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  #1  
Old 09-16-2008, 02:02 PM
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Posted By: Chris Counts

... I guess it's time to restart the endless debate ... personally, I'm thrilled Vada Pinson made the list, but even as one of his biggest fans, I consider him a bit of a stretch. I find the exclusion of Minnie Minoso, who Bill James calls "the best player not in the Hall of Fame," far more disturbing. What in the world did Minnie ever do to offend the baseball establishment? He did lead the league in being hit by pitches in 10 of his 11 seasons as a regular, so he must have made a few folks mad at him ...

It's also nice to see Maury Wills on the list. He's another guy who made a few enemies, but when you compare him to other Hall of Fame shortstops, I believe he is deserving, especially when you consider he played in an era dominated by pitching and he played in a bonfide pitcher's park, and still hit over .280 for his career (he also picked up three World Series rings) ...

Here's the article ...

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Ten former Major League players, whose careers began in 1943 or later, will be considered for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009 by the Veterans Committee, with results to be announced Dec. 8 at baseball's Winter Meetings, it was announced today.

Dick Allen, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, Al Oliver, Vada Pinson, Ron Santo, Luis Tiant, Joe Torre and Maury Wills will be considered for election by the Veterans Committee for enshrinement in 2009, with votes to be cast by Hall of Fame members this fall. Any candidate to receive 75 percent of the vote among all ballots cast will earn election to the Hall of Fame and will be enshrined on July 26, 2009. There are 64 living Hall of Famers.

The ballot for the 2009 Veterans Committee election of players whose careers began in 1943 or later was devised by Hall of Fame members, who served as the Screening Committee in narrowing the list from 21 to 10 names during the month of August. Earlier this year, the Historical Overview Committee of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, comprised of 11 veteran baseball writers and historians, selected 20 finalists from a list of all eligible players, those whose careers spanned at least 10 Major League seasons and started in 1943 or later. Concurrently, a screening committee comprised of six Hall of Famers selected five names for the ballot, and the two lists were merged for a total of 21 candidates.

The 21 candidates considered by the Screening Committee: Allen, Ken Boyer, Bert Campaneris, Rocky Colavito, Mike Cuellar, Steve Garvey, Hodges, Kaat, Ted Kluszewski, Mickey Lolich, Roger Maris, Lee May, Minnie Minoso, Thurman Munson, Oliva, Oliver, Pinson, Santo, Tiant, Torre and Wills.

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  #2  
Old 09-16-2008, 02:09 PM
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Posted By: barrysloate

Al Oliver is one of those guys who had an amazing statistical career, but he still doesn't strike me as a HOFer.

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  #3  
Old 09-16-2008, 02:26 PM
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Posted By: Phil Garry

I think Gil Hodges will get in this coming year and Joe Torre will certainly be elected eventually when his managerial career is over but just based on his playing career only, I don't think he deserves it. Will the voters be able to keep those two sides of Torre separate though?

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Old 09-16-2008, 02:29 PM
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Posted By: Jodi Birkholm

To me, from that list, only Hodges and perhaps Kaat fill HOF shoes. A couple come close, and more than that are rather silly choices. Just an opinion.

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  #5  
Old 09-16-2008, 02:30 PM
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Posted By: barrysloate

Agreed Phil. Torre's playing career was excellent, but a little short of the HOF. But his managerial career was and still is superlative, as good as Sparky Anderson's, maybe better.

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  #6  
Old 09-16-2008, 02:36 PM
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Posted By: Jimmy

Gil Hodges, Roger Maris and Munson would be great names add, but for stats only Gil Hodges should get in this summer

Jimmy

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  #7  
Old 09-16-2008, 02:45 PM
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Posted By: leon

I am not sure Maris had a whole career worthy of the HOF....This is taken from baseball reference....He had 275 homers and a .260 lifetime average...He was an all star for 4 yrs and won one 1 gold glove..He was a .217 postseason batter and a .105 All Star batter. His one great season was 1961 of course......I just don't think he quite makes it...Here is his HOF ranking....


