Hall of Famers and Numbers Without Wings

They don’t give me a vote.
I was once gratified to read somebody argue that they should, but if I remember correctly this was written by somebody else who also didn’t get a vote, but probably should. 
The logic behind that assertion will presumably decrease as time goes by. But it is staggering to consider that for decades, writers elected – or prevented the election of – dozens of players who they literally never saw play in a game that mattered. By the time Ron Santo was first seen by future Hall of Fame voters working in Baltimore, Boston, and all the other American League cities save for Chicago, L.A., and New York, he was a worn-out 34-year old part-time second baseman who had already hit 337 of the 342 homers he would ever hit. Seeing them on television has been the actual qualification for some large number of voter-nominee interactions since television began.
But I digress. Capsule summaries of the candidacies of those on the new ballot just released Friday:
Roberto Alomar: No, just barely. I don’t think he was as good as Sandberg and I always said Sandberg shouldn’t go in before Joe Gordon. I’m not judging Alomar on the spitting incident, I’m judging him on the fact that for whatever reason, at age 34 he not only turned from a superstar into a fringe major leaguer, but he also turned into a millstone around the neck of a franchise. The bad taste may fade with time, but right now I couldn’t vote for him.
Harold Baines: Yes, just barely. He’s hurt by the 2,866 hits – he’s in that Buckner zone. Everybody else who got to Buckner’s level of hits (2,763) has gotten in, or will, or is Pete Rose.
Bert Blyleven: Definitely. Fifth all-time in strikeouts now (passed by Clemens), by any measure one of the game’s great curveballers, and 287 wins. And by the way, those 3,701 strikeouts? They came with only 1,322 walks. 

Andre Dawson: Yes. Farcical he has had to wait.
Andres Galarraga: I just don’t see it. 399 homers in the power era just doesn’t get there.

Barry Larkin: A great player and one of my favorites, but I don’t recall ever during his playing career having had even that Alomarian sense that this could be a Hall-of-Famer. If we’re looking to put a Reds shortstop in Cooperstown, it should be David Concepcion.
Edgar Martinez: The first test of how the DH-as-position will resonate through history. I can see electing pure DH’s but to me the batting bar is a little higher for them than other batsmen who field. Two batting championships and a RBI title is not sufficient. Ferris Fain won two batting championships, too, and I don’t see a big argument for him in Cooperstown (and he did it in consecutive years, too).
Don Mattingly: Sigh, no. I wish. The back injury killed his chances – he dropped from superior to slightly-above-average. For competitive fire, diligence, class, yes. But we don’t do it that way.
Fred McGriff: Amazingly, yes. Here is the silver lining to the steroid era. Suddenly his 493 homers and ten 30-home run seasons look surprising, even refreshing, considering the worst thing he was ever accused of taking were Boring Pills. No offense, but when the Yankees had to bribe Toronto to take Dave Collins off their hands in the winter of 1982-83 and the Jays said “OK, but you have to take Dale Murray off our hands – and we want this kid McGriff,” the Yanks would have been better off saying “take Mattingly.”
Mark McGwire: Hall of Fame? For what? For pretending to Congress that nothing happened before that steroid hearing? Fine. You got your wish. Nothing happened. Your lifetime numbers are 0-0-.000. And by the way, why is it ok for him to just waltz back in as batting coach of the Cardinals? Would we let Bonds come back in? This is unacceptable, and it gives credence to the very disturbing claim that race is at play when it comes to the punishment of steroid cheats. Mark McGwire is a steroid cheater.
Jack Morris: Another beneficiary of a little perspective. I used to flinch at that 3.90 ERA. There seems very little doubt that Tom Glavine will go in on the first ballot at 3.54. I’m looking more at the 254 wins and the clutch performances. Aye.
Dale Murphy: Yes. Preposterous that he’s had to wait. Two-time MVP, thought he was tailing off at the end of one season so he went to the Instructional League that fall to work on his hitting, turned himself from a defensive disaster to a star centerfielder, and was cooperative with every fan, reporter, and vendor. During his era as an every-day starter, 1978 through 1991, he was baseball’s leading home-run hitter, and he’s not in because he hit 398 homers and not 400? And we’re seriously considering Edgar Martinez before him?
Dave Parker: To be fair, something of a victim of expectations. But when he came up he was thought to have been the best all-around talent to ascend to the majors perhaps since Mays. 339-1493-.290 with 147 steals, two batting titles, and no homer crowns, isn’t very much, I’m afraid.
Tim Raines: No. It is very close. Maybe the steals should earn him a spot. The rest of the offensive production just doesn’t.
Lee Smith: Here’s a startling question: who led his league in saves more often during his career? Lee Smith, Mariano Rivera, or Trevor Hoffman? The answer is Smith (four), though Rivera (three), and Hoffman (two) can still do something about it. But doesn’t it at least suggest Smith’s 478 saves should be taken seriously, too? I vote yes.
Alan Trammell: No. I wish it were otherwise.
I do want to see how many guys vote for Shayne Reynolds.
There are at least two big heavy fascinating books devoted to no less a topic than the attempt to record all of the uniform numbers worn by big leaguers. It may not fascinate you, but it fascinated two guys, including the eminent researcher Mark Stang, to take the time to do the research, and two publishers to pay the costs.
That’s why an odd vigne
tte from an odd MLB Network choice for one of its “All-Time Games” is fascinating – to a few, anyway. It’s a black-and-white video of the Montreal Expos outlasting the Pittsburgh Pirates at Jarry Park in Montreal on September 2, 1970. And at mid-game, rookie announcer Don Drysdale starts commenting to his partner Hal Kelly about the odd spectacle he’s seeing in the visitors’ bullpen. 
This – and forgive the photographed screen grab – is the spectacle:

