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As all three of the second base contenders for the Hall of Fame are into their late 30s, I decided to explore the question of which second baseman have been admitted to the Hall a bit before talking about each of them.

What credentials qualify a second baseman for the Hall of Fame?

For those who arenít familiar with the Hall of Fameís process, weíll start with a brief explanation. Players can be admitted to the Hall one of two ways- by securing at least 75% of the vote of the baseball writers association (BBWAA) or by being selected by the Veteransí Committee. Players with 10 years or more service become eligible after 5 years of retirement for BBWAA selection, and can remain on the ballot for 15 years, unless they fail to secure 5% of the vote in a year. After they cease to be eligible for BBWAA selection, the Veterans Committee may select them, again with 75% of the vote being the requirement.

The Veterans' Committee process was revamped in 2003, and is now transparent. All eligible players (1400 in 2005) are narrowed down to a field of 200 by a Historical Overview Committee, composed of experienced sportswriters. Here is the field of 200 for the 2005 Veterans' Committee vote. There are some fine, fine players on this list, including Larry Doyle and Joe Gordon. More on that later. After that, a BBWAA screening committee composed of 2 writers from each major league city (4 for New York, Chicago and Los Angeles) narrows the list down to 25 by vote. Those 25 players go to the Veterans' Commitee, composed of Hall of Famers (currently 60) and award-winning journalists (currently 14), and a player who secures 75% of the Committee's vote is elected to the Hall.

I will not be addressing 19th century ballplayers or Negro League ballplayers. This is a reflection of my limited knowledge, and the limited statistical information available.

BBWAA Hall of Fame 2nd basemen

Nap Lajoie (1900-10), Eddie Collins(1910-20), Rogers Hornsby(1920-30), Frankie Frisch, Charlie Gehringer(1930-40), Jackie Robinson(1950-60), Rod Carew(1960-70), Joe Morgan(1970-80).

Overall, thatís a pretty good list of the greatest second basemen of the period 1900-1980. The only name that seems out of place is Frankie Frisch. More on that later. What is especially noteworthy is that the list stops at 8, for a period of 80 years. In other words, the baseball writers have essentially chosen one second basemen per decade (with the exception of the 40s), and really they have done a pretty good job of it. The decades beside each entrantís name represent the period that they could reasonably be said to have been the best in baseball.

Veteransí Committee 2nd basemen

Johnny Evers, Billy Herman, Bobby Doerr, Red Schoendienst, Tony Lazzeri, Nellie Fox, Bill Mazeroski

Hereís where it gets sticky. These guys were all good, but most were not as good as some guys who are not in. As we shall see, when we compare stats.

The best 2nd basemen not in the Hall of Fame

Weíll skip Ryne Sandberg, who is eligible and may very well be elected in the next year or two.

Larry Doyle. Joe Gordon, Bobby Grich. Lou Whitaker. These guys were great ballplayers. Joe Gordon was easily the best second basemen of the 40s. Bobby Grich was the best second baseman in the majors after Morgan returned to earth and before Sandberg arrived on the scene. Laughing Larry Doyle was the best second baseman in the National League in the teens , but played in the shadow of Eddie Collins (as Grich played in Morganís shadow for much of his career). Lou Whitaker was the best second baseman in the American League in the 1980s.

With those names in mind, letís move on to the chart of statistics:

BBWAA Hall of Fame selections

Player        G     AB     H     HR    W     BA     OBP   SLUG  OPS+

Lajoie 2480 9589 3242 83 516 .338 .380 .467 150
Collins 2826 9949 3315 47 1499 .333 .424 .429 141
Hornsby 2259 8173 2930 301 1038 .358 .434 .577 175
Frisch 2311 9112 2880 105 1098 .316 .369 .432 111
Gehringer 2323 8860 2839 184 1186 .320 .404 .480 124
Jackie 1382 4877 1518 137 740 .311 .409 .474 132
Carew 2469 9315 3053 92 1018 .328 .393 .429 131
Morgan 2649 9277 2517 268 1865 .271 .392 .427 132



Veteran's Committee choices

Player        G     AB     H     HR    W     BA    OBP   SLUG   OPS+
Evers 1784 6137 1659 12 778 .270 .356 .334 106
Herman 1922 7707 2345 47 737 .304 .367 .407 112
Doerr 1865 7093 2042 223 809 .288 .362 .461 115
Schoendienst 2216 8479 2449 84 606 .289 .337 .387 93
Lazzeri 1740 6297 1840 178 869 .292 .380 .467 121
Fox 2367 9232 2663 35 719 .288 .348 .363 94
Maz 2163 7755 2016 138 447 .260 .299 .367 84


