A discussion I’ve been having with a great baseball mind has led me to profile Jim Edmonds. 

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI


 
The Numbers
1925 Games
7708 At Bats
.284 Batting Average
.528 Slugging %
.905 OPS
132 OPS+
1881 Hits
1207 Runs
414 Doubles
25 Triples
382 HRs
1176 RBIs
974 Walks
65 SBs

Five .300 Seasons
Four 100+ Run Seasons
Seven 30+ Double Seasons
Five 30+ HR Seasons
Four 100+ RBI Seasons

World Series:  2 World Series, 1 Ring, 64 Games, 230 At Bats, 63 Hits (.274), 33 Runs, 16 Doubles, 13 HRs, 43 RBIs, 30 Walks  

Awards
4-time All-Star
8 Gold Gloves
1 Silver Slugger
MVP Votes in 6 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – Once
On-Base % – 3 Times
Slugging % - 3 Times
OPS – 3 Times
At Bats – Once
Runs – 3 Times
Hits – Once
Doubles – Once
Home Runs – 4 Times
RBIs – Twice
Walks – 4 Times
Extra-Base Hits – Twice
Intentional Walks – Twice

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:

Gray Ink Batting - 60 (407), Average HOFer ≈ 144
Hall of Fame Monitor Batting - 88 (183), Likely HOFer ≈ 100
Hall of Fame Standards Batting - 40 (144), Average HOFer ≈ 50
  
He certainly belongs in the Rawlings Gold Glove Hall of Fame because of his defensive prowess, but I’m on the fence for Cooperstown.  He did have a stretch of greatness from 1995-2005 (throwing out 1999 when he was limited to 55 games), where he averaged 99 Runs, 32 HRs, and 93 RBIs.  He collected all eight of his Gold Gloves during that stretch meaning he was one of the most complete players in the league for a decade.  He also had his share of postseason success in the second half of his career.  It would be easier to induct him if he reached 2000 Hits, but he had 1200 Runs and nearly 1200 RBIs.  He may have won even more Gold Gloves if it weren’t for Ken Griffey, Jr.  He doesn’t pass the name test for induction, but if you look into the numbers, I think he did just enough to get 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

Stan Coveleski* 

Mike Cuellar
Kiki Cuyler*
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

cooperstown-chronicles.jpg
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

I decided to profile Hall of Famer Nellie Fox, who was enshrined by the Veteran’s Committee in 1997.


 
The Numbers
Played 1947-1965 (19 Years)
2367 Games (85th All-time)
9232 At Bats (51st All-time)
.288 Batting Average
2663 Hits (61st All-time)
1279 Runs 
355 Doubles 
112 Triples
35 HRs
3347 Total Bases
790 RBI
76 SB 
719 Walks
142 Hit by Pitch (21st All-time)

Six .300+ Seasons
Four 100 Run Seasons
One 200 Hit Season (Five 190 Hit Seasons)
Four 10+ Triple Seasons

World Series (Lost):  6 Games, 9 for 24 (.375), 4 Runs, 3 Doubles, 4 Walks

Awards
1959 MVP
3 Gold Gloves
12 All-Star Game Appearances
MVP Votes in 10 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Games - 11 Times (Led league in ’54, ’55, ’57, ’58, ’59)
At Bats – 12 Times (Led league in ’52, ’55, ’56, ’59, ’60)
Batting Average – 8 Times
On Base % – Twice
Runs – Seven Times
Hits – Ten Times (Led league in ’52, ’54, ’57, ’58)
Total Bases - Four Times
Doubles - 5 Times
Triples - 11 Times (Led league in 1960)
Walks – Once
Intentional Walks – Twice
Hit by Pitch – 14 Times (Led league in 1955)
Stolen Bases – Once

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:
Black Ink: Batting – 23 (84) (Average HOFer ≈ 27)
Gray Ink: Batting – 131 (133) (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting – 30.9 (254) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting – 163.0 (67) (Likely HOFer > 100) 

Nellie was one of the hardest strikeouts the game has ever seen.  His 47.4 At Bats/Strikeout is the fourth best ever.  He was tops in the league at that stat 12 times, including 11 straight.  He never struck out more than 18 times in a season.  That’s a pretty amazing feat.  Almost as impressive is the fact that despite rarely striking out he didn’t ground into a ton of double plays.  Eight times he was in the top two in the league in hits.  He left his mark on the game with his hustle and consistent play.  He missed being elected by The Baseball Writers of America Association by 1 vote (actually if you rounded the percentage up he would have made it).  I can see why the VC put him in.  If I had a vote I would agree that he belongs in Cooperstown.
 
