PDA

View Full Version : What constitutes a Hall of Famer, in your view?


soxinem1
01-14-2006, 03:07 PM
This topic seems to pop up everywhere before the voting season begins. I don't know about all you gals and guys, but the inconsistency of qualifications, as explained by BBWA voters over the years has had me puzzled for some time.

So if you had the opportunity, I'm curious to know what everyone thinks should be the top five (or maybe only) precursors for Hall of Fame induction.

churlish
01-14-2006, 03:43 PM
The most important thing is to dominate your position for 5+ years. IMO, the players who were very good for a long time don't deserve to be in (guys like Palmeiro and McGriff).

getonbckthr
01-14-2006, 04:24 PM
In my eyes you have to view it like this, compared to his peers in his era where was he? For example the 300 win plateau for pitchers might downsize for this era and future eras to around 225-250 wins. You look at homers and Rbi's obviously the last 15 years there have been a big boom. Then when you consider ballpark dimensions,true or false rumors regarding a juiced ball, steroids, lack of pitching depth, pinched or spread strike zones. Based on those factors judgements have to be made.
If I was a voter I would judge on these points:
PITCHER
W-L%, ERA . Meaning if you have a dominating record say 210-100 over 12 seasons with a 3.99 era your in. However if you go say 170-140 over 12 years but consistently had era's under 3.30 and a career era of like 3.00, then your great career era helps your poor record.
HITTER
500 hr's, .290 average, 100 rbi's/season, 5 gold gloves, 400 sb's.
The average helps categories like if you have around 450 hrs (Frank) but your career average is over .300 (Frank) the average boosts the Hr's. With guys like Pods and Crawford and Ichiro who are table setters SB's alone can't get you in unless its a rediculous number (Rickey, Rock) but if you have a nice average a good hit total and run total they boost SB's.

buehrle4cy05
01-14-2006, 05:37 PM
I personally don't put a lot of stock into the so-called magic #'s (300W, 3000H, 500HR). For example, look at a guy like Tom Glavine. He's 275-184 in his career with an ERA of 3.44 and 2350 K's. From 1991-1993, Glavine went 62-25 with ERA's of 2.55, 2.76, and 3.20. He has five 20-win seasons over his career and 9 with 15 or more wins. He has not won 10 games in a season only three times (his first 2 years and his first year with the Mets). He's started to get his act together even now, sporting ERA's of 3.6 and 3.54 in 2004 and 2005. But he does not reach any of the magic numbers to get into the hall, but from 1991-2002, he consistently was one of the best pitchers in the game.

getonbckthr
01-14-2006, 05:59 PM
I personally don't put a lot of stock into the so-called magic #'s (300W, 3000H, 500HR). For example, look at a guy like Tom Glavine. He's 275-184 in his career with an ERA of 3.44 and 2350 K's. From 1991-1993, Glavine went 62-25 with ERA's of 2.55, 2.76, and 3.20. He has five 20-win seasons over his career and 9 with 15 or more wins. He has not won 10 games in a season only three times (his first 2 years and his first year with the Mets). He's started to get his act together even now, sporting ERA's of 3.6 and 3.54 in 2004 and 2005. But he does not reach any of the magic numbers to get into the hall, but from 1991-2002, he consistently was one of the best pitchers in the game.
How many walks does Glavine have? His k/bb ratio is probably so good that if he doesn't reach 300 the ratio would be like a stat booster.

Frater Perdurabo
01-14-2006, 06:44 PM
I'm not a numbers-only guy, but I believe a player should be "transcendent." That is, he should be so superior that in the estimation of the educated baseball mind, he would produce at a similar level for almost any other team in any era. Being "the best at his position in his era" is not necesarily good enough.

For example (and this is not "flubsessed," but rather to use a contemporary example with which many of us are familiar), Ryne Sandberg may have been the best second baseman of his era, but to me he was the "tallest midget." IMHO, he wasn't a transcendent player; he padded his stats by playing home games in a park that was particularly suited to his skill set and his popularity was fueled by playing lots of day games on a national superstation owned by the same corporation as his team. He most likely would not have been a HOF-er if he played for almost any other team.

