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.
If you look at the Wikipedia article on Albert Belle you will find that the section on his controversies is longer than his accomplishments.  He fought with sportswriters, with fans, with other players and his temper was legendary.  So was his prowess with a bat.
The position of third base holds the least amount Hall of Famers in Baseball.  There however have been many great ballplayers at the “Hot Corner” and some even won the MVP award.  Ken Boyer was one such man as he won that coveted trophy in 1964.
Will Clark is a justifiable member of the Mississippi Sports and College Baseball Hall of Fame but it looks like the big one in Cooperstown will elude him as he failed to get past his first year of eligibility.  A look at his career makes you wonder why he couldn’t get past that elusive first ballot.
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.
With a magical season, a pair of exceptional ones and a few very good ones, Ron Guidry had an excellent career in Baseball all with the Yankees. Theoretically, “Louisiana Lightning” did everything you want to accomplish in a career as he won the Cy Young Award (and was in the hunt for a few others) and won the World Series, which he did twice. However the knock on Guidry, is that he was only a full time player for nine seasons, and though he does have won of the most impressive winning percentages in Baseball, his longevity is questioned in…
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.

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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.
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.
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.
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.
Omar Vizquel was considered one of the best defensive Shortstops of all time, earning eleven Gold Gloves and posting a career Defensive bWAR that is ranked in the top ten time.
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.
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.
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.
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…
It is strange to say that Willie Randolph played in a bit of a shadow as he was a long time Yankee but that is somewhat true.  He was in the shadow of other more flamboyant New York stars, and his strong defensive play never got him a Gold Glove as he played at the same time as Lou Whitaker or Frank White.  Hell, even his current Coaching career seems to overshadow his accomplishments on the diamond.  It shouldn’t though as Willie Randolph was a very good ballplayer.