 173rd time.


If you remove the steroid cases it's arguing for Curt Schilling for the 173rd time.
   17. DL from MN Posted: December 20, 2020 at 05:33 PM (#5995251)
He might be something like the 3rd-best non-roid/banned player not in


I'll go Bill Dahlen, Curt Schilling, Scott Rolen for my top 3. Others I like better than Dick Allen who don't have any steroid baggage:

Cannonball Dick Redding, Lou Whitaker, Jack Glasscock, Rick Reuschel, Darrell Evans, Heinie Groh, Grant Johnson, Wes Ferrell, David Cone, Stan Hack, Jim Edmonds, Luis Tiant, Bret Saberhagen, Ross Barnes. Dick Allen is 189th in my spreadsheet. I'd guess most HoM voters have him somewhere between 130th and 200th. He's clearly worth inducting but not the top name on the list.

   18. The Duke Posted: December 20, 2020 at 05:48 PM (#5995253)
Ignoring the obvious PED guys/rose/Jackson, the guys who look to get in on current ballot (vizquel, Rolen and schilling) and old, old timers

I’d go with with:

Catcher: Munson
1B: Keith Hernandez
2b: Bobby Grich with honorable mention to Whitaker
Ss: Bert Campaneris
3b: this is the mother lode with Boyer, bell, nettles, bando, Allen. I’ll go with Allen but I like them all
Outfield: Parker, bernie Williams, evans With a honorable mention to Lofton

Pitchers: Kaat, Tommy John, rick reuschel, hershiser

I have no relief pitchers.

As far as rationale. Munson really only lost His counting stat years and his peak was excellent plus “leadership”

Hernandez - best fielding first basemen ever. He is for me what vizquel is for the SS crowd. Extra points for great announcing.

I’m an early 70s As fan. Campy and bando have deceptively good cases

So many 3B choices. If I used Allen as a floater, I’d go with Boyer, bando, nettles

Parker and Evans look to be on precipice of veterans acceptance. I was never a Bernie Williams fan but in reviewing his regular season and playoff hitting I think he is deserving.

Kaat and Tommy John - great for a long time, if not really high peaks.

Reuschel toiled in obscurity and hershiser I just always liked plus he’s a great announcer
   19. Howie Menckel Posted: December 20, 2020 at 05:57 PM (#5995255)
3b: this is the mother lode with Boyer, bell, nettles, bando, Allen. I’ll go with Allen but I like them all

iirc Boyer, Nettles, and Allen are in HOM (partly due to good timing) while Bell and Bando have always gotten support but don't seem on an election path in part because they cannibalize each other's votes. Ron Cey siphoned a few for a while as well. Bob Elliott still has his acolytes (like me)

re Munson - largely due to his all-out playing style, he was the "oldest" 31 and 32 year old I ever saw on a baseball field. NYY tried to hide him in OF for 13 G in 1978 and 3 G at 1B in his following final season.

iirc correctly, he hated DH - and only got 19 total games there in 1978-79.

80 HR in 5 seasons for the line-drive hitter - then only 9 in 1086 PA over his final two seasons.

sadly, he seemed to have little baseball life left at the time of his tragic plane crash.
   20. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 20, 2020 at 06:10 PM (#5995256)
the guys who look to get in on current ballot (vizquel, Rolen and schilling)

I'll throw this in here because we somehow still don't have a Thibs tracker thread yet:

Through 50 reported ballots this year, Schilling is -1 compared to the same group last year. That is... not what you normally expect when a player enters his 9th ballot having received 70% of the vote the year before.

Other results: Bonds and Clemens are flat from last year; Vizquel is +2. The big gainers so far are Helton (+8), Wagner (+8), Rolen (+7) and Jones (+5).
   21. Mefisto Posted: December 20, 2020 at 07:30 PM (#5995268)
#4: Edmonds wasn't overlooked. He's mentioned in the last sentence of the excerpt.
   22. The Duke Posted: December 20, 2020 at 07:52 PM (#5995272)
20. I’m assuming they go in eventually either by the writers or the vets. No way they get 50+ % and don’t either catch a BBWA wave or get a quick vets vote. I may never to throw Helton into that mix but I’m not ready to say he’s going to break through to 50%.

