Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor and I are back to debate Jack Morris’ Hall of Fame worthiness.

The Numbers
254 Wins (40th All-time)
3.90 ERA
2478 Strikeouts (31st All-time)
3824 Innings (49th All-time)
527 starts (35th All-time)
175 Complete Games
28 Shutouts

The Awards
World Series MVP
5 All-Star Appearances
Received MVP votes in 5 seasons
Recieved Cy Young votes in 7 seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Wins – 12 Times (Led league in ‘81 & ‘92)
ERA – 5 Times
Strikeouts – 8 Times (Led league ‘83)
Innings – 9 Times (Led league in ‘83)
Starts – 11 Times (Led league in ‘90 & ‘91)
Complete Games – 10 Times (Led league in ‘90)
Shutouts – 8 Times (Led league in ‘86)
Winning Percentage – 5 Times

Hall of Fame Yardsticks
Black Ink: Pitching – 20 (89) (Average HOFer ≈ 40)
Gray Ink: Pitching – 193 (47) (Average HOFer ≈ 185)
HOF Standards: Pitching – 39.0 (73) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Pitching – 122.5 (64) (Likely HOFer > 100)

Lester’s Take
1991.  Game 7.  Minnesota Twins vs. Atlanta Braves.  Jack Morris vs. John Smoltz.  In perhaps the best postseason performace of the modern era, Jack Morris throws ten innings of shutout ball to deliver a World Series to Minnesota in 1-0 ballgame.  That’s the stuff that legends are made of.  That’s just one reason he belongs in the Hall of Fame.  Jack Morris won World Series titles with three different teams (Detroit in ‘84, Minnesota in ‘91, and Toronto in ‘92) compiling a World Series record of 3-0 with a 2.96 ERA in seven games.  He went 6-1 in 13 career playoff starts.  Morris isn’t limited to that brilliant World Series performance, those seven World Series games, or those 13 playoff games.  His overall numbers speak to his worthiness as well.

Morris had more wins in the 80’s (162) than any other pitcher.  Dave Steib is the next closest with 140.  Every pitcher that has led a decade in Wins is in the Hall of Fame.  He was a model of consistency winning at least 15 games in 12 of the 14 seasons in which he had at least 25 starts.  His dominance is equaled by his durability.  He made over 500 consecutive starts without missing a turn in the rotation.  He also owns a no-hitter (1984 vs. the White Sox).

Gone are the days of 300 wins careers.  With five-man rotations, you just don’t get enough starts to reach the plateau.  That benchmark may need to be adjusted.  He was an elite pitcher for  a decade with a history of big games in the postseason and unmatched durability.  That says Hall of Famer in my book.    

Rotoprofessor’s Take
Jack Morris was a tremendous big game pitcher, maybe the best of his generation.  The 10-inning shutout performance against the Braves will go down in history as one of the greatest ever.  He should be honored for it.  He absolutely should be.  Baseball historians should mention the performance when they release Top 10 games pitched lists.  Fans should remember with awe the stuff that Morris brought to the table that day.  It was that good.  It was great.
 
However, that one game, and the other 12 he threw in the postseason, does not make an entire career.  Yes, the 254 Wins are a nice number, but he is a pitcher who posted a career ERA of 3.90 and not once was under 3.  In fact, in 8 of his seasons his ERA was over 4.  Does that sound like a pitcher who deserves to be enshrined with some of the best?
 
Three 20 Win seasons is nice, but one of them came with a 4.04 ERA, certainly not something that is all that impressive.  Not once did he win the Cy Young Award, being named the best pitcher in his league.  Finishing in the Top 10 is nice, and shows that you are a very good pitcher, but to be remembered as one of the best you need to prove it, and not just in a few select moments. 
 
Honor the great moments that Morris provided over his career, he deserves that.  Honor him as a good pitcher, a very good pitcher even.  Do not honor him as one of the best, because he wasn’t, and for that reason I would not vote him into the Hall of Fame.

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


Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

The Veterans Committee elected Joe Gordon to the Hall of Fame today.  First of all, a congratulations is to Joe’s family.  Even though I felt he wasn’t quite HOF material, I am not bothered by his inclusion in the least.  He was an MVP, a nine-time All-Star, and part of a Yankee Dynasty that allowed him to win five World Series titles.

