I decided to profile Hall of Famer Kiki Cuyler, who was enshrined by the Veteran’s Committee in 1968.
 

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

kiki-cuyler
Image courtesy of BR Bullpen
 
The Numbers
1879 Games
7161 At Bats
.321 Batting Average
.474 Slugging %
.860 OPS
2299 Hits
1305 Runs
394 Doubles
157 Triples
128 HRs
1065 RBIs
676 Walks
328 SBs

Eight .300 Seasons
Five 100+ Run Seasons
Three 200+ Hit Seasons
Five 30+ Double Seasons
Five 10+ Triple Seasons
Three 100+ RBI Seasons
Six 30+ SB Seasons

World Series:  3 World Series, 1 Ring, 16 Games, 64 At Bats, 18 Hits (.281), 9 Runs, 5 Doubles, 1 Triple, 2 HRs, 12 RBIs, 2 Walks, 1 SB  

Awards
1934 All-Star
MVP Votes in 4 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – 5 Times
On-Base % – 5 Times
Slugging % - Twice
OPS – 3 Times
Games – 4 Times (Led league in 1925, 1926 & 1930)
At Bats – 4 Times
Runs – 5 Times (Led league in 1925 & 1926)
Hits – 6 Times
Doubles – 5 Times (Led league in 1934)
Triples – 6 Times (Led league in 1925)
Home Runs – Twice
RBIs – 5 Times
Walks – 3 Times
SBs – 10 Times (Led league in 1926, 1928, 1929 & 1930)
Extra-Base Hits – 5 Times
Hit by Pitch – 10 Times (Led league in 1925 & 1930)

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:
 

Black Ink Batting – 20 (107), Average HOFer ≈ 27
Gray Ink Batting – 137 (119), Average HOFer ≈ 144
Hall of Fame Monitor Batting – 118 (119), Likely HOFer ≈ 100
Hall of Fame Standards Batting – 46 (96), Average HOFer ≈ 50

 
When I saw his average of .321 I figured it would be a slam dunk, but his induction is actually borderline questionable based on his statistics.  He had a solid run from 1924 to 1932 and a couple of other good years in 1934 and 1936.  He had a signature season in 1930 when he hit .355 with 155 Runs and 134 RBIs.  He had signature moment in the second game of the 1925 World Series when he hit a game-winning Home Run and series-winning Double off of Walter Johnson.  It’s close, but despite not reaching the majority of the HOF yardsticks, I’ll say he deserved to be inducted.

References
Baseball-reference.com

Past Chronicles
Dick Allen
Roberto Alomar
Richie Ashburn*
Earl Averill*
Harold Baines

Dan Bancroft*
Jake Beckley*

Albert Belle
Jim Bottomley*
Pete Browning

Jim Bunning *
Bert Byleven
Joe Carter
Orlando Cepeda*
Rocky Colavito
Earle Combs*
Dave Concepcion
David Cone
Roger Connor*
Larry Corcoran

Stan Coveleski*

Mike Cuellar
Bill Dahlen
George Davis*
Andre Dawson
Larry Doby*
Bobby Doerr*
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Dwight Evans
Rick Ferrell*
Wes Ferrell
Chuck Finley
Steve Finley
Nellie Fox*
John Franco

Gary Gaetti
Steve Garvey
Lefty Gomez*
Luis Gonzalez
Dwight Gooden
Joe Gordon
Mark Grace
Bobby Grich
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Ron Guidry
Chick Hafey*
Jesse Haines*

Billy Herman*
Keith Hernandez
Orel Hershiser
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Gil Hodges
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Waite Hoyt*
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Travis Jackson*
Tommy John
Bob Johnson
Addie Joss*
Jim Kaat
George Kell*
Joe Kelley*
George Kelly*
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Chuck Klein*
Jerry Koosman
Bill James & Pete Palmer
Barry Larkin
Tony Lazzeri*
Freddie Lindstrom*
Mickey Lolich
Ernie Lombardi*
Fred Lynn
Sherry Magee

Roger Maris
Rube Marquard*
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Dennis Martinez
Edgar Martinez
Bobby Matthews
Don Mattingly
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Carl Mays
Bill Mazeroski*
Fred McGriff

Mark McGwire
Bid McPhee
Johnny Mize*
Paul Molitor*
Jack Morris
Tony Mullane
Dale Murphy
Graig Nettles
Hal Newhouser*
Lefty O’Doul
Tony Oliva
Al Oliver

Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Dave Parker
Wes Parker
Lance Parrish
Vada Pinson
Boog Powell
Tim Raines
Willie Randolph
Pee Wee Reese*
Allie Reynolds
Jim Rice
Phil Rizzuto*
Brooks Robinson*
Pete Ro$e
Amos Rusie*
Jimmy Ryan
Ron Santo
Curt Schilling
Red Schoendienst* (Player/Manager)
Ted Simmons
Enos Slaughter*
Lee Smith
Rusty Staub
Vern Stephens
Dave Stieb
Mel Stottlemyre
Harry Stovey
Sam Thompson
Luís Tiant
Joe Torre
Alan Trammell

George Van Haltren
Arky Vaughan*
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
Mickey Vernon
Frank Viola
Bucky Walters
Mickey Welch*
Lou Whitaker
Deacon White
Bernie Williams
Vic Willis*
Maury Wills 
Hack Wilson*
Ross Youngs*
Veterans Committee Ballot
 

* Signifies actual Hall of Famers

I decided to profile Hall of Famer Waite Hoyt, who was enshrined by the Veteran’s Committee in 1969.
 

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

waite-hoyt
Image courtesy of TSN/Icon SMI 
 
The Numbers
Played 1918-38 (21 seasons)
237 Wins – 182 Losses
.566 Winning Percentage
3.59 ERA
1.340 WHIP
1206 Strikeouts
674 Games
423 Starts
3762-1/3 Innings Pitched
226 Complete Games
26 Shutouts
52 Saves

Two 20+ Win Seasons
Four Sub-3.00 ERA Seasons (Just one with 200+ Innings)

World Series:  3 Rings, 12 Games, 11 Starts,83-2/3 IP, 6-4, 1.83 ERA, 49 Ks, 6 CGs, 1 Shutout

Awards
MVP Votes in 1928 & 1934

Top Ten Finishes
Wins - Seven Times (Led league in 1927)
ERA - Five Times
Winning % – Six Times (Led league in 1927)
WHIP – Six Times (Led league in 1923)
Games – Six Times
Starts – Five Times
Innings Pitched – Five Times
Strikeouts – Seven Times
Complete Games – Five Times
Shutouts – Seven Times
Saves – Nine Times (Led league in 1928)

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:

Black Ink Pitching – 7 (324), Average HOFer ≈ 40
Gray Ink Pitching – 182 (55), Average HOFer ≈ 185
Hall of Fame Monitor Pitching – 93 (107), Likely HOFer ≈ 100
Hall of Fame Standards Pitching – 32 (125), Average HOFer ≈ 50

 
As a player, Waite Hoyt is borderline for me.  He had a solid career, a signature season in 1927, and amazing postseason numbers.  He was masterful in the 1921, 1926, and 1928 World Series.  I’m not sure his numbers alone get him in, which is reflected in his HOF yardsticks.  However, when you factor in his 20+ years as broadcaster, as well as two spoken albums, it’s easy to justify Hoyt’s inclusion in Cooperstown.  Schoolboy was a baseball lifer and very deserving. 

References
Baseball-reference.com

Past Chronicles
Dick Allen
Roberto Alomar
Richie Ashburn*
Earl Averill*
Harold Baines

Dan Bancroft*
Jake Beckley*

Albert Belle
Jim Bottomley*
Pete Browning

Jim Bunning *
Bert Byleven
Joe Carter
Orlando Cepeda*
Rocky Colavito
Earle Combs*
Dave Concepcion
David Cone
Roger Connor*
Larry Corcoran

Stan Coveleski*

Mike Cuellar
Bill Dahlen
George Davis*
Andre Dawson
Larry Doby*
Bobby Doerr*
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Dwight Evans
Rick Ferrell*
Wes Ferrell
Chuck Finley
Steve Finley
Nellie Fox*
John Franco

Gary Gaetti
Steve Garvey
Lefty Gomez*
Luis Gonzalez
Dwight Gooden
Joe Gordon
Mark Grace
Bobby Grich
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Ron Guidry
Chick Hafey*
Jesse Haines*

Billy Herman*
Keith Hernandez
Orel Hershiser
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Gil Hodges
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Travis Jackson*
Tommy John
Bob Johnson
Addie Joss*
Jim Kaat
George Kell*
Joe Kelley*
George Kelly*
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Chuck Klein*
Jerry Koosman
Bill James & Pete Palmer
Barry Larkin
Tony Lazzeri*
Freddie Lindstrom*
Mickey Lolich
Ernie Lombardi*
Fred Lynn
Sherry Magee