Frank Thomas, OTOH, during his peak was the greatest right-handed hitter of his generation, hit for incredible power and average and put up offensive numbers in his first seven seasons matched only by a tiny number of the very greatest hitters in the history of baseball. He virtually "invented" the OPS stat and literally changed the way the game was played without the benefit of steroids. He would have put up comparable numbers playing for any other team in any other era. Frank Thomas is a "transcendent" player.

So, IMHO, Frank should be a lock for first-ballot induction, but Sandberg should not be in at all.

getonbckthr
01-14-2006, 06:54 PM
I'm not a numbers-only guy, but I believe a player should be "transcendent." That is, he should be so superior that in the estimation of the educated baseball mind, he would produce at a similar level for almost any other team in any era. Being "the best at his position in his era" is not necesarily good enough.

For example (and this is not "flubsessed," but rather to use a contemporary example with which many of us are familiar), Ryne Sandberg may have been the best second baseman of his era, but to me he was the "tallest midget." IMHO, he wasn't a transcendent player; he padded his stats by playing home games in a park that was particularly suited to his skill set and his popularity was fueled by playing lots of day games on a national superstation owned by the same corporation as his team. He most likely would not have been a HOF-er if he played for almost any other team.

Frank Thomas, OTOH, during his peak was the greatest right-handed hitter of his generation, hit for incredible power and average and put up offensive numbers in his first seven seasons matched only by a tiny number of the very greatest hitters in the history of baseball. He virtually "invented" the OPS stat and literally changed the way the game was played without the benefit of steroids. He would have put up comparable numbers playing for any other team in any other era. Frank Thomas is a "transcendent" player.

So, IMHO, Frank should be a lock for first-ballot induction, but Sandberg should not be in at all.
Ryne Sandberg 1984 MVP, 10 time all-star, 9 time Gold Glove winner. How do you figure he isn't a Hall of Famer?? You can't forget about defense.

soxinem1
01-14-2006, 08:53 PM
In my eyes you have to view it like this, compared to his
If I was a voter I would judge on these points:

HITTER
500 hr's, .290 average, 100 rbi's/season, 5 gold gloves, 400 sb's.
The average helps categories like if you have around 450 hrs (Frank) but your career average is over .300 (Frank) the average boosts the Hr's. With guys like Pods and Crawford and Ichiro who are table setters SB's alone can't get you in unless its a rediculous number (Rickey, Rock) but if you have a nice average a good hit total and run total they boost SB's.

So let me ask you then, does a guy like Harold Baines, who led in only two league offensive categories all his career, 22 GW RBI in 1983 and SLG in 1984, make the HOF, even if he would have gotten 3,000 hits?

To me, Baines was a little bit of a dissapointment in his career. Oh, not as his performance as a hitter, but the fact he had to DH most of it. I remember him as a minor leaguer and his defense and arm in RF pre-1987. If he plays the OF virtually all of his career, I think he gets in. Since he DH'd and platooned a good part of the last third of his career, I'm not so sure.... even if he gets 3,000 hits.

It's too bad this is such a tough question, because there should be a more consistent criteria to go by other that stats. For example, many people believe if you were the top three in your position (and maybe top six for OF) you go in. Others include personality.

But let's say the era you play in is weak at that position. Do you get in by default just because your stats are better than others who played? Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammel were excellent offensive performers, do they get in? They were excellent, but if people have a problem with Sandberg getting in, then Lou and Alan are out of the question.

One thing I like to use as an extra factor is this: 'Who draws the crowds?' Guys like Ryan, Reggie, Seaver, Mantle, Dimaggio, Drysdale and Koufax drew fans. Clemens does today.

But this still has to be one of the toughest 'set standards' questions around.

