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6 new members of the Hall of Fame


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https://www.mlb.com/news/2021-hall-of-fame-committee-election-results

 

Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Miñoso and Tony Oliva were elected by the Golden Days Era Committee, and Bud Fowler and Buck O’Neil were chosen by the Early Baseball Era Committee.

 

So happy for all of them, they deserve to be in the hall, especially Fowler & Buck.

 

Dick Allen fell 1 vote shy of being elected as well.

 

Joe Posnanski, who wrote a wonderful book about Buck O'Neil, wrote a happy article about his induction.

 

https://joeposnanski.substack.com/p/give-it-up-for-buck-oneil

 

It's a shame Buck and Minnie won't be there to accept their honors.

 

"I wasted so much time in my life hating Juventus or A.C. Milan that I should have spent hating the Cardinals." ~kalle8

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Congrats to everybody, though Kaat & Olivo feel more like Hall of Very Good to me.

 

Kaat played 25 years & all the gold gloves are great, but ultimately a 108 ERA+ and 50.5 career WAR | 38.1 peak WAR are well below Hall Standards. I'd say Jimmy Key (122 ERA+ | 48.9 career WAR | 36.5 peak WAR) and Ron Guidry (119 ERA+ | 47.8 career WAR | 38.0 peak WAR) were much better pitchers putting up similar value despite 2,000 fewer innings each.

 

Olivo is kind of the opposite where he had a nice peak (38.6 WAR) though it was still short of the average HOF RF peak (42.4 WAR). But that was pretty much it for Tony with 43.0 career WAR vs 71.1 career WAR for the average HOF RF. I mean Giancarlo Stanton is already at 44.1 career WAR | 35.1 peak WAR with a 143 OPS+ (Olivo 131 OPS+) & I don't think anybody has him ticketed for Cooperstown at the moment.

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Agree with RCC regarding Dick (Richie) Allen. He deserves the HOF with all the garbage he had to put up with in the Philly organization in the 60’s alone. Very powerful man and feared hitter during pitching dominated era. Excellent write-up on sabr.org. A couple of Milwaukee connections; MLB debut against the Braves in 9-1963 and brother Hank Allen played on the first Brewer team in 1970 for 28 games.

 

https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/dick-allen

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Agree with RCC regarding Dick (Richie) Allen. He deserves the HOF with all the garbage he had to put up with in the Philly organization in the 60’s alone. Very powerful man and feared hitter during pitching dominated era. Excellent write-up on sabr.org. A couple of Milwaukee connections; MLB debut against the Braves in 9-1963 and brother Hank Allen played on the first Brewer team in 1970 for 28 games.

 

https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/dick-allen

 

Should be in the hall for this photo alone.

 

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"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
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Congrats to everybody, though Kaat & Olivo feel more like Hall of Very Good to me.

 

Kaat played 25 years & all the gold gloves are great, but ultimately a 108 ERA+ and 50.5 career WAR | 38.1 peak WAR are well below Hall Standards. I'd say Jimmy Key (122 ERA+ | 48.9 career WAR | 36.5 peak WAR) and Ron Guidry (119 ERA+ | 47.8 career WAR | 38.0 peak WAR) were much better pitchers putting up similar value despite 2,000 fewer innings each.

 

Olivo is kind of the opposite where he had a nice peak (38.6 WAR) though it was still short of the average HOF RF peak (42.4 WAR). But that was pretty much it for Tony with 43.0 career WAR vs 71.1 career WAR for the average HOF RF. I mean Giancarlo Stanton is already at 44.1 career WAR | 35.1 peak WAR with a 143 OPS+ (Olivo 131 OPS+) & I don't think anybody has him ticketed for Cooperstown at the moment.

 

i think Kaat's 2000 more innings probably would tilt him into the HOF for me just on that longetivity. Under the Hall of Fame Monitor, he hits 130 when a likely HOF player is at 100. I think the longetivity makes his case as opposed to hurting it.

 

I post this despite his presence on the 1982 Cardinals (SPIT).

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Congrats to everybody, though Kaat & Olivo feel more like Hall of Very Good to me.