Unfortunately Gordon was the only player elected of the twenty.  I feel Mickey Vernon, Deacon White, Joe Torre (unless they were just voting on his playing career), Sherry Magee, Ron Santo, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, and Al Oliver were worthy of election.  I am particularly upset with the Santo exclusion.  Maybe some day these greats will get their due.


Hall of Famer Joe Gordon

The 2009 Hall of Fame Ballots have been released.  I am admittedly more lenient than most in terms of who I think is worthy of enshrinement.  That said here is how I break down this year’s crop.

Slam Dunk
Rickey Henderson

Let them In Already
Bert Blyleven
Andre Dawson
Jack Morris
Dale Murphy
Dave Parker
Tim Raines
Jim Rice
Lee Smith

In a Couple Years
David Cone
Mark Grace
Don Mattingly
Alan Trammell

Never
Harold Baines
Jay Bell
Ron Gant
Tommy John
Mark McGwire
Jesse Orosco
Dan Plesac
Greg Vaughn
Mo Vaughn
Matt Williams

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

 The Veterans Committee is going to vote on twenty players for induction into the Hall of Fame.  There are ten players pre-1943 and ten post-1943.  Today I profile Mickey Vernon from that group.  Mickey passed away in September so I waited to profile him last.


Dom DiMaggio, Mickey Vernon, and Ted Williams

Numbers
Played 1939-1960 (20 seasons)
2409 Games
8731 At Bats
.286 Average
.359 On-base %
.428 Slugging %
1196 Runs
2495 Hits
490 Doubles
120 Triples
172 HRs
1311 RBI
955 Walks
137 SBs

Four .300 Seasons
One 100+ Run Season
Two 200+ Hit Seasons
Six 30+ Triple Seasons (One 40+, One 50+)
Four 10+ Triple Seasons
One 100+ RBI Seasons

Playoffs:  

Awards
7 All-Star Appearances
MVP Votes in 5 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average - 4 Times (Batting Crowns in 1946 & 1953)
On-base % - 4 Times
Slugging % - 4 Times
OPS - 5 Times
Games - 8 Times
At Bats - 7 Times
Runs - 3 Times
Hits - 6 Times
Total Bases - 5 Times
Doubles - 9 Times (Led league in ’46, ’53 & ’54)
Triples – 9 Times
HRs – Once
RBI - 8 Times
Walks – Once
SBs – 7 Times
Hit by Pitch – 4 Times (Led league in 1943)
Intentional Walks – Once

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:
Black Ink: Batting – 14 (165) (Average HOFer ≈ 27)
Gray Ink: Batting – 149 (87) (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting – 33.0 (215) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting – 71.5 (249) (Likely HOFer > 100

MIckey had some great seasons, but his career as a whole does appear to justify has Hall of Fame induction at first glance.  However, you have to factor in his two prime seasons lost to World War II.  His hit total would have likely improved to 2800+.  His RBI total would been close to 1500.  His Run total close to 1400.  I certainly won’t punish a guy for answering his call to duty.  He did win a pair of batting titles in 1946 & 1953, which helps his cause.  He also had the misfortune of playing on some dreadful Washington Senators teams.  Despite his missed time he holds the record for being part of 2044 Double Plays.  I initially said I would pass on him, but after digging a little deeper, I feel there is a place for Mickey in the Hall of Fame.

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
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 Famer

The Veterans Committee is going to vote on twenty players for induction into the Hall of Fame.  There are ten players pre-1943 and ten post-1943.  Today I profile Vern Stephens from that group.