The Outsiders

Player        G     AB     H     HR    W     BA    OBP   SLUG   OPS+
Doyle 1766 6509 1887 74 625 .290 .357 .408 126
Gordon 1566 5707 1530 253 759 .268 .357 .468 120
Grich 2008 6890 1833 224 1087 .266 .371 .424 125
Whitaker 2390 8570 2369 244 1197 .276 .363 .426 117


The Contenders

Player        G     AB     H     HR    W     BA    OBP   SLUG   OPS+
Alomar (36) 2379 9073 2724 210 1032 .300 .371 .443 116
Kent (36) 1777 6604 1910 302 592 .289 .352 .505 125
Biggio (38) 2409 9221 2639 234 1060 .286 .373 .435 116


A word about defence

Statistics concerning 2nd base defence that are reliable and meaningful are hard to access. Historical defensive statistics are even more so. For that reason, Iíll simply rely on reputation, augmented by personal observation, to do a simple scale regarding the defence of the Hall members and the outsiders:

A+ Bill Mazeroski
A Bobby Grich, Joe Morgan, Nellie Fox, Eddie Collins, Johnny Evers
B+ Joe Gordon, Red Schoendienst, Nap Lajoie, Bobby Doerr, Frankie Frisch
B Lou Whitaker, Larry Doyle, Billy Herman, Charlie Gehringer
C+ Rogers Hornsby, Tony Lazzeri
C Rod Carew

Thereís a fair degree of variation in evaluations of Hornsby and Carew. Some thought Hornsby to be very good, others that he was inadequate. I have chosen the middle ground. There seems to be little debate that Rod Carewís pivot on the DP was inadequate, but he had fairly good range when he was young.

Several propositions from the statistics

Here are my observations on the statistics:

1. All of the BBWAA 2nd base selections had long careers except for Jackie who is an obvious special case.
2. The anomalous BBWAA selection of Frisch can be explained by his high hit total and his fame as a member of the Gashouse Gang.
3. None of the Veteransí Committee choices were manifestly unqualified, but all of the outsiders (Doyle, Gordon, Grich and Whitaker) were better ballplayers. In fairness, not enough time may have elapsed for the Veteransí Committee to address the Grich and Whitaker cases. It is also true that Doyle and Grich (and Whitaker) had very little support among the BBWAA, and encountered a similar reaction at the Veterans' Committee. Gordon had substantial support among the writers, and has a substantial following among the veterans.
4. However, none of the outsiders would really fit in among the BBWAA selections (with the exception of Frisch) due to either short careers (Doyle, Gordon and Grich) or lesser performance (Whitaker).


One can hope that the Veteransí Committee will look again at the Doyle and Gordon cases soon, athough Doyle had no support and Gordon limited support in the last Veterans' Committee recorded vote. Doyle's case in particular is very strong. In the fullness of time, the Committee could then turn their attention to Grich and Whitaker

In Part 2, we take a closer look at the contenders, and ask the question: who was the best second baseman of the 90s? Weíll see how they did in 2004, and give opinions on whether they should be in the Hall, and whether they will.
Hall Watch 2004-The Second Basemen-Jeff Kent, Roberto Alomar and Craig Biggio (Part 1) | 38 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Mick - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 10:01 AM EST (#12959) #
Typically excellent work, Mike, Looking forward to parts 2 throuh 65, but I do have to call into question your classification of Rod Carew as a 2B.

Carew Games Played:
1B 1184
2B 1130

Sure, he was a better hitter as a Twins 2B, but he cemented his HOF status as the Angels 1B. It feels a bit -- thought not quite as starkly -- like calling Eckersley an "All-Star starting pitcher." True, but ...
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 10:08 AM EST (#12960) #
Fair enough, Mick. I chose to classify him as a second baseman because he had more value at second base in my view, and the game played at each position were essentially the same.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 10:20 AM EST (#12961) #
Ugh. Of course, the game played at each position was the same, but the games played at each position were essentially the same.
_mr predictor - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 10:34 AM EST (#12962) #
Rod Carew's career SLG was higher than Joe Morgan's? That absolutely blows my mind.

