Wheel of mystery Hall of Fame contenders
I wanted to talk about something in the context of the Rickey-inspired Rice and Tim Raines discussions. Here’s a couple of players, but you have to promise you’re not going to hit Baseball Reference and work out who they are before it’s time.
Player A: 12 seasons, .271/.390/.406. 5,015 at-bats, 1,051 hits, 221 doubles, 34 triples, 129 home runs, 974 walks. 100th-best OBP ever (just behind Dave Magadan!). 119th all-time in walks. Five all-star games, finished second in one MVP vote.
Player B: 13 seasons, .291/.401/.444 line. In 6,483 at-bats had 1,888 hits, 311 doubles, 51 triples, 184 home runs, and 1,1191 walks. That’s 60th on the career OBP list, 57 on the career walk list, down in the mid-300s for doubles, the HRs almost doesn’t count. Nine all-star game appearances, one MVP.
Player C: 23 seasons, .294/.385/.425. 7 all-star game picks. OBP is ~130 all-time career. SLG almost #600. 113 in doubles (about to be passed by Alex). 33rd in total walks.
Player D: 16 seasons, .298/.352/.502. Eight all-star games, one MVP. SLG is the 89th-best career mark. HRs the 55th-best ever.
Player E: 13 seasons. .279/.399/.419. 255 doubles, 33 triples, 149 HR. 1,095 walks. 60th-best career OBP. 74th all-time walks. Seven all-star games, one MVP.
A – 638 SB, 174 CS (15th all-time)
B – 994 SB(!), 229 CS (2nd all-time)
C – 808 SB, 146 CS (5th all-time)
D – 58 SB, 34 CS
E – 703 SB, 168 CS (11th all-time)
So which of these guys belong in the Hall of Fame? Player B is clearly deserving, obviously one of the best hitters and base-runners ever. Player A, Player C, Player E… depends, but those are pretty good cases. If you’re taking the top 100 hitters ever, you’re going to be waffling over whether they get on the list. Maybe you wouldn’t shed a tears if they didn’t make it, but clearly you’re going to look when they played, how great their defense was, and so on. Player D, when you put it like this, and knowing you’re leaning towards denying A, C, and E… well, no.
Player A is 12 randomly-picked Rickey Henderson seasons (79, 81, 82, 86-88,91, 92, 94, 96, 01, 02). Player B is the first 13 years of Rickey Henderson played. Player C is Tim Raines’ career. Player D is Jim Rice, who was just elected. Player E is half of Rickey Henderson’s career numbers.