Daver
01-14-2006, 09:06 PM
Look up the numbers on Don Drysdale and Billy Pierce, they are not that much different, yet Drysdale is in and Pierce is no longer eligible.

The selection process for the BBHOF,and the voting system are a joke, which gives a bunch of myopic old men the right to pick and choose who gets in and who doesn't, based on thier opinion and nothing else.

The powers that be in Cooperstown can kiss my ass, I have no respect for their HOF.

RadioheadRocks
01-14-2006, 09:10 PM
The selection process for the BBHOF,and the voting system are a joke, which gives a bunch of myopic old men the right to pick and choose who gets in and who doesn't, based on thier opinion and nothing else.


Add pompous, arrogant punk-ass sportswriters to that equation and you hit the nail on the head, Daver!

soxinem1
01-14-2006, 09:23 PM
Look up the numbers on Don Drysdale and Billy Pierce, they are not that much different, yet Drysdale is in and Pierce is no longer eligible.

The selection process for the BBHOF,and the voting system are a joke, which gives a bunch of myopic old men the right to pick and choose who gets in and who doesn't, based on thier opinion and nothing else.

The powers that be in Cooperstown can kiss my ass, I have no respect for their HOF.

My setiments exactly. What standards are being used, other than bias towards teams and players on the coasts?

Your point about Pierce not being in the HOF is a shame. Instead of deliberating over the undeserving likes of Joe jackson and Ron Santo, maybe us as Sox fans should start a movement like the one for Nellie Fox, so BP can enjoy it while he's around.

TornLabrum
01-14-2006, 09:23 PM
I think I've mentioned this before, but at the July WCSF luncheon, I was lucky enough to sit next to Billy Pierce for the meal. I told him something I've been saying for years: That he just wore the wrong pinstripes. Had his pinstripes had NY on them instead of Sox, he'd have been in the HOF for years.

SouthSide_HitMen
01-14-2006, 09:31 PM
Its the top few position players in each generation (20 year span) and several pitchers.

I like a long sustained excellence (top 5 or 10 in key statistics) over a long period of time. A shorter period is acceptable (say a very solid 12 or 15 year career) if there are extenuating circumstances (i.e. players who served in war, players barred due to the color barrier).

You should have relatively the same number of players at each position.

Players who I think should be in the Hall of Fame (recently retired (on the ballot) or near retirement):

Catcher (14 are in currently) - Ivan Rodriguez, Mike Piazza

First Base (19 are in) - Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell, Mark McGwire

Second Base (17) - Craig Biggio, Roberto Alomar

Shortstop (22!) - Cal Ripken Jr, Barry Larkin, Alan Trammell

Third Base (13) - None

Left Field (19) - Rickey Henderson, Barry Bonds, Tim Raines

Center Field (20) - Ken Griffey Jr.

Right Field (22) - Tony Gwynn, Gary Sheffield

Pitchers (67) - Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Bert Blyleven, Mariano Rivera, Goose Gossage, Lee Smith.

SouthSide_HitMen
01-14-2006, 09:44 PM
I think I've mentioned this before, but at the July WCSF luncheon, I was lucky enough to sit next to Billy Pierce for the meal. I told him something I've been saying for years: That he just wore the wrong pinstripes. Had his pinstripes had NY on them instead of Sox, he'd have been in the HOF for years.

I agree TornLabrum. I think Pitchers & Catchers, the two most challenging positions on the field, are underreprestented.

I think guys like Billy Pierce, Tommy John and Jim Kaat had long, excellent careers and should be in the Hall of Fame.

Daver
01-14-2006, 09:46 PM
I agree TornLabrum. I think Pitchers & Catchers, the two most challenging positions on the field, are underreprestented.

I think guys like Billy Pierce, Tommy John and Jim Kaat had long, excellent careers and should be in the Hall of Fame.

Bert Blyleven deserves to be in before Kaat and John, without question.

getonbckthr
01-14-2006, 09:56 PM
If Pedro stays on the pace he's at would he be considered top 5 ever?

1951Campbell
01-14-2006, 11:44 PM
The most important thing is to dominate your position for 5+ years. IMO, the players who were very good for a long time don't deserve to be in (guys like Palmeiro and McGriff).

5+ is a little too generous. You should impress for at least 8 years.

And I don't buy this Palmeiro & McGriff stuff. There's something to be said for a guy you you can pencil in for 25+ HRs a year for 20 years. Hank Aaron, anyone? Sure, Raffy did the roids, and you can dock him for that. But McGriff? He went out and kicked ass for unpopular teams for many, many years.

I guess I'm not sure why "players who were good for a long time don't deserve to be in" makes sense. If not them, who? Players who suck for a long time? Players who have one good season, like Mark Fidrych?

buehrle4cy05
01-15-2006, 12:23 AM
Its the top few position players in each generation (20 year span) and several pitchers.

I like a long sustained excellence (top 5 or 10 in key statistics) over a long period of time. A shorter period is acceptable (say a very solid 12 or 15 year career) if there are extenuating circumstances (i.e. players who served in war, players barred due to the color barrier).

You should have relatively the same number of players at each position.

Players who I think should be in the Hall of Fame (recently retired (on the ballot) or near retirement):

Catcher (14 are in currently) - Ivan Rodriguez, Mike Piazza

First Base (19 are in) - Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell, Mark McGwire

Second Base (17) - Craig Biggio, Roberto Alomar

Shortstop (22!) - Cal Ripken Jr, Barry Larkin, Alan Trammell

Third Base (13) - None

Left Field (19) - Rickey Henderson, Barry Bonds, Tim Raines

Center Field (20) - Ken Griffey Jr.

Right Field (22) - Tony Gwynn, Gary Sheffield

Pitchers (67) - Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Bert Blyleven, Mariano Rivera, Goose Gossage, Lee Smith.

If you're going to put a juicer in Sheffield in, why not put in Sosa as well? I also think that Glavine makes it, and I might even vote for John Smoltz, depending on the class.

PKalltheway
01-15-2006, 01:46 AM
I think it all boils down to: Did you dominate in your era? It's very difficult to compare ballplayers from different eras and say that one dominated over the other. You have to compare the player to the other players that played in his era (Wow I said "players" a lot). As for players that are active today, here are the ones I think should go in:

Frank Thomas-was one of the best hitters during his era
Mike Piazza-Best catcher in his era
Barry Bonds-You could delete the last six steroid years and he's still a hall of famer with nearly 500 home runs and over 400 stolen bases
Roger Clemens
Randy Johnson
Mariano Rivera
Tom Glavine
Greg Maddux
Trevor Hoffman
John Smoltz-Great as a starter and as a closer. Look for the comparisons by the writers to Dennis Eckersley once Smoltz's name shows up on the ballot
Craig Biggio-One of the best second baseman of his era
Alex Rodriguez- It's early, but he's just 30 and he has over 400 home runs. That should get you in on its own

Here are the players who I think should go in but still aren't (retired)
Lee Smith- It wasn't his fault that the way closers are used changed. If you are going to penalize him for being a "one-inning closer," you might as well just leave out Mariano Rivera once his name comes up on the ballot.
Bert Blyleven- 287 wins, 3701 K's. Are these writers just dumb or what?
Tommy John- Writers say he just "hung around" for 26 years. Um...don't you have to be good in order to just "hang around" for 26 years? If he wasn't any good, then teams would not have signed him and therefore he would have been finished by 1984. Bonus points for having a surgery named after him.

SouthSide_HitMen
01-15-2006, 02:25 AM
If you're going to put a juicer in Sheffield in, why not put in Sosa as well? I also think that Glavine makes it, and I might even vote for John Smoltz, depending on the class.

