Cooperstown Chronicles – George Kell

Jun 28, 2008

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

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


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. 
Baseball Library

Past Chronicles
Roberto Alomar
Richie Ashburn*
Harold Baines

Albert Belle
Pete Browning
Jim Bunning *
Bert Byleven
Joe Carter
Orlando Cepeda*
Rocky Colavito
Dave Concepcion
David Cone
Larry Corcoran
Mike Cuellar
George Davis*
Andre Dawson
Larry Doby*
Bobby Doerr
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Dwight Evans
Rick Ferrell*
Chuck Finley
Steve Finley
Nellie Fox*
John Franco

Gary Gaetti
Steve Garvey
Luis Gonzalez
Dwight Gooden
Mark Grace
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Ron Guidry
Keith Hernandez
Orel Hershiser
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Gil Hodges
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Tommy John
Jim Kaat
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Jerry Koosman
Barry Larkin
Tony Lazzeri*
Mickey Lolich
Ernie Lombardi*
Fred Lynn
Sherry Magee

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

Mark McGwire
Bid McPhee
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
Boog Powell
Tim Raines
Willie Randolph
Pee Wee Reese
Jim Rice
Phil Rizzuto*
Brooks Robinson*
Pete Ro$e
Jimmy Ryan
Ron Santo
Curt Schilling
Red Schoendienst* (Player/Manager)
Ted Simmons
Enos Slaughter
Lee Smith
Rusty Staub
Dave Stieb
Harry Stovey
Alan Trammell
George Van Haltren
Arky Vaughan*
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
Frank Viola
Lou Whitaker
Bernie Williams
Vic Willis*
Maury Wills 
* Signifies actual Hall of Famer

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9 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. BraystreetLad
    September 19th, 2008 at 12:00 pm #

    Kell and Harvey Kuenn have virtually identical statistics,but when was
    the last time you heard someone say they thought ol’ Harv should be

  2. LestersLegends
    September 19th, 2008 at 12:03 pm #

    good point.

  3. Donnie Kell
    February 13th, 2009 at 3:42 am #

    George Kell is my cousin. And for someone to have 10 al-star appearences is amazing considering the life of a baseball player is about 12 years. It was his glove, not his bat that erned him that right. However, beating the great Ted Williams for a batting title didn’t hurt. He didn’t play for money like the players of today do. He played for the love of the game.

  4. LestersLegends
    February 13th, 2009 at 6:17 am #

    Thanks for sharing your story Doonie.

  5. BraystreetLad
    February 13th, 2009 at 10:44 am #

    Well,Donnie,I’m NOT saying George WASN’T a very good to great player-he
    did make ten All-Star games,batted .303 in his career,and was an excel-
    lent third sacker.(And an enjoyable play-by-play man as Tigers TV an-
    nouncer from the 60′s to the 90′s.)My point is that Harvey Kuenn’s num-
    bers are comparable to George’s(though Kuenn was a bad shortstop who was
    moved to the outfield,and with little power despite his .300 or so BA,
    which are probably the reasons he isn’t in Cooperstown.That and his
    early death-Feb.28,1988 at 58.),and Kuenn is NEVER mentioned in
    HOF discussions.Incidentally,George’s brother Everett “Skeeter” was a
    1945 Philadelphia A,playing briefly in the infield with George.

  6. LestersLegends
    February 13th, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    thanks for adding Bray

  7. Cooperstown Chronicles - Jesse Haines | Fantasy Sports Blog
    May 7th, 2009 at 8:58 am #

    [...] 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 [...]

  8. erik
    August 10th, 2009 at 11:41 pm #

    thats funny that you dont believe that george kell was worthy as a player. are you kidding me? the guy was a great defensive player. a ten time all-star that could hit. i thoght defense meant something. the guy could hit unlike Ozzie Smith. Why is he the hall of fame? he couldnt hit and was an incomplete defensive player. you talk about omar visquel. those guys couldnt hit the broad side of a barn yet we cant wait to throw them in. you want to put edgar martinez in but he never had 2500 hits or 350 HRs and he was a DH in the steroid era

  9. LestersLegends
    August 11th, 2009 at 1:40 am #

    it’s called an opinion erik. everyone is entitled to one. Anyone who doesn’t think Ozzie Smith should be in the HOF doesn’t have much credibility in my book.

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