Cooperstown Chronicles – Vern Stephens

Nov 23, 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 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

. .

5 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. jdm
    November 24th, 2008 at 1:02 am #

    Good call, as usual. He had some good years before the Boston years but, as you mentioned, it just comes up a little too short. I remember reading about Stephens a few years ago. I think he may have had some personal problems that brought about a premature downturn in his career.

  2. LestersLegends
    November 24th, 2008 at 6:12 am #

    jdm – if he had a couple more big years maybe.

  3. 2009 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot | Fantasy Sports Blog
    December 8th, 2008 at 9:20 am #

    [...] 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 [...]

  4. Cooperstown Chronicles - Waite Hoyt | 1800blogger
    May 20th, 2009 at 2:19 pm #

    [...] 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 [...]

  5. Cooperstown Chronicles - Kiki Cuyler | Fantasy Sports Blog
    May 28th, 2009 at 7:55 am #

    [...] 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 [...]

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