Roger Maris
Rube Marquard*
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Dennis Martinez
Edgar Martinez
Bobby Matthews
Don Mattingly
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Carl Mays
Bill Mazeroski*
Fred McGriff

Mark McGwire
Bid McPhee
Johnny Mize*
Paul Molitor*
Jack Morris
Tony Mullane
Dale Murphy
Graig Nettles
Hal Newhouser*
Lefty O’Doul
Tony Oliva
Al Oliver

Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Dave Parker
Wes Parker
Lance Parrish
Vada Pinson
Boog Powell
Tim Raines
Willie Randolph
Pee Wee Reese*
Allie Reynolds
Jim Rice
Phil Rizzuto*
Brooks Robinson*
Pete Ro$e
Amos Rusie*
Jimmy Ryan
Ron Santo
Curt Schilling
Red Schoendienst* (Player/Manager)
Ted Simmons
Enos Slaughter*
Lee Smith
Rusty Staub
Vern Stephens
Dave Stieb
Mel Stottlemyre
Harry Stovey
Sam Thompson
Luís Tiant
Joe Torre
Alan Trammell

George Van Haltren
Arky Vaughan*
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
Mickey Vernon
Frank Viola
Bucky Walters
Mickey Welch*
Lou Whitaker
Deacon White
Bernie Williams
Vic Willis*
Maury Wills 
Hack Wilson*
Ross Youngs*
Veterans Committee Ballot
 

* Signifies actual Hall of Famers

I decided to profile Hall of Famer Stan Coveleski, who was enshrined by the Veteran’s Committee in 1969.
 

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI
stan-coveleski
 
The Numbers
Played 1912-28 (14 seasons)
215 Wins – 142 Losses
.602 Winning Percentage
2.89 ERA
1.251 WHIP
981 Strikeouts
450 Games
385 Starts
3082 Innings Pitched
224 Complete Games
38 Shutouts
21 Saves

Five 20+ Win Seasons
Two Sub-2.00 ERA Seasons
Six Sub-3.00 ERA Seasons

World Series:  1 Ring, 5 Games, 5 Starts, 41-1/3 IP, 3-2, 1.74 ERA, 11 Ks, 4 CGs, 1 Shutout

Awards
MVP Votes in 1925

Top Ten Finishes
Wins - Six Times
ERA - Nine Times (Led league in 1923 & 1925)
Winning % – Four Times (Led league in 1925)
WHIP – Six Times (Led league in 1920)
Games – Six Times
Starts – Ten Times (Led league in 1921)
Innings Pitched – Eight Times
Strikeouts – Six Times (Led league in 1920)
Complete Games – Seven Times
Shutouts – Nine Times (Led league in 1917 & 1923)
Saves – Four Times

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:
 

Coveleski’s HOF standards are half for enshrinement and half against it.  While I would prefer he had more wins, he did have a solid run as one of the game’s best Pitchers from 1917-1925  In fact, the 177 games he won during that stretch were the most by any Pitcher.  Only Walter Johnson and Grover Alexander had lower ERAs.  He had his signature season in 1920 when he was 20-5 with a league best 2.84 ERA.  He went 3-0 with a 0.67 ERA and three Complete games to help Cleveland beat the Brooklyn Robins in the 1920 World Series.  I can see both why he had to wait for the Veteran’s Committee and why they eventually let him in.   

References
Baseball-reference.com

Past Chronicles
Dick Allen
Roberto Alomar
Richie Ashburn*
Earl Averill*
Harold Baines

Dan Bancroft*
Jake Beckley*

Albert Belle
Jim Bottomley*
Pete Browning

Jim Bunning *
Bert Byleven
Joe Carter
Orlando Cepeda*
Rocky Colavito
Earle Combs*
Dave Concepcion
David Cone
Roger Connor*
Larry Corcoran

Mike Cuellar
Bill Dahlen
George Davis*
Andre Dawson
Larry Doby*
Bobby Doerr*
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Dwight Evans
Rick Ferrell*
Wes Ferrell
Chuck Finley
Steve Finley
Nellie Fox*
John Franco

Gary Gaetti
Steve Garvey
Lefty Gomez*
Luis Gonzalez
Dwight Gooden
Joe Gordon
Mark Grace
Bobby Grich
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Ron Guidry
Chick Hafey*
Jesse Haines*