The righthander in mid-pitch is John Lamb (of the Pirates’ odd Lamb/Moose/Veale pitching staff). The lefty awaiting the throw is George Brunet, and he is not an outfielder loosening up his arm to replace Roberto Clemente. He’s a lefthanded pitcher – one who pitched fifteen seasons for nine different teams, plus thirteen more in the American minors, plus teams in Mexico up until nearly the day he died in 1991 – whom the Bucs had obtained from the Washington Senators three days earlier.
And he is wearing uniform number 4. Drysdale says to Kelly that Brunet is going to change the number as soon as possible because: a) pitchers just don’t wear “low numbers” like that, and b) Brunet has told him so. Left unspoken is the fact that Brunet, listed at 6’1″, 195, was probably closer to 220 by the time he got to Pittsburgh, and they probably gave him number 4 because, in that first year in which double-knit unis were ever used in the majors, it was likely the only shirt they had that fit him.
Both those big heavy uniform books show Brunet wearing only 22 for Pittsburgh. Yet, there he is, a few moments later, years ahead of Toronto’s Number 7 Josh Towers, actually getting into his second game as a Pirate, wearing the number they would eventually get around to retiring in honor of Ralph Kiner.

As an utter sidebar, I loved watching this game until I realized that the second of my two trips to Montreal as a kid to explore unbeatable, electric (and frigid in August with aluminum seats)  Parc Jarry, was exactly one week before this game was played. Alors! This game is newer than the last time I actually saw that old field!


  1. bernardo_k

    I wasn’t aware of Brunet affairs from the past but for me wearing ?low number? for pitcher isn’t that significant. As long as he is great and skillful in pitching then that is enough. I love both soccer and baseball, as a matter a fact I can’t wait 2010 FIFA World Cup to come. Watching and spending my time in watching sports games especially baseball is very relaxing. I hope many sports players will do some extraordinary stuffs in the world of sports. Good luck!

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  2. olympictrees@aol.com

    I have to admit – I really like Edgar Martinez, but I suppose that comes from having grown up in Seattle. Just liking someone isn’t enough to put them in contention for the Hall of Fame – if it were, nearly every player would get in, right?