Black Ink: Batting - 18 (123) (Average HOFer ˇÖ 27)
Gray Ink: Batting - 57 (430) (Average HOFer ˇÖ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting - 22.1 (528) (Average HOFer ˇÖ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting - 85.0 (198) (Likely HOFer > 100)
Overall Rank in parentheses.

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  #8  
Old 09-16-2008, 02:51 PM
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Posted By: Alan U

Being a Pirates fan in the early 70's, I always thought Al Oliver should have gotten more consideration... 2,700 hits and 1,300 RBI's

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  #9  
Old 09-16-2008, 03:22 PM
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Posted By: Ol' Prof

Alan;

I'm a Pirates fan too, but let's not get greedy here. After all, we did get Maz... And Al Oliver's whole was a whole lot less than the sum of his parts.

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  #10  
Old 09-16-2008, 03:36 PM
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Posted By: Alan U

I'm not suggesting that Oliver should really get in, just think he deserves the consideration. He did win a batting title and was a 7-8 time all-star.

Not sure any of the 10 on the list are really deserving, but all are worthy of further consideration.

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  #11  
Old 09-16-2008, 03:39 PM
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Posted By: Andrew S.

Gil Hodges and Ron Santo will be inducted.

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  #12  
Old 09-16-2008, 03:44 PM
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Posted By: Jodi Birkholm

When will managers be named? Martin's exclusion thus far may be tied with Hodges for the greatest modern-day travesty.

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  #13  
Old 09-16-2008, 03:52 PM
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Posted By: Chris Counts

While I have always admired Gil Hodges, I have never understood the support he gets for the Hall of Fame. For his career, he hit 370 home runs and batted .273, hardly exceptional numbers when compared to a lot of guys NOT in the Hall of Fame. Dick Allen, for instance, hit 351 home runs and batted .292 during an era in which pitchers dominated. Plus, Hodges played in a bandbox and was surrounded by a far more impressive batting order ...

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  #14  
Old 09-16-2008, 03:53 PM
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Posted By: Wil Jordan

I loved to watch Boyer,Allen, Garvey, Klu, Wills and Pinson. But the only one on the list that is a true HOFer is Gil Hodges. He should have been in a long time ago.

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  #15  
Old 09-16-2008, 03:54 PM
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Posted By: Paul

I can't believe Lee May made the top 21. Does anyone think he is one of the top 21 post-war players not in the HOF?

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  #16  
Old 09-16-2008, 03:55 PM
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Posted By: Jodi Birkholm

Chris,

Gil wasn't too bad of a manager, either. Seeing Hodges at the plate was apparently a sight to behold that doesn't translate well to paper. That's what I have been led to believe by old-time fans and former teammates.

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  #17  
Old 09-16-2008, 04:20 PM
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Posted By: Chris Counts

While I agree that the Miracle Mets of 1969 had a truly miraculous season, Hodges career winning percentage as a manager was .467. With essentially the same team, the Mets finished third the next two seasons after '69 ...

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  #18  
Old 09-16-2008, 04:28 PM
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Posted By: Frank Wakefield

I'm for Hodges, Kaat,and Torre getting in. Joe need not wait.

Oliver Carter someone

Hits 2743 2092 2472

Doubles 529 371 483

Home Runs 219 324 248

RBIs 1326 1225 1389

Average .303 .262 .285

On Base .344 .335 .348

Slugging .451 .439 .437


And someone lost some good playing time to military service.

Wish I knew how to tab and column on this...