 

Kaat played 25 years & all the gold gloves are great, but ultimately a 108 ERA+ and 50.5 career WAR | 38.1 peak WAR are well below Hall Standards. I'd say Jimmy Key (122 ERA+ | 48.9 career WAR | 36.5 peak WAR) and Ron Guidry (119 ERA+ | 47.8 career WAR | 38.0 peak WAR) were much better pitchers putting up similar value despite 2,000 fewer innings each..

 

i think Kaat's 2000 more innings probably would tilt him into the HOF for me just on that longetivity. Under the Hall of Fame Monitor, he hits 130 when a likely HOF player is at 100. I think the longetivity makes his case as opposed to hurting it.

 

I post this despite his presence on the 1982 Cardinals (SPIT).

 

Those 2,000 innings are mostly just a result of the eras they played in though. From 1984-98 when Key was active he threw the 6th most innings in MLB with the 3rd highest rWAR. From 1959-83 when Kaat was active he threw the 4th most innings in MLB with the 16th highest rWAR. Guidry didn't stack up in terms of health/longevity, throwing only the 21st most innings while he was active from 1975-88, but still managed a tie with Steve Carlton for 3rd in rWAR over that time frame due to his dominance when he was on the mound.

 

That Key/Guidry were able to put up similar value over 2,000 fewer innings is a testament to how much better pitchers they were, as borne out by their 11-14% edge in ERA+ & higher ranking among their contemporaries by rWAR.

 

If I'm splitting hairs between players with similar career value, give me the guys with the higher peaks over the guys that stuck around being average for a longer period of time.

 

Average Kaat season | 202 IP | 108 ERA+ | 2.0 WAR

Average Key season | 205 IP | 122 ERA+ | 3.9 WAR

Average Guidry season | 235 IP | 119 ERA+ | 4.7 WAR

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Congrats to everybody, though Kaat & Olivo feel more like Hall of Very Good to me.

 

Kaat played 25 years & all the gold gloves are great, but ultimately a 108 ERA+ and 50.5 career WAR | 38.1 peak WAR are well below Hall Standards. I'd say Jimmy Key (122 ERA+ | 48.9 career WAR | 36.5 peak WAR) and Ron Guidry (119 ERA+ | 47.8 career WAR | 38.0 peak WAR) were much better pitchers putting up similar value despite 2,000 fewer innings each..

 

i think Kaat's 2000 more innings probably would tilt him into the HOF for me just on that longetivity. Under the Hall of Fame Monitor, he hits 130 when a likely HOF player is at 100. I think the longetivity makes his case as opposed to hurting it.

 

I post this despite his presence on the 1982 Cardinals (SPIT).

 

Those 2,000 innings are mostly just a result of the eras they played in though. From 1984-98 when Key was active he threw the 6th most innings in MLB with the 3rd highest rWAR. From 1959-83 when Kaat was active he threw the 4th most innings in MLB with the 16th highest rWAR. Guidry didn't stack up in terms of health/longevity, throwing only the 21st most innings while he was active from 1975-88, but still managed a tie with Steve Carlton for 3rd in rWAR over that time frame due to his dominance when he was on the mound.

 

That Key/Guidry were able to put up similar value over 2,000 fewer innings is a testament to how much better pitchers they were, as borne out by their 11-14% edge in ERA+ & higher ranking among their contemporaries by rWAR.

 

If I'm splitting hairs between players with similar career value, give me the guys with the higher peaks over the guys that stuck around being average for a longer period of time.

 

Average Kaat season | 202 IP | 108 ERA+ | 2.0 WAR

Average Key season | 205 IP | 122 ERA+ | 3.9 WAR

Average Guidry season | 235 IP | 119 ERA+ | 4.7 WAR

 

I don't deny the higher peaks, but the longetivity also matters. Kaat was a key contributor to a World Series championship team in his 24th season, and racked up 16 Gold Gloves.

 

If you do want to talk numbers, Key's problem is he topped out at 186 wins, 97 below Kaat's career total. Guidry came in at 170 career wins, 113 short of Kaat's total.

 

Kaat had over 2400 stikeouts, several hundred more than either Guidry or Key.

 

He has roughly equivalent numbers to Tommy John, who I think also belongs in Cooperstown.