The Thibs balloting is a bit odd. Schilling has negative momentum - Pos has said he is retracting his vote as well. A lot of other guys are getting votes. A couple people have taken bonds/Clemens off. A couple people have submitted no one. Very odd.
   23. BDC Posted: December 20, 2020 at 08:07 PM (#5995274)
Sixto Lezcano. Is Sixto Lezcano in TFA? If not I am not reading it.
   24. John DiFool2 Posted: December 20, 2020 at 08:38 PM (#5995276)
Pitchers: Kaat, Tommy John, rick reuschel, hershiser


Kevin Brown be in the mix there.
   25. The Duke Posted: December 20, 2020 at 09:16 PM (#5995277)
Kevin brown was in mitchell twist if I remember correctly
   26. DL from MN Posted: December 20, 2020 at 10:46 PM (#5995278)
#4: Edmonds wasn't overlooked. He's mentioned in the last sentence of the excerpt.


The best choice shouldn't end up in the honorable mentions

Sixto Lezcano. Is Sixto Lezcano in TFA? If not I am not reading it.


Everyone in the article has ten toes.
   27. BaseballObscura Posted: December 21, 2020 at 12:06 AM (#5995285)
#7 When he came up for vote you only had narrative HOF cases. With an emphasis on stories told by John McGraw (which is a big why Keeler went in so early). McGraw got to manage Dahlen at the end of his career and that may well have shaped his impression. (Geez I had never really thought about it. Mike Donlin, Roger Bresnahan and Bill Dahlen -- among other -- in the same clubhouse. That must have been fun)

The narrative in Dahlen's case focused on the "Bad Bill" side of things (and not in a positive way as they were spun about Bresnahan for instance). And when we finally had the ability to make some sense of the numbers from his day nothing really stands out.

In the first cut at middle infielders missed, Bill James mentions Herman Long rather than Dahlen (who was a better hitter, had a longer career and as best we can tell despite contemporary reputation as an occasional airhead seems to have been the better player)


I wrote a blog a couple years ago about the fact that Bill Dahlen nearly had a 70 game hitting streak in 1894. He entered play on August 7, 1894 with a 42 game hit streak. Despite going to bat six times in a 13-11 victory over Cincinnati that day, he was held hitless, while his teammates racked up 17 hits. On August 8, he started another hitting streak, this time lasting 28 games. So from June 20 to September 9, Dahlen hit safely in 70 of 71 games.

None of this was noted at the time, as hitting streaks weren't tracked until the late 1910's. The earliest reference I found to Willie Keeler's 44 game streak was in a 1918 newspaper, and Ty Cobb's 40 game streak wasn't tracked at the time.

If Dahlen had squeaked out one hit on August 7, 1894, he would likely be in the Hall of Fame and it is interesting to think about what Joe DiMaggio's legacy would have been without the hitting streak.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: December 21, 2020 at 01:49 AM (#5995289)
More on Allen and 3B. Unfortunately for you folks, I got around to renewing my stathead subscription so I can be extra annoying over the offseason downtime!

Anyway ... I didn't realize that Miggy actually has 689 starts at 3B, more than Allen. I also forgot about Killebrew (718) so add them to the "genuine" positional comp list for Allen.

Among all the players with at least 400 games at 3B (not necessarily starts although I'm pretty sure they all do), Allen is tied (Da Evans) for 23rd by WAR, right behind Killebrew, right ahead of Torre (493 starts). By WAA he goes up to 16th, just behind Miggy but also less than half a WAA ahead of Bando (1867 starts), Nettles and Bell. In WAA, he's as close to Boyer (1723) and Longoria (1623). Longoria has the same number of PA and Boyer and Bando are only about 900 PA ahead so neither the WAR nor WAA differences are particularly due to Allen's short career. Looking at it by WAA does allow him to open a fairly big edge over Sheff, Torre and Killebrew.

Comp him to Killebrew and the gap is really about the beginning and end of Killebrew's career. For ages 23-36, it's 8500 PA (1200 more than Allen), 61 WAR, 33 WAA (the same). Killebrew just adds 1300 PA of replacement level. Same thing happens in the comparison to Miggy 21-33: 8655 PA, 69 WAR, 40 WAA. Outside of that Miggy has been replacement level and dropped 6 WAA.

