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  #1  
Old 08-05-2020, 09:54 AM
OldOriole OldOriole is offline
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Default Worst Team of all HOFers

I was thinking about some of the poor choices that have been made for enshrining players into the Baseball Hall of Fame and started to wonder "Who were the worst?", "What selections were the most egregious?". I took a look at the WAR of every HOFer inducted as a player (caveat: I know WAR is imperfect, but it's a useful tool in comparing players across eras). Then I sorted them by position (didn't include relievers). The results are listed below. I've included their career WAR and where they rank all-time (only up to 1,000 - yes a few HOFers aren't even in the top 1,000 all-time). Interestingly, every single player was elected by the Veteran's Committee. I knew it was bad there for a while, but didn't realize it was this bad.

C - Rick Ferrell: 31.1 WAR (796th all time)
1B- George Kelly: 24.9 WAR (1000+ all time)
2B- Bill Mazeroski: 36.5 WAR (618th all time)
SS- Phil Rizzuto: 42.0 WAR (467th all time)
3B- Fred Lindstrom: 27.5 WAR (958th all time)
LF- Chick Hafey: 31.1 WAR (797th all time)
CF- Lloyd Waner: 27.9 WAR (931st all time)
RF- Tommy McCarthy 16.2 WAR (1000+ all time)
DH- Harold Baines 38.7 WAR (554th all-time)
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2020, 10:25 AM
packs packs is offline
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Here's my all time Eh team:

C - Ray Schalk (career OPS of 656)
1B - Frank Chance
2B - Red Schoendienst (career OPS+ under 100)
3B - Lindstrom
SS - Bobby Wallace
LF - Hafey
CF - Max Carey
RF - Elmer Flick
DH - Baines

MGR - Tommy Lasorda (lots of managers have won 2 WS, so what?)
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2020, 04:21 PM
G1911 G1911 is offline
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Counting only players who were elected primarily for their contributions as players, elected for their talent as players (not players like Cummings who made it primarily because he was credited with inventing the curve), and elected for their performance in a league for which their is a reasonable statistical basis for objective analysis. I am also considering that many of the "worst" are labelled as such because their offensive stats are weak, but they were elected primarily for their defense.

SP: Jesse Haines
SP: Rube Marquard
SP: Catfish Hunter
SP: Jack Morris
RP: Bruce Sutter
C: Rick Ferrell
1B: George Kelly
2B: Joe Gordon
3B: Fred Lindstrom
SS: Travis Jackson
LF: Chick Hafey
CF: Lloyd Waner
RF: Ross Youngs
DH: Harold Baines


As a counter, the best player at each who is not in the Hall of Fame, not on the active ballot, and is not excluded for his cheating/gross misconduct (Jackson/Rose/Steroids):

SP: Jim McCormick
SP: Bob Caruthers
SP: Billy Pierce
SP: Kevin Brown
RP: John Franco, no real snubs, too many in.
RP: Dan Quisenberry
C: Jorge Posada, no real snubs
1B: Gil Hodges counting some points for the 68 Mets; Will Clark, Fred McGriff or Mattingly otherwise
2B: Grich or Whitaker, but suspect it will end up being Kent. No real snubs.
3B: Ken Boyer
SS: Bill Dahlen
LF: Minnie Minoso
CF: Kenny Lofton
RF: Bobby Abreu, no one has really been snubbed here.


On the whole, they have done well with starting pitchers. I think the best non-HOFers are easily better than the worst HOF team.
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  #4  
Old 08-05-2020, 11:32 PM
todeen todeen is offline
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Not to say yay or nay against Chick Hafey, but imagine the possibilities if he hadn't had the worst eyes in all of baseball history.

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  #5  
Old 08-06-2020, 01:31 AM
G1911 G1911 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todeen View Post
Not to say yay or nay against Chick Hafey, but imagine the possibilities if he hadn't had the worst eyes in all of baseball history.

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Hafey is one of my favorite old players, and a great what-if in baseball history that is sadly overlooked. He might be the only man in baseball history whose reputation is less than it would be otherwise because he made the hall of fame. Because he did, we have "Why is Chick Hafey in the HOF? Ridiculous" and "Why isn't Cecil Travis in?!".