Numbers
Played 1941-1955 (15 seasons)
1720 Games
6497 At Bats
.286 Average
1001 Runs
1859 Hits
307 Doubles
42 Triples
247 HRs
1174 RBI
692 Walks
25 SBs

One .300 Season (Had a second one with 377 At Bats)
Three 100+ Run Seasons
Three 30+ Triple Seasons
Two 30+ HR Seasons
Four 100+ RBI Seasons

Playoffs:  6 Games, 5 for 22 (.227), 2 Runs, 1 Double, 3 Walks

Awards
8 All-Star Appearances
MVP Votes in 9 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – 3 Times
Slugging % – 7 Times
OPS – 4 Times
Games – 3 Times (Led league in ’48 & ’49)
At Bats – 5 Times
Runs – 5 Times
Hits – 7 Times
Total Bases – 7 Times
Doubles – 3 Times
HRs – 7 Times (Led league in 1945)
RBI – 7 Times (Led league in ’44, ’49 & ’50)
Walks – Once

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:
Black Ink: Batting – 18 (123) (Average HOFer ≈ 27)
Gray Ink: Batting – 141 (111) (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting – 35.9 (186) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting – 75.0 (238) (Likely HOFer > 100) )

I don’t see why Vern Stephens is being considered.  He lacks great career numbers and was rarely a league leader in any category.  He had a three-year stretch when he first joined Boston where he averaged 117 Runs, 33 HRs, and 147 RBI.  That was a great run, but the rest of career didn’t quite stack up.  He gets extra credit for his numbers as a Shortstop, but in the end he comes up just short in my book.

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
Dave Stieb
Mel Stottlemyre
Harry Stovey
Sam Thompson
Luís Tiant
Joe Torre
Alan Trammell

George Van Haltren
Arky Vaughan*
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
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 Famer

The Veterans Committee is going to vote on twenty players for induction into the Hall of Fame.  There are ten players pre-1943 and ten post-1943.  Today I profile Allie Reynolds from that group.

Numbers
Played 1942-1954 (13 seasons)
434 Games
309 Starts
2492-1/3 Innings
182 Wins – 107 Losses
.630 WInning Percentage
3.30 ERA (3.63 League Average)
1.386 WHIP
1423 Ks
137 Complete Games
36 Shutouts
49 Saves

One 20+ Season
Two Sub-3.00 ERA Seasons

Playoffs:  6 Rings, 15 Games, 9 Starts, 77-1/3 Innings, 7-2, 2.79 ERA, 62 Ks, 5 Complete Games

Awards
6 All-Star Appearances
MVP Votes in 5 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Wins – 7 Times
Winning % - 8 Times
ERA - 3 Times (Led league in 1952)
WHIP - 3 Times
Games - 3 Times
Starts - 5 Times
Innings - 6 Times 
Strikeouts - 7 Times (Led league in 1943 & 1952) 
Complete Games - 3 Times
Shutouts - 7 Times (Led league in 1951 & 1952)
Saves - 5 Times

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:
Black Ink: Pitching – 18 (108) (Average HOFer ≈ 40)
Gray Ink: Pitching – 161 (78) (Average HOFer ≈ 185)
HOF Standards: Pitching – 33.0 (115) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Pitching – 110.0 (82) (Likely HOFer > 100)

Superchief pitched on some great teams, which is evidenced by the World Series rings and his winning percentage.  The rest doesn’t add up though.  He really only had one dominating season (1952).  The rest his ERA hovered around his career 3.30 mark, which is good, but not great condisering the league average was 3.63 at the time.  His postseason record is very impressive, but I’m not sure it merits Hall of Fame induction.  I’d love to overlook the fact that he didn’t win 200 games in his career or that his 110 Adjusted ERA wasn’t tied for 310th.  I just can’t.  He was an important part of the Yankees dynasty, but even that isn’t enough for him in my book.  I have to pass on Mr. Reynolds.

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*
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
Dave Stieb
Mel Stottlemyre
Harry Stovey
Sam Thompson
Luís Tiant
Joe Torre
Alan Trammell

George Van Haltren
Arky Vaughan*
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
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 Famer

Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor and I have decided to team up and debate Bernie Williams’ Hall of Fame worthiness.

