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.
One of the more consistent hitters in his era, Carlos Delgado was only named to two All Star teams due to the glut of top tiered First Basemen in his time. He had great power numbers (473 Home Runs and 1,512 Runs Batted In) and had a very good career OPS of .929 which sound like Hall of Fame numbers, but his career WAR of 44.3 while although good, is not on par with a lot of the current players they are looking at.

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The start of Vada Pinson’s career showed promise of a Hall of Fame career as he was a five tool baseball player.  So just how does a player who had this much promise, still compile over 2,700 hits and yet have what was considered a journeyman career?
How many times is an athlete described as “small in stature but big in heart”?  This analogy has been used more times than we can determine but far too often but it was an accurate assessment when describing the turn of the century ballplayer, Tommy Leach.
Although Wilbur Cooper is considered one of the best pitchers in the history of the Pittsburgh Pirates, it was so long ago, his legacy is often forgotten. From 1917 to 1924, Cooper was at his best and was in the top ten regularly in virtually every pitching category in the National League. He was the first left hander in the NL to hit 200 wins, but his overall total in that department did not exceed much more than that. Advanced metrics have given Cooper a bit more of a look again, but at the very least he should be remembered…
What more would Thurman Munson have accomplished had he not been killed in a plane crash on August, 2, 1979?  We will never know but prior to his untimely death, Munson’s accomplishments on the diamond were already sizable.
From 1953 to 1960 there were few in the majors who were as good a line drive hitter as Harvey Kuenn.  From that time period, he won the American League Rookie of the Year and won a Batting Title.  Considering that during the 50’s he only batted under .300 once, it was easy to see how even on average Detroit Tigers teams, he could still make eight All Star teams.
How is it possible to hit .361 and hit 41 home runs without anyone noticing?  The answer is to perform that incredible feat the same year that Roger Maris hit 61 Home Runs.
Talk about being forgotten.  Darrell Evans is one of the few eligible players to hit more than 400 Home Runs and not get elected to the Hall of Fame.  He actually never made it past the first ballot.  He only made the All Star Team twice.  He was a great fielder but Mike Schmidt won all the Gold Gloves at third.  He won a World Series with Detroit but was overshadowed by Whitaker, Trammell, Morris and Hernandez.  A lot of this may have happened because he had a lifetime Batting Average of .248.
History has given the pitching staff much of the credit for the World Series Runs of the Baltimore Orioles in 1966 and 1970, but it was the heavy hitting Boog Powell who was the favorite of the fans in Maryland.
How does a guy with a lifetime Batting Average of .250, who never received a single vote for the Hall even make this list? It reminds of us a band that fails to generate any real respect, but in retrospect is viewed as ahead of their time by the generation that follows. The metaphor is we are talking about is Jim Wynn, the man dubbed the “Toy Cannon”.
Lance Berkman was the third “Killer B” of the Houston Astros, though it was his Comeback Player of the Year season with St. Louis (that also netted him his only World Series Ring) that he might hold most dear.
If Baseball truly is an International game, then we would like to name Julio Franco as its Global Ambassador.
Frank Tanana won 240 career games, yet never seemed to be on the tip of the tongue when you think of all time great pitchers; or even really good ones. Yet, a closer look at the Michigan native shows a Pitcher whose career was a lot better than you may initially think.
While Miguel Tejada is a former MVP in Major League Baseball he is also known PED user; a label that has kept PED users out of the Hall of Fame. Forgetting that, Tejada is a man with a 46.9 bWAR and a multi-time Silver Slugger Award winner and retired close to 2,500 Hits. The Dominican has numbers that are very good but realistically were not Hall of Fame level regardless of his PED use. Still, this is a former MVP, an accolade that can not be taken away.
Virtually every write up you will find on Rick Reuschel you find the word “portly”. He did have a stocky frame, and lived up to his “Big Daddy” nickname, but he was as athletic as they came. Frankly, we think there are better adjectives that should be thought of immediately when you think of Rick Reuschel
While Bobby Abreu is not considered by many to be a Hall of Fame baseball player, the fact remains that he is a very patient hitter with a high On Base Percentage who was a master of working the pitcher’s count.  He would finish his career a shade under 60 bWAR and 2,500 Hits and had a much better career than the average baseball fan realized.
In this era of the overpriced, overpampered, selfish athlete, we can’t help but like a player who was nicknamed “Mr. Team”.  This isn’t to say that Bob Elliott did not still rack up some impressive individual accolades as he certainly did just that.
Seriously, is this not the coolest name on this list?  Just that name alone would make him a star in any era.  Make no mistake, Shocker was a star, but as his best years were with the St. Louis Browns, he was often not in the spotlight despite having dominating seasons in the early 1920’s.
A slick hitting Second Baseman, who was pretty good on the field too, Cupid Childs was one of the top stars for the Cleveland Spiders and was one of the top leadoff hitters in the 1890’s