References
Baseball-reference.com

Past Chronicles

Roberto Alomar
Harold Baines
Albert Belle
Pete Browning
Bert Byleven
Joe Carter
Orlando Cepeda*
Rocky Colavito
Dave Concepcion
David Cone
Larry Corcoran
Mike Cuellar
George Davis*
Andre Dawson
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Dwight Evans
Chuck Finley
Steve Finley
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
Mickey Lolich
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
Lefty O’Doul
Tony Oliva
Al Oliver

Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Dave Parker
Wes Parker
Lance Parrish
Boog Powell
Tim Raines
Willie Randolph
Jim Rice
Phil Rizzuto*
Brooks Robinson*
Pete Ro$e
Jimmy Ryan
Ron Santo
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Rusty Staub
Dave Stieb
Harry Stovey
Alan Trammell
George Van Haltren
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
Frank Viola
Lou Whitaker
Bernie Williams
Maury Wills

* Signifies actual Hall of Famer

cooperstown-chronicles.jpg
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

I decided to profile Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski, who was enshrined by the Veteran’s Committee in 2001.

 
 Image courtesy of Icon SMI

The Numbers
Played 1956-1972 (17 Years)
2163 Games
7755 At Bats
.260 Batting Average
2016 Hits
769 Runs 
294 Doubles 
62 Triples
138 HRs
2848 Total Bases
853 RBI
27 SB 
447 Walks
110 Intentional Walks (89th All-time)

Playoffs:  12 Games, 10 for 31 (.323), 5 Runs, 2Doubles, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 Walks, 2 World Series Rings

Awards

1960 Babe Ruth Award
1960 Major League Player of the Year
8 Gold Gloves
7 All-Star Appearances
MVP Votes in 2 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Games – 6 Times (Led league in 1966 & 1967)
At Bats – 3 Times
Triples – 3 Times
Intentional Walks – 4 Times (Led league in 1962)

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:
Black Ink: Batting – 2 (587) (Average HOFer ≈ 27)
Gray Ink: Batting – 12 (1260) (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting – 14.9 (1025) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting – 71.0 (249) (Likely HOFer > 100)

Maz clearly isn’t worthy of the Hall of Fame based on his hitting ability.  He was unbelievable with his glove and had arguably the most dramatic Home Run in baseball history.  His 1960 World Series winning Home Run off Ralph Terry was legendary, especially when you consider the fact that he had a paltry .392 Slugging % and 11 HRs during the regular season that year.  Was that HR enough to put him in the Hall of Fame?  I say no.  However, when you factor in his defensive ability I can see the reasoning.  His range was what really set him apart from his peers.  He led the league in Range Factor 8 times.  His career RF at Second Base is 5.57.  Compare that to Roberto Alomar’s (4.73) to put into perspective just how good he was.  His .983 Fielding % is right on par with Robbie’s (.984) as well.  He set Major League records with 9 seasons leading the league in assists and 8 straight seasons leading the league in double plays.  Was his fielding enough to get him into the Hall of Fame?  Maybe, maybe not.  However, when you combine it with his Home Run and I can justify his inclusion in the Hall of Fame.  What a treat he must have been for Pirates seasons ticket holders during his reign.  If you asked me whether or not Maz deserved his Hall of Fame spot, I would answer with a resounding “Yes”.