Numbers
2076 Games
7869 At Bats
.297 Batting Average
1366 Runs
2336 Hits
449 Doubles
55 Triples
287 Home Runs
1257 RBI
1069 Walks (84th All-time)
147 Stolen Bases

Eight .300 Seasons
Eight 100+ Run Seasons
Six 30+ Double Seasons
One 30+ HR Season
Five 100+ RBI Seasons

Playoffs: 121 Games, 128 hits in 465 at bats (.275), 83 Runs, 29 Doubles, 22 HR, 80 RBI, 71 Walks, 8 Steals, 4 World Series Ring

Awards
1996 ALCS MVP
4 Gold Gloves
2002 Silver Slugger
5 All-Star Game Appearances
MVP Votes in 6 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – Four Times (Batting Crown in 1998)
On-Base % – Five Times
Slugging % – Twice
OPS – Four Times
Games – Twice
At-Bats – Once
Runs – Three Times
Hits - Three Times
Doubles – Twice
Triples – Four Times
RBI – Once
Walks – Three Times
Intentional Walks – Four Times (Led League in 1999)

Hall of Fame Yardsticks
Black Ink: Batting – 4 (405) (Average HOFer ≈ 27)
Gray Ink: Batting – 61 (402) (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting – 48.3 (82) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting – 133.0 (100) (Likely HOFer > 100)

Lester’s Take
If I were just considering his regular season accomplishments I would have to shut down Bernie immediately. He was above average with eight years of .300 or better.  He also scored 100 or more Runs eight times and knocked in 100 or more five times.  He was a excellent defensive player and had a little speed (seven seasons with 10+ SBs).  While those are decent numbers, they just don’t scream “Hall of Fame”.   That is until you look at the mark he left in the playoffs.  His playoff totals look like a full season’s worth.  It’s unbelievable.  83 Runs, 128 Hits, 29 Doubles, 22 HRs, 80 RBI.  All Hall of Fames, including Cooperstown have traditionally given extra merit to those who played on dynasties.  You may disagree with that, but that is a factor in Hall of Fame induction.  To me Bernie’s solid regular season and extraordinary postseason are enough to get my vote. 

Rotoprofessor’s Take
Before I even look at the career numbers of Bernie Williams, my thoughts are that he was a good player, maybe even a very good player, who played for a great team. If he had played for the Rockies or Royals or Rangers or some other run of the mill team, would we be having this discussion? I just don’t believe we should award a player by enshrining him among the all-time greats because some great players who helped him win a few championships surrounded him. Yes, he was a tremendous player in the postseason and certainly played his part in helping the Yankees win 4 titles during his tenure with the team, but he was hardly a superstar. I’m not going to honor him because of what he did over 121 games, as opposed to the 2,076 he played during the regular season where he hit .297 with just 287 home runs and 147 stolen bases. Over 16 major league seasons, he appeared in just 5 All-Star games. Exactly what is special about that? The Yankees should honor him for his career, absolutely. Put up a monument for him or put him into the Yankees Hall of Fame, I really don’t care. He was a great Yankee who brought great prestige to the franchise, but he is far from one of the elite to have ever played the game. That means it is a resounding no for me, he would never get my vote.

Previous Hall of Fame Debates
Mark McGwire
Tim Raines

The Veterans Committee is going to vote on twenty players for induction into the Hall of Fame.  There are ten players pre-1943 and ten post-1943.  Today I profile Carl Mays from that group.

Numbers
Played 1915-1929 (15 seasons)
490 Games
325 Starts
3021-1/3 Innings
207 Wins – 126 Losses
.622 WInning Percentage
2.92 ERA (3.49 League Average)
1.207 WHIP
862 Ks
231 Complete Games
29 Shutouts
31 Saves

Five 20+ Seasons
Five Sub-3.00 ERA Seasons (One of 1.74)

Playoffs:  2 Rings, 8 Games, 7 Starts, 57-1/3 Innings, 3-4, 2.35 ERA, 17 Ks, 5 Complete Games

Awards
MVP Votes in 1 Season

Top Ten Finishes
Wins – 7 Times (Led league in 1921)
Winning % - 6 Times (Led league in 1921)
ERA – 6 Times
WHIP – 8 Times
Games – 4 Times (Led league in 1921)
Starts – 5 Times
Innings - 6 Times (Led league in 1921)
Strikeouts – 3 Times
Complete Games – 7 Times (Led league in 1918 & 1926)
Shutouts – 4 Times (Led league in 1918 & 1920)
Saves – 7 Times (Led league in 1915 & 1921)