 

I'm just waiting for the inevitable Omar Vizquel induction. He's pulled roughly half the votes from the normal HOF ballot process the last few years.

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I don't deny the higher peaks, but the longetivity also matters. Kaat was a key contributor to a World Series championship team in his 24th season, and racked up 16 Gold Gloves.

 

If you do want to talk numbers, Key's problem is he topped out at 186 wins, 97 below Kaat's career total. Guidry came in at 170 career wins, 113 short of Kaat's total.

 

Kaat had over 2400 stikeouts, several hundred more than either Guidry or Key.

 

He has roughly equivalent numbers to Tommy John, who I think also belongs in Cooperstown.

 

I'm just waiting for the inevitable Omar Vizquel induction. He's pulled roughly half the votes from the normal HOF ballot process the last few years.

 

Kaat threw 75 IP with a 90 ERA+ which shakes out to -1.1 WAR for the 1982 Cardinals. That's a key contributor?

 

Wins? Really? I thought we'd moved far beyond using Wins to measure how good a pitcher is. Even if you do want to look at Wins for some reason, why not look at Losses too? Kaat lost 237 games, 120 more than Key and 146 more than Guidry. By winning percentage Key (.614%) and Guidry (.651%) easily outpace Kaat (.544%) because even though W/L is a team stat, Key & Guidry consistently gave their teams a better chance to win because they were notably better at preventing runs than Kaat.

 

Sure, Kaat has more strikeouts, he threw 2,000 more innings. Guidry (142 K%+) by a mile and Key by a smidgen (96 K%+) both struck out batters at a higher rate than Kaat (90 K%+) did once accounting for the different eras that they played in.

 

Vizquel's percentages are trending down pretty hard from last year at Ballot Tracker. 49.1% received in 2021 vs only 10.3% so far this year.

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Unlike most if not all of you, I actually saw Kaat pitch. So he wasn't Sandy Koufax, but not many guys in those days were, but he managed to stay healthy and be a quality starter with a very heavy workload into his late 30's. He made 41 starts as a 36 year old with the White Sox and logged over 300 innings. The most underrated ability of professional athletes is durability and Kaat was a marvel.

 

I'll also point out that he was the best defensive pitcher I've ever seen and it's not close and he was a career .185 hitter with 16 HR and 106 RBI.

 

I'll also point out that if you went to one of the 180 games he went the distance, chances are the game lasted under 2 hours and 15 minutes. In fact on July 7,1975 in a 2-1 loss to the Tigers, the time of game was 1 hour 38 minutes. He was Brent Suter before there was a Brent Suter.

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I think longevity also meant more prior to free agency. Drafting a guy who is going to be a positive contributor for over 20 years in the starting rotation. Put another way if you had asked me if a first round draft pick would have netted us someone to plug into our rotation at the dawn of the Brewerfan.net era and he'd still be pitching away at the backend of the rotation, I'd have taken that in a second.
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25 seasons is a marvel no doubt, but when almost half those seasons ended up with marginal to negative value it's considerably less impressive than it sounds.

 

1959: -0.5 WAR

1960: -0.7 WAR

1963: -0.6 WAR

1965: 0.4 WAR

1977: -1.4 WAR

1978: -0.2 WAR

1979: 0.3 WAR

1980: 0.3 WAR

1981: -0.7 WAR

1982: -1.1 WAR

1983: -0.2 WAR

 

Same thing with the Gold Gloves. Greatest Fielding Pitcher of All Time sounds impressive, but when having an extra infielder for all those years still only comes out to a 108 ERA+ it apparently wasn't quite as impactful as it sounds.

 

Buehrle worked fast, won a bunch of Gold Gloves, pitched almost 300 IP more than the next most durable pitcher during his career, was 9% better than Kaat by ERA+ and racked up 10 more WAR than Kaat over his career, yet he only cracked 11% his first time around & is currently sitting at 3.7% on Ballot Tracker for this year.

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I think Kaat's election was also to recognize his lifetime in baseball. He started pitching at 20 and is still broadcasting games in his 80s. That's a noteworthy thing.

