Cooperstown Chronicles – Carl Mays

Nov 8, 2008

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

. .

16 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. CK0712
    November 8th, 2008 at 8:28 pm #

    One thing that works against Carl is the fact that he’s the only pitcher to ever kill someone with a pitch.

    no way, that’s pretty hardcore!

  2. LestersLegends
    November 8th, 2008 at 9:47 pm #

    yeah, i guess he had a rep for brushing guys back, but claimed it wasn’t intentional.

  3. medward
    March 19th, 2009 at 10:10 am #

    mays was better than the evil pitch makes him out to be. had he not killed chapman,who btw was a friend of his, he would have been HOF long ago. See haines, Ruffing, Hoyt, as HOF pitchers distinctly lesser than Mays.

  4. LestersLegends
    March 19th, 2009 at 10:13 am #

    i don’t see it. Numbers are numbers and Mays didn’t quite have them.

  5. Jerry Foster
    April 14th, 2009 at 8:04 pm #

    btw Medward you’re right. They were friends. Hard to measure a man by one pitch that he threw when it comes to eliminating him from the HOF. He was bothered by this for entire rest of his life until he passed away in California in 1971. If you don”t think he qualifies measure him up against a pitcher of todays era. He was a 20 game winner in both Leagues. 2.92 ERA (Tied for 71st in all of baseball). How many Pitchers have played the game total (10,000 ???? or more) Lifetime Batting average .268 of 1199 at bats. The Man truly loved the game for what it was not for what was in it for him like it seems a lot of Players & their agents are approaching it in todays era. I should know , he was my Great Grandfather.

  6. LestersLegends
    April 14th, 2009 at 9:09 pm #

    That is cool. He did have a great ERA, but that came with the era.

  7. Cooperstown Chronicles - Jesse Haines | 1800blogger
    May 7th, 2009 at 9:01 am #

    [...] (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 [...]

  8. Cooperstown Chronicles - Stan Coveleski :: Elites TV
    May 13th, 2009 at 1:03 pm #

    [...] (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 [...]

  9. Cooperstown Chronicles - Waite Hoyt | 1800blogger
    May 20th, 2009 at 2:07 pm #

    [...] (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 [...]

  10. Cooperstown Chronicles - Kiki Cuyler | Fantasy Sports Blog
    May 28th, 2009 at 7:52 am #

    [...] (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 [...]

  11. Mays2150
    November 12th, 2009 at 4:45 pm #

    Regardless of my family affilitation, I think the numbers are fine and that Carl has been robbed of a great honor while living and continues to be cheated in death. In those days everyone used to brush people off the plate, I think that the stigma of “The Pitch” he could not take back have rendered everyone blind to the fact that He was one of the greatest pitchers of his time, and that time was so much more productive for producing quality yet “odd” legends. Cooperstown Chronicles? Are you on the committee that casts the votes? Carl was just inducted into the Missour Sports Hall of Fame and based on the memories and support of a community that loved him, I would say that all the books are wrong about Carl. He instilled baseball in everyone he met and was loved by all who really took the time to know him around here, and unfortunately that isn’t in the books with his honor worthy stats.

  12. LestersLegends
    November 12th, 2009 at 5:35 pm #

    Not on any committee. Just a baseball fan. I respect your position, but his numbers just don’t stack up in my mind.

  13. joe
    June 14th, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    If “numbers are numbers” and Hal Neuhauser is in Cooperstown then Carl Mays sure as hell deserves to be in the HOF.

  14. joe
    June 14th, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Further, didn’t Newhouser put up some of his ‘numbers’ during WWII (esp. 1945) when the great war must’ve had a “talent-drop” impact on the game….to the extent that the perennial doormats, the St. Louis Browns won the ’43 AL pennant?

    I mean, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio et al missed a number of years in the ’41 – ’45 era.

    Mention is made above about Mays positives, but only a vague one-sentence “opinion” of his “shortcomings.” Landis was a racist jerk who refused to allow players to play exhibitions vs. Negro League players and baseball continues to perpetuate a “one-sided” picture of him as some sort of a squeaky clean hero. The same sanctimonious b.s. applies to Mays–he beaned Chapman and as a result, people (all of whom never saw him pitch) are goin’ to judge his more-than-deserving “numbers” as borderline at best? Your rhetoric, your dismissive choice of words really was/is quite telling. Thus isn’t baseball scholarship–your text above reads more like an emotionally-fueled grudge. A shame.

    Mays’ winning percentage versus Newhouser’s winning percentage? Not even close.

    Mays’ ERA vs. Newhouser’s ERA? Not even close.

    Now WHOSE numbers are “boderline at best?” sheesh…..

  15. joe
    June 14th, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    Further, didn’t Newhouser put up some of his ‘numbers’ during WWII (esp. 1945) when the great war must’ve had a “talent-drop” impact on the game….to the extent that the perennial doormats, the St. Louis Browns won the ’43 AL pennant?

    I mean, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio et al missed a number of years in the ’41 – ’45 era.

    Mention is made above about Mays positives, but only a vague one-sentence “opinion” of his “shortcomings.” Landis was a racist jerk who refused to allow players to play exhibitions vs. Negro League players and baseball continues to perpetuate a “one-sided” picture of him as some sort of a squeaky clean hero. The same sanctimonious b.s. applies to Mays–he beaned Chapman and as a result, people (all of whom never saw him pitch) are goin’ to judge his more-than-deserving “numbers” as borderline at best? Your rhetoric, your dismissive choice of words really was/is quite telling. Thus isn’t baseball scholarship–your text above reads more like an emotionally-fueled grudge. A shame.

    Mays’ winning percentage versus Newhouser’s winning percentage? Not even close.

    Mays’ ERA vs. Newhouser’s ERA? Not even close.

    Now WHOSE numbers are “borderline at best?” sheesh…..

  16. LestersLegends
    June 14th, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    Mays has a better ERA, but his adjusted ERA ranks 121st of all time vs. Newhouser’s 39th ranking.

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