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:
Black Ink: Pitching – 23 (76) (Average HOFer ≈ 40)
Gray Ink: Pitching – 172 (66) (Average HOFer ≈ 185)
HOF Standards: Pitching – 41.0 (66) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Pitching – 114.0 (75) (Likely HOFer > 100)

The numbers just aren’t there for me to endorse Carl Mays as a Hall of Famer.  His winning percentage was great and he had five 20 Win seasons, but the rest don’t stack up.  His HOF Yardstricks reflect that.  One thing that works against Carl is the fact that he’s the only pitcher to ever kill someone with a pitch.  He hit Cleveland’s Ray Chapman in the temple.  He died the next day.  He had a bad reputation before the incident as he hit a lot of batters while controlling the inside part of the plate.  He wasn’t always the best teammate either as he often complained when they made errors.  Later he demanded a trade when he was 5-11 despite a 2.47 ERA.  The last straw was when he was hit in the head by his Catcher on a throw to Second.  There was specualtion that he might have thrown some World Series games with the 1921 Yankees.  I don’t understand why they are even considering Carl.  His numbers are borderline at best, and there are enough question marks to quickly eliminate him from consideration.  No way he’s HOF material. 

References
Baseball-reference.com
BR Bullpen

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)
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*
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
Dave Stieb
Mel Stottlemyre
Harry Stovey
Sam Thompson
Luís Tiant
Joe Torre
Alan Trammell

George Van Haltren
Arky Vaughan*
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
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 Famer

Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor and I have decided to team up and debate Tim Raines’ Hall of Fame worthiness.

Numbers
2502 Games (50th All-time)
8872 At Bats (70th ll-time)
1571 Runs (49th All-time)
.294 Batting Average
.385 On-base %
.425 Slugging %
2605 Hits (71th All-time)
430 Doubles
113 Triples
170 Home Runs
980 RBI
1330 Walks (33rd All-time)
148 Intentional Walks (44th All-time)
808 Stolen Bases (5th All-time)

Five .300+ Seasons
Six 100+ Run Seasons
Six 30+ Double Seasons
Two 10+ Triple Seasons
Twelve 30+ SB Seasons
 Eleven 40+ SB Seasons
  Eight 50+ SB Seasons
   Six 70+ SB Seasons
    One 90 SB Season

Playoffs: 34 Games, 34 hits in 126 at bats (.270), 18 Runs, 7 Doubles, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 14 Walks, 3 Steals, 1 World Series Ring

Awards
1987 All-Star Game MVP
1986 Silver Slugger
7 All-Star Game Appearances
MVP Votes in 7 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – Four Times (Batting Crown in 1986)
On-Base % – Seven Times (Led league in 1986)
Slugging % – Once
OPS – Four Times
Games – Once
At-Bats – Three Times
Runs – Eight Times (Led league in 1983 & 1987)
Hits – Six Times
Total Bases – Four Times
Doubles – Three Times (Led league in 1984)
Triples – Nine Times
Walks – Six Times
Intentional Walks – Four Times
Stolen Base – Eleven Times (Led league in ‘81, ‘82, ‘83 & ‘84)

Hall of Fame Yardsticks
Black Ink: Batting – 20 (105) (Average HOFer ≈ 27)
Gray Ink: Batting – 114 (178) (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting – 46.6 (93) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting – 89.5 (177) (Likely HOFer > 100)

Lester’s Take
Rock Raines had the misfortune of playing in the shadow of Rickey Henderson.  While he isn’t in the same category as Rickey, he was an amazing leadoff man.  He achieved one of the thresholds (1500 runs) that I feel virtually gain you automatic entry to the Hall of Fame.  The majority of players that have crossed that threshold are either in, will evenutally be in, or are ineligible (Pete Rose).  Not to mention he was one of the most prolific base stealers in the history of the game.  He had six 100 run season (one of 133), seven consecutive 70+ stolen base seasons, 40+ steals in 11 years of a 12 year stretch.  An impressive stat to me is the number of times he was intentionally walked.  He’s 44th of all-time with 48 IBBs.  He must have been feared as a hitter to intentionally put him on 1st knowing you probably just gave away two or three bases in the process given his ability to swip bases.  He also had eight straight years with at least 7 triples, and he managed to win a World Series ring with the Yankees.  Not only did he play in the shadows of Rickey Henderson, he had the misfortune of playing his best seasons in Montreal.  He was one of the best in the game for a long time.  For that I feel he earned a spot in Cooperstown.

