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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
As much as we keep studying Baseball, we can’t help but be amazed by the staggering amount of innings pitched by the pre 1900 hurlers. Would they look at us with a puzzled look if we went back in time and suggested a “pitch count”?
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.
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.
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…
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.
In the late 70’s Hall of Fame pitcher, Don Sutton famously noted that Steve Garvey was not the best player on the Dodgers, it was Reggie Smith. Garvey may have been the most popular, but Sutton was not alone in his assessment of Reggie Smith.
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 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”.
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.
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.

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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.
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.
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.