In 2649 AB's Little Joe hit 268 HRs, 96 3Bs and 449 2Bs.
In 2469 AB's Rodney C hit 92 HRs, 112 3Bs and 445 2Bs.

It sure looks to me like Joe flashed a lot more power than Rod. Carew hit 649 XBH while Joe hit 813 XBH (with an accent on HRs) for 164 more XBH in only 180 more ABs...what am I missing?
_csimon - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 10:37 AM EST (#12963) #
mine is a completely anecdotal comment--as opposed to being justifiable by statistics, but I remember Schoendienst as a terrific second baseman. The Braves of the 50's were good but they couldn't win until they acquired Schoendienst in a trade. My recollection is that he was considered the best second baseman in the National League for a number of years.

Having seen Schoendienst (on TV only, of course) and Whitaker, I'm not sure that it's clear that Whitaker was the better ball player
_Moffatt - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 10:38 AM EST (#12964) #
what am I missing?

A ton of singles and almost 60 extra points of batting average.
_mr predictor - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 10:42 AM EST (#12965) #
Never mind the brain cramp...maybe the 500 extra hits that Carew got had something to do with it...confusing ISO with SLG...coffee time.

It does lead me to my so far undeveloped thought that maybe SBs should be included in SLG. Is a single and a succesful steal really that much less useful than a double? I know the CS is a big negative, but so is getting thrown out at second trying to stretch a single.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 10:52 AM EST (#12966) #
mine is a completely anecdotal comment--as opposed to being justifiable by statistics, but I remember Schoendienst as a terrific second baseman.

That's very interesting. For the historical portion, I've essentially been relying on anecdotal comments on defence. My observation begins with Mazeroski, and I missed his prime.

So, can we draw this out a bit? How would you compare Schoendienst and Mazeroski? How about Schoendienst and Fox? Most observers (and the statistics) do suggest that Mazeroski was the greatest defensive second baseman ever. But, if you say that Schoendienst belongs with Fox and Evers in the 'A' class, instead of the 'B+' class, I'll take your word for it.

There is still a huge difference in offence between Schoendienst and Whitaker, and I'd take Whitaker overall.
_csimon - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 11:10 AM EST (#12967) #
Maz was the best fielder, but I just don't remember people saying that--"I'd rather have Maz than Red". I think it was the reverse. Part of that was that Maz' offensive numbers were not spectacular. If it wasn't for the home run, I doubt anyone would have talked about his bat at all. But Schoendienst could hit, I remember him as being an asset with his glove and he was a leader.

Memory is dangerous to rely on--especially at my age, but until your article, I never would have thought of Whitaker as being clearly better than Schoendienst
_csimon - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 11:25 AM EST (#12968) #
oops--Sorry--Red vs Fox?--I'm not really sure. Fox had Aparicio and they were talked about together, which enhanced them both. Fox may well have been a better fielder, but I don't think dramatically so. I was teenager watching them on TV on the Game of the Week when their teams were playing and relying on the one or two annual "major League reviews" that came out each year. We shouldn't put too much reliance on that kind of assessment

In comparing Schoendienst to Evers--the memories of Evers are sooooo dim (that's right--it's a joke)
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 11:29 AM EST (#12969) #
We both grew up in an age where batting average was king. The Saturday newspaper contained a long list of batting averages of regular players, and many part-timers. There was the daily top 10 list. You could find slugging percentages and walks drawn if you looked hard, but most fans and broadcasters had little awareness of them. In that environment, Schoendienst's career .289 batting average was very noticeable, and he was considered a good hitter, whereas Maz' .260 made him not.

We now know that batting average is but one component of offensive production. Taking into account all the components, Schoendienst was a below average hitter as compared with all hitters, and maybe a little above average for a second baseman.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 11:44 AM EST (#12970) #
Is a single and a successful steal really that much less useful than a double?