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  #19  
Old 09-16-2008, 05:29 PM
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Posted By: Dan McHugh IV

Yeah I'm pissed Minnie didn't get nominated, anyway I think these 5 should be in starting with Kaat who pitched 25 seasons with an era of 3.45 with 283 wins + 2400+ K's, yeah thats sounds hof worthy. Of all hitters that were nominated only Oliver batted over 300 (.303)and also had 219 HRs, 1300 Rbi's + 2700+ hits, I'm sorry but how is that not HOF worthy?? Also I really think Minoso derserves to be in. I mean batting .298 with 1000+ RBi's + close to 2000 hits for 17 seasons is pretty damn good.Allen + Torre both hit over .290 with Torre getting 2300+ hits, 250 HR + 1100 RBi along with Allen hitting 350 HRs 1100 RBi's + 1800+ hits, how are these guys not in the hall as compared to some that are?? I don't get it!
Dan

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  #20  
Old 09-16-2008, 05:29 PM
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Posted By: samuel

to me only oliva, santo, minoso and munson should be in. but there's probably a place for maris and wills.

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  #21  
Old 09-16-2008, 05:31 PM
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Posted By: Mark

I agree with Andrew S. above.... Hodges and Santo.

Regarding Lee May... It was indeed a surprise to see his name among that list of 21. But he hit the longest/highest home run I have ever seen, back in 1968. It soared over the screen that was put in place above the fence (to catch homers) and ended up on the freeway behind Crosley Field.

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  #22  
Old 09-16-2008, 05:44 PM
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Posted By: William Cohon

Omitting Minnie Minoso just gets my goat, too. I guess they just don't want him in there while he's around to enjoy it. It reminds me of the way Buck O'Neil was snubbed in favor of a slew of questionable candidates.

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  #23  
Old 09-16-2008, 06:13 PM
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Posted By: Chris Counts

Bill and Dan,

It's nice to see some support for Minnie. I've ranted and raved about his exclusion from the Hall of Fame for years, and I believe if anyone took the time to examine his statistics and awards, they would see why he is clearly deserving (just check out his combination of power, speed and on-base percentage and defense). One of my theories is that he's a persona non grata with the baseball establishment because he refused to stop playing. I watched him get a hit off Sid Monge in 1976 (at 53), and after making one more appearance, he was actually banned from playing organized ball. That didn't stop the independent St. Paul Saints from bringing him in 2003 at the age of 77. He led off the game and fouled off a couple pitches for walking. It would really be a shame if he passes away without getting inducted ...

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  #24  
Old 09-16-2008, 07:56 PM
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Posted By: Steve Murray

Hodges, Kaat and Santo.

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  #25  
Old 09-16-2008, 08:10 PM
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Posted By: RayB

If you look at Oliver why not Buckner?

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  #26  
Old 09-16-2008, 09:25 PM
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Posted By: Ol' Prof

Hodges, definitely. As much for his glove as for his bat, and certainly for his ability as manager. And Minnie? OF COURSE. Best 52T of the whole set, if only for calling him "Orestes."

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  #27  
Old 09-16-2008, 09:25 PM
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Posted By: Dan McHugh IV

sorry but Oliver is more deserving than Buckner as he leds Buckner in EVERY major category, outside of Oliver's 7 A.S games + 3 Silver sluggers compared to Buckners 1 A.S game + No SS here's how they match up:
H HR RBi avg slg
Oliver 2743 219 1326 .303 .451
Buckner 2715 174 1208 .289 .408

sorry but i truly believe Oliver is hall worthy and buckner is on the outside looking in,
Dan

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  #28  
Old 09-16-2008, 09:32 PM
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Posted By: Ken McMillan

Santo and Hodges get my vote.

Kmac

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  #29  
Old 09-16-2008, 09:48 PM
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Posted By: jay wolt

"If you look at Oliver why not Buckner?"

Why not Bill Madlock? He had a higher career average then Oliver & Buckner

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  #30  
Old 09-16-2008, 09:48 PM
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Posted By: Kyle

Chicago will erupt if Santo makes it.

How does one weigh a World Series Championship over Santo making the HOF? I could see it going both ways... WS takes the cake, with serious hope Santo makes it eventually.

-Kyle

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  #31  
Old 09-16-2008, 10:50 PM
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Posted By: Anthony N.