His election is a bit absurd and he clearly belongs on this team, but it is something of a shame that this is pretty much all that anyone ever says about him. How the man hit .317 with those eyes I will never understand.
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  #6  
Old 08-06-2020, 01:31 PM
ThomasL ThomasL is offline
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Two players not mentioned that I think are easily in the conversation of "worst" HOFer at their position:

Rabbit Maranville at SS
Candy Cummings at Pitcher (I would offer up as the weakest/worst HOFer period)
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  #7  
Old 08-07-2020, 05:58 AM
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P - Jack Morris
C - Rick Ferrell
1B- George Kelly
2B- Red Schoendienst
SS- Phil Rizzuto
3B- Fred Lindstrom
LF- Chick Hafey
CF- Lloyd Waner
RF- Tommy McCarthy
DH- Harold Baines
RP - Lee Smith
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  #8  
Old 08-07-2020, 02:49 PM
Chuck9788 Chuck9788 is offline
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C'mon, give Harold some love!

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  #9  
Old 08-07-2020, 05:40 PM
Shoeless Moe Shoeless Moe is offline
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Rat,

Thank you for putting Lee Smith.

Guy never won a WS, never won a Cy Young.

Pitched for 8 teams......how does a HOFer get released by 7 teams?????

Lifetime WL Record 71-92

Postseason ERA 8.44

and I'm a Cub fan and saw him many times, never thought for a second he was a HOFer. Wanted him out of town most of the time.
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  #10  
Old 08-07-2020, 09:18 PM
todeen todeen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G1911 View Post
Hafey is one of my favorite old players, and a great what-if in baseball history that is sadly overlooked....



His election is a bit absurd and he clearly belongs on this team, but it is something of a shame that this is pretty much all that anyone ever says about him. How the man hit .317 with those eyes I will never understand.
Exactly!

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  #11  
Old 08-08-2020, 07:01 AM
psu psu is offline
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always thought jim rice was over ratted dave parker played in same era has better numbers and is not in
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  #12  
Old 08-08-2020, 07:41 AM
Mike D. Mike D. is offline
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Fun thread! Of note is that the vast majority of these guys were put in years ago. The “the HOF is getting worse” argument gets a demerit here.

Of course, Baines and Morris selections of late are proof that poor selections can and do still happen.
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  #13  
Old 08-08-2020, 07:47 AM
Mike D. Mike D. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psu View Post
always thought jim rice was over ratted dave parker played in same era has better numbers and is not in
Rice is very borderline HOF (and I’m a Red Sox fan)...but Parker has lower career BA/OBP/SLG, fewer HR and RBI, lower OPS and OPS+, and less career WAR. Parker had more career hits and doubles, but in more PA.
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  #14  
Old 08-08-2020, 08:01 AM
Mike D. Mike D. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoeless Moe View Post
Rat,

Thank you for putting Lee Smith.

Guy never won a WS, never won a Cy Young.

Pitched for 8 teams......how does a HOFer get released by 7 teams?????

Lifetime WL Record 71-92

Postseason ERA 8.44

and I'm a Cub fan and saw him many times, never thought for a second he was a HOFer. Wanted him out of town most of the time.
Smith is borderline HOF at best, but he was “released” once in his career...in Sept of his last season. And he played for 4 of those 7 teams after age 35 at the end of his career.

That being said, he’s below the average for a HOF reliever (only a few enshrined). He got elected based on holding the save record for a time. The HOF really hasn’t “figured out” relievers yet.
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  #15  
Old 08-08-2020, 10:24 AM
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Jim65 Jim65 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike D. View Post
Smith is borderline HOF at best, but he was “released” once in his career...in Sept of his last season. And he played for 4 of those 7 teams after age 35 at the end of his career.

That being said, he’s below the average for a HOF reliever (only a few enshrined). He got elected based on holding the save record for a time. The HOF really hasn’t “figured out” relievers yet.
Definitely true, Billy Wagner was way better than Lee Smith ever was and he's waiting.
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  #16  
Old 08-08-2020, 02:13 PM
Mike D. Mike D. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim65 View Post
Definitely true, Billy Wagner was way better than Lee Smith ever was and he's waiting.
Wagner is an interesting case. Only 903 career IP...but about 1 fewer career WAR than Smith, who threw 1289 innings.