Billy Herman*
Keith Hernandez
Orel Hershiser
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Gil Hodges
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Travis Jackson*
Tommy John
Bob Johnson
Addie Joss*
Jim Kaat
George Kell*
Joe Kelley*
George Kelly*
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Chuck Klein*
Jerry Koosman
Bill James & Pete Palmer
Barry Larkin
Tony Lazzeri*
Freddie Lindstrom*
Mickey Lolich
Ernie Lombardi*
Fred Lynn
Sherry Magee

Roger Maris
Rube Marquard*
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Dennis Martinez
Edgar Martinez
Bobby Matthews
Don Mattingly
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Carl Mays
Bill Mazeroski*
Fred McGriff

Mark McGwire
Bid McPhee
Johnny Mize*
Paul Molitor*
Jack Morris
Tony Mullane
Dale Murphy
Graig Nettles
Hal Newhouser*
Lefty O’Doul
Tony Oliva
Al Oliver

Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Dave Parker
Wes Parker
Lance Parrish
Vada Pinson
Boog Powell
Tim Raines
Willie Randolph
Pee Wee Reese*
Allie Reynolds
Jim Rice
Phil Rizzuto*
Brooks Robinson*
Pete Ro$e
Amos Rusie*
Jimmy Ryan
Ron Santo
Curt Schilling
Red Schoendienst* (Player/Manager)
Ted Simmons
Enos Slaughter*
Lee Smith
Rusty Staub
Vern Stephens
Dave Stieb
Mel Stottlemyre
Harry Stovey
Sam Thompson
Luís Tiant
Joe Torre
Alan Trammell

George Van Haltren
Arky Vaughan*
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
Mickey Vernon
Frank Viola
Bucky Walters
Mickey Welch*
Lou Whitaker
Deacon White
Bernie Williams
Vic Willis*
Maury Wills 
Hack Wilson*
Ross Youngs*
Veterans Committee Ballot
 

* Signifies actual Hall of Famers

Black Ink Pitching – 22 (78), Average HOFer ≈ 40
Gray Ink Pitching – 193 (48), Average HOFer ≈ 185
Hall of Fame Monitor Pitching – 109 (83), Likely HOFer ≈ 100
Hall of Fame Standards Pitching – 38 (78), Average HOFer ≈ 50

The Couch Potato Chronicles again offered me inspiration for a post.  Thanks TCP.

dom-dimaggio
Image courtesy of TSN/Icon SMI

Dom DiMaggio passed away this week at 92.  He was overshadowed by his famous brother Joe and egendary teammate Ted Williams.  He didn’t have the hitting streak or Marilyn Monroe, but he was an exceptional player nonetheless.  He was named to seven All-Star teams in his eleven seasons with Boston.  Here’s a look at the Little Professor’s career numbers:

1399 Games
5640 At Bats
.298 Batting Average
1400 Runs
1680 Hits
308 Doubles
57 Triples
87 HRs
618 RBIs
750 Walks
100 SBs

Solid numbers, which are even better when you consider he missed three seasons due to  military service during World War II.  It is conceivable that he would have been a Hall of Famer if it weren’t for the War.

In 1941 & 1942 he averaged 113 Runs, which were the years prior to his service.  When he returned he averaged 80 Runs for two season before averaging 124 in a four year span from ’48 to ’51.  It is not a reach to suggest that if he (and Ted Williams) did not miss that time he could have scored 1500 career Runs, which is virtually a lock for the Hall of Fame.  Dom averaged 121 Runs from ’41-’41 & ’48 to ’51.  If you subtract the 160 Runs he scored in ’46 & ’47 and replace those Run totals, along with the years he missed, with 121 Runs per year and he would score 1491 Runs.  Considering he we missed some prime years when he was 26-28, perhaps that number would have been higher.  He also an All-Star every year but his first two and in 1947.  He very likely would have been named to three more.  1500 Runs and ten All-Star appearances make for a pretty compelling case for Hall of Fame acceptance.