I'll suggest that just about the only reason anybody even considers Allen a 3B (when they generally don't for Perez, etc.) is because of his short career. If he'd had the long career a hitter like that usually does, he'd have about 2/3 of his starts at 1B/DH (while quite possibly putting up replacement-level numbers). Nearly all of Miggy's starts at 3B came before age 31 and from 21-31, Miggy's positional distribution looks a lot like Allen's but he doesn't make JAWS' 3B list, I assume because he has 1100+ starts at 1B now. Similarly Killebrew and Perez are listed at 1B while Edgar, Molitor and Evans are at 3B (JAWS doesn't have a DH position) and I assume all of those are based on "proportion of career starts" ... even though Allen had more at 1B and played 3B like a 1B. I mean Ortiz's 265 career starts at 1B get him listed there, JAWS maybe does need a DH category (it has been nearly 50 years now). Anyway, if Allen's 646 career starts at 3B are enough, I see no reason why Perez, Miggy, Killebrew shouldn't also be listed there given they had more starts there than Allen. Surely if we're gonna do thse sorts of career positional lists, we need something minimally sensible like at least 750 starts there (5 "full" seasons).

Now obviously Miggy is not some minimum HoF standard but he sure ain't going in for his defense at 3B. The rationale for Dick Allen in the HoF is purely and simply "he hit the bejeezus out of the ball for 10 years." It doesn't matter one whit where he stood on the field while doing it. If anything, pretending he was a 3B hurts his case given Rolen (yet), Bando, Boyer, Nettles and Bell aren't in.
   29. BrianBrianson Posted: December 21, 2020 at 03:09 AM (#5995290)

Note them separately then. The reason they're not in has nothing to do with on field accomplishments.

It's far more interesting to read about Dave Stieb or Luis Tiant or David Cone and their HoF cases than to rehash the Clemens story for the 173rd time.


It's definitely not. It'd be like arguing whether there's a little too much garlic on the beans when someone has taken a #### on your steak. It would be entirely missing the point.
   30. Rob_Wood Posted: December 21, 2020 at 03:50 AM (#5995291)
Regarding Bill Dahlen, I wrote an article back in the day extolling Dahlen and George Davis for the Hall of Fame. Shortly thereafter Pete Palmer mentioned my article in one of his books where he also advocated for Dahlen and Davis which was very nice of him. (Several people, including Pete, had been talking about Dahlen and Davis for years, so I did not and do not claim any originality in touting those two overlooked stars of yesteryear.)
   31. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 21, 2020 at 07:34 AM (#5995292)
I agree with snapper. If you’re going to include the PED guys here then you may as well just write another article about why PED guys should be in the HOF. You’re not going to convince anyone who hasn’t voted for Bonds that he belongs simply by citing his on-field accomplishments.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: December 21, 2020 at 07:57 AM (#5995293)
I agree with snapper.


Me too. There's a reasoned and compelling argument one can make why Ken Boyer is the best third baseman not in the Hall, an argument that can spark debate. Stating Barry Bonds is the best leftfielder not in the Hall is as noteworthy and interesting as claiming #### steak tastes bad.

   33. SandyRiver Posted: December 21, 2020 at 08:17 AM (#5995294)
I wrote a blog a couple years ago about the fact that Bill Dahlen nearly had a 70 game hitting streak in 1894. He entered play on August 7, 1894 with a 42 game hit streak. Despite going to bat six times in a 13-11 victory over Cincinnati that day, he was held hitless, while his teammates racked up 17 hits. On August 8, he started another hitting streak, this time lasting 28 games. So from June 20 to September 9, Dahlen hit safely in 70 of 71 games.

None of this was noted at the time, as hitting streaks weren't tracked until the late 1910's. The earliest reference I found to Willie Keeler's 44 game streak was in a 1918 newspaper, and Ty Cobb's 40 game streak wasn't tracked at the time.

If Dahlen had squeaked out one hit on August 7, 1894, he would likely be in the Hall of Fame and it is interesting to think about what Joe DiMaggio's legacy would have been without the hitting streak.


After Ken Keltner made 2 outstanding plays on DiMaggio smashes to end the streak, Joe ran off another 16-game run for 72 of 73.
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: December 21, 2020 at 09:01 AM (#5995297)

If Dahlen had squeaked out one hit on August 7, 1894, he would likely be in the Hall of Fame and it is interesting to think about what Joe DiMaggio's legacy would have been without the hitting streak.


Pretty much the same. He would have been the guy to take the most serious run at Dahlen, captivating the nation. He might have lost the '41 MVP to Ted, but he's still a two-time MVP and regular WS champion.

Look at it this way: On the list of reasons Pete Rose's legacy has been tarnished, Gene Garber is pretty far down.
   35. gef, talking mongoose & suburban housewife Posted: December 21, 2020 at 10:08 AM (#5995306)
I agree with snapper.