References
Baseball-reference.com
Baseball-Statistics.com


Past Chronicles
Roberto Alomar
Harold Baines
Albert Belle
Pete Browning
Bert Byleven
Joe Carter
Orlando Cepeda*
Rocky Colavito
Dave Concepcion
David Cone
Larry Corcoran
Mike Cuellar
Andre Dawson
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Dwight Evans
Chuck Finley
Steve Finley
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
Mickey Lolich
Fred Lynn
Sherry Magee

Roger Maris
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Dennis Martinez
Edgar Martinez
Bobby Matthews
Don Mattingly
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Fred McGriff
Mark McGwire
Paul Molitor*

Jack Morris
Tony Mullane
Dale Murphy
Graig Nettles
Lefty O’Doul
Tony Oliva
Al Oliver

Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Dave Parker
Wes Parker
Lance Parrish
Boog Powell
Tim Raines
Willie Randolph
Jim Rice
Phil Rizzuto*
Brooks Robinson*
Pete Ro$e
Jimmy Ryan
Ron Santo
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Rusty Staub
Dave Stieb
Harry Stovey
Alan Trammell
George Van Haltren
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
Frank Viola
Lou Whitaker
Bernie Williams
Maury Wills

* Signifies actual Hall of Famer

cooperstown-chronicles.jpg
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

FeathersForever, a friend of mine from Sporting News, wanted me to profile Fred Lynn. 

The Numbers
Played 1974-1990 (17 Years)
1969 Games
6925 At Bats
.283 Batting Average
1960 Hits
1063 Runs 
388 Doubles 
43 Triples
306 HRs
3352 Total Bases
1116 RBI
72 SB 
857 Walks

Two 100 Run Seasons
Two 40 Double Seasons
One 30 HR Seasons
Two 100 RBI Seasons
Four .300 Seasons

Playoffs:  15 Games, 22 for 54 (.407), 8 Runs, 4 Doubles, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 5 Walks

Awards

1975 MVP
1975 Rookie of the Year
1982 ALCS MVP
1983 All-Star Game MVP
4 Gold Gloves
9 All-Star Appearances
MVP Votes in 4 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – 4 Times (1979 Batting Crown)
On-base % – 3 Times (Led league in 1979)
Slugging % – Four Times (Led league in 1975 & 1979)
OPS – Five Times (Led league in 1975 & 1979)
Runs – Twice (Led league in 1975)
Hits – Once
Total Bases – Twice
Doubles - 5 Times (Led league in 1975)
Triples – Twice
HR – Twice
RBI – Twice
Walks – Twice

Fred Lynn had a couple of fabulous seasons in 1975 & 1979.  If he put together six to eight more years in that class he would either be in the HOF already or I’d be pushing for him to get in.  As it turns out, he didn’t have more than 161 Hits, 89 Runs, 38 Doubles, 25 HR, or 86 RBI in any season other than his top two.  He was a solid player, and a great fielder, but that’s where the superlatives stop.  He can enjoy the fact that he was an All-Star more times than Paul Molitor, but he won’t be joining him on the walls of Cooperstown anytime soon.   

The Hall of Fame yardsticks support my assessment.
Black Ink: Batting – 15  (Average HOFer ≈ 27)
Gray Ink: Batting – 69  (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting – 33.3  (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting – 85.0  (Likely HOFer > 100)

References
Baseball-reference.com

Past Chronicles
Roberto Alomar
Harold Baines
Albert Belle
Pete Browning
Bert Byleven
Joe Carter
Orlando Cepeda*
Rocky Colavito
Dave Concepcion
David Cone
Larry Corcoran
Mike Cuellar
Andre Dawson
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Dwight Evans
Chuck Finley
Steve Finley
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
Mickey Lolich
Sherry Magee

Roger Maris
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Dennis Martinez
Edgar Martinez
Bobby Matthews
Don Mattingly
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Fred McGriff
Mark McGwire
Paul Molitor*

Jack Morris
Tony Mullane
Dale Murphy
Graig Nettles
Lefty O’Doul
Tony Oliva
Al Oliver

Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Dave Parker
Wes Parker
Lance Parrish
Boog Powell
Tim Raines
Willie Randolph
Jim Rice
Phil Rizzuto*
Brooks Robinson*
Pete Ro$e
Jimmy Ryan
Ron Santo
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Rusty Staub
Dave Stieb
Harry Stovey
Alan Trammell
George Van Haltren
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
Frank Viola
Lou Whitaker
Bernie Williams
Maury Wills

* Signifies actual Hall of Famer


Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties