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I have a another one--Why is Hack Wilson in the HOF?


lint06

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I was looking up Lance Berkman's career stats on BR and noticed Hack Wilson comped to him, so I looked up Hack Wilson's numbers. How on earth is this guy a Hall of Famer? Okay, a 191 RBI season, and like 5/6 years of great OPS, but everything else looks, well, pedestrian.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/wilsoha01.shtml

What gives? Why is this guy a HOFer?

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I was looking up Lance Berkman's career stats on BR and noticed Hack Wilson comped to him, so I looked up Hack Wilson's numbers. How on earth is this guy a Hall of Famer? Okay, a 191 RBI season, and like 5/6 years of great OPS, but everything else looks, well, pedestrian.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/wilsoha01.shtml

What gives? Why is this guy a HOFer?

Many voters vote players in who dominated that respective players era, and yes, his longevity isn't there, but he lead the NL in homers 4 times in 5 years and had that 191 rbi season like you mentioned. He also had a season of over 150 rbi. He also had a career OPS+ of 144 which is 49th all time.

But you can't hate the writers on his election. If you look under his biographical info it says he was elected by the veterans committee in 1979. So 45 years after he retired, his peers voted him in. If fellow players think you should be in the HOF, then you belong in the HOF.

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... If fellow players think you should be in the HOF, then you belong in the HOF.

Unless you're one of Frisch's buddies which he pushed through when he chaired the veterans committee.

Half the players in the HOF have questionable credentials which could be challenged on one basis or another. That's one of the reasons why I think keeping Pete Rose out is silly. Of course, if they want to wait until Pete is dead before electing him, I have no issue with denying him that satisfaction. I would have preferred to see Buck O'Neill be recognized while he was still alive.

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Hack Wilson is in the Hall of Fame because he once had 190 (or 191) RBI in a season, along with the fact that something like 1/3 of the plate appearances from the late 20s and early 30s were Hall of Famers.

MR alluded to being a buddy of Frankie Frisch, and really that's all it took when he ran the Veterans' Committee in the 60s and 70s. They inducted an obscene number of his teammates and opponents from his playing days. He was definitely one of these "everything was better in my day" guys, and made the Hall reflect that. Most of the crazy, head-scratching inductees are from this era.

It's not a stretch to say that Brady Anderson had a better career than Hack Wilson. If you inducted everyone at or above Hack's level there would be about 1000 players in the Hall. He had a short career, cut off by the bottle, and even his peak was super inflated by playing in Wrigley Field in a huge hitter's era. His 1930 season, where he hit .356-56-191, looks pretty spectacular, right? It was really good, but the Cubs had five regulars hit .335 or better and five regulars with at least a .404 OBP. As a team they had an .859 OPS, and they finished in 2nd place. Tony Batista would have driven in 150 runs batting cleanup for them.

A lot of people want to keep Albert Belle out of the Hall because he was a drunken jerk who had a short career. Hack Wilson was a similar person, not quite the hitter, and had 1100 fewer plate appearances.

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I'd put him in the Hall just for this classic play:

Jul 4, 1934 - When Dodgers manager Casey Stengel comes out to the mound to remove P Boom Boom Beck from the game in Philadelphia's Baker Bowl‚ the frustrated Beck turns and fires the ball at the tin wall in RF. Dodgers OF Hack Wilson‚ not paying attention to the happenings‚ hears the ball clang off the wall‚ and hurries to retrieve it. He then fires a strike to 2B to prevent the imaginary runner from advancing.
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I think if you've got a major MLB record, you deserve to be in the HoF. Maybe Wilson was put in too soon since the record could have been broken in the following years, but I do believe he should be in.

Question...let's say Danny Tartabul (one of Wilson's comps) had knocked in 195 RBI's in 1993, would he be in the HoF?

Even though the rest of his career doesn't warrant it, he'd have one of the big records, so I would put him in.

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Hack Wilson is in the Hall of Fame because he once had 190 (or 191) RBI in a season, along with the fact that something like 1/3 of the plate appearances from the late 20s and early 30s were Hall of Famers.

MR alluded to being a buddy of Frankie Frisch, and really that's all it took when he ran the Veterans' Committee in the 60s and 70s. They inducted an obscene number of his teammates and opponents from his playing days. He was definitely one of these "everything was better in my day" guys, and made the Hall reflect that. Most of the crazy, head-scratching inductees are from this era.

It's not a stretch to say that Brady Anderson had a better career than Hack Wilson. If you inducted everyone at or above Hack's level there would be about 1000 players in the Hall. He had a short career, cut off by the bottle, and even his peak was super inflated by playing in Wrigley Field in a huge hitter's era. His 1930 season, where he hit .356-56-191, looks pretty spectacular, right? It was really good, but the Cubs had five regulars hit .335 or better and five regulars with at least a .404 OBP. As a team they had an .859 OPS, and they finished in 2nd place. Tony Batista would have driven in 150 runs batting cleanup for them.