Thirded.
   36. DL from MN Posted: December 21, 2020 at 11:20 AM (#5995315)
The narrative in Dahlen's case focused on the "Bad Bill" side of things


If he was such a bad guy, why did they make him a manager later? Or, was it preferred to have your manager be a complete a-hole back then?
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 21, 2020 at 12:58 PM (#5995330)

If he was such a bad guy, why did they make him a manager later? Or, was it preferred to have your manager be a complete a-hole back then?


They made Hornsby a manager too.
   38. alilisd Posted: December 21, 2020 at 01:28 PM (#5995334)
Dick Allen was a great hitter and that's the only reason to discuss his HoF eligibility. He might be something like the 3rd-best non-roid/banned player not in (I just grabbed that number out of the air) which strikes me as the way to frame this argument. If you think the position a player played is key to HoF arguments then that is an argument AGAINST Allen as a HoFer. This also answers the "DH" question. A DH doesn't "deserve" a spot in the HoF and shouldn't in any way be compared with other DHs, a great hitter deserves a spot in the HoF if they compare well with other great hitters.

If for some reason you want an Allen positional HoF comp group? Perez, Da Evans, Rose, Molitor, Edgar, Thome (471 starts), Sheffield (465 + 93 at SS).


I love this idea. It makes all kinds of sense for someone like Allen. In fact, it's quite similar to what I did in the thread we had on the Chicago Tribune article on his death. I used his career +/- 5 years, 1958-1982, and ended up comparing him to Killebrew, Stargell, and McCovey. It's actually quite a favorable comparison by career OPS+ (adjusting the longer career guys to comparable PA's to Allen), career WAR, and peak. I think this is really the best group to use if you want to promote Allen for the Hall as they are all contemporaries, and all were less than stellar defenders who moved around the field in much the same way Allen did. Stargell and McCovey were only used in LF and at 1B due to being left handed, but Killebrew also played 3B, 1B, and LF just like Allen
   39. alilisd Posted: December 21, 2020 at 01:34 PM (#5995336)
If he was such a bad guy, why did they make him a manager later? Or, was it preferred to have your manager be a complete a-hole back then?

They made Hornsby a manager too.


I always thought McGraw was a bit of a red ass, too, but maybe I'm mistaken.
   40. Mefisto Posted: December 21, 2020 at 01:50 PM (#5995337)
Also Bresnahan and plenty of others. McGraw and the Old Orioles were a bad influence.

And hell, they made Cobb a manager.
   41. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 21, 2020 at 02:08 PM (#5995341)
I get the argument made above that such lists shouldn't include Bonds and Clemens, because they are obviously being excluded from the HOF for something other than their performance on the field, and it is not interesting or helpful to include them on such a list.

However, there are several other players on the ballot who did not (or are not) getting 75%, have the PED stigma...but also are not as good as the all-timers Clemens and Bonds. So, among the following players:

McGwire
Sosa
Palmeiro
Sheffield
Pettitte
Manny Ramirez
(I may be forgetting others)

are there any of these guys who, without the PED problem, would definitely be in the HOF right now? I mean, outside of Pettitte, they would all be in now, right? If that is the case, then none of these players should be included in any such article, for the same reason Clemens and Bonds should not be.

   42. GuyM Posted: December 21, 2020 at 02:11 PM (#5995342)
He might be something like the 3rd-best non-roid/banned player not in (I just grabbed that number out of the air)

Maybe first-best?

Top 10 in WAR batting runs, non-HOF:
Rk Player Rbat
1 Barry Bonds 1128.6
2 Manny Ramirez 651.5
3 Gary Sheffield 560.8
4 Mark McGwire 545.5
5 Jason Giambi 443
6 Shoeless Joe 438.1
7 Dick Allen 435.2
8 Rafael Palmeiro 430.9
9 Todd Helton 424.4
10 Lance Berkman 420.8
   43. DL from MN Posted: December 21, 2020 at 02:27 PM (#5995346)
(I may be forgetting others)


Kevin Brown. Soon to be Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz. Jason Giambi and Jose Canseco. Pudge Rodriguez got voted in despite allegations by Canseco.
   44. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 21, 2020 at 02:32 PM (#5995347)
I always thought McGraw was a bit of a red ass, too, but maybe I'm mistaken.
A bit? McGraw was a giant red ass, like Satan and Liza Minelli. (Name the movie?)
   45. SoSH U at work Posted: December 21, 2020 at 02:36 PM (#5995349)
If that is the case, then none of these players should be included in any such article, for the same reason Clemens and Bonds should not be.


Yes.

