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The all things HOF 2008 thread


Moose Milligan

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No big deal in the grand scheme of things but how does Shawon Dunston and Todd Stottlemyre each get a voye for the hall-of-fame and Brady Anderson does not get even one vote? I know Brady wasn't going to get in and I am not surprised that Brady got no support but why Dunston and Stottlemyre.

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http://baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7025

Interesting thing about how "feared" Rice was in this article, actually in the free part:

I watched Rice's career and he was indeed the most feared slugger for a while. His career spanned a time when the best sluggers were leading the league with 35-40 HR's not 66-73. It was a different era.

Still, that doesn't in itself make him a HOF candidate. He is clearly a borderline candidate at best, like Gossage, imo.

BP, though, wasn't always actively campaigning against Rice like they have been in recent years. Here are some excerpts from BP articles in the late 90's by Woolner, Spira, Jaffe.

Jim Rice - An awesome slugger at his peak, Rice fell short of having Hall of Fame type career achievements, and that makes him a marginal candidate for Cooperstown. During the period that Rice was at the top of his game, he slugged .593, .600 and .596 in consecutive years. But Rice never again reached those heights, slugging over .500 only twice more in his career. As a result, his career numbers are not so awesome, especially in the context of having played half his games in Fenway Park. He wasn't known as much of a contributor away from the plate, though he did master playing the Fenway left field wall quite well, and his arm was generally effective. I can't quite say I'd vote for Rice, but his candidacy deserves careful consideration.
I've made my case for Jim Rice before, and I'd vote for him.

Wrap-up

My ballot ends up being:

Winfield

Whitaker

Rice

Carter

Blyleven

John

Guidry

Gossage

Sutter

Rice was thought of as the premier slugger in the AL from the late '70s into the mid '80s, putting up some monster seasons for the Red Sox. Besides winning the MVP award in 1978, he placed in the top five in balloting six times. That 1978 season, in which he racked up 406 total bases, was the most in a 50-season span from 1949-1998. Like Murphy, he got a big boost from his park; Retrosheet shows him hitting .320/.374/.546 with 208 HR in Fenway, .277/.330/.459 with 174 HR on the road. Again like Murphy, his career fell off the table in his early 30s--he was a shadow of himself once he turned 34, and was done at 36. Despite his outstanding 1978, his five-year peak was pretty low; he surrounded his 1977-79 seasons, in which he was 7.5-10 wins above replacement, with four ordinary ones, 3.8-5.0, such that it's his mid-career resurgence (1982-1986) which scores better. Another surprise: while he was thought of as mediocre defensively, his FRAA numbers are right in line with his ballot cohorts.
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Whats the record for lowest percentage of the vote in their first year eligible to eventually make it into the HOF?

Its a joke that Raines and Blylevin aren't in. These voters should be ashamed of themselves. A complete bunch of idiots.

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You do know that they record the results of postseason games, right? :P

I know a lot of folks believe that Morris "pitched to the score" but people have gone back and looked at the boxscores and his ERA in close games was nearly identical to his ERA in not-so-close games.

I know. What I meant was in the career totals. It is a separate record.

I never believed he pitched to the score. I just think he is one of those who was better than the numbers show.

But, he was the first real workhorse/ace type who pitched his entire career against a DH. Look at the numbers of CG's. In hindsight, maybe he would have been better off asking out of games and handing it to the bullpen.

He was always the best pitcher on his team. Great postseason success. Always considered one of the best in the league, etc..

I know I am in the minority based on his voting totals to date.

I think he would fare well in that test that Bill James concocted several years back.

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I watched Rice's career and he was indeed the most feared slugger for a while. His career spanned a time when the best sluggers were leading the league with 35-40 HR's not 66-73. It was a different era.

Still, that doesn't in itself make him a HOF candidate. He is clearly a borderline candidate at best, like Gossage, imo.

If Gossage is a borderline case, at best, then the list of currently eligible HOF relievers from 1876-present is Hoyt Wilhelm.

Gossage has a good case for being the 2nd-best reliever in history before Rivera muddied the water.

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Whats the record for lowest percentage of the vote in their first year eligible to eventually make it into the HOF?

Its a joke that Raines and Blylevin aren't in. These voters should be ashamed of themselves. A complete bunch of idiots.