    Randy Johnson is another player that I always enjoyed watching. He’s such a powerful pitcher, and when he was injured, a friend of mine claimed he was done… I said “give him time, you’ll see”. That was before he pitched in the World Series with Arizona. I was really happy to see him back in the game, and pitching so well.

    That said, I will admit I don’t know nearly enough about baseball to know who should and should not be in the Hall of Fame. I know what I like, but that’s not enough. You are my virtual guide through the world of baseball, and I trust your encyclopedic knowledge of the game. 🙂 I’ve learned a lot just reading your blog. By the way, I’ve decided to pick up a copy of Nellie King’s book next week – I’m always up for a good read. Thanks!

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  3. largebill

    Keith, Keith, Keith,

    Please delete this blog entry and start over. I can handle you being wrong about everything outside of baseball. However, I thought you had a passing interest in the game. This entry seems to have been written by someone with little or no knowledge of baseball.

    Go to baseballreference.com and look up Larkin and Concepcion. Concepcion was a very good player, but far short of Larkin’s level. While you’re at that site look at Tom Glavine and Jack Morris. I believe that if you’re able to understand the numbers you’ll be embarrassed that you used to one to bolster the case of the other. No comparison whatsoever!

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  4. unpaka27@yahoo.com

    @poolio10 – You’re not even a good troll. Go to eBay, and maybe you’ll find somebody selling some wit.

    @largebill – Gee, you don’t have an agenda here, do you? If you’re going to accuse someone of being wrong about everything, it’s a good idea to make sure that sentence doesn’t contain a glaring grammatical error. It should be “your being wrong”, because “being” is a gerund, which always requires the use of the possessive form of the preceding pronoun. You would know this, if you had been educated beyond the eighth-grade level…but of course, the fact that you’re trolling pretty much says it all about your mental capacity. Oh, and by the way, if you’re going to slither out of one blog to troll-post at another, at least have sense enough to sign up with a different user name.

    Regarding the uniform numbers, those images prove yet again that a picture is worth a thousand words. I must admit that I’m at a loss as to why video of a game played in 1970 was in black-and-white, given that prime-time television on the Big Three networks was all in color by the 1966-67 season.

    As for Mark McGwire, I wholeheartedly agree that he doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall Of Fame. IIRC, I’ve even commented on this blog before, about how appalling it is for him to be the Cardinals’ batting coach now. One thing I had not considered before, however, is that maybe there is a racial element involved in which players are punished most for abusing PED’s. Barry Bonds is practically regarded as Satan incarnate, yet McGwire’s got a new job in baseball and is nominated for the Hall Of Fame? What’s wrong with this picture?

    Finally, I agree with OlympicTrees that you should have a vote.

  5. largebill


    You are unable to address the substance of my criticism so you come back with an explanation of a gerund? Okay. Good luck with debate class next semester. I assume you’re still in school since an adult would either ignore a typo and respond to the point in contention or ignore the comment altogether.

    As to the second part of your comment, why would I switch names in order to post on another site? I use this nickname on various sites I visit.

    Regarding the racial nonsense you posted regarding McGwire, he is on the Hall of Fame ballot because he has been retired the minimum five years. He wasn’t nominated for the HoF. That is not an act of favoring him over Bonds. It is lazy to assume racism where none may be involved. There is real racism in our world, but McGwire being on the HoF ballot before Bonds is not racism. It is just a matter of the pages on the calendar. McGwire last played in 2001 while Bonds’ last game was 2007. Bonds will be on the ballot in a couple years and will most certainly get more votes than McGwire because he was a much better player steroids or not. McGwire’s lack of HoF selection is partly due to a likely correct perception that his career was about over before he started using PED’s. He had a few awful, injury filled seasons and then suddenly busted out a couple record breaking years. Bonds is perceived to have started using PED’s after 1998. Bonds career prior to that point was clearly HoF caliber. He then went from great player to unbelievable. Both players will be slighted by some voters due to the assumption that they used PED’s. McGwire got the Card’s hitting coach job because Tony LaRussa likes him and thinks he will help their young hitters. Bonds has not gotten a coaching job because he still has a legal cloud over his head. Also, I don’t think he has expressed any interest in a coaching job. For the record, I’d be glad to have Bonds as a hitting coach for my favorite team (Indians). He was a very dedicated student of hitting and his father was an accomplished hitting coach. Several Indians (Joe Carter, Brett Butler, Jacoby) showed improvement under Bobby Bonds’ instruction.