Gary Sheffield - .297 BA, .399 OBP, .527 SLG

Sosa - .274 BA, .345 OBP, .537 SLG

Sheffield is a better hitter. He is a better fielder. Sosa tops him in one category - HRs which he achieved in the small window of time. Sheffield had produced over the course of many years. Sheffield also played almost his entire career in pitchers parks - some of which were extreme (Florida - 6 years, Los Angeles 4 years). Sosa had the benefit of Wrigley.

As far as the steroid argument goes, Sosa's body changed dramatically as did Bonds. Sheffield was pretty much the same throughout his career. Palmeiro is the only one who definitively tested positive for steroids. Obviously there is plenty of evidence against Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Giambi, etc. I still think McGwire and Bonds get in and steroids helped there HR numbers much more than any suspicions regarding Sheffield and his self admitted 2 month dosage.

Time will tell as more of this comes out. Obviously McGwire's vote next year will be a preview for what these other players may face. I think McGwire gets in but not on first ballot. Bonds will get in first ballot. Sosa is like a Kingman - a one trick pony and doesn't deserve to go in - especially due to the circumstances and increase overall in HRs throughout baseball.

Three levels of players (despite Bonds' protestations)

Ruth - OBP .474, SLG .690
Williams - OBP .482, SLG .634

Bonds OBP .442, SLG .611
McGwire OBP .394, SLG .588
Sheffield OBP .399, SLG .527

McGriff OBP .377, SLG .509
Palmeiro OBP .371 SLG .515
Sosa OBP .345, SLG .537

I didn't want to argue about steroids as it has been discussed elsewhere and will be rehashed over and over each year one of the suspects reaches the ballot. Besides, there are several "cheaters" in the Hall of Fame - pitchers who pitched a spitball (before and after it was an illegal pitch), knuckleball pitchers using Vaseline, nail files, tacks, and anything else they can get there hands on & hitters using corked bats, etc. I know some people will think all forms of cheating disqualifies players, some will think certain types of cheating are OK and some are not, some will say all cheaters are OK. I'll leave that debate for another thread.

There is a case for Glavine and Smoltz - a few more years may make the difference one way or the other. I think they will get in but it will take several years. I think a case will be made for Schilling and Mussina but I wanted to go with definitive, no doubt players who already earned the numbers (players who will make it after several more seasons like A Rod, Pujols, etc. were not included).

Sosa may get in as well, just not on my ballot.

TheKittle
01-16-2006, 01:30 AM
The most important thing is to dominate your position for 5+ years. IMO, the players who were very good for a long time don't deserve to be in (guys like Palmeiro and McGriff).


I would love to know how each person defines "dominate your position" and how do you measure it? Is it shown with MVP awards? Or all star games? Or silver sluggers? Or just being in the top 5 for hr's, rbi, average etc etc.

And IMO somebody who has been very good over a long period of time (15-20 years) is a HOF.

SABRSox
01-16-2006, 02:10 AM
For me, you need to be one of the Top 10 or Top 20 players in your era to be considered. That comes out to about the top 1% of the MLB population at any time. That sounds worthy to me.

RallyBowl
01-16-2006, 06:09 PM
Frank Thomas, OTOH, during his peak was the greatest right-handed hitter of his generation, hit for incredible power and average and put up offensive numbers in his first seven seasons matched only by a tiny number of the very greatest hitters in the history of baseball. He virtually "invented" the OPS stat and literally changed the way the game was played without the benefit of steroids. He would have put up comparable numbers playing for any other team in any other era. Frank Thomas is a "transcendent" player.

So, IMHO, Frank should be a lock for first-ballot induction


What a great post Frater. Brought a tear to my eye.

PKalltheway
01-16-2006, 08:26 PM
Speaking of possible hall of famers, do any of you think that manager Whitey Herzog is a hall of famer? Even though I was not around for his prime, he seemed like he was a hall-worthy manager looking at his won/lost totals and postseason appearances. The one World Title argument I don't think will work because Tony LaRussa and Bobby Cox only have one title and they are hall of famers for sure.