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The Hall of Not Famous Enough: Now in Conveniant Full-Post Form


BaltimoreTerp

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http://joeposnanski.blogspot.com/2011/04/hall-of-not-famous-enough.html

In any case, when I talk about the Hall of Not Famous Enough, I'm talking about something different: I am talking about players who upon close examination at around the level of the average Hall of Famer at his position but still got almost NO Hall of Fame consideration, not just from the voters but from the fans too. It's the second part that matters as much as the first. The point here is that these players got almost no Hall of Fame support, and there were barely a peep about it from the general public.
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Dale Murphy is the one who continues to baffle me. I hardly even hear any uproar over his lack of enshrinement. Five Gold Gloves, a stretch of complete dominance, high OBP, 398 HR... Sure he tailed off beginning in 1988 -- and perhaps he does not belong in the HOF -- but there should at least be some serious discussion, right? I'll take him over the Hawk.

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It baffles me greatly as to how Tim Raines is not in the Hall of Fame. He's probably some what recognized by the general public, but there's still a good number of people out there that probably haven't seen his numbers and just how good he was. He was the second best leadoff hitter of his generation, and that's quite a high honor when you consider he played in the same era as Ricky Henderson. Fantastic OBP, stole a ton of bases, and did so at a staggeringly successful rate. Had his health not started to let him down as he got older he would have gotten to 3,000 hits, at which point this conversation would probably be moot.

Alan Trammell is right there as well. His entire career was more or less spent in the shadow of someone else, the early part against Robin Yount, and later for years in the shadow of Ripken.

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It is completely maddening to me that Joe Tinker and Johnny Evers are in the Hall of Fame and Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker are not. Someone in Detroit should have written a poem/song about them.

Bobby Grich is always first on my list of guys who belong in Cooperstown, though.

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Dale Murphy is the one who continues to baffle me. I hardly even hear any uproar over his lack of enshrinement. Five Gold Gloves, a stretch of complete dominance, high OBP, 398 HR... Sure he tailed off beginning in 1988 -- and perhaps he does not belong in the HOF -- but there should at least be some serious discussion, right? I'll take him over the Hawk.

Murphy's problem is that his peak was very short. He didn't have a great year until he was 24 and his last really good season was at 31. Among players with at least 1000 career games in center field he's 36th in career WAR, below many eligible non-HOFers like Fred Lynn, Cesar Cedeno, Fielder Jones, Brett Butler, Willie Davis, Jimmy Wynn. By my count 12 of the top 25 players in the CF WAR standings aren't in the Hall (some eligible, some not yet), and Murphy is 36th. He's got a long line until he's got a case under the "best eligible player at his position who's not in".

It is completely maddening to me that Joe Tinker and Johnny Evers are in the Hall of Fame and Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker are not. Someone in Detroit should have written a poem/song about them.

Trammell and Whitaker are excellent candidates, fully deserving of enshrinement. But Tinker, Evers (and Chance) all ended up with career values fractions of a win below 50 WAR, and were the key members of the team that still holds the records for most wins in a 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5-year period. The Cubs of the 1900s were the 1970s O's of their time - almost every pitcher that pitched for them did far better than they did anywhere else, which is a sure sign of defensive greatness behind them.

There are 59 players who were good enough to play 1500+ games at shortstop. All but the bottom 6 or 8 were very good players. Tinker ranks 15th in WAR, ahead of guys like Campaneris, Herman Long, Miguel Tejada, Phil Rizzuto, Rabbit Maranville, even with HOFers Dave Bancroft and Luis Aparicio. Trammell ranks 7th.

Evers is 17th on the similar list for second basemen, ahead of HOFers Bobby Doerr, Nellie Fox, Red Schoendienst, Bill Mazeroski.

Maybe the poem helped them, but they have good HOF cases anyway.

Bobby Grich is always first on my list of guys who belong in Cooperstown, though.

Grich is a perfect storm of underratedness - walks, relatively low average, mid-range power, excellent defense just before ESPN.

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