Make it clear at the top, (I'm excluding those players on the permanently ineligible list or being held out for suspicions or proof of PED usage by the writers). Personally, I'd also exclude guys like Scott Rolen who are on the ballot and making progress toward election (I would have excluded Schilling, but now I'm not so sure he's making progress).

There's nothing informative, interesting or debatable about saying that Roger Clemens is the best starting pitcher not in the Hall of Fame. It's patently obvious to anyone who would be interested in reading such a piece.
   46. DanG Posted: December 21, 2020 at 04:09 PM (#5995365)
Why isn't he in? He had quite a long career and seems qualified. Good bat, good glove, long career.
Regarding Bill Dahlen: When he played, sports media was in its infancy. There was no MVP or all-star voting, nor any radio. The World Series wasn't a big deal yet. The BBWAA didn’t even exist until 1908. When the HOF began voting 30 years after Dahlen's prime ended, there was hardly any image of him to draw upon. They would mainly think of him as an unpleasant man who played for a long time.

The only stats they might know were the most rudimentary, and Dahlen fell short of any major benchmarks. Not near to being a .300 hitter (a mediocre .272). Never led the league in anything, never really close in any major category. (RBI weren't compiled so nobody knew he led the NL in 1904 or had over 1200 in his career, an elite number for a shortstop.) Nobody knew he had a 42-game hitting streak. Nobody knew he had more assists than any other SS, a record he held for over 60 years.

The BBWAA elected a total of four guys from Dahlen's era (born before 1880): Young, Keeler, Wagner and Lajoie. Everyone else got short shrift from people who "saw them play".

Dahlen's career compares favorably to most hall of famers from that era. How are Tinker, Evers, Chance, McCarthy, McPhee, Bresnahan, Duffy, Flick, J.Collins, J.Kelley, Beckley, Thompson, Jennings, Burkett, and Wallace any more deserving than Dahlen?

As for the negative incidents and anecdotes surrounding Dahlen, I tend to counter those with more substantial evidence, such as his brilliant playing record and his in-season durability and career longevity. If Dahlen was really this reputed cancer he would not have stuck with Chicago for 8 years; and he would not have played full time in the majors for 18 years. Dahlen was a an aggressive, winning ballplayer. When the brilliant Ned Hanlon became Brooklyn's manager, who did he get to play short? Dahlen. They promptly won back-to-back pennants in 1899-1900. When the fabled John McGraw was building his first great Giants teams, who did he get to play short? Dahlen. They promptly won back-to-back pennants in 1904-1905.
   47. alilisd Posted: December 21, 2020 at 04:16 PM (#5995368)
Maybe first-best?


That's an overreach I think. Even ignoring not yet eligible and still on the ballot players, guys like Grich, Whitaker, Dahlen, and Lofton have pretty solid cases better than Allen, and there's a number of guys who you could argue have similar cases to where it would be splitting hairs between them (Glasscock, a HOF name, and nickname, if ever there was one, Randolph (doesn't seem to get much love around here, but take a look at him by non HOF WAA/WAR and he looks damn good), R Smith Nettles, Edmonds, Dw Evans, Hernandez, and the other 3B like Bando, Bell, and Boyer).
   48. GuyM Posted: December 21, 2020 at 04:31 PM (#5995376)
That's an overreach I think.

Given the rest of his remarks, I inferred Walt meant that Allen was maybe the 3rd-best non-roid/non-banned *hitter* not in the Hall. I think you can make the case he's the best. But agree that there are equal/better players......
   49. cookiedabookie Posted: December 21, 2020 at 05:08 PM (#5995383)
No mention of Pebbly Jack is an insult!

My list:

C: Charlie Bennett
1B: Mark McGwire
2B: Flip a coin, it's basically a tie between Whitaker and Grich
3B: Scott Rolen
SS: Bill Dahlen by a mile
LF: Barry Bonds (my top three are a motley crew of Bonds, Ramirez, and Rose)
CF: Jim Edmonds
RF: Shoeless Joe Jackson (Reggie Smith slightly ahead in total, Joe ahead on a per game basis)
DH: Brian Downing
SP1: Roger Clemens
SP2: Curt Schilling
SP3: Kevin Brown
SP4: Andy Pettitte
SP5: Flip a coin between Luis Tiant and David Cone
RHRP: Joe Nathan
LHRP: Billy Wagner

   50. DL from MN Posted: December 21, 2020 at 05:13 PM (#5995385)
Good point about Dahlen being too early to get noticed. He only has one World Series ring but his teams won 3 other pennants in seasons before there was a World Series.
   51. The Duke Posted: December 22, 2020 at 09:20 AM (#5995461)
Posnanski is running a series at The Athletic that lists a biography of the top 100 left out of the Hall. It’s actually looking more like 105-110 but it gives a nice summary of each along with their fundamental case. Putting aside the obvious group of shoeless joe, Pete rose and the PED crew, the list is pretty interesting. It boils down to three things usually: injuries, started career too late, ended career too early. Basically it’s a list of people with great peaks who for whatever reasons didn’t have counting stats. There are a handful of compilers like Kaat, Tommy John, al Oliver, vizquel.