I don't know what the record is, but Bruce Sutter got 23.9% of the vote in 1994, his first year.

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By the way, here's the vote totals:

Rich "Goose" Gossage 466 (85.8%)Jim Rice 392 (72.2%)Andre Dawson 358 (65.9%)Bert Blyleven 336 (61.9%)Lee Smith 235 (43.3%)Jack Morris 233 (42.9%)Tommy John 158 (29.1%)Tim Raines 132 (24.3%)Mark McGwire 128 (23.6%)Alan Trammell 99 (18.2%)Dave Concepcion 88 (16.2%)Don Mattingly 86 (15.8%)Dave Parker 82 (15.1%)Dale Murphy 75 (13.8%)Harold Baines 28 (5.2%)Rod Beck 2 (0.4%)Travis Fryman 2 (0.4%)Robb Nen 2 (0.4%)Shawon Dunston 1 (0.2%)Chuck Finley 1 (0.2%)David Justice 1 (0.2%)Chuck Knoblauch 1 (0.2%)Todd Stottlemyre 1 (0.2%)Brady Anderson 0Jose Rijo 0.

Raines at 24.3% is pure, unvarnished madness. Raines almost equal to a guy who 50% of the voters won't touch because of PED suspicions is crazy. Raines with fewer votes than Dawson shows a fundamental misunderstanding of value in baseball.

Whoever voted for Stottlemyre, Fryman, Duston, and Beck needs to have their heads examined. They all need to be beaten about their heads and necks with cardboard tubes if they didn't have about 15 names on their ballots. A vote for Shawon Dunston is either a joke vote for somebody's favorite player, or an endorsement for a 3000-player Hall.

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By the way, here's the vote totals:
Rich "Goose" Gossage 466 (85.8%)Jim Rice 392 (72.2%)Andre Dawson 358 (65.9%)Bert Blyleven 336 (61.9%)Lee Smith 235 (43.3%)Jack Morris 233 (42.9%)Tommy John 158 (29.1%)Tim Raines 132 (24.3%)Mark McGwire 128 (23.6%)Alan Trammell 99 (18.2%)Dave Concepcion 88 (16.2%)Don Mattingly 86 (15.8%)Dave Parker 82 (15.1%)Dale Murphy 75 (13.8%)Harold Baines 28 (5.2%)Rod Beck 2 (0.4%)Travis Fryman 2 (0.4%)Robb Nen 2 (0.4%)Shawon Dunston 1 (0.2%)Chuck Finley 1 (0.2%)David Justice 1 (0.2%)Chuck Knoblauch 1 (0.2%)Todd Stottlemyre 1 (0.2%)Brady Anderson 0Jose Rijo 0.

Raines at 24.3% is pure, unvarnished madness. Raines almost equal to a guy who 50% of the voters won't touch because of PED suspicions is crazy. Raines with fewer votes than Dawson shows a fundamental misunderstanding of value in baseball.

Whoever voted for Stottlemyre, Fryman, Duston, and Beck needs to have their heads examined. They all need to be beaten about their heads and necks with cardboard tubes if they didn't have about 15 names on their ballots. A vote for Shawon Dunston is either a joke vote for somebody's favorite player, or an endorsement for a 3000-player Hall.

Every year there are joke/favorite votes at the bottom of the ballot. I don't see it as a big deal as long as it isn't a year where there are ten deserving candidates (and there almost never are).

Agree with everything you say about Raines, though.

At least Goose finally got in. Makes me feel like we're getting somewhere, at least. Though it is very disappointing to think that Rice and Dawson could go in ahead of Blyleven and that it could take ten or more years (see Sutter's experience) for Raines.

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Raines at 24.3% is pure, unvarnished madness. Raines almost equal to a guy who 50% of the voters won't touch because of PED suspicions is crazy. Raines with fewer votes than Dawson shows a fundamental misunderstanding of value in baseball.

I don't disagree with you, but is anybody really surprised that Raines got a low total this year?

We're about the same age Drungo, and I grew up understanding (without necessarily agreeing) that first ballot election was an honor reserved for only the greatest of the great. Guys with an overwhelming case that you just couldn't question.