None of the guys on the ballot have gotten a single hit, struck out a single batter, or stolen a single base since they were passed over 15 consecutive times by the BBWAA. What his changed to make them more worthy now, other than our perspective and possible romanticization of their careers?
I can certainly understand Negro Leaguers (although opening the floodgates to 17 seems to have jumped the shark, with apologies to Ryan). I can see managers, executives, umpires, anyone that didn't appear on the BBWAA ballot. I can see players like O'Doul and Minoso, that don't fit within the original rules but whose contributions go well beyond their (mlb) playing careers. I can also see 19th Century players and players that retired well before the first ballot in 1936, since we have so much more research and sharing of information on these players than we did previously.
I just can't see the point of reconsidering players that have been considered on 15 separate ballots. The question has been asked and answered, and the answer, then as now, should remain no.

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  #32  
Old 09-16-2008, 11:28 PM
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Posted By: Jodi Birkholm

I certainly appreciate your logic and wholeheartedly agree with you that there are far more deserving potential inductees from various other eras/areas of the game. That's where the focus should be. Let them not waste time with Lee May. Hear, hear.

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  #33  
Old 09-17-2008, 09:57 AM
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Posted By: Alan U

Madlock 700 less hits than both Buckner and Oliver.

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  #34  
Old 09-17-2008, 10:11 AM
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Posted By: Alan

I wish they didn't need to elect (at least someone) every year. I'm with the opinion that there are too many guys in the HOF already. It should be the best of the best. Throw many of these current HOFers out.

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  #35  
Old 09-17-2008, 10:54 AM
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Posted By: Paul

I've always been a supporter of Hodges. But comparing his numbers to Frank Howard, Rocky Colavito, and Norm Cash is pretty enlightening. And each of them got only about 10 HOF votes total (or less) over 15 years.

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  #36  
Old 09-17-2008, 11:26 AM
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Posted By: Chris Counts

Nice observation, Paul. In many cases, the public's perception of a player's greatness wins out over sound reasoning, such as a comparative study of a player's statistics measured aginst those he played with and against. I highly recommend Bill James' books, which go into this subject in great detail.

While a number of board members believe the Hall of Fame should have less, and not more, members, I would like to see its doors open a little wider. Clearly, the selection process has been flawed front the start, with politics often taking precendent over an objective analysis of a player's record. Just because the voters have considered a player 12 or 15 times doesn't mean they've gotten the vote right. And it's not like the potential new members are lesser players than dozens already inducted (Cecil Travis versus Rabbit Maranville, Jesse Haines versus Luis Tiant, Minnie Minoso versus Ross Youngs, etc.). Plus, by admitting new members each year, the public is more engaged with baseball's past, which is a big part of the game's appeal ...

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  #37  
Old 09-17-2008, 11:46 AM
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Posted By: Jodi Birkholm

Good points, Chris. Haines shouldn't be in the Hall; neither should Tiant. Boyer and Klu were popular players on teams which, at that time, lacked a superstar. They were both very talented, but to me they fall just short of having what it takes to get in. Munson and Hodges were great players on teams virtually loaded with star power. To me the confusion lies within the area of:

A) Have Hodges and Munson been repeatedly overlooked because their greatness was constantly overshadowed by the feats of their HOF teammates, or

B) Would they have been inducted already if their respective stars had the chance to shine on a second-rate club (but a good annual second or third-place contender)?

Personally, I'm not for Munson being inducted. And, after all of this discussion, a few of you are actually starting to change my perspective on Gil (which kind of hurts, after all the time I've spent fighting for his case!). Opinions can be changed, though, and most times for the greater good, so keep posting your educated thoughts on the subject as opposed to simply "playing favorites". This has been an interesting topic, and to me has evolved into much more admirable series of thoughts and fact-based opinions than these types of threads have in the past.

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  #38  
Old 09-17-2008, 12:03 PM
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Posted By: Chris Counts

Jodi,

Personally, I like the idea of Ken Boyer in Cooperstown, but not for any obvious reason. On numbers alone, third base is by far the most underrepresented position in the Hall of Fame. Boyer was not one of baseball's greatest players, but he was one of its greatest third basemen. And as a former third baseman myself, I can't imagine a Hall of Fame without its fair share of players from that critical defensive position.