Here’s a look at his top ten finishes:
Batting Average – 3 Times
On-Base Percentage – 3 Times
Slugging Percentage- Once
OPS – Once
Games - Twice (Led league in 1948)
At Bat – 6 Times (Led league in 1948 & 1951)
Runs – 7 Times (Led league in 1950 & 1951)
Hits – 7 Times
Doubles – 6 Times
Triples - Once (Led league in 1950)
HRs – Once
Total Bases – 3 Times 
Extra-Base Hits – Twice
Walks – 3 Times
SBs – 7 Times (Led league in 1950)
Hit by Pitch – 3 Times (Led league in 1941)

Hall of Fame  Yardsticks

Black Ink Batting – 12 (193), Average HOFer ≈ 27
Gray Ink Batting – 102 (215), Average HOFer ≈ 144
Hall of Fame Monitor Batting – 62 (299), Likely HOFer ≈ 100
Hall of Fame Standards Batting – 27 (337), Average HOFer ≈ 50

While the overall numbers aren’t there for the Hall of Fame, it is without question that he left his mark on baseball and those who knew him.  He will be missed.

Statistics from Baseball-Reference.com

dimaggio-brothers
Image from Museum of the City of San Francisco

I decided to profile Hall of Famer Jesse Haines, who was enshrined by the Veteran’s Committee in 1970.
 

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI
 
 jesse-haines

The Numbers
Played 1918-37 (19 seasons)
210 Wins – 158 Losses
.571 Winning Percentage
3.64 ERA
1.350 WHIP
981 Strikeouts
555 Games
388 Starts
3208-2/3 Innings Pitched
208 Complete Games
24 Shutouts
10 Saves

Three 20+ Win Seasons
Three Sub-3.00 ERA Seasons

World Series:  2 Rings, 6 Games, 4 Starts, 32-1/3 IP, 3-1, 1.67 ERA, 12 Ks, 2 CGs, 1 Shutout

Awards
MVP Votes in 1927

Top Ten Finishes
Wins – Four Times
ERA – Three Times
Winning % – Six Times
WHIP – Once
Games – Once
Starts – Four Times
Innings Pitched – Twice
Strikeouts – Four Times
Complete Games – Four Times (Led league in 1927)
Shutouts – Five Times (Led league in 1921 & 1927)

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:

Black Ink Pitching – 8 (288), Average HOFer ≈ 40
Gray Ink Pitching – 91 (246), Average HOFer ≈ 185
Hall of Fame Monitor Pitching – 65 (180), Likely HOFer ≈ 100
Hall of Fame Standards Pitching – 27 (171), Average HOFer ≈ 50

 

I’m a bit puzzled by his inclusion.  His career numbers don’t jump out at year.  His dominance isn’t even evident if you break it down year-by-year.  He had just a handful of excellent years.  He pitched well in the postseason, but he didn’t have enough postseason starts for that to catapult him in.  He was HOF worthy in his 1926 World Series shutout of the Yankees, in which he homered, and his brilliant 1927 season.  Other than the “Pop” was good, not great.  There’s a long list of guys below who I feel are better suited for Cooperstown than Jesse Haines.

References
Baseball-reference.com

Past Chronicles
Dick Allen
Roberto Alomar
Richie Ashburn*
Earl Averill*
Harold Baines

Dan Bancroft*
Jake Beckley*

Albert Belle
Jim Bottomley*
Pete Browning

Jim Bunning *
Bert Byleven
Joe Carter
Orlando Cepeda*
Rocky Colavito
Earle Combs*
Dave Concepcion
David Cone
Roger Connor*
Larry Corcoran

Mike Cuellar
Bill Dahlen
George Davis*
Andre Dawson
Larry Doby*
Bobby Doerr*
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Dwight Evans
Rick Ferrell*
Wes Ferrell
Chuck Finley
Steve Finley
Nellie Fox*
John Franco

Gary Gaetti
Steve Garvey
Lefty Gomez*
Luis Gonzalez
Dwight Gooden
Joe Gordon
Mark Grace
Bobby Grich
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Ron Guidry
Chick Hafey*

Billy Herman*
Keith Hernandez
Orel Hershiser
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Gil Hodges
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Travis Jackson*
Tommy John
Bob Johnson
Addie Joss*
Jim Kaat
George Kell*
Joe Kelley*
George Kelly*
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Chuck Klein*
Jerry Koosman
Bill James & Pete Palmer
Barry Larkin
Tony Lazzeri*
Freddie Lindstrom*
Mickey Lolich
Ernie Lombardi*
Fred Lynn
Sherry Magee

Roger Maris
Rube Marquard*
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Dennis Martinez
Edgar Martinez
Bobby Matthews
Don Mattingly
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Carl Mays
Bill Mazeroski*
Fred McGriff

Mark McGwire
Bid McPhee
Johnny Mize*
Paul Molitor*
Jack Morris
Tony Mullane
Dale Murphy
Graig Nettles
Hal Newhouser*
Lefty O’Doul
Tony Oliva
Al Oliver

Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Dave Parker
Wes Parker
Lance Parrish
Vada Pinson
Boog Powell
Tim Raines
Willie Randolph
Pee Wee Reese*
Allie Reynolds
Jim Rice
Phil Rizzuto*
Brooks Robinson*
Pete Ro$e
Amos Rusie*
Jimmy Ryan
Ron Santo
Curt Schilling
Red Schoendienst* (Player/Manager)
Ted Simmons
Enos Slaughter*
Lee Smith
Rusty Staub
Vern Stephens
Dave Stieb
Mel Stottlemyre
Harry Stovey
Sam Thompson
Luís Tiant
Joe Torre
Alan Trammell

George Van Haltren
Arky Vaughan*
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
Mickey Vernon
Frank Viola
Bucky Walters
Mickey Welch*
Lou Whitaker
Deacon White
Bernie Williams
Vic Willis*
Maury Wills 
Hack Wilson*
Ross Youngs*
Veterans Committee Ballot
 

* Signifies actual Hall of Famers

A decade or two ago Gary Sheffield’s accomplishment on Friday night would have meant something.  Joining the 500 HR not only placed you in very elite company, but it basically punched your ticket in the Cooperstown. 

Flash forward to 2009 and Sheffield’s 500th HR gets a little more than a yawn out of me.  The timing couldn’t have been worse for Sheff because so many of us were reminded of the late Harry Kalas’ call of Michael Jack Schmidt’s 500th HR.  Now that was an accomplishment.  It is still an elite group with merely 25 members.  It just doesn’t take on the same meaning.  Not with the steroids, the HGH, the cream, and the clear.  To me, there is no chance Sheffield gets into the Hall of Fame.  Some other steroid era players could have a hard time as well.  Obviously the Mt. Shamemore of the steroit era (Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro) will struggle to get in.  Same with Jim Thome, although he hasn’t been linked to steroids.  Despite meeting the milestone, I would actually put Sheffield’s Uncle (Dwight Gooden) in the Hall before I considered him.

To honor Hall of Famer George Kell’s passing I will re-post his Cooperstown Chronicles entry. 

I decided to profile Hall of Famer George Kell, who was enshrined by the Veteran’s Committee in 1983.

 
George Kell with Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, and Lou Boudreau
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

The Numbers
Played 1943-1957 (15 Seasons)
1795 Games
6702 At Bats
.306 Batting Average 
881 Runs
2054 Hits
2773 Total Bases
385 Doubles
50 Triples
78 HRs
870 RBI
621 Walks 
51 SBs

Nine .300 Seasons
One 100 Run Season
One 200 Hit Season
Five 30 Double Seasons
One 10 Triple Season
One 100 RBI Season

Awards

10 All-Star Game Appearances
MVP Votes in 8 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes

Batting Average - 8 Times (Led league in 1949)
On-base % - 4 Times
Slugging % – Twice
OPS – Three Times
Games - 4 Times (Led league in 1950)
At Bats – 4 Times (Led league in 1950)
Runs - 3 Times
Hits - 6 Times (Led league in 1950 & 1951)
Total Bases - 3 Times
Extra-base Hits - 3 Times
Doubles - 6 Times (Led league in 1950 & 1951)
Triples -  Twice
RBI – Once
Stolen Bases – Once
Hit by Pitch – 4 Times

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:

Black Ink: Batting – 16 (139) (Average HOFer ≈ 27)
Gray Ink: Batting – 93 (248) (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting – 28.7 (306) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting – 90.0 (174) (Likely HOFer > 100)

There has to be something beyond the numbers because I have no idea how someone with fewer than 900 Runs & RBI and barely over 2000 Hits makes it to ten All-Star Games, let alone the Hall of Fame.  He did have a brilliant 1950 season when he hit .340 with 114 Runs, 218 Hits, 56 Doubles, and 101 RBI.  Besides that breakout season, he only had oneof other Hall of Fame worthy seasons (1949).  He was a standout with the glove leading the league in fielding seven times, assists four times, and total chances/game four times.  He did manage to keep Ted Williams from winning the Triple Crown by a few decimal points.  While he was a solid player, I don’t see him as a HOF player.  However, when you factor in his long broadcasting career it’s easy to see why this baseball lifer was enshrined. 

References
Baseball-reference.com
Baseball Library

For a look past the numbers at the man, check out of this USA Today article.

