Baseball

Established in 1936, and currently based in Cooperstown, New York, the Baseball Hall of Fame may be the most prestigious of any Sports Hall of Fame.  Although Baseball may have taken a backseat to Football in recent years, there is no doubt that Baseball’s version of the Hall of Fame is by far the most relevant and the most difficult to get enshrined in.  At present, a player has to receive seventy five percent of the votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America, which has proven to be no easy task.  Failing that, a player could be inducted by the Veterans committee, though few have been inducted this way.  Our list will focus on the players only, and although we could easily do a tally focusing on mangers, broadcasters or other vital personnel, as always it is far more enjoyable to discuss the merits of those on the field as oppose to those off of it.

Until Then, Let’s get some peanuts and cracker jacks and cast some votes of our own!

Sincerely,

The Not in Hall of Committee.
Marty Marion won the NL 1944 MVP based primarily on his leadership and fielding skills as opposed to anything he did with his lumber.  His victory is certainly a reminder that there is a lot more to baseball than sexy offensive stats.
If you win the Triple Crown in Baseball should be consider somewhat immortal right?  Well, if you do in the age before film and before Home Runs meant anything, that accomplishment becomes a hidden accolade.
Regardless of the era, it is an impressive feat to be a key member of a rotation for a decade.  The Chicago White Sox may not have won a World Series in the 50’s, but they were a good team and much of the success they did have, were through a big part of the pitching of Billy Pierce.
It is often the case for various Halls of Fame to discriminate based on the likeability of the candidate.  Carl Mays was not the necessarily the most liked player in his day, and his brushes with controversy probably pushed Mays on the opposite side of the bubble.
If the main criteria for the Hall is perseverance and effort than Rusty Staub should have been a first ballot Hall of Famer.  His hard work resulted in over 2,700 hits in a Major League career that many people who saw him early on would never have pegged him for an amount that high.
Many ball players are known for the clutch performances with their bat.  Graig Nettles certainly had many clutch hits in his long career, but he may have been known for having more clutch performances with his glove.
One of two things could happen when you play with a collection of superstars.  Either you get lost in the shuffle or you become incorrectly elevated among them.  Neither was the case for the Dave Concepcion who became nationally known playing along side Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench and Tony Perez, but deserved the attention that came with it.
For a seven year period, Johan Santana was regarded was regarded as one of the top Pitchers in Baseball, where he won the American League Cy Young Award Twice, winning the ERA Title three times and leading his league in WHIP four years in a row.
A converted third baseman, Bucky Walters took the mound later in his career but once he did he made up for lost time.  Walters would even win the MVP for his pitching prowess and was one of the rare hurlers who could be used often as a pinch hitter.
It seemed like Bobby Bonds was always in someone’s shadow.  As a kid breaking into the Giants he shared an outfield with Willie Mays.  In his final years, he remained a talented pro but was regulated to journeyman status bouncing around the league.  Currently, he is Barry’s father.  We prefer to think of him as one of the early prototypes to the modern baseball athlete.
Many closers failed to remain consistent for multiple seasons, but Billy Wagner was able to be one of the game’s most effective Relief Pitchers for a dozen years.  Coming up through the Astros system he would win in the closer’s job for Houston in 1997 and two years later he went to his first All Star Game.  That season (1999) he had 39 Saves with a WHIP of 0.777 and was tenth in bWAR for Pitchers, an incredible accomplishment for a Relief Pitcher.  2000 was bad for Wagner but he rebounded to have seven more 30 Save seasons over years…
Baseball Players are notorious for being superstitious.  We really don’t know if Bret Saberhagen consulted the Psychic Friends Network, but it always seemed curious that he performed significantly better in years that ended in odd numbers than he did in even ones.
You would think it would be hard to rank a Pitcher who once lost 20 games in a season on a list for Hall of Fame consideration. Actually, it wasn’t that hard at all. In the year that Jerry Koosman lost twenty games, his stat lines were actually decent. In fact, he led the National League in Strikeouts per Nine Innings that season; however the run support that he received from his woeful Mets was virtually non-existent. It wasn’t always that way, as he was the lefty half of a powerful combination (with Tom Seaver) that propelled the “Miracle Mets”…
Considered by baseball historians to be the best Third Baseman of the Deadball Era, Heinie Groh quietly won two World Series Rings; one controversially with the Reds in 1919 and another with the Giants in 1922. It was in Cincinnati that Groh had his best seasons, where he twice led the National League in On Base Percentage and was a hit and run machine. He was also considered amongst the best defensive player at his position in his era. This has garnered Heinie Groh a second look from a lot of modern baseball pundits as though his traditional accumulative stats…
What a year 1988 was for Orel Hershiser.  He didn’t just win the Cy Young that year, getting better to the point of being unstoppable as the season wound down.  He broke Don Drysdale’s consecutive scoreless innings record to end the regular season than went on to win three games in the post season (including one save) and propelled the Dodgers to a World Series win and won the World Series MVP in the process.  What a year!
Dave Stieb may have received World Series Ring with the Toronto Blue Jays when they won their first World Series in 1992, but the pitcher was at the tail end of his career and had little to do with the coveted trophy landing north of the border. He did however give Baseball fans the first legitimate reason to look there in the first place.
One of the main staples of this website is to discuss the overlooked.  We certainly are not the only ones to do this, as other websites and blogs discuss those who they feel are Hall of Fame worthy, but no matter how you slice it, it is hard to find anyone with more HOF credentials that has been completely abandoned than George Van Haltren.

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Maury Wills did not make the Major Leagues until he was 26 years old yet still managed to rack up over 2,000 hits in his career.  What numbers would he have put up if he cracked a big league roster earlier and would it have been enough to make him a member of the Hall of Fame?
Hoyt Wilhelm generally receives credit for being the game’s first great reliever.  History may eventually show that Wilhelm was not the only prototype for relievers as Roy Face deserves to be considered in that discussion too.