    Lastly, if you manage to catch another typo or error it is probably more due to alcohol content than to my crappy education. Thank you very much.

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  6. historymike

    Opinions are like mouths: so far as I know, everybody has one. Olbermann is as entitled to his as we are to ours. He has the blog, so more power to him. We can comment on it, so we get to express our opinions, too. I do wish commenters would stick to observations about whether Olbermann is right or wrong about baseball as opposed to his political views–he isn’t here to express them, and there’s no reason for us to do so.

    I don’t agree with all of the Hall of Fame picks. I am not convinced, in particular, that Concepcion is more deserving than Larkin, though I have doubts about both. We also might consider a comparison with Alan Trammell, for example, to see about our benchmarks.

    On McGwire and the additional commentary about Bonds … First, I despise the cheats, but let’s face facts: McGwire shouldn’t have to wear the Scarlet S when so many others were as guilty or guiltier of sullying the game and themselves. Some of them are still playing while others await their chance for the ballot. As to Bonds, I seem to recall a lot of sportswriters and fans excoriating him as an obvious steroid user several years ago, about the time I suddenly noticed that Roger Clemens seemed physically different and strangely better as he got older. No one–I repeat, no one–I am aware of said a word; if I am wrong about that, please correct me. Was Bonds targeted because he is black? That undoubtedly had something to do with it. Was Bonds targeted because he seems to be a miserable excuse for a human being? That, too, was a factor. But Clemens threw a bat at Mike Piazza and never faced the kinds of criticism that Bonds faced.

    I also would note that McGwire apparently was easy enough to get along with in the clubhouse and in the dugout; I don’t recall stories about him having a barca lounger or whatever it was. That was not said of Bonds. Few players with problems getting along with fellow players become coaches. If they don’t get along with sportswriters, that sometimes can be a recommendation, depending on the sportswriters with whom they don’t get along.

  7. blurye@lurye.com

    Blyleven should have been in long ago. Willie Stargell got most of the attention in ’79 (and deserved it) but the Pirates go nowhere that year without Bert. On Baines, he was at DH a substantial part of his career — about 61% of his games (based on baseball-reference.com breakdown of his games played, about 2700 total games, 1644 at DH), and he moved to DH as his primary position when he was 28. So, not as much a DH as Edgar Martinez, but perhaps the “DH as position” argument applies to Baines too.

    Hey, here’s the Onion’s take on Baines as a player:
    “Derek Jeter Honored For Having Fewer Hits Than Harold Baines”


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  8. jjewing@hotmail.com

    You dis on Edgar twice in this post based solely on the fact that he only had two batting titles and one RBI title. As you know, HR’s, BA and RBI are not the only measures (and many feel these are actually weak measures) when it comes to the totality of a players abilities and out-put. Take this information into consideration:
    ? 3 American League On-Base Percentage Titles
    ? 5 Silver Slugger Awards
    ? 5 Designated Hitter of the Year Awards: (now the Edgar Martinez Award)
    ? 6 Top-10 finishes in American League in Slugging Percentage
    ? 7 All-Star Game Appearances
    ? 7 Top-10 finishes in American League in Average
    ? 11 Top-10 finishes in AL On-Base Pct

    That’s a solid 13 years of All-Star Caliber production. If the Mariners hadn’t left him languishing in their farm system until he was 27 (even though hit in the .350 range for three years prior to joining the majors) he would have easily attained 3000 hits, 1500 RBI’s and possibly 500 HR’s.

