My idea behind this is to create my own MLB Hall of Fame if I started from scratch, with the number of players I want, and which players would I pick. For this exercise, I’m not doing managers, executives nor negro league players.
I believe that 1 out of a hundred players should be hall of famers. Actually, the hall of fame is real close on that they have a total of 235 MLB players in the hall of fame according to one site I found. Baseball Reference says there have been 19,902 players who have played major league baseball. That is 1.181 percent. I am going to do 200 as it is a round number and only one over. That is 1.005 percent. I would just feel strange doing 199 players and leaving some players out.
Now how do I pick 200 players. As some of you know I did a formula for my own player ratings. I could pick my top 200 players and be done. But that would be kind of boring. I could pick players I like but that would be unfair. So, I’m am doing more of the first and part of the second. However, everyone I pick will have an argument for the hall of fame.
When I developed the formula I noticed that everyone that had 750 or more points had a solid argument for the hall of fame unless they gambled, did steroids or had other circumstances that hurt their view as a ballplayer. I have 181 players who have 750 more points. They are my hall of famers.
For catchers they are:
This is the same formula I used for my top 1,000 player biography. The most unfortunate part is I only had 42 starting pitchers that earned 750 points and that was with a 20 percent bonus. However, 12 of the 19 players I added were starting pitchers which make 54 starting pitchers. I also have 5 relief pitchers which makes pitchers 29.5% of my total. Baseball Reference says there are 80 pitchers in the hall of fame making them 34 % of the total a difference of less than 5 percent. However, Candy Cummings and Satchel Paige are on the list. Like Maris I consider Candy Cummings as a pioneer so I can’t call him as a player. Satchel Paige made the hall of fame for what he did in the Negro Leagues and pitching all over the western hemisphere and I wouldn’t count him as a major league player hall of famer. I would definitely put Paige in the hall of fame as I consider him the greatest pitcher of all time. That makes the percentage of pitchers down to 33.2% which makes it only 4 percent greater than what I have. I can live with that difference.
Next, I evaluated the players behind the leaders on the list to see if anyone else should make the hall of fame. I tried to keep it to one position player per position so I could put as many pitchers on the list as possible. I succeeded at doing this. Here is a list of the catchers that scored over 700 points in my system not listed above:
Two catchers stood out for me, Posey and Munson. However, Posey is still playing and I like to wait until a player has crossed the 750 margin or has retired before putting them on the list. That leaves Munson. We all know Munson died early in a plane crash. He seemed to be slowing down, but definitely would have scored more points. He was compared favorably with Fisk who I have in third. Thurman Munson is the 182nd player in my hall of fame.
Now for first base:
There are a lot of first basemen on the list, but a lot played other positions. The three 19th century Superstars made the list despite the timeline penalty. I have current players figured thru 2019. I am too lazy to figure them out every year and I would start a new formula before trying to move current players up the rankings.
Hey, I do say Dick Allen belongs in the hall of fame and he would have my vote if I had one. I do have a steroid penalty and Palmeiro and McGwire received the penalty. Both lost a good number of points but still made enough for the hall of fame.
Now for the next group of players:
From this group I chose David Ortez. He was so good in the post season. It seemed that he made a lot of stuff happen as a player. My favorite was the grand slam against Detroit where Tori Hunter fell over the fence and the bullpen catcher caught the ball. To me it was the turning point of that series. Ortez was more of a DH, but I didn’t rate DHs as a separate position, so the closest I found was first base for him. David Ortiz is the 183rd player in my hall of fame.
Now for second base:
I just saw where Cano was suspended again. I already have Cano at the maximum penalty for steroid usage. I could penalize him more, but I don’t see the point. I already ranked him this high and he was a good player for a long time. Just not very smart in some areas.
The funny thing is Bobby Doerr is just over 700 points and the next player at second base is Ian Kinsler at 632 points. I am confident of my top 21 second basemen. I like Joe Gordon out of this group. I think he was underrated. He has 55.7 WAR with the hall of fame scale being 60. However, Gordon missed two years for WWII. In six of the 8 years, he played around WWII he had 6 or more WAR 6 times. He would have easily made it over 60. He is my 184th member of my hall of fame.
Now for third base:
|12||Home Run Baker|
Notice I have Graig Nettles for the hall of fame. He made it by a comfortable margin at 774 points. Now here is the next group of players I have at third base:
I always liked Stan Hack and was tempted to pick him since leadoff men don’t get enough credit in my opinion. However, I went with Edgar Martinez. He was one of the best pure hitters I ever saw and would have made 750 easily if the Mariner’s management would have been smarter. He is the 185th player in my hall of fame.