Not that WAR is great for relievers...but still!
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Old 09-03-2020, 05:05 PM
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Twenty-five years ago Bill James published a great book called The Politics of Glory (later reissued as What Ever Happened to the Hall of Fame?). The book is full of analysis of the HOF: who's in, who's not, who should and shouldn't be, etc.
Here's his list of the least qualified members. Remember it's from the mid-1990s.

C. Ray Schalk
1B. (tie) George Kelly and Frank Chance
2B. Johnny Evers
3B. Jimmy Collins
SS. Joe Tinker
LF. Chick Hafey
CF. Lloyd Waner
RF. Tommy McCarthy
SP. Jesse Haines
RP. There were only 2 in the Hall at the time so no pick

I don't agree with all of it, but it's a good list.
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Old 09-03-2020, 06:24 PM
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It's funny how Tinkers, Evers, and Chance are all on that list. I've always thought the 'only' reason they are in The Hall is because every baseball fan knows the saying, "Tinkers to Evers to Chance," so they each achieved more acclaim than they probably deserved?? (To be fair, I've never actually studied their stats.)
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Old 09-03-2020, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyElm View Post
It's funny how Tinkers, Evers, and Chance are all on that list. I've always thought the 'only' reason they are in The Hall is because every baseball fan knows the saying, "Tinkers to Evers to Chance," so they each achieved more acclaim than they probably deserved?? (To be fair, I've never actually studied their stats.)
This 1910 poem by Franklin P. Adams is why that trio is in the Hall:

These are the saddest of possible words:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double-
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."
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Old 09-06-2020, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G1911 View Post
Counting only players who were elected primarily for their contributions as players, elected for their talent as players (not players like Cummings who made it primarily because he was credited with inventing the curve), and elected for their performance in a league for which their is a reasonable statistical basis for objective analysis. I am also considering that many of the "worst" are labelled as such because their offensive stats are weak, but they were elected primarily for their defense.

SP: Jesse Haines
SP: Rube Marquard
SP: Catfish Hunter
SP: Jack Morris
RP: Bruce Sutter
C: Rick Ferrell
1B: George Kelly
2B: Joe Gordon
3B: Fred Lindstrom
SS: Travis Jackson
LF: Chick Hafey
CF: Lloyd Waner
RF: Ross Youngs
DH: Harold Baines


As a counter, the best player at each who is not in the Hall of Fame, not on the active ballot, and is not excluded for his cheating/gross misconduct (Jackson/Rose/Steroids):

SP: Jim McCormick
SP: Bob Caruthers
SP: Billy Pierce
SP: Kevin Brown
RP: John Franco, no real snubs, too many in.
RP: Dan Quisenberry
C: Jorge Posada, no real snubs
1B: Gil Hodges counting some points for the 68 Mets; Will Clark, Fred McGriff or Mattingly otherwise
2B: Grich or Whitaker, but suspect it will end up being Kent. No real snubs.
3B: Ken Boyer
SS: Bill Dahlen
LF: Minnie Minoso
CF: Kenny Lofton
RF: Bobby Abreu, no one has really been snubbed here.


On the whole, they have done well with starting pitchers. I think the best non-HOFers are easily better than the worst HOF team.


LUIS TIANT! Forgotten yet again.

At least you included Minoso, but no Oliva.

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Old 09-16-2020, 04:31 PM
MCoxon MCoxon is offline
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I would agree with adding Oliva, in addition to Minoso. First Cuban (Minoso), with good stats, longevity, and a great personality; and 3 time batting-champ (Oliva) whose bad knees doomed him from a longer-lived career
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  #22  
Old 09-17-2020, 10:03 PM
G1911 G1911 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clydepepper View Post
LUIS TIANT! Forgotten yet again.

At least you included Minoso, but no Oliva.

.
Tiant has a good case, but there's quite a number of very similar pitchers at that 3-,3,500 inning 110-120 ERA+ range to pick from. The difference between Pierce and Tiant is very small; I like Pierce's 119 ERA+ better. I think a better case can be made that, value wise, the pitchers should all be 19th century guys then picking between the absent post-war starters. Oliva has surprisingly similar hitting value, adjusted for league and park, to Abreu but in a career much shorter. Both had good defense, Abreu had 400 steals. Abreu will be an unpopular pick because he's not a name nor a sentimental favorite to anyone, but the math suggests to me significantly more value, old stats and new stats alike. I think I stand by my list.
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