46. Keith Hernandez

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46.  Keith Hernandez
  1. General
  2. Awards
  3. Career Stats
  • Born: October 20, 1953 in San Francisco, CA USA
  • Weight: 180 lbs.
  • Height: 6'0"
  • Bats: L
  • Throws: L
  • Debut: August 30, 1974
  • Final Game: July 24, 1990
  • Gold Glove - 1978
  • Gold Glove - 1979
  • Most Valuable Player - 1979
  • TSN All-Star - 1979
  • TSN Player of the Year - 1979
  • Gold Glove - 1980
  • Silver Slugger - 1980
  • TSN All-Star - 1980
  • Gold Glove - 1981
  • Gold Glove - 1982
  • Gold Glove - 1983
  • Gold Glove - 1984
  • Silver Slugger - 1984
  • TSN All-Star - 1984
  • Gold Glove - 1985
  • TSN All-Star - 1985
  • Gold Glove - 1986
  • TSN All-Star - 1986
  • Gold Glove - 1987
  • Gold Glove - 1988
 
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Just what would Keith Hernandez be most famous for?  Could it be for his eleven consecutive Gold Gloves?  How about his 1979 MVP?  The two World Series rings perhaps?  Maybe his tenacious play as a Met?  It could also be for his association with cocaine.  Likely, there are many who think of Keith Hernandez and remember that episode of Seinfeld instead.  Just as long as it isn’t for those terrible Just for Men commercials.

Although Keith Hernandez had a longer tenure with the Cardinals and won a World Series and MVP there, it can be easily argued that his best days were as a New York Met.  He embodied the party hard, play harder attitude and quickly became the leader of his second franchise.  Hernandez did not just win Gold Gloves, he reinvented the position.  It was virtually impossible to bunt on him and his judgments on the field were rarely wrong.  Hernandez was not a power hitter, but a very good contact hitter and showed a high On Base Percentage when it wasn’t the vogue statistic to have.

What has hampered Hernandez’ Hall of Fame case was the allegations in St. Louis that he was not a hustler (mostly made by his manager, Whitey Herzog) and was a drug abuser.  The latter did prove to be true, though it the former was also accurate it can only be imagined what numbers he would have put up.  Keith Hernandez likely left the ballot after nine years because of those issues but with the recent surge of sabremetrics, a look at Keith Hernandez should make him an interesting case for future consideration.

Should Keith Hernandez be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put him in! - 85.3%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 8.9%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 3.7%
No opinion. - 0.5%
No way! - 1.6%

The Bullet Points

  • Country of Origin: San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
  • Eligible In: Monday, 01 January 1996
  • Position: First Base
  • Played For: St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Cleveland Indians
  • Major Accolades and Awards: Most Valuable Player (1) (NL) (1979)
    5 Time All Star (1979, 1980, 1984, 1986 & 1987)
    Gold Glove (11) (NL) (1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987 & 1988)
    Silver Slugger (2) (NL) (1980 & 1984)
    Batting Title (1) (NL) (1979)
    Highest On Base Percentage (1) (NL) (1980)
    Most Runs Scored (2) (NL) (1979 & 1980)
    Most Doubles (1) (NL) (1979)
    World Series Rings (2) (St. Louis Cardinals, 1982 & New York Mets, 1986)
  • Other Points of Note: Other Top Ten MVP Finishes: (Won the 1979 NL MVP)
    (NL: 1984, 2nd), (NL: 1985, 8th) & (NL: 1986, 4th)
    7 Top Ten Finishes (Batting Average)
    8 Top Ten Finishes (On Base Percentage)
    3 Top Ten Finishes (Slugging Percentage)
    5 Top Ten Finishes (Runs Scored)
    4 Top Ten Finishes (Most Hits)
    8 Top Ten Finishes (Doubles)
    2 Top Ten Finishes (Triples)
    4 Top Ten Finishes (Runs Batted In)
    7 Top Ten Finishes (Walks)
    7 Top Ten Finishes (WAR for Position Players)
    5 Top Ten Finishes (OPS)
  • Notable All Time Rankings: 90.   Walks: 1,070
  • Vote Percentage Received for the Hall of Fame: 1996: 5.1
    1997: 9.5
    1998: 10.8
    1999: 6.8
    2000: 10.4
    2001: 8.0
    2002: 6.1
    2003: 6.0
    2004: 4.3
  • Should be Inducted As A: New York Met

Should Keith Hernandez be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put him in! - 85.3%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 8.9%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 3.7%
No opinion. - 0.5%
No way! - 1.6%

Comments   

0 #7 Darryl Tahirali 2017-09-14 22:10
Quoting John Roberts:
Speaking of bullish I think the Veteran's committee likes oustanding defenders who could hold there own at the plate(Santo, Mazerowski)

True for Santo but only half-true for Mazeroski.

Ron Santo was a glaring omission whose rectification was, unfortunately, posthumous as he had died two years before his 2012 election by the (then-)Golden Era Committee. Santo was always a great two-way player, a plus defender and clean-up hitter, whose failure to be elected by the BBWAA is one of the great modern oversights.

Bill Mazeroski may be the best defensive second baseman in MLB history, which is a valid reason to induct him into the Hall, but he hit about as what you'd expect a second baseman of his era to hit. In other words, it was nothing exceptional, and it may be his walk-off homer in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series that took on undue significance in his 2001 Veterans Committee election.

Mazeroski's HoF stats (Monitor, Standards, JAWS) are hardly exceptional--he ranks 50th in JAWS all-time for second basemen, the lowest ranking for any 2B inducted primarily as a player. (HOFers Miller Huggins and Bucky Harris are listed as 2Bs for JAWS purposes, but they were both VC inductees as managers, not players.)

Mazeroski's HOF induction is gratuitous but not egregious: I can see making the case for exceptional defenders at a strength defensive position such as second base. But I don't think the VC was bullish on Mazeroski's bat unless they were swayed by that historic home run.
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0 #6 Sean DeMarco SeanAKADeViLzzz 2016-10-08 11:06
11 Gold Gloves is insane! Also in the postseason he was productive even if his average was just .265 overall. He won 2 WS. He hit .300 or more 7 times and hit .290+ in many other years. He also had 10 seasons where he had 70 or more walks contributing to that wonderful OBP. He also didn't strikeout a whole lot either. He may not have been a power hitting first baseman like many think teams should have at the position but his teams still win division titles and WS so whatever. HOFer!
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0 #5 John Roberts 2015-07-30 02:05
Speaking of bullish I think the Veteran's committee likes oustanding defenders who could hold there own at the plate(Santo, Mazerowski)
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0 #4 eric kaplan 2015-05-26 02:00
keith belongs in the hall... he was always the smartest and best player whenever he was on the field.. he was certainly a difference maker... he made people realize how important it is to have a great fielder at 1st compared to just throwing a body out there.... not to mention how clutch of a player he was
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0 #3 John Smith 2015-04-30 04:31
Another reason Hernandez is not in the Hall of Fame is that the importance of defense at first base is underappreciate d. It is interesting that none of the top three leaders in Gold Gloves at first base, Hernandez, Mattingly and George Scott are in the Hall of Fame, while two of the top three in Gold Gloves at SS, Aparicio and Ozzie Smith are in even though neither Smith nor Aparicio could approach any of the mentioned first basemen in offense,
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0 #2 Committee Chairman -0001-11-30 00:00
My god..... Never even noticed that!
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+1 #1 Darryl Tahirali -0001-11-30 00:00
Brian Kenney on MLB Network's Clubhouse Confidential is bullish on Hernandez, but I think he falls just below the threshold. I wanted to comment on this, though:>> Just as long as it isn
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