Hall of Fame Ballots (cont’d)

Ol’ Wally says ya can’t have these Hall of Fame arguments without diving into the numbers a bit. (One of the many reasons I love baseball). The players that seem to be highly debated by our readers are Dawson, Rice, Raines and Blyleven. Their career stats are shown below and put into context with actual Hall of Famers (*) and potential HoFers.

BA OBP SLG Hits HR RBI SB Runs
Dawson 279 323 482 2,774 438 1,591 314 1,373
Jim Rice 298 352 502 2,452 382 1,451 58 1,249
Dw Evans 272 370 470 2,446 385 1,384 78 1,470
B Williams * 290 361 492 2,711 426 1,475 90 1,410

Ron Santo 277 362 464 2,254 342 1,331 35 1,138

Tim Raines 294 385 425 2,605 170 980 808 1,571
Lou Brock * 293 343 410 3,023 149 900 938 1,610

Starts Wins Win% ERA K CG
B Blyleven 685 287 53% 3.31 3,701 242
F Jenkins * 594 284 56% 3.34 3,192 267
C Hunter * 476 224 57% 3.26 2,012 181
D Sutton * 756 324 56% 3.26 3,574 178

Here are some things that jump out at me:
1) Dawson compares pretty well with HoFer Billy Williams (ironically, also a former Cub), plus Andre gets extra credit for his Gold Gloves. Williams gets a slide edge as a hitter. My initial gut feel was that Dawson would not make it. Wrong. He probably should, but that doesn’t mean he’s a first ballot guy.

2) How come we haven’t heard a lot of support for Dwight Evans? If Rice goes in, shouldn’t Evans? Plus, Evans has a few Gold Gloves, doesn’t he? Bosox fans … tell me what I’m missing here.

3) Ron Santo was a multi-GG winner as a 3rd baseman. Very tough position for great offensive stats. If Rice and Evans are HoFers, so is Santo.

4) Tim Raines compares very favorably to HoFer Lou Brock!!! Again, maybe not a first ballot type guy, but he should be in eventually.

5) I repeat … can somebody please tell me why Bert Blyleven is not in the Hall already??? Other than the fact that he played in relative obscurity in Minnesota for much of his career. This guy’s picture is in the dictionary next to “Uncle Charlie”.

Your reactions now that we see the numbers??

Waly

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12 Responses

  1. The Hawk retired in ’97 – being a first-ballot guy is a distant memory.

    Blyleven’s number look comparable to Hunter’s except one big one: number of rings.

    Casey

  2. Dawson is well past his first ballot. Should be a HOF’er…

    I like Byleven and his stats are comparable to guys already in. I think the obscurity has hurt him, the lack of rings have hurt him, and the fact that he has given up more gophers this side of Robin Roberts..

    Didn’t Lou Brock hold the record for most stolen bases in a season until Ricky Henderson came along?

  3. Santo and Dawson are defintely HOF’ers.
    Let’s get these Cubbies the respect they deserve.

  4. One thing you just can’t ignore when comparing Blyleven to Catfish Hunter is that Hunter won 20 games in 5 consecutive seasons. I know, I know…Hunter played for great teams and Blyleven…well, didn’t. Ironically enough, though, Hunter’s first season with the Yankees, they won 83 and he won 23 of those. After that, they got better and he got worse.

    A couple of comparisons in Blyleven’s favor: His ERA vs. League Average for his career (Baseball Reference’s ERA+) is 118 (or 18% better than league average), vs. 104 for Hunter. I would venture to guess that Hunter’s number has to be one of the lowest among Hall of Famers. Also, despite Blyleven’s propensity to give up the gopher ball, his HR per IP rate is considerably lower than Hunter’s.

    Still, if a player’s Hall of Fame worthiness was justified by a favorable comparison to just one existing HOFer, they’d be inducting every above average middle infielder (see Phil Rizzuto).

    Bert Blyleven is not a Hall of Famer in my book. His career was inconsistent and he was never great. He finished 3rd in the Cy Young voting twice and 4th once. There are numerous very good pitchers who had shorter careers who can top this (Orel Hershiser and David Cone, for example). The only reason he is even in this argument is his longevity. That’s not enough, in my opinion.

  5. Chas,

    Well stated. A warm welcome to the Clipboard. Please continue bringing the astute views.

    Casey

  6. Chas,

    Great point. It does get to a point where a player’s longevity starts to hurt him.. Is a player just holding on at the end of his career to pad his stats? Does the player’s numbers stack up against someone who had the same numbers in less number of years?

    For instance it was a fact that while Pete Rose batted on .219 in his last year and I think .260 in the year before – he was hanging on to beat Ty Cobb’s record. Of course he was also managing the team and betting on the team as well, so he was pretty busy. Maybe he isn’t the best example.

    Thanks Chas and welcome to the group.

  7. Yeah, Rose was sticking around to break the record, but he was a sure-fire first ballot HOFer regardless. Oh, that’s right…he’s not in the Hall of Fame. Maybe his sticking around did hurt his chances, i.e. if he had just retired he would’ve stopped betting on games, or avoided getting caught.

    In all seriousness, I think Goose Gossage is a guy that was hurt by hanging on too long. Would he have been rated higher than Bruce Sutter had he retired after 1988 rather than 1994? I guess we’ll never know. I’m just glad it looks like he’s finally going to get his due.

  8. Goose belongs in the hall.

    Obviously I have no evidence to support this, but something tells me Goose hung around because he realized there is no better way to collect a paycheck. Was Goose chasing any records? I don’t remember any. He just loved the game, and as long as the game let him stay then why not.

    On another note – if Dawson doesn’t get elected soon, I am going to be entering boycott status. As far as 5-tool-players in the 80’s – he is arguably the best.

    Casey

  9. I think the evidence for Goose lies in the fact that he was one of the first in his position.. – the closer. As the role evolved, we have seen guys like Bruce Sutter, Rollie Fingers, Lee Smith, Mariano Rivera, Jeff Reardon.

    In early stages of the closer role, he was one of the most feared at that role . He was a pioneer at a position whose role had yet to be defined .. If anything he should be in HOF for being a pioneer.

  10. I will agree about Goose. If he was to formally retire after the 1988 season, he would be in the HOF by now. His best years were 1977 -1988. Those years he had the double digit saves with fairly low ERAs except for a few seasons. Around that 1977 season he was pitching strong with large numbers of strikeouts. As the years went on, the gradually decreased. Then in the 1983 year he had a very good Win-PCT, by winning 72% of his games where he was eligible to win them.

    I also have to agree with Casey though. It did look like he just kept playing for the paycheck. His salaries were in the millions when he began. When he finally retired he was making paychecks in the hundreds and 10 thousands. If that were me, I would not have stuck around playing. I think if he were to become a pitching coach after that 1988 season, he would be in the HOF by now.

    Really, his stats after the 1988 season were average and below average.

  11. Snydez,

    Nice takes my man. A warm welcome to the Clipboard. Keep bringing the insights.

    Casey

  12. I also believe that Billy Martin should be in there. He managed the Yankees through a hard time. With the “Son of Sam” shootings in NY and the Reggie Jackson incidents. Then to top it off there was all his run-ins with Steinbrenner. He led the very dynamic Yankee team through all those flare ups and still got a World Series ring. Won 100 games that year and all at the age of 49. To deal with Reggie Jackson at that age is miraculous!!! He was a true Yankee through and through. Never took crap and was a baseball genius.

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