Guys who DID NOT make it on the first try include Joe Dimaggio, Rogers Hornsby, Yogi Berra, Harmon Killebrew, Mel Ott, Carl Hubbell, Eddie Mathews & Jimmie Foxx.

Worthy as he is, Raines has never been perceived as one of those 'no doubt' guys. First ballot enshrinees have the gold standard counting stats like 3000 hits, 500 homers...

Unlike SG, I believe Raines' time will come. I just can't work up any real indignation that it wasn't today.

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Guys who DID NOT make it on the first try include Joe Dimaggio, Rogers Hornsby, Yogi Berra, Harmon Killebrew, Mel Ott, Carl Hubbell, Eddie Mathews & Jimmie Foxx.

Well, that goes way beyond silly. I understand the thing where nobody's unanimous, just to protect the holy status of The Few. (Same thing happened to James Monroe when he was elected prez unanimously: it was during the "Era of Good Feeling" after the entire Right Wing had self-destructed due to a combination of crooked and unpatriotic shenanigans, so it was no contest, but somebody voted against Monroe in the Electoral College anyway, just to protect George Washington's status as the only guy to get every electoral vote.) So, I don't mind the not-unanimous part. But keeping (most of) those guys out for a year seems downright bizarre.

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I don't disagree with you, but is anybody really surprised that Raines got a low total this year?

We're about the same age Drungo, and I grew up understanding (without necessarily agreeing) that first ballot election was an honor reserved for only the greatest of the great. Guys with an overwhelming case that you just couldn't question.

Guys who DID NOT make it on the first try include Joe Dimaggio, Rogers Hornsby, Yogi Berra, Harmon Killebrew, Mel Ott, Carl Hubbell, Eddie Mathews & Jimmie Foxx.

Worthy as he is, Raines has never been perceived as one of those 'no doubt' guys. First ballot enshrinees have the gold standard counting stats like 3000 hits, 500 homers...

Unlike SG, I believe Raines' time will come. I just can't work up any real indignation that it wasn't today.

Most of those no-brainers weren't voted in on the first try because the voting rules were different, and because there were many, many more eligible players in the early years. Hornsby was eligible at a time when there were only, what, a dozen guys in the Hall out of the first 80 years of pro ball?

Back then votes were often like the primary elections we're going through right now, except you had to get 75% of the vote to get in. Would anybody ever be nominated for President if Huckabee, Obama, Hillary, etc had to go through this same process but had to get 75% of the vote? If it's 1950 and your ballot has 40 or 50 guys on it who eventually went in don't you think it's unlikely that 200 or 300 writers would all pick the same six or eight names? Somebody like Mel Ott looks like a first-ballot guy today, but maybe not if he's fighting with Buck Ewing, Grover Alexander, Lou Gehrig, etc.

Plus, IIRC, they didn't even have the five year retirement rule early on, so guys like DiMaggio got some votes the year they retired, but some writers waited several years. It's always been a poorly-designed system, even more so 50 or 60 years ago.

As you can probably tell I don't think much of this idea that first year elections are reserved for inner-circle guys. If you're a HOFer in 2011, you're a HOFer when you're first eligible in 2008.

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Well, that goes way beyond silly. I understand the thing where nobody's unanimous, just to protect the holy status of The Few. (Same thing happened to James Monroe when he was elected prez unanimously: it was during the "Era of Good Feeling" after the entire Right Wing had self-destructed due to a combination of crooked and unpatriotic shenanigans, so it was no contest, but somebody voted against Monroe in the Electoral College anyway, just to protect George Washington's status as the only guy to get every electoral vote.) So, I don't mind the not-unanimous part. But keeping (most of) those guys out for a year seems downright bizarre.

There are stories behind most, if not all, of those guys. For all but Berra and Killebrew, the story was that there was still a glut of guys essentially "waiting their turn." The Hall was still young, even in the mid-50s when DiMaggio was waiting.

I'm not sure what happened to Yogi other than to say that maybe people weren't yet looking at offensive value at different positions yet, so his contributions didn't look as good and he didn't look like a first ballot guy.

Killebrew was basically a repeat of DiMaggio. He waited and watched Gibson, Robinson, Aaron, Robinson, and Marichal go in first.

The real issue is less that voters don't want to honor people on the first ballot and more that they don't want to have more than two or three guys go in at one time.

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