Archive for the ‘Hall Of Fame’ Category

In a 1972 article that appeared in the Boston Globe  titled “Aaron May Set HR Record, Can’t Equal Ruth’s Slugging” , the reporter Harold Case conducted an interview with fan and local statistician Harold Paretchan. In setting the HR record, Babe Ruth did it in 8399 at bats. At the time, Aaron was going on almost 11,000 at bats when he was getting close to the home run record. Mr. Paretchan noted Ruth had a HR once every 11.76 at bats, compared to 16.35  for Aaron.

Harold R. Paretchan Sr. was an inhalation therapist with a flair for baseball statistics who devoted his retirement to trumpeting the contributions of scientists he thought were overlooked.

He wrote the book World Series: The Statistical Record .


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Hall Of Fame Gala 2011

The Hall of Fame class 2011 is set to be announced today at 2:00pm EST .

Here is a quick run down on some of the candidates

Roberto Alomar Career Timeline: 1988- 2004

High Rated Statistical Years

1993 192 H 109 R 17 HR
1996 193 H 132 R 22 HR
1999 182 H 138 R 24 HR
2000 189 H 111 R 19 HR
2001 193 H 113 R 20 HR

Roberto didn’t really become a superstar until he was traded to the Blue Jays in the blockbuster trade with Joe Carter for Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez. The thing about Roberto was he was great up the middle on defense. He could hit anywhere in the lineup, but used mainly as a leadoff hitter. The spitting incident really took away from the player he was. Additionally, his once dominant skills eroded at the end of his career with the Mets. Moreover, he spent that one spring training with Rays as a shell of a player he once was and quickly retired. His nine consecutive all star appearances, and his overall numbers both in counting statistics (like 2724 hits) and rate statistics (.300 AVG, .371 OBP) make him one of the greatest second baseman I can remember.

Bert Blyleven was a player I remember on the Topps baseball cards who could blow some bubbles with the chewing gum.  Its a player I never thought  of as a HOF pitcher, mainly because he played on many bad teams and didn’t have those record no hitters like his colleague Nolan Ryan did. But, one guy came along named Rich Lederer who opened many peoples eyes about the career Bert had.  LOOK AT THIS POST. He was close t0 the 300 wins that are the apparent cutoff many HOF pitchers seem to require. But, he has almost 4000 strikeouts and a 1.20 career WHIP.

Jeff Bagwell Career Timeline 1991- 2005

High Rated Statistical Years
1992 160 H 87 R 18 HR
1993 171 H 76 R 20 HR
1994 147 H 104 R 39 HR
1995 130 H 88 R 21 HR
1996 179 H 111 R 31 HR
1997 162 H 109 R 43 HR
1998 164 H 124 R 34 HR
1999 171 H 143 R 42 HR
2000 183 H 152 R 47 HR
2001 173 H 126 R 39 HR
2002 166 H 94 R 31 HR
2003 168 H 109 R 39 HR
2004 152 H 104 R 27 HR

The thing about Bagwell. He was putting up Barry Bonds type of numbers. The questions remain on whether he put up these monsters numbers based on his own means, or if he was aided by Mark McGwire’s medicine chest. I saw this guy first hand in Kissimmee in his first spring training with the Astros. I kept hearing raves during that camp about what a player in Bagwell the Astros might have gotten from the Red Sox. I didn’t know that what I was witnessing in that young Bagwell might go down as one of the greatest 1st baseman of all time. He credits weight lifting to not only helping his power numbers, but ending his career early. I remember his nack of always getting beamed by the pitchers with the way he crowded the plate when batting. I like Bagwell the professional and I am not sure if he was on the juice. But numbers aside, this is a HOF hitter. But, there is always the artice:  BaseballEvolution.com – The Bagwell Conspiracy

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I can remember that miracle rookie season of 1988, Mark McGwire hitting home runs at a mammoth pace.  Its hard to recall someone coming on the scene and being a slugger like we were witnessing that year.  With his Bash Brother counterpart Jose Canseco, these guys were the talk of baseball.

We have heard the Jose Canseco claims that McGwire participated in steriods as they were slugging home runs together in Oakland. I don’t really believe McGwire saying he did not discuss steroids with any other players, as I believe it was Jose Canseco that introduced McGwire to the steroid lifestyle.

Sure, McGwire had been blessed with the ability to crush a baseball. However, steroids do help you. In the steroid era, the record setting numbers were enhanced like never before. I am puzzled why he took this long to come clean. I believe he did go on an exile, refusing to speak to reporters. Additionally, it’s hard to  believe that  reporters failed to approach him to tell his story.

As McGwire gets ready to start a job in baseball, I find it hard to believe he will not become a distraction to the St Louis Cardinals. It will be a traveling roadshow in every town he enters. Instead of the players on the field being the focus when the Cardinals come to town,  the local press will replay the steroid story.

I wonder at what point McGwire fessed up to LaRussa on the steroids. Was it after he accepted the job as the hitting coach, or is it something that McGwire wanted to get off his chest before starting his new job. In a way, he did prevent alot of the negativity that was sure to come his way, as the last image we have of him is his claiming to congress that ‘We are not here to talk about the past’.

I am sure as a man, its freeing to get this out of his system and to turn the page. We’ll see how this plays out, but he sure has a lot more explaining to do.

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When I was growing up in late 1970s, if you were not a Reggie fan, you certainly were a  Jim Rice fan. Rice went on to play his entire career with the Boston Red Sox.  In little league, we would imagine we were Jim Rice and try to emulate those home run blasts.   I am not sure why it took Jim Rice this long to enter Cooperstown, but I guess his relationship with the writers played a big factor in all of this.   Sometimes how you finish your career, is how everyone remembers you by.  As he mentioned in his speech today, Jim Rice had his career batting average drop below the .300 mark his last year in the majors.  Also, had he reached the 400 home run mark, he certainly would of been in quicker as 382 just fell short. However, a career slugging average above .500 is probably what got him into Cooperstown.

As for Rickey Henderson, I remember him coming up in the late 1970s, and he was the talk in most baseball circles with the flat out blazing speed. I didn’t get to see much of Lou Brock’s  career, but Henderson and the 100 bases stolen in a season sure made him a star. Back then, you didn’t hear as much as you do today about what the ideal lead off hitter must possess. But, Henderson transformed the lead off batter position with the speed and power combination.  As we saw today in his speech, Henderson has the type of personality you’ll never probably see again. His references to people like Tom Trebelhorn, Charlie O, Billy Martin, George Steinbrenner, Dave Winfield and others shows us how long he was part of the game.

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It was with the Toronto Blue Jays that Jeff Kent first came on the radar.  He had some pop even back then with his bat when the Blue Jays were giving him some play at 3B.  The Mets did the unthinkable and traded the player who meant so much to the team in David Cone.  It was believed the center piece of that trade was Ryan Thompson who Peter Gammons seemed very high on. The other player was Jeff Kent who I atleast knew something about in his recent callup to the majors with Jays.

The Mets moved Kent immediately to 2B and Thompson came over soon enough and was thought to be Al Harazin’s CF for the next decade.  Its funny how things play out. Over the next few years with the Mets,  Kent showed decent power for a second baseman and after making the position change to a middle infielder, it was where he wanted to remain.  He was a gritty hard nosed player. Though, he never was known for his personality.

The Mets never waited to see what Kent the player would evolve to.  Nor did the Indians who used him for just the one season when they traded for him in a playoff run. It was his time beginning with the Giants that Jeff Kent took his game to the next level and became the player we will remember him as. He became one of the most feared hitters in the game, packaged in a middle infielders body. He did it right way we believe even though he played in the steroid era.  He went on to become the 2B baseman that we all compare the new wave of elite second baseman to. A name Chase Utley comes to mind.

Jeff Kent performed at an elite level for 10 or so years which brings me to my conviction that  Jeff Kent is a Hall Of Fame player. His entire career was not Hall of Fame material, like an Albert Pujols thus far. But, he has enough of a resume to make a case that he belongs in the Hall. His so called motorcycle accident, and his refusal to socialize with other players are factors, but they have nothing to do with what Jeff Kent did on the field.

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The fact that Mike Musina has been surounded by alot of other talented starting pitchers while on the Yankees, has taken away from the legend of what kind of pitcher this guy was.  As, he came up in Baltimore in the early 1990s and showed from day one he was clearly head and shoulders the best pitcher on the Orioles.   He was everything that Ben McDonald was not.  One weekend in 1994 I took a trip down to Camden Yard to see the awesome park for the first time and was surprised when I saw Mussina first hand.   The way he pitched I always pictured he was a much bigger person physically.  The way he pitched he became a fan favorite and for what he meant to the organization, I never imagined Mussina ever leaving Baltimore.

The reason why Mussina left for the Yankees in free agency leads to Peter Angelos. The Baltimore farm system was decimated by many of the short sighted trades.  It came down to where Mussina could best win a championship and he chose New York and Joe Torre. Who could blame him for taking the money and the chance to best win a title.

In my eyes, Mussina was one of the best pitchers in the game. Did he win 300? He came pretty close. Was he a big game pitcher.  Yes he was, but no Jack Morris take the team on his shoulders playoff performance comes to mind.  He absolutely is a Hall Of Fame Pitcher. Certainly, if  the Hall includes a Don Sutton.

Again, he would be a lock for the Hall in my opinion had he remained with the O’s. But, with the Yankees and the big market atmosphere, he just seemed out of his element. He finished strong with the twenty wins and that’s how people will remember him. A good way to go out.

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The word out of Toronto is slugging DH Frank Thomas who was benched days ago has been released by the Blue Jays. Big Frank who had 235 Times on Base, and 255 Total Bases last season certainly can still provide some offense with teams lacking in that area. It is certainly a small sample size to base a benching on. As, some players it takes longer to get in their groove.

I for one think Frank Thomas is a certain Hall Of Famer. Five years after this great piece was written, do you still feel it?

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