Analyzing who is and who isn't worthy of induction is not an easy task, in part because we are all so swayed by the players we like. I always thought Vada Pinson, one of my childhood heroes, was worthy until I looked at his on base average, which didn't occur until just a few years ago.

Here is a comparison I like to use to illustrate how the perception of a player’s greatness differs greatly from reality. Here are two pitchers who were born just a few months apart and whose careers started the very same season. One is unquestionably a Hall of Famer, while the other’s name never, ever comes up in Hall of Fame discussions and probaly never will ...

Pitcher #1 ... 192-121, 3.19 ERA, 1140Ks, 739BB, 30 shutouts and 192 complete games;

Pitcher #2 ... 189-102, 3.34 ERA, 1468Ks, 1095 BB, 28 shutouts and 173 complete games

Statistically, they are as close as two pitchers could be. One guy threw harder, the other had better control. And they played during the same era. Which one is the Hall of Famer?

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  #39  
Old 09-17-2008, 12:27 PM
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Posted By: Anthony N.

Chris-
Did both pitchers play the same number of seasons? Did either win a Cy Young, or a World Series? Pitch a no hitter?
Stats don't always tell the full story.

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  #40  
Old 09-17-2008, 12:34 PM
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Posted By: Jodi Birkholm

Warneke vs. Gomez, eh? There are many pitchers whose exclusion is mind-boggling. This is one of the worst areas to discuss, as playing of favorites always comes into play even more than with other positions whose populations in Cooperstown are dwarfed by all the pitchers and outfielders. It certainly helped Gomez that he was Yankee, as it later aided Phil Rizzuto.

If you are keen on third basemen, then what about Cox? Surely the greatest defensive/offensive 3B prior to Brooks. I dare say that Cox was at least equal to Robinson from a purely defensive standpoint. Cox was a man of few words and fewer friends. He was a solitary man who let his glove and bat speak on his behalf. Has baseball forgotten Billy Cox?

Not to get back into my love-fest for Hank O'Day's case, but I did want to point out the eerily similar personal characteristics shared by O'Day and Cox. Neither man had but perhaps one friend in baseball (Cox had Furillo; O'Day had fellow player/ump Bob Emslie). Both men were highly respected for their conduct and superior abilities on the field. Both seem to have been very shy and aloof individuals, thereby hindering the chances of their contemporaries getting to know/warm up to them. This last part is especially hurtful to their cases when you think of how sportswriters would feel about that. Neither man was known for giving many interviews. When playing their own favorite Cooperstown choices, the writers are obviously going to take that into consideration. Chances are that they would either feel offended by a perceived "cold shoulder", or they would have a tendency to forget about the quiet players/umpires of strong ability.

Please excuse my slightly o/t tangent. I would be interested in hearing if anybody else agrees/disagrees with the above.

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Old 09-17-2008, 03:43 PM
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Posted By: howard

Jodi, I agree that how a player carries himself can help or hurt his hall of fame chances but even so there is just no way that Cox should be considered as a hall of famer. He was a starting 3B for only a few years after starting out as a mediocre SS and even as a starter he had as many as 500 official ABs in a season once. He was also an average hitter at best which combined w/a short career makes for a very weak case for him.

Howard

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  #42  
Old 09-17-2008, 03:52 PM
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Posted By: Jodi Birkholm

I wasn't pleading his case for the Hall. I just wish more people would remember him.

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  #43  
Old 09-17-2008, 04:09 PM
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Posted By: howard

I hear ya. It's tough for a player like him since the stats don't tell you much and most of the footage of him is black and white and grainy. still, just as T card collectors perpetuate the memory of players like Jack Barry, Bowman and Topps collectors will do the same for Billy Cox.