Now for Shortstop:
|3||Cal Ripkin Jr.|
|10||Pee Wee Reese|
For a shortstop I went with an unusual choice, by a guy who was basically a non-conformist. He was the 32nd best shortstop on my list and he was helped that he played 23 seasons. I am putting Rabbit Maranville as my186th player in my hall of fame. He is the ultimate baseball fun non-conformist.
This is from his Wikipedia article. Maranville finished third in the MVP voting in his first full season, playing for the Boston Braves as a 21-year-old in 1913 even though his batting average was just .247 in 143 games with two homers. The following year, Maranville was the runner-up in the MVP voting to teammate Johnny Evers as the Braves won the National League pennant and then went on to sweep the powerful Philadelphia A’s in the World Series. That year, Maranville was the Braves’ cleanup hitter, despite batting just .246 and hitting four home runs. Even at age 41, when Maranville batted .218 in 143 games and hit no homers, he finished in a tie for 12th in the MVP voting.
The thing is I have read about the crazy things he used to do in all kinds of books about baseball in the teens, twenties and thirties. He was just a fun guy and I’m glad to have him in my hall of fame as Cooperstown is glad to have them in theirs.
Now for Left Field:
Hey, I have Minnie Minoso in my hall of fame, that is a positive. I was surprised on how well Lou Brock did. I think Sabermetrics has judged him a little harshly. Here are the other left fielders over 700:
Ralph Kiner had over 700 in only 10 years. That is a lot of points for such a short career. Also, Ted Williams said he was one of the great hitters of all time. I wouldn’t normally pay attention to this, but Ted made a study of hitting and actually ranked hitters. So Ralph Kiner is number 187 in my hall of fame.
Now for Center Field
|6||Ken Griffey Jr.|
I’m disappointed I only have 12 center fielders have 750 points the lowest number of the position players. I have a few center fielders that are close, but I’m going with a hometown favorite, for me, Kirby Puckett. I have Puckett rated 25th but I’m a Minnesota Twins fan and he helped the Twins win two World Series. On the Minnesota landscape there is a large deficit of World Championships in the four major sports. Since I was born in 1959, the Vikings have won zero Super Bowls, neither the North Stars or Wild won a Stanley Cup ever for the hockey hot bed. The best the Timberwolves ever done was make it to the conference finals once. The Twins have the only two World Championships winning the World Series twice.
Also, Kirby made it good to be a Twins fans for a few years. When I mention I’m a Twins fan people usually tell me they are sorry. However, when Kirby played people told me they loved watching Kirby play.
He is also is the greatest World Series game 6 player of all time. In two games he had 10 plate appearances. His average, on base average and slugging stats: .875/.800/1.500. So, his OPS in the two games was 2.300. He scored 6 runs and had 4 RBIs in the two games, including a game winning hope run in the 1991 game. He also stole a base in each game and made a great fielding play in the 1991 game. In the 1987 game he either drove in or scored the first three runs the Twins scored in that game, a 11-5 Twins victory. Kirby Puckett is the 188th player in my hall of fame.
Now for Right Field:
Ok, here are the guys who are close:
All these guys have good arguments for the hall, but I have to set up the limit somewhere. None of these guys really stand out for me. I can also see voting any of them in. However, I think I need more pitchers. Sorry guys. I do have Harold Baines in 31st place.
OK now relief pitchers, as I want to save pitchers for last so I’m going to add 12.
One thing I learned with going through these formulas is how much better Mariano Rivera was than every other relief pitcher. I can see why he was voted in anonymously.
Here are the rest of the top 12 for relief pitchers:
I decided to do 12 as I wanted to show my rankings for Quisenberry and Sutter. I think Trevor Hoffman is a future hall of famer and would like to get him in sometime. Off the top of my head, Stan Hank and Lou Boudreau are future picks. However, I am just going with the five listed relief pitchers at the top of my list for now. All five are in the real hall of fame.
Now starting pitchers:
OK, I have room for 12 more to make 200. They are all pitchers.
Number 189: Red Ruffing
He the closest of these 12 to 750. He was the best pitcher to the greatest short dynasty in my opinion, the New York Yankees from 1936 – 1939. Ruffing is famous for pitching lousy for the Red Sox and great for the Yankees. There are two things about that. He pitched for Boston from 19 to 24. He was young and they might not of taught him much. He was more mature with the Yankees. He wasn’t that bad with the Red Sox. One year he led the American League in complete games despite losing 25 games. Being on the Yankees did help him, but he was a great pitcher.
Number 190: Rick Reuschel
He didn’t miss 750 by much. Does really well in WAR. I think he is a little overrated. Seems to played for some really poor defensive teams. He was 5 times in the top 10 in strikeouts per walks, but only once in the top 5. Not a great post season pitcher but did win game 5 of the NLCS to get the Giants to the World Series. He gave up an unearned run in 8 innings. He pitched well with San Francisco despite being older. In fact, he had two of his best win-loss records for San Francisco at the ages of 39 and 40 in 1988 and 1989. It helped him to be on a good team.
Number 191: Ed Walsh
All time leader in Earn Run Average. He had a short career due to an arm injury. In his first year as a regular (1906) the White Sox won the pennant and Walsh won 2 World Series games against the favorite Cubs. The White Sox won the World Series. In 1907 he started a 6-year period where he was the dominant pitcher in the American League. He led in wins once, losses once, games pitched 5 times, starts 3 times, complete games twice, innings pitched 4 times, shutouts twice and he led in saves 5 times it was just nobody knew it. He led in strikeouts twice and more important strikes to walks ratio 3 times. He hurt his arm in 1913 and never pitched much again despite sticking around four more years.
Number 192: Billy Pierce
He barely cleared 700, but for some reason I always liked Billy Pierce. He was 10 times in the top 10 in strikeouts to walk winning the title one year. He had good fielders behind him which helped his ERA, but hurt his WAR as compared to Reuschel. In 1962, pitched well for the Giants going 16-6. He didn’t pitch that well and had a better ERA than FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching). I noticed he had a championship WPA (Wins Probability Added) of 22.2 that year the 26th of all time. That helped him get that 16-6 record.
Number 193: Don Newcombe
I gave him bonus points for being a pioneer. People look at his post season pitching record and assume that Newcombe wasn’t very good in the clutch. However, in 1951 with two games left in the season the Giants and Dodgers were tied for first. Newcome faced Robin Roberts in a must win game and threw a shutout. The Giants won so the teams were still tied. The next day Newcome came into the game in the bottom of the 8th with the scored tied 8-8. He threw 5 and 2/3rds scoreless innings before being taken out of the game. He got the first two batters out in the 13th, but being tired walked the next two. He was relieved. The Dodgers got out of the inning. Jackie Robinson hit the game winning homerun in the top of the 14th to force a playoff. That was a gutsy performance.
Number 194: Three Finger Brown
He did benefit from a great defense and other pitchers came to the Cubs and had great seasons besides him. However, Brown was they one who they kept and pitched great year after year. He faced Mathewson a lot and beat him more than he got beat. He came into the deciding game for the 1908 pennant and beat Mathewson to win the pennant. He led the league in saves four straight years, but again nobody knew it. In fact, Brown became the all-time save leader in 1910 when he got his 25th save. He nearly doubled that amount retiring with 49 saves. Firpo Marberry broke his record in 1926.
Number 195: Dazzy Vance
In 1922 Dazzy Vance was 31 and had won zero major league games with a won-loss record of 0-8 and had a career WAR of -.4. He ended his career with 197 victories and 60.1 WAR. Beginning in 1922 he won 7 strikeout titles in a row. Beginning in 1924 he led the league in strikeout to walk ratio 8 years in a row. In 1924 he was named National League MVP. How can you keep this guy out of the hall of fame?
Number 196: Dave Stieb
The second hard luck pitcher on this list. I remember at least a couple of times he took no hitters into the 9th and lost them there. I believe at least once on the last batter. It wasn’t for Sabermetrics he probably would have never got the respect he deserved. He led American League pitchers in WAR from 1982 to 1984. However, he finished 4th and 7th for the Cy Young Award those three years. In 1983 he didn’t even get a vote.
Number 197: Orel Hershiser
The Dodgers came into September 1988 with a nice lead in their division. Orel Hershiser made sure they didn’t lose that lead going 5-0 with an ERA of zero. He not only didn’t allow any earned runs, but he allowed zero runs total. The only game he didn’t win he threw 10 scoreless innings and left the game with the all-time record for consecutive scoreless innings. In the post season the Dodgers faced two high scoring teams the New York Mets and the Oakland A’s. Orel had a 3-0 record with a save that post season with an ERA of little over one. He won the clutching games of both series giving the Dodgers an improbable World Series Championship.
Number 198: Jack Morris
A lot of you won’t approve. Maris will. You must remember I’m a Twins fan He pitched his greatest game for the Twins. It got them a World Championship. Do you think I’m going to take someone with that credential and is on the border out?
Number 199: Dwight Gooden
I got the New York Superstation in 1984 and 1985 so watched Gooden pitch a lot those two years. I never seen a more dominate pitcher. I felt lucky.
Number 200: Hoss Radbourn
I’m not big on 19th Century pitchers, but what he accomplished at the end of the 1884 season. He started 41 of the last 51 games, winning 35 of them. He then won 3 exhibition, “World Series” games against the American Association Champions the New York Metropolitans. For that I put Radbourn in my hall of fame.