 
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

Curt Schilling announced his retirement on  his 38 Pitches blog saying  “Turn out the lights the party’s over”.

One of the first thoughts that arises is whether or not he’s Hall of Fame material.  I’ve weighed in on this before, so let me restate my position.

The Numbers
Played 1988-2007  (20 Years)
569 Games
436 Starts (83rd All-time)
3261 Innings (94th All-time)
216 Wins (79th All-time) - 146 Losses
.597 Winning Percentage
3.46 ERA (4.41 League ERA)
1.137 WHIP (44th All-time)
3116 Ks (14th All-time)
83 Complete Games
20 Shutouts
22 Saves
4.38 Strikeout to Walk Ratio (2nd All-time)
127 Adjusted ERA (42nd All-time)

Three 20 Win Seasons
Five 200 K Seasons
Three 300 K Seasons
Four sub-3.00 ERA Seasons
Two sub-1.00 WHIP Seasons

Playoffs:  3 World Series Rings, 19 Starts, 133.3 Innings, 10-2 (.833 Winning %), 2.23 ERA, 0.968 WHIP, 120 Ks, 4 Complete Games

Awards

1993 NLCS MVP
1995 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award
2001 Babe Ruth Award
2001 Branch Rickey Award
2001 Hutch Award
2001 Roberto Clemente Award
2001 TSN Pitcher of the Year
2001 World Series MVP
2002 TSN Pitcher of the Year
6 All-Star Game Appearances
Cy Young Votes in 4 Seasons (three-time runner-up)
MVP Votes in 4 seasons

Top Ten Finishes

Wins – Five Times (Led league in 2001 & 2004)
Winning % – 6 Times (Led league in 2004)
ERA – 9 Times
WHIP – 11 Times (Led league in 1992 & 2002)
Strikeouts – 9 Times (Led league in 1997 & 1998)
Innings – 7 Times (Led league in 1998 & 2001)
Starts – 5 Times (Led league in 1997, 1998 & 2001)
Complete Games – 11 Times (Led league in 1996, 1998, 2000 & 2001)
Shutouts – 11 Times

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:
Black Ink: Pitching – 42 (33) (Average HOFer ≈ 40)
Gray Ink: Pitching – 205 (34) (Average HOFer ≈ 185)
HOF Standards: Pitching – 46.0 (48) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Pitching – 171.0 (33) (Likely HOFer > 100)

I don’t even know why there is a debate.  Seriously.  His postseason heroics alone are enough to put him on the brink of the HOF.  His career numbers do the rest.  He wasn’t just a compiler either.  He put together some fabulous seasons, as evidenced by his Top Ten finishes.  His control for a power pitcher is unrivaled.  His 4.38 Strikeout to Walk Ratio is second only to Tommy Bond (who only had 879 Ks), and ahead of the likes of Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Sandy Koufax, Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson, and the list goes on.  He won over 200 Games at nearly a 60% clip.  He has over 3100 Strikeouts.  His ERA is almost a full Run lower than the league average.  He never won the Cy Young, but was the bridesmaid three times.  He may have won 20 games just three times, but Wins aren’t always the best indicator.  By my standards he had outstanding years in 1992, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, and 2004.  Not to mention his postseason dominance.  That is what makes his legacy legendary.  Even before the bloody sock, Curt was known as a big game pitcher.  He was brilliant in the 1993 ALCS helping the Phillies earn a trip to the World Series.  He was even more spectacular in the 2001 Diamondback’s improbable run to the World Series.  He went 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA and 18 Ks in the NLDS as Arizona beat St. Louis.  He was 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA and 12 Ks as they beat Atlanta.  In the World Series against the heavily favored Yankees, he went 1-0 in 3 Starts with a 1.69 ERA and 26 Ks.  He pitched well in the 2002 NLDS, but was cut down by St. Louis.  Then came the historic 2004 season.  He pitched well in defeating the Angels, but injured his ankle.  He got bombed by the Yankees in his first start before gutting out Game 6 and helping keep the comeback alive.  Then he pitched 6 scoreless Innings as the Red Sox steamrolled the Cardinals to a curse-reversing World Series win.  He won three of his four starts (including another World Series win against Colorado) in the 2007 Red Sox World Series run.  The Hall of Fame looks kindly on postseason heroics.  When you couple it with an outstanding regular season career, I don’t get the debate.  Curt Schiling is a Hall of Famer in my book. 
 
References
Baseball-reference.com
Baseball Library

Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor and I are back to debate Dale Murphy’s Hall of Fame worthiness.