Yup. For instance, runner on second, two outs. A single to the outfield may score the runner and may not. An infield single will not. Runners on second and third (after a stolen base), two out, no runs in, has does not have close to the same run expectancy of runner on second, two out, one run in.
_Jabonoso - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 11:48 AM EST (#12971) #
Remember that Carew and Morgan were contemporaries ( best season around 69-77 ). Carew won 7 batting titles and was almost always being mentioned as a hitter ( not as a superb hitting second base ) which was the case o J Morgan, press always accentuated that he was a second base with a lot of power. It could be a lesson on how your public imago is affected.
Want to bring to memory Beto ( Bobby) Avila he had a good reputation for his glove, but his ML statistics are mediocre.
His hitting was exceptional until 54 that he played with a broken finger and never was the same again. Ted Williams always said great things about him ( best fielding at second i ever saw, and best pure hitter, the one i choose to break my hittng record ). If you consider his career as: first half negro and second half in the bigs,
once i recollected that he went to the bigs not for the money not for the fame ( he had plenty of both ) but to win a batting title in two more leagues ( the international and the american ) which he won.
His OPS+ was slightly above 100 so he has not been considered for the hall.
_Jabonoso - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 11:55 AM EST (#12972) #
That said, i consider the hitting of Alomar and Biggio too light to be seriously considered as HOF's. Kent hitting will take him into.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 12:01 PM EST (#12973) #
Bobby Avila was a great second baseman in his 20s until his injury, and was on a potential Hall of Fame course. Second base is a tough position, and many a fine second baseman have had their careers shortened by injury.

For fun, here are Avila's stats through age 30 in 1954. Here are Schoendienst's through age 30 in 1953. As you can see, Avila was far superior offensively, and probably as good defensively.
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 12:43 PM EST (#12974) #
That said, i consider the hitting of Alomar and Biggio too light to be seriously considered as HOF's. Kent hitting will take him into.

Jabono, where OPS+ has a failing here is that it compares these players' OPS's to the league average, not the positional average. Your sentiments echo those of the HoF voters who seem to want middle infielders and catchers to hit like outfielders.

Here is how Alomar and Biggio compare to the norms at their positions, as per Lee Sinins' baseball encylopedia:

Alomar: 814 OPS, league 754, position 723
Biggio: 807 OPS, league 756, position 724

Unfortunately, baseball-reference.com does not show positional OPS+, which would be far more informative than OPS+.

Whether deserved or not, both players won a bunch of gold gloves which will work in their favour. Perhaps those will serve to offset any ill feelings about Alomar's spitting or the general underratedness of Biggio's career, and of course the general bias against middle infielders altogether.
_Jabonoso - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 12:49 PM EST (#12975) #
Yes, my commentary is based on the history of balloting, you have first basemen that have mediocre hitting against their keen in the hall, and several good players where his best qualities were not average and slugging not considered.
_Mick - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 12:52 PM EST (#12976) #
Here's an interesting idea ... the Carew discussion made me think of it. There's an active player not on Mike's list who has the following games played distribution:

SS 715
2B 663
1B 403
Other 6

... but we clearly don't think of him as a middle infielder any more. He has more than 500 more hits than Kent (2,457-1,910), like Alomar has a career BA of exactly .300 (Kent .289 Biggio .286), is a member of the once-hallowed, now overcrowded power/speed 100/100 club( 161 homers, 105 SB); his 1,110 career RBI places him squarely between Biggio's 994 and Kent's 1,207, right there with Alomar's 1,134; his career OPS+ of 112 is right there with the 116 posted by both Biggio and Alomar, though well back of Kent's 125; his career post-season average of .247 is unimpressive, but in five series, his team won only once -- and in that instance he hit .308 -- not a cheap .308, either, as he had the most AB on the team.

So here are the questions.
1. Can you identify this player, part of one of the most celebrated, and in retrospect lopsided, trades in MLB history?
2. Why ain't he getting any love here? (Note: not that I'd expect him to. I think this is a baseball-wide issue, nothing to do with Mike's choices.)
Craig B - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 12:55 PM EST (#12977) #
Mick, with that games distribution it's gotta be Julio Franco.

Who also, to answer your other question in the other thread, is one of the most interesting majors-Japan-majors players.
_Mick - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 01:16 PM EST (#12978) #
Craig wins the prize. It is indeed Gneralissimo Franco:




Which leaves the second question ... if Kent and Biggio especially (both having played prominently at other positions) are Hall-worthy, should Julio at least be in the discussion?
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 01:34 PM EST (#12979) #
I think of Julio as a shortstop, and he was probably at his most valuable at that position. I'll certainly add him to the shortstop list.

Biggio and Kent were most valuable as second basemen than as catcher and third baseman respectively, and played much more of their career at that position.

Here is how Alomar and Biggio compare to the norms at their positions, as per Lee Sinins' baseball encylopedia:

Alomar: 814 OPS, league 754, position 723
Biggio: 807 OPS, league 756, position 724


I believe that these figures are not park-adjusted. My preference is to stick with OPS+, and simply expect less (a HOF first baseman should have an OPS+ roughly in the 135 range; a HOF second baseman roughly in the 115-120 range and a HOF catcher in the 110-115 range). For myself, I make adjustments depending on career length, the quality of the defence, and for the relative importance of OBP and slug in the OPS calculation. You might be able to figure out where I'm headed with this for Kent, Alomar and Biggio, but I'll keep it a secret until tomorrow.
_Jabonoso - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 01:39 PM EST (#12980) #
Julio Franco's revival was also with Mexico city Tigers, there have been 3 other players that went back to the majors after a battling title in the Mexican league for an imaginary mango margarita name them:
_Magpie - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 03:51 PM EST (#12981) #
Johnny Evers, Billy Herman, Bobby Doerr, Red Schoendienst, Tony Lazzeri, Nellie Fox, Bill Mazeroski

Well, I think Alomar, Biggio, and Kent are better players than any of these guys (with the exception of Evers.)

Geez, I think they're probably betters players than Tony Perez or Orlando Cepeda...
_Magpie - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 03:53 PM EST (#12982) #
The anomalous BBWAA selection of Frisch can be explained by his high hit total and his fame as a member of the Gashouse Gang.

Wasn't Frisch on the Veterans Committee? Didn't he end up getting a lot of his old team mates in the HoF?
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 04:07 PM EST (#12983) #
Alomar: 814 OPS, league 754, position 723
Biggio: 807 OPS, league 756, position 724

I believe that these figures are not park-adjusted. My preference is to stick with OPS+, and simply expect less (a HOF first baseman should have an OPS+ roughly in the 135 range; a HOF second baseman roughly in the 115-120 range and a HOF catcher in the 110-115 range).


You're right, they are not park-adjusted. As I said, positional OPS+ would be especially helpful, thereby placing all players on the same scale.
_Mick - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 04:38 PM EST (#12984) #
Positional OPS concerns me for reasons I can't adequately explain or defend ... it just seems to not account for era-specific changes in the expectations of what a player at a particular position will provide offensively.

Let's call this "The Alan Trammell Travesty." He's not in the HOF because Ripken, Larkin and the Trinity changed the way we think about shortstops offensively -- which ironically enought may cost Larkin a deserved (though not quite as much as Tram) spot in Cooperstowb.
_Mark J - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 06:51 PM EST (#12985) #
Positional OPS bothers me because of smallish sample sizes, especially in the old 16-team setup. If it were done on a 3- or 5- year basis like park factors I think I'd like it more.

I dunno, I wish I could explain what I'm thinking a bit more clearly on this... Heck, I might even just be plain wrong, but I don't like positional OPS either... I like & use Mike's approach of just using OPS+ and mentally adjusting for position.

Not to preempt any debate (as if I even could), but Alomar, Kent and Biggio all get my vote for the HOF, without hesitation (okay, maybe a slight hesitation on Kent, if he retired today... I'm assuming a couple more seasons of at least reasonable performance).

It's pretty hard for me to believe that Mazeroski was a great enough fielder to save enough runs to compensate for a 84 OPS+.
_Andrew S - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 07:00 PM EST (#12986) #
Mark,

I never saw him play, and defensive numbers being what they are, still

The numbers really look like Mazeroski was the best defensive player to ever play the game. If you're the best X, where X is something significant, you should be in the Hall.
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 07:14 PM EST (#12987) #
I can see the concerns about positional OPS+. If there is a disproportionate number of excellent players at your position during your career (as compared to historic norms), positional OPS+ will hurt you.

Now, this begs the question: if you are only the, say, 5th best shortstop in MLB during your career but rank much higher than the 85% percentile on a historic basis, should this help your HoF chances? Or, should the HoF standards be more heavily weighed based on your standing among your peers?

Those arguing the former would argue against positional OPS+. Those arguing the latter would argue for it.

I would argue for the former and concede that plain ol' OPS+ does in fact carry value in and of itself (bearing in mind the "strata of excellence" unique to each position). I would further argue that positional OPS+ can help illuminate the evaluation process, though not speak to it in isolation.
_Jonny German - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 07:17 PM EST (#12988) #
This won't address Mick's concern about changes in positional expectations but it should help put these players in context as second basemen. And, as a counting stat, it gives deserved credit for longevity. What is it? Runs Created Above Position (RCAP), courtesy of the Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia. It's the number of runs created by a player compared to the average player at his position in his era. I'm also including the more familiar Runs Created Above Average (RCAA), which does not consider position. Both are park-adjusted. This table includes career totals, not just production as a second baseman.
Rank	Player    	RCAP	RCAA
------- --------------- ------- -------
1 Rogers Hornsby 1094 1084
2 Eddie Collins 822 747
3 Joe Morgan 820 663
4 Nap Lajoie 766 785
5 Char. Gehringer 581 444
6 Rod Carew 491 476
7 Craig Biggio 445 338 (Plus 8 RCAA in 2004)
8 Roberto Alomar 404 323 (Minus 5 RCAA in 2004)
9 Lou Whitaker 369 266
10 Bobby Grich 355 255
11 Cupid Childs 354 259
12 Tony Lazzeri 325 229
13 Jackie Robinson 323 308
14 Fred Dunlap 311 251
15 Billy Herman 298 150
16 Frankie Frisch 291 187
17 Har. Richardson 289 288
18 Larry Doyle 273 253
19 Jeff Kent 272 225 (Plus 12 RCAA in 2004)
20 Joe Gordon 259 161
20 Ryne Sandberg 259 197
22 Tom Daly 236 115
23 Willie Randolph 235 131
24 Bobby Doerr 234 96
25 Bid McPhee 230 129
------- --------------- ------- -------
36 George Grantham 141 168
37 Nellie Fox 139 -35
38 Tony Cuccinello 137 36
39 Johnny Evers 126 91
40 Bobby Avila 123 38
------- --------------- ------- -------
55 Alfonso Soriano 83 52
55 R. Schoendienst 83 -59
57 Snu. Stirnweiss 82 35
------- --------------- ------- -------
566 Garvin Hamner -7 -9
566 Bill Mazeroski -7 -190
566 Jose Rodriguez -7 -9
_Jonny German - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 07:20 PM EST (#12989) #
It's the number of runs created by a player compared to the average player at his position in his era.

And, in case it doesn't go without saying: in the same amount of playing time.
_Jonny German - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 07:28 PM EST (#12990) #
Not much doubt about Alomar or Biggio in looking at this chart, and Kent has a case.

Interesting to note that Hornsby (1920s), Robinson (1950s), and Richardson (mid-50s to mid-60s) all played in eras where a second baseman was a pretty average hitter, and in Lajoie's day (1900s) it was actually a strong offensive position.

Mazeroski sure looks out of place.
_Willy - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 09:02 PM EST (#12991) #
566 Garvin Hamner -7 -9

Jonny, is this Granny Hamner, the 'Whiz Kid' (1950) Phillies second baseman, or somebody else? (If so, I thought his name was Granville.)

I remember Schoendienst from his Cardinal days with Marty Marion, Enos Slaughter, Musial, et al. He was good, and with a good team around him. A leader, too--at least, so I read in The Sporting News of those days. But didn't he have some debilitating illness or injury late in his career that really slowed him up/down? I always liked him, but I don't know how I feel about him being in the HOF.
_Mark J - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 09:56 PM EST (#12992) #

The numbers really look like Mazeroski was the best defensive player to ever play the game. If you're the best X, where X is something significant, you should be in the Hall.



What if, say, X = 'pinch hitter' or X = 'LOOGY'? What is significant?

Fielding is a part of the game, not the whole of the game. If there was a designated fielder position, I wouldn't be arguing, but -190 RCAA and lifetime 84 OPS+ is just not very good. He didn't even have a league average OPS once, in 17 seasons.

Win Shares accounts for fielding (and Maz does rank 1st all-time in defensive WS/1000 innings) and his career total is 219 (T448 all-time) similar to a lot of players with zero HOF support.

I'm not arguing against that he might be the best fielding 2B of all time, just saying that is not enough. In my book if he saves 40 runs a year on defense and loses 40 on offense it's a wash.
_Magpie - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 10:07 PM EST (#12993) #
But didn't [Schoendienst] have some debilitating illness or injury late in his career that really slowed him up/down?

He was diagnosed with tuberculosis after the 1958 WS (he