A lot of people want to keep Albert Belle out of the Hall because he was a drunken jerk who had a short career. Hack Wilson was a similar person, not quite the hitter, and had 1100 fewer plate appearances.

I don't disagree vociferously, or anything. But Hack's 144 OPS+ is better than (or at least equal to) Belle's 143, no? For all the talk about hitter's eras and Wrigley and whatnot, I thought that OPS+ was adjusted? Is it not? I do know that Wilson is top-50 all time in career adjusted OPS+.

And I guess I don't understand how Brady had anything other than a longer career than Wilson.

Baseball-Reference has his HOF indicators at:

Black Ink Batting - 31 (56), Average HOFer ≈ 27

Gray Ink Batting - 110 (193), Average HOFer ≈ 144

Hall of Fame Monitor Batting - 100 (150), Likely HOFer ≈ 100

Hall of Fame Standards Batting - 39 (155), Average HOFer ≈ 50

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The thing that shocks me the most is that he was only 5'6". It seems crazy to me that a guy that short could have so much power.

He was also 200+ pounds and had size 6 feet.

He isn't a HOF, IMO.....but I am one of the ones that wants a very tiny HOF.

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I think if you've got a major MLB record, you deserve to be in the HoF. Maybe Wilson was put in too soon since the record could have been broken in the following years, but I do believe he should be in.

Question...let's say Danny Tartabul (one of Wilson's comps) had knocked in 195 RBI's in 1993, would he be in the HoF?

Even though the rest of his career doesn't warrant it, he'd have one of the big records, so I would put him in.

That's funny you mention that, b/c not many people know that Roger Maris is not in the HoF. He is the only player eligible for the HoF to win the MVP multiple times and not be in the HoF. But he played 12 seasons and 22% of his career home runs came in the one season.

But if you use the Gray Ink/Black Ink that BR uses and Lucky Jim referenced:

Black Ink Batting - 18 (124), Average HOFer ≈ 27

Gray Ink Batting - 57 (434), Average HOFer ≈ 144

Hall of Fame Monitor Batting - 85 (202), Likely HOFer ≈ 100

Hall of Fame Standards Batting - 22 (532), Average HOFer ≈ 50

So by BR's standards, Roger Maris is not a HoFer even if he did blast 61 in a season. To me I would rather have the HoF constructed similar to what the ESPNs Sports Guy suggested. Have it as a pyramid, with 4 levels and the top 40 ever in the top level, and 60 in the next level and so on down. A player may be inducted into the top level when they retire, but then 20 years later maybe bumped down to the next level.

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I think if you've got a major MLB record, you deserve to be in the HoF. Maybe Wilson was put in too soon since the record could have been broken in the following years, but I do believe he should be in.

Question...let's say Danny Tartabul (one of Wilson's comps) had knocked in 195 RBI's in 1993, would he be in the HoF?

Even though the rest of his career doesn't warrant it, he'd have one of the big records, so I would put him in.

I don't agree here. If a fellow plays ten years, has one monster year and knocks in 195, he doesn't go in the HOF. One record, no matter the record, doesn't get you in the HOF. Even if some guy dings 80 homers, 200 RBI, with a .403 BA one year and the rest of his years are abysmal because of injury or something, he doesn't make it in for me.

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I don't agree here. If a fellow plays ten years, has one monster year and knocks in 195, he doesn't go in the HOF. One record, no matter the record, doesn't get you in the HOF. Even if some guy dings 80 homers, 200 RBI, with a .403 BA one year and the rest of his years are abysmal because of injury or something, he doesn't make it in for me.

Of course he'd have to have some other good seasons. But you're right. It's not a black/white issue.

In the back of my head I thought Maris wasn't in the HoF, and was just about to look it up to be sure.

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I don't disagree vociferously, or anything. But Hack's 144 OPS+ is better than (or at least equal to) Belle's 143, no? For all the talk about hitter's eras and Wrigley and whatnot, I thought that OPS+ was adjusted? Is it not? I do know that Wilson is top-50 all time in career adjusted OPS+.

And I guess I don't understand how Brady had anything other than a longer career than Wilson.

Baseball-Reference has his HOF indicators at:

OPS+ doesn't adjust for the quality of baseball being played at the time. Hack played in a segregated league, with primitive minors, no draft, many MLB-quality players hanging out in the PCL or the IL or the AA, and "scouting" often went something like Connie Mack's brother just happened to see you playing in the Three-I league in Davenport, IA, and that's how you ended up as the A's utility guy for six years.

It's much easier to lead the league in stuff when there's only eight teams in the league, and the league is put together as I described in the last paragraph.

Hack's WARP3: 42.8

Brady's: 45.0

WARP3 adjusts for the quality of the competition.

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That's funny you mention that, b/c not many people know that Roger Maris is not in the HoF. He is the only player eligible for the HoF to win the MVP multiple times and not be in the HoF. But he played 12 seasons and 22% of his career home runs came in the one season.

Dale Murphy is mad you forgot him.

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