    He is one of 20 players in Major League history to have a lifetime batting average over .300, a lifetime on-base percentage over .400 and a lifetime slugging percentage over .500?of the 12 prior eligible players in this select company, 11 are in the Hall of Fame.

    Edgar has the highest career batting average, on-base percentage and OPS of any player as a designated hitter (minimum: 1000 G). As a DH, he also has the most RBI and doubles; and ranks 3rd in home runs.

    Edagr deserves to be in the Hall.

  9. shakkey@hotmail.com

    I’m more concerned about why Rodriguez and Pettite (admitted “steroid cheats,” which of course may answer my question) have gotten to “waltz” right back to world Series rings and media hyperbole.

  10. thepuck

    Blyleven? Absolutely. Larkin? Absolutely. Murphy? Absolutely. Dawson? Of course. Morris? No way. His career ERA is barely above league average. His WHIP is nothing more than OK. His K/BB ratio is not good at all. He got a lot of wins cause he played on some great teams. I’m a Twins fan, and I love Morris, but he doesn’t deserve to be in the HOF

  11. thepuck

    Anyone ever think that Bonds gets dogged more than McGwire does not because he’s black, but because he was a complete jerk for so many years? The thing about Arod and Bonds is that when people found out about them, they were already disliked by so many fans that this just added fuel to the flames…people need to stop using race as the reason for everything and look a little deeper.

  12. brlebu

    Keith –

    You’re seriously comparing Edgar Martinez to Ferris Fain? What? Did you think that no one would argue if you dove deep enough into the piles of obscure MLB players? Come on, man…

    Fain: 4904 at bats, .290/.424/.396

    Martinez: 8672 at bats, .312/.418/.515

    So, first of, Martinez had almost twice as many at bats as Fain. Where I come from, we generally give a great deal more respect to the guy who played twice as long when we’re talking about two guys who had somewhat similar career numbers. But, Martinez topped Fain in batting average. Also, Martinez topped crushed destroyed demolished annihilated Fain in slugging. Fain posted a higher OBP, but only by six points. Wow…

    So, in essence, you’re saying that when we’re talking Hall of Fame, players who played for 18 seasons and put up great career numbers are equal to players who played for 9 seasons and put up decent numbers.

    I sure hope you don’t actually have a HOF vote…

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  13. brlebu

    A few more things about the DH argument…

    When the votes are in, Edgar Martinez will be punished for the 1400 some games that he didn’t play defense. If that’s the case, why not look at both sides of the ball for everyone?

    Mike Piazza is a shoo-in first ballot Hall of Famer because he’s probably the best offensive catcher in the history of the game. He’s also one of the worst defensive catchers in the history of the game. If Edgar is going to be punished for not playing defense, why not punish Piazza for hurting his team with his defense?

    And one last thing… Why punish a guy because of the circumstances during which he played?

    If Edgar had been drafted by an NL club or if he played prior to the DH era, whichever team he played for would have tossed him out on the field somewhere. And that goes back to the Piazza argument: Had Edgar been drafted by the Reds, converted into a first baseman and played horrible defense for 18 years while putting up the same offensive numbers we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  14. dlreed52@comcast.net

    On the other hand, Mr. Olbermann, unlike Ferris Fain, Edgar Martinez is one of only eight players in major league history with 300 home runs, 500 doubles, a career batting average higher than .300, a career on-base percentage higher than .400 and a career slugging percentage higher than .500, the others being Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig, Manny Ramirez, and Todd Helton–five Hall of Famers, one almost certain Hall of Famer, and another worthy of serious consideration (much like Edgar, wouldn’t you say?)

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  15. thepuck

    there are two sides to baseball…if a guy doesn’t play half of the game, one has to scrutinize his offensive numbers a lot more than people who contribute on both offense and defense…granted, that’s not Edgar’s doing he was in the AL and made to play DH…unless he truly WAS that bad and HAD to DH only…

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  16. thepuck

    Oh wait, Edgar commited 78 errors in less than 4 years worth of time at 3B and had no range….THAT’S why he became a DH…

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  17. seakoala

    You don’t want Edgar in because he’s a DH? Then why are closers allowed in the Hall? Because by saying no to Edgar (arguably the best DH of all time) you are basically denying Mariano Rivera a hall pass. It is a specialty field. I could understand if he had worse numbers, but Edgar has some of the best numbers for any hitter, not just DHs.

  18. historymike

    I will set aside my belief that the DH is an abomination for which its creators will fry in hell and say that my eyes just went wide at the comment about Rivera. Actually, let’s take this a step further. If Martinez shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame because he “only” hit, then should Sandy Koufax be in the Hall of Fame because he “only” pitched? I’m not being sarcastic. It becomes a reasonable question, and then we get into all kinds of debates about standards.

    Not to open a bag of worms, as a publisher I once worked for used to say, but it’s a bit like refusing to admit someone to the Hall of Fame for using steroids. If only that player used them, that is one thing; if it was prevalent, then he was pitching or batting against someone else who was juiced, and that levels the playing field, doesn’t it?

    In other words, when we get too picky about the numbers and the eras, we just create trouble for ourselves. I could logically argue that since Babe Ruth never had to bat against a black pitcher, he shouldn’t be considered the greatest home run hitter of all time, right?

  19. gdragon

    I think my favourite (although not the most obvious) “silly” thing here is the idea that Robbie Alomar fell too hard too fast (at age 34) for enshrinement while Dale Murphy basically losing everything on the field but his pulse at age 31 never even gets mentioned as a consideration in his candidacy.

  20. historymike

    Donbanff, I’d like to comment on what you said about Bonds. Maybe I am more tolerant from having married a Giants fan (I am a Dodger fan), but I always have thought of Bonds as a sad case. First, he was on his way to the Hall of Fame any which way before all of the steroid stuff came up. Second, watching the treatment of his dad, and his dad’s problems, and his own talent made him suspicious of anyone and apparently made him into a fairly miserable person.

    Well, the first part is why I think he is a Hall of Famer. I think Clemens was when he had his sudden rebirth. McGwire, not so sure.

  21. rand_reader@yahoo.com

    Harold Baines is a Hall of Famer? Are you out of your mind? Good thing you don’t have a vote b/c if you did they’d take it away for voting for him. Baines was an above average player that had a few decent seasons but nothing close to HOF worthy. He had 2866 hits, 384 homers and 1628 RBIs which on the surface would appear to be HOF worthy. But when you look back at his career, there are no outstanding seasons. Hey Keith, at any time during Baines’ career did you say to yourself, “man, that Harold Baines is a Hall of Famer!” I didn’t think so.

    Take away the steroid accusations from McGwire and he still ISN’T a HOFer. The only stat that has people pushing for McGwire to be in the HOF is his homerun total. 583 HRs is impressive, even in today’s age, but none of his other numbers are HOF worthy. I wouldn’t vote for him even if he was as clean as a whistle.

    Dale Murphy doesn’t belong in, as much as I hate to say it. So-so numbers, 398 HRs, 1266 RBIs, .265 avg, 1197 runs. The 2 MVPs are nice and probably the only real reason people tout his candidacy. Great guy too, but this isn’t the Hall of very good, it’s the HOF.

    Edgar Martinez….no. Nice career, and some very good seasons, but the numbers just aren’t there.

    Andre Dawson, yes. Roberto Alomar, Fred McGriff, and Tim Raines…maybe….I’d have to think about those three.

  22. pj2009@hotmail.com

    Hi K.O.,
    Watch your show (Countdown); it has saved my sanity! Grew up in Cincy; G-father took me to see EwellBlackwell pitch @ CrosleyField (22-8 in 1947). Went to same highSchool with Pete Rose. Am behind on the Giamatti/Selig/FayVincent/Dowd fiasco, and what YOUR take is. Where can I go (careful here) to get your comments on the Hit King; 4256 and he never hurt anybody (except his wife and the shattered role model types).
    If MickyMantel can play drunk, TyCobb can jump the railing and beat up a guy in a wheelchair and the Babe carries a Social Disease into the ballpark, why can’t horse’s-A Pete, be in the Hall? His numbers demand it, the Hall is for baseball. Pete paid for his after-baseball infractions. Thanks so much for Countdown and any consideration on your time here.

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  23. minnjeff

    No, no, why is everyone so sold on Blyleven? I started watching baseball in 1977, never watched Blyleven pitch much, but I was as aware of him as any other MLB pitcher and never did I get a sense that he was one of the all-time greats. He’s better than Don Sutton, one of the all-time lousy picks (mediocre pitcher on great teams), but that’s about all Blyleven ever was…a steady, better-than-average pitcher for a long time. He never set records, did anything spectacular, did anything remarkable in the postseason. Nice career, sure…one of the all-time greats? NEVER.

  24. bugy

    KO is right on the money about Bonds, etc. Another great example of this- Jay Gibbons and Mike Cameron. Both were caught red-handed and suspended for PEDs in 2007. Cameron was driven out of the game forever, while Gibbons just signed a huge new contract with the Red Sox. I mean, there you go!

    Oh, wait…

  25. wick.deer@gmail.com

    You might want to take a look at Raines’ OBP before writing off “the rest of his numbers.” Also you might want to take a look at Bill James’ comments in the New Historical Baseball Abstract.

  26. newfrickinshow@yahoo.com

    If it were up to me, you’d get more than one vote. In fact you’d get the vote of all 8 that went against Cal Ripken Jr just because they didn’t want him to be unanimous. You’d also get the vote of everybody that votes for one of their buddies just to give them a vote. Both cases show a case of not taking the HOF seriously, and I believe you would be someone that would treat the job with the respect it deserves.

  27. edgengar

    Oh my. This is not good. I would’ve voted ENTIRELY different than you.

    I would have ordered the candidates as such:
    1. Bert Blyleven: He’s a top-20 pitcher of all-time, and better than Nolan Ryan. ‘Nuff said.

    2. Roberto Alomar: An excellent hitter, a fantastic defender, a great base-stealer, and a second baseman. Probably a top-6 second baseman of all-time, and despite falling of the planet at age 34, he still had over 10,000 PA. He’s in by a mile.

    3. Mark McGwire: Say what you want. The man could HIT. He has a 162 career OPS+, almost 8000 PA, one of the finest peaks ever, 583 HR, over 1400 RBI. He’s a top-5 first baseman of all-time likely, maaybe 6th thru 10th. He’s in.

    4. Barry Larkin: Larkin was the permier shortstop of the 1990s. He was a very good hitter, a very good defender, played a PREMIUM position at SS, was a fine baserunner, and had 9400ish PA. He is dead-even with Derek Jeter in my book, maybe a little ahead. He’s in.

    5. Edgar Martinez: Edgar Martinez is an unbelieveable hitter. He has a career 147 OPS+, a wOBA above .400, is in the .300/.400/.500 club as a hitter, has 300 HR, 500 2B, 2200+ H, and is the greatest designated hitter ever unless you consider Frank Thomas a DH. He’s in.

    6. Tim Raines: Raines is Rickey Henderson Jr. basically. He was a fine hitter, possibly the 2nd best baserunner ever, he wasa pretty solid defender, played a weak defensive position, but had his raw offensive rates severely suppressed by his home park in Montreal, much akin Dawson. He’s in.

    7. Alan Trammell: Trammell is in Jeter/Larkin territory. He was a VERY fine hitter, and FWIW deserved the 1987 AL MVP over George Bell. Alan was an awesome defender, and had a decently long career. He’s in.