The Numbers
2180 Games
7960 At Bats
.265 Batting Average
.346 On-base %
.469 Slugging %
1197 Runs
2111 Hits
350 Doubles
39 Triples
398 HRs
1266 RBI
986 Walks
161 SBs

The Awards
1982 MVP
1983 MVP
1985 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award
1988 Roberto Clemente Award
Five Gold Gloves (1982-86)
Four Silver Sluggers (1982-1985)
Seven All-Star Appearances
Received MVP votes in seven seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – Twice
On-base % – Five times
Slugging % – Six times (Led league in 1983 & 1984)
OPS – Six times (Led league in 1983)
Games – Seven times (Led league in ’82, ’83, ’84 & ’85)
At Bats – Four times
Runs – Six times (Led league in 1985)
Hits – Three times
Total Bases – Seven times
Doubles – Four times
Triples – Once
HRs – Nine times (Led league in 1984 & 1985)
RBI – Six times (Led league in 1982 & 1983)
Walks – Seven Times (Led league in 1985)
Extra Base Hits – Eight times (Led league in 1984)
Hit by Pitch – Once
Intentional Walks – Five times (Led league in 1987)

Hall of Fame Yardsticks
Black Ink: Batting – 31 (55) (Average HOFer ≈ 27)
Gray Ink: Batting – 147 (91) (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting – 34.4 (200) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting – 116.0 (123) (Likely HOFer > 100)

References
Baseball-Reference.com

Lester’s Take
Right out of the gate I’m going to use the yardsticks to support my claim.  Three of the four yardsticks support the inclusion of Dale Murphy into the Hall of Fame.  He’s a two-time MVP that was excellent in the field.  He was easily one of the best players in the league for a six-year stretch (1982-1987) where he averaged 36.3 HRs, 110 Runs, 104.8 RBIs, and 17.5 SBs while winning two MVP, six Gold Gloves, and four Silver Sluggers.  The rest of his career wasn’t brilliant, but was good enough with his long stretch of greatness to be a Hall of Famer.  The knock on him is his Batting Average and his Strikeouts.  Those numbers are less than desirable, but he got the job done.  He had the misfortune of playing on some pretty bad Brave teams.  In the end I think Murph did just enough to get in.

Rotoprofessor’s Take
From 1982-1987 he was one of the best sluggers in the game, hitting 218 HR and 629 RBI en route to winning a pair of MVP awards. Those are spectacular numbers but at just 31 years old, when he should have still been capable of putting up big seasons, he all but disappeared. In 1988 he hit 24 HR with a .226 average. In 1989 he hit 20 HR with a .228 average. After that he stuck around for parts of 5 more seasons, hitting a total of just 44 HR.

Those were 6 years were fantastic, but not enough to convince me that we should honor his entire career. He was good prior to the outburst, and terrible after it. For me to consider him for the Hall, he would have to really have had a blow away stretch. He just didn’t provide that, being overshadowed by superstars like Mike Schmidt, Tony Gwynn and Dave Winfield. He was a very good hitter, but not the preeminent slugger of the period. Given the mediocrity of the rest of his career, that causes him to fall short in my eyes.

Previous Debates
Mark McGwire (Hall of Fame)
Tim Raines (Hall of Fame)
Bernie Williams (Hall of Fame)
Ryan Dempster (2009 Season)
Jack Morris (Hall of Fame)

cooperstown-chronicles

The votes are in.  The 2009 Hall of Fame class will consist of Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice.  Rickey got in on his first try and Rice on his last.  As a Red Sox fan I am thrilled that Rice got in, but as a baseball fan I’m saddened that he did not have more company.  As good as Rice was, I think that there were more deserving players left off the ballot.  Andre Dawson for example was also a incredible hitter that happened to run well AND played Gold Glove defense.  Bert Byleven won 287 games and was a strikeout and shutout king.  Jack Morris was the winningest pitcher in the 80′s with an amazing postseason resume.  Maybe next year for them when only Roberto Alomar makes a strong case for first-ballot induction.  Here’s a look at the votes.

2009-hall-of-fame-voting

I don’t know how you can maintain voting eligibility if you did not vote for Rickey Henderson.  He’s only the all-time leader in Runs, Walks, and Stolen Bases and a member of the 3000 Hit Club.  There are 28 writers that have some explaining to do.  If they can’t come up with a good reason they left him off their ballots, like temporary amnesia or something, they should be thanked for their service and never heard from again.


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