No. 167 Goose Goslin (Number 17 Left Field)

Goslin played in one of the worse hitters’ parks (in Washington DC) of all time at the beginning of his career. Especially for home runs. That is probably why Goose, who had plenty of power, led the league in triples twice. He also won a batting title there one year.

Goose didn’t spend his whole career in Washington. He started his career with 9 years there, went to the St. Louis Browns and came back to Washington for a bit before going to Detroit. Teams Goose played for won. He played in 5 World Series. His team won two. Not bad for being in the American League and not playing for the Yankees.

In his book “The Politics of Glory” Bill James talked about players interviewed for “The Glory of Your Times” then being elected for the Hall of Fame. Goose was one of them, however, Bill and obviously I agree with that selection. We will take a look at the others but first a message from our sponsor me:

If you are a baseball fan and haven’t read “The Glory of Their Times” do. This is a great book. Bill James in his writeup said this is one of the best baseball books ever written. That might be an understatement. What the author (Lawrence S. Ritter) was interviewed 26 players who played early in the 20th Century about the game. They told stories about playing baseball in the early days. Every story is interesting, and you will learn something you never knew before reading this book. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Now back to the players elected due to this book:

Stan Coveleski: Pitcher for the Indians and Senators mainly. He won 3 games in the 1920 World Series. I have him 76th at pitcher and 313th overall. He is not in my hall of fame, but I don’t have a problem with being in the Hall of Fame since he is well over the 600 mark with 645. He wouldn’t be my favorite, but he wasn’t a terrible choice.

Harry Hooper: He is the number 36 right fielder and 331st on my list. So, my comment for him is basically the same as for Coveleski. Both were real good players, but they are on the border, and I would have other players before both of these guys, but they aren’t bad selections.

The last player was Rube Marquard. I wrote about his election in my article about Frankie Frisch. I think he fits in both categories, but probably more so in this article. Here is what I wrote about him before.

He did better than Haines. I have him in 186th place for pitchers and 695th for all players. He won 201 games, 9 less that Haines. He never played on the same team as Frisch as he was traded from the Giants before Frisch started playing in the big leagues. He did pitch in 5 World Series but was never on the winning side even though he was 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA in the 1912 World Series. He had 3 great seasons for the Giants when the won 3 pennants in a row from 1911 to 1913. However, he was an average pitcher for the rest of his career. However, those seasons weren’t that great, like Sandy Koufax, and he didn’t have enough of them to justify being in the hall of fame.

Bill James said that Jesse Haines was better than Marquard. We have some difference there as I ranked Marquard ahead of Haines, but we both agree that neither is a Hall of Fame player. Neither is borderline.  Still, it is a great book and only one of the four choices in book is borderline. However, the book did correct the injustice of Goose Goslin not being in the Hall of Fame. This worked will as he was inducted just three years before he died. He broke down and cried during his induction ceremony. I can see why.

 

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