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  #44  
Old 09-17-2008, 04:23 PM
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Posted By: Bob

If only AL HOF pitchers were voting, Tony Oliva would be a shoo-in. Before he crippled both knees he was the most feared hitter in baseball in the minds of guys like Jim Palmer and the others who faced him according to interviews with him. If Kirby Puckett is in, not letting Tony O in would be a sin. If he had played in New York, he would already be in. All those batting titles, that rifle of an arm and speed and the demeanor of an Ernie Banks.
I'd like to see Jim Kaat get in to but if he does and Bert Byleven doesn't make it eventually something is terribly wrong...

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Old 09-17-2008, 04:25 PM
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Posted By: Jodi Birkholm

Bob,

I have been wondering why Blyleven isn't even mentioned as a potential inductee in the article. That's a travesty. Kaat is also deserving, I figure.

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Old 09-17-2008, 04:28 PM
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Posted By: Chris Counts

Billy Cox perfectly illustrates the challenge of rating players defensively. Until today, I never considered the possibility that he was as good or better at playing third base than Brooks Robinson. Yet after Jodi's comment, I Googled him and found out that more than one baseball historian considers him the greatest of all third basemen from defensive perspective. Just think how people would percieve him today if the camera work that captured Robinson in the 1970 World Series had been available in the early 1950s ...

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Old 09-17-2008, 04:32 PM
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Default More potential Hall of Famers announced ...

Posted By: Chris Counts

Bob.

I agree with you on Oliva. When I was a kid growing up, I always considered him the equal of Roberto Clemente ...

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Old 09-17-2008, 04:36 PM
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Posted By: boxingcardman

Guys whose careers don't follow the exact patterns familiar to HOF voters but who should be in there if it is to be a hall of fame connected with baseball:

Lefty O'Doul: http://imageevent.com/exhibitman/frankleftyodoulcard

Gil Hodges: As a pure player, no. Combined with his record as a manager, heck yes!

Joe Torre: Same as Hodges but very likely will get in when he retires or dies.

Buck O'Neil: taken as a whole, should be in there.

Don Newcombe: I was privileged to spend an afternoon talking baseball with Mr. Newcombe a few years ago. Nevermind the racism that kept him out of organized baseball for several years; he was held back in the minors as well. He told me that the Dodgers brass informed him on no uncertain terms that they would not be bringing up multiple black players, which forced him to spend two extra years in the minors as he waited his turn to be brought into the majors, despite being ready to pitch at the major league level. Newk's first three seasons were 17-8, 19-11 and 20-9. He then got drafted and came back from the Army with 20-5 and 27-7. I think it is fair to say that he lost about 40 wins as a result of being held in the minors two extra seasons, which would have put him right around 195-199 wins overall and several years as a dominant pitcher.

Orestes Minoso: Honestly, I'm torn over this one. On the one hand, he definitely lost something due to racism. On the other hand, he debuted in 1949 at 23 years old and tore up the league with a .188 average and was sent to the minors for seasoning, coming back in 1951. I don't think hitting the majors at 23 shows palpable effects of racism, especially when he wasn't exactly scintillating when he was given the chance. Contrast that with Monte Irvin, who debuted at age 30 in 1949 and was definitely screwed out of several years of his career and thus has a legitimate Negro Leage/MLB aggregate career claim. Minoso was an interesting, colorful character but falls a bit shy of HOF caliber and wasn't affected enough by the exclusionary rules to give him a bye on that one. And FWIW, Willie Mays is only 2 years younger than Minoso.

Bob, you're right about Oliva. To even consider Minoso, Oliver, Lee Maye (?) before him is a travesty.

Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc

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Old 09-17-2008, 04:38 PM
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Posted By: howard

I think Blyleven was left off because he is still eligible to be elected the old fashioned way.

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Old 09-17-2008, 10:30 PM
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Posted By: Jodi Birkholm

As has already been discussed by many of us, an ambassadors category should be created, thus allowing upstanding Irishmen such as O'Doul and O'Neil to get in with no trouble whatsoever.

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