Rotoprofessor’s Take
When I look at the career of Tim Raines, to me it is no a brainer that he does not belong in the Hall of Fame. To be enshrined, you should be a dominant player of your generation, not someone who stuck around for 23 seasons and compiled some impressive career statistics. Don’t get me wrong, Raines was a very good, if not great, lead off hitter who had a ton of speed. He had 808 career stolen bases, but more then half, 454 to be exact, of which came in a 6-year period from 1981-1986. That means in his other 17 seasons playing in the major leagues, he had just 354 stolen bases, hardly that impressive. He scored a ton of runs, but had just six seasons where he eclipsed the 100 mark. Brett Butler, a player who I think we would all agree is not worthy of being inducted into the Hall of Fame, had the same six seasons scoring 100 runs. He was a good hitter, but his career average was under .300. Maybe it was the shadow of Ricky Henderson that hurts Raines’ candidacy, but even with the SB’s his numbers just don’t scream elite player. He had some very good seasons, but he never truly dominated the league. To me, it is possible for a player to stick around too long and ruin the reputation he could have had. People don’t remember the great player that you were, instead the player who just sat on the bench as a reserve, trying to hold onto the game for as long as possible. I know I said last week that if a player was a dominant force of his time, the rest didn’t matter. I still think that applies. To me, however, Raines just wasn’t the dominating force. He was a great player who was one of the elite stolen bases artists, but that was about all he brought to the table. Good elsewhere, but not great, and that doesn’t get you my vote.

There you have it folks.  Feel free to weigh in and take a side.

Previous Hall of Fame Debates
Mark McGwire


Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

The Veterans Committee is going to vote on twenty players for induction into the Hall of Fame.  There are ten players pre-1943 and ten post-1943.  Today I profile Joe Gordon from that group.

Numbers

Playoffs:  5 Rings, 25 of 103 (.243), 5 Doubles, 1 Triple, 4 HRs, 16 RBI, 12 Walks, 2 SBs


Played 1938-1950 (11 seasons)
1566 Games
5707 At Bats
.268 Batting Average
.357 On Base %
.466 Slugging %
914 Runs
1530 Hits
264 Doubles
52 Triples
253 HRs
975 RBI
759 Walks
89 SBs

One .300+ Season
Two 100+ Run Seasons
Two 30+ Double Seasons
Two 30+ HR Seasons
Four 100+ RBI Seasons

Awards
1942 MVP
9 All-Star Game Appearances
MVP Votes in 8 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – Once
On-base % – Twice
Slugging % – 5 Times
OPS – 4 Times
Games – 5 Times (Led league in 1940 & 1941)
At Bats – 4 Times
Runs – 5 Times
Hits – 1 Time
Total Bases – 6 Times
Doubles – Once
Triples – Once
HRs – 9 Times
RBI – 5 Times
Walks – Twice
SBs – Once
Extra-Base Hits – 6 Times
Hit by Pitch – 4 Times

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:
Black Ink: Batting – 2 (587) (Average HOFer ≈ 27)
Gray Ink: Batting – 111 (187) (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting – 29.9 (274) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting – 87.5 (185) (Likely HOFer > 100)

I can’t figure out while they chose “Flash” Gordon.  Sure he won five World Series titles and was a bopper for a Second Baseman, but that doesn’t seem to be enough in my book.  His Hall of Fame Yardsticks support that claim.  He did miss two seasons for World War II, which I completely respect.  However, in the end I can’t look past his lack of dominance.  Even in his MVP season he did not have numbers that blew you away.  He never led the league in Average, Hits, Runs, Double, Triples, HRs, or RBI.

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
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)
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*
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
Dave Stieb
Mel Stottlemyre
Harry Stovey
Sam Thompson
Luís Tiant
Joe Torre
Alan Trammell

George Van Haltren
Arky Vaughan*
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
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 Famer


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