He’s done about 80 guys and I’d say I found about 15 that are definite yes for me and another 5-10 that I’d like to see more debate about. I assume the top 20 is littered with people who have aforementioned PED issues.

The good news is he is at 23 and Keith Hernandez has still not come up. Keith could use a push - he’s not even getting on the Vets ballots which is criminal. I hope he is a top 10.
   52. alilisd Posted: December 22, 2020 at 12:17 PM (#5995518)
Given the rest of his remarks, I inferred Walt meant that Allen was maybe the 3rd-best non-roid/non-banned *hitter* not in the Hall. I think you can make the case he's the best. But agree that there are equal/better players......


Ah, I see. Cheers!
   53. alilisd Posted: December 22, 2020 at 12:20 PM (#5995520)
The good news is he is at 23 and Keith Hernandez has still not come up. Keith could use a push - he’s not even getting on the Vets ballots which is criminal.


Well, it's tough when you're up against legends like Baines and his extraordinary Game Winning RBI totals!
   54. AndrewJ Posted: December 22, 2020 at 01:28 PM (#5995531)
If Dahlen had squeaked out one hit on August 7, 1894, he would likely be in the Hall of Fame and it is interesting to think about what Joe DiMaggio's legacy would have been without the hitting streak.

DiMaggio had amassed a HOF case before 1941 -- heck, in 1937 the press was already calling him an all-time great. I think his overall elegance on the field was legacy enough. Winning nine out of 10 World Series in a 13-year career didn't hurt, either.
   55. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: December 23, 2020 at 09:29 AM (#5995657)
And hell, they made Cobb a manager.

Not to mention the guy who broke Cobb's record.
   56. GuyM Posted: December 23, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5995709)
DiMaggio had amassed a HOF case before 1941 -- heck, in 1937 the press was already calling him an all-time great.

Sure, Joe would have gone into the HOF. But is his *legacy* really just as great without the hit streak? It was a huge part of his reputation. Ask people what comes to mind when they hear "Joe DiMaggio," and I'm sure the most common response -- even ahead of Marilyn or "Mrs. Robinson" -- would be the hit streak. Without that boost to his reputation, he not only loses the 1941 MVP but probably 1947 too (which he won by 1 point over Williams, who had a vastly superior season). So now we have a Joltin' Joe with 1 MVP and the game's 2nd best hit streak. Is he still named the "greatest living player" in 1969? Hard to know, but seems unlikely. It's an interesting counterfactual......
   57. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 23, 2020 at 10:57 PM (#5995785)
51. The Duke Posted: December 22, 2020 at 09:20 AM (#5995461)
Posnanski is running a series at The Athletic that lists a biography of the top 100 left out of the Hall. It’s actually looking more like 105-110 but it gives a nice summary of each along with their fundamental case. Putting aside the obvious group of shoeless joe, Pete rose and the PED crew, the list is pretty interesting. It boils down to three things usually: injuries, started career too late, ended career too early. Basically it’s a list of people with great peaks who for whatever reasons didn’t have counting stats. There are a handful of compilers like Kaat, Tommy John, al Oliver, vizquel.

He’s done about 80 guys and I’d say I found about 15 that are definite yes for me and another 5-10 that I’d like to see more debate about. I assume the top 20 is littered with people who have aforementioned PED issues.

The good news is he is at 23 and Keith Hernandez has still not come up. Keith could use a push - he’s not even getting on the Vets ballots which is criminal. I hope he is a top 10.


Nice timing, Keith came in at #22.

Joe's list is mediocre, reader JacksonG rankings in the comments blows him away.
Like with the top 100 players of all-time, Joe does a fine job writing about players but not ranking them ordinally.
   58. The Duke Posted: December 24, 2020 at 05:10 PM (#5995878)
Yeah, Joe’s rankings are bizarre. I’ve tracked his list and there seem to be no rhyme or reason to how he ordered them. The comments are fascinating and I was happy to see that Keith had a devoted following making the case for him.

Nice Game, Pretty Boy!

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