    8. Fred McGriff: Fred is a very fine hitter. He has 493 HR, over 1500 RBI, and a 134 OPS+. With over 10,000 PA, and a stretch of over 8500 PA from ’88 to ’02 where he had a 136 OPS+ AND two terrible seasons, McGriff gets in.

    9. Andre Dawson: Dawson is a decent hitter, especially for a corner outfielder. Yes, he has value from his time in CF, especially defensive value, but his best and finest offensive season (’87) was as a corner outfielder. He had a long career, and was a solid base-runner, but his SLG-heavy 119 OPS+ (League average OBP pretty much) really is a detriment to his value. He’s borderline, but he got in, as the only player in ’09.

    10. Dale Murphy: Murphy was a fine hitter. At his best, he was the premier outfielder in the NL, from ’82-’86 or so. Tim Raines contended, but Murphy was phenomenal. He has spectacular defense to accompany spectacular offense. He’s just out, though, because he collapsed after his peak, and no, not like Alomar did. Regardless, Alomar had a 116 OPS+, Murphy a 121 OPS+, Alomar had more PA, played the more premium position, played it better, and was the better base-runner. Murphy isn’t a top-10 centerfielder or corner outfielder of all-time. He’s barely out.

    I’ll stop there, seeing as Parker (11), Smith (12), Baines (13), Mattingly (14), Morris (15), and Galarragga (16) don’t make it..

  28. edgengar

    To the guy who ripped Baines: You rip Baines but admit Andre freaking Dawson? WHAT?!? Alomar, Larkin, Martinez, McGriff, Trammell, Blyleven, Raines, and McGriff are all more deserving..

  29. alex@mailinator.com

    It?s a pity they didn?t give you a vote. Your knowledge in baseball really impresses! You are the one, who really can distinguish a good player from a mediocre one. Regrettably, but sometimes true specialists find themselves overboard.

  30. joanwmaller@yahoo.com


    You sure do know a lot about baseball, even if I do dislike a few og the players that you mentioned. But as I read not so long ago on another blog it’s not about any single player, but rather the entire team as a whole. And if you can get that bit right, then it’s okay to have a few bad apples.

  31. geraldderec@gmail.com

    I’m also really surprised to see Mark McGwire on the list as well. I guess the hall of fame doesn’t care too much about drug test results, or congressional hearings…

  32. smwaterproofsocks@gmail.com

    Yes, these type of politics are always very nauseating. I prefer watching the game than wondering about all of the awards, votes, drama etc. The former being an enjoyable pastime, the latter being escapism.

    – Mark @ Wateproof Socks

  33. tommy9696@gmail.com

    Baseball Nerd Hall of Famers and Numbers Without WingsI was once gratified to read somebody argue that they should but if I remember correctly this was written by somebody else who also didn’t get a vote but probably should.Baseball Nerd July 2009there is now pressure from at least three key Hall of Famers more away from getting through an entire game without a Tags Baseball Nerd Chris Dickerson Jay Bruce JeffMotown Sports Revival Top 100 Baseball Players of AllTimeTop 100 Baseball Players of AllTime 1 Babe Ruth kind but it’s impossible to look at his career numbers without Both were HallofFamers based on their regular season totalsCornish is a gamer on and off the CFL HP2-Z03 fieldHall having no fun with numbers Storm damage Spits Hall of famers reflect on successes

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  45. coldplay2011@aol.com

    The capsule for the candidates for hall of fame that was released on Friday is not a bad idea. I also look down upon Roberto Alomar for his spitting instances and how it reduced him from the fierce superstar I knew to a fringe player. – Jordan

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  49. apollo@rpausa.com

    that was definitely fantastic. Mark McGwire: Hall of Fame? For what? For pretending to Congress that nothing happened before that steroid hearing? Fine. You got your wish. Nothing happened. Your lifetime numbers are 0-0-.000. And by the way, why is it ok for him to just waltz back in as batting coach of the Cardinals? Tenant Screening

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