Thursday, January 22

Who's Hall Worthy?

It's been a slow few days in Red Sox Nation so I thought I'd go off on something that boggles my mind, the Hall of Fame. More specifically, what makes a baseball player's pro career Hall of Fame worthy.

In the history of the Hall of Fame (HOF), no player has received 100% of the vote; only 75% is required, but you would think a handful of players deserved the 100% vote right? Names like Ruth, Williams, DiMaggio, Marris, Cobb, and Musial come to mind, however that's not the case. Babe Ruth got a total of 215 of a possible 226 votes in 1936 for 95.13%. Possibly the greatest player in the history of the game, who hit 714 home runs with a lifetime average of .342 wasn't unanimously voted in. Who were those 11 sports writers who did not vote for Babe Ruth?

I see two main problems with deciding who is HOF worthy, the format of deciding and the writers themselves. In my opinion, some writers are not qualified to vote on baseballs' highest honor, I only need to point to the 11 guys who thought Babe Ruth was over rated.

This year Jim Rice was finally inducted into the HOF in his 15th and final year on the ballot. Those of us in Boston have heard the story that Rice was a huge dick to the media and every year that costed him votes.

Mickey Mantle was a drunk and a womanizer from all accounts and I can only assume that is why he only received 88% of the vote when he was finally voted into the HOF. Let's throw out his 534 home runs and 20 all star games and chalk it up to the fact that he liked the sauce. So 12% of the Baseball Writers Association of America didn't like that Mantle had a night life? I never saw most of the guys in the HOF play, however when you look at their numbers I can't begin to fathom how someone doesn't vote for them.

Ted Williams hit 525 home runs, with a career .344 average and an on base percentage of .482, he only got 93% of the vote. I'd also point out this guy flew fighter jets in World War II (during his prime), what does a player have to do to impress these guys?

Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn are my favorite examples because I saw them both play and have vivid memories of both. Ripken had 3,184 hits, 431 home runs and played in 2,632 straight games; Gwynn had 3,141 hits and a career batting average of .338. What percentage of the vote did they receive you ask? Ripken received 98.5% and Gwynn 97.6%...

I've heard and read that no player has ever received 100% of the vote because no one is more pure then the game itself. I've stayed up entire nights trying to figuring out what that means and still can't wrap my head around it.

Today Jeff Kent retired from the game of baseball and the question is already being asked, is Kent deserving of the HOF? I'm going to guess that in 5 years when his name first appears on the ballot he won't get the 75% he needs. Ryan Sandberg is in the Hall, he had 2,286 hits, 282 home runs and a career average of .285. Kent is a career .290 hitter, with 2,461 hits and 377 home runs, the most of any second basemen in the history of the game; if Sandberg is in the hall Kent has got to be as well.

Tim Kurkchin said that he thinks Jeff Kent gets into the HOF, but not in his first year of eligibility, I guess his numbers will get better after each year he's retired? I hope Kent makes it to Cooperstown one day, not because he's the best player I've ever seen but because of his numbers. I don't have a better way to decide if players should be in the HOF, not yet at least, but I think we can all agree that the system in place now makes about as much sense as bringing in Heathcliff Slocumb in relief.


Soxin09' said...

Similar to Rice, Curt Schilling may one day face the same issues of pissing too many people off with his mouth to get into the HOF.

Kent should get in, but I agree, it definitely won't be on the first attempt.

D Vicino said...

I don't think Curt's deal with WEEI will help out his HOF cause at all either. Good for him for saying what's on his mind...but just shut up sometimes Curt....

....and oh, by the way, thanks again for 2004.

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