 

He'll be a marginal Hall of Famer, but he won't stand out as being completely out of place. Seven of the ten pitchers with the highest similarity scores (Roberts, Jenkins, Rixey, Blyleven, Wynn, Grimes & Ruffing) are inducted.

 

Buehrle is an interesting comp. He had 8 seasons with an ERA+ of 120 or higher. Kaat had just 6 of those.

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I think Kaat's election was also to recognize his lifetime in baseball. He started pitching at 20 and is still broadcasting games in his 80s. That's a noteworthy thing.

 

He'll be a marginal Hall of Famer, but he won't stand out as being completely out of place. Seven of the ten pitchers with the highest similarity scores (Roberts, Jenkins, Rixey, Blyleven, Wynn, Grimes & Ruffing) are inducted.

 

Buehrle is an interesting comp. He had 8 seasons with an ERA+ of 120 or higher. Kaat had just 6 of those.

 

Six of the top ten shortstops similar to Omar Vizquel are also in, including Pee Wee Reese.

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Prior to his domestic violence allegations, I was firmly in favor of Vizquel's candidacy.

 

2877 hits, nearly 4000 times on base and #1 all time in games played at a premium defensive position. That's worthy of the lifetime achievement award. But I can see why writers who decry PED users or Curt Schilling for failing to show good character would choose to not vote for someone accused of spousal abuse.

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Jim Kaat never, ever struck me as a HOF pitcher. Lifetime contribution is a nice fun fact, but he shouldn't be in as a player. If he is that good of a broadcaster (he isn't), he could have gone in that wing. This type of thing dilutes the value of the excellent players who are in.

 

Fangraphs is much friendlier to Kaat's candidacy, ranking him 28th in career pitcher WAR (70.9). Tommy John was also on the ballot, and he's ranked 22nd (79.4). Mark Buehrle is 81st (52.3).

 

Two other modern day guys who would be considered "compilers", Bartolo Colon (51.0) and Jamie Moyer (48.0) rank 86th and 104th.

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Jay Jaffe gives Prince the Hall of Fame treatment over at FanGraphs today with a nice summation of his career...

 

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/jaws-and-the-2022-hall-of-fame-ballot-prince-fielder/

 

Fielder will be lucky to get a couple two tree courtesy votes, but he's First Ballot Inner Circle Hall of Fun for sure & the clean up hitter in my all time Brewers line up.

 

So many great memories from him & Rickie hitting their first career HRs in the same game all the way through to his teary eyed press conference with his kids when he had to call it quits.

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Take away the neck injury and add another 5 or 6 years to his career he probably gets close to 500 homeruns and certainly becomes borderline Hall of Famer. Probably my favorite Brewer hitter of all time. Big time slugger who still hit for a decent average and wasn't a K machine.
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Jay Jaffe gives Prince the Hall of Fame treatment over at FanGraphs today with a nice summation of his career...

 

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/jaws-and-the-2022-hall-of-fame-ballot-prince-fielder/

 

Fielder will be lucky to get a couple two tree courtesy votes, but he's First Ballot Inner Circle Hall of Fun for sure & the clean up hitter in my all time Brewers line up.

 

So many great memories from him & Rickie hitting their first career HRs in the same game all the way through to his teary eyed press conference with his kids when he had to call it quits.

 

I remember being so upset I missed that game. I was on my parents' 50th anniversary cruise and didn't see any of the games that week. Had to be June of 2005.

 

Anyway I still had a good time.

 

Edit: Looked it up. My guess in my head was June 22, 2005. It was June 25.

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Jay Jaffe gives Prince the Hall of Fame treatment over at FanGraphs today with a nice summation of his career...

 

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/jaws-and-the-2022-hall-of-fame-ballot-prince-fielder/

 

Fielder will be lucky to get a couple two tree courtesy votes, but he's First Ballot Inner Circle Hall of Fun for sure & the clean up hitter in my all time Brewers line up.

 

So many great memories from him & Rickie hitting their first career HRs in the same game all the way through to his teary eyed press conference with his kids when he had to call it quits.

 

Not to stray too far from the topic of the HOF members, but I believe the Fielder/Weeks home run game BF.net game. Does anyone else recall for sure?

Chris

-----

"I guess underrated pitchers with bad goatees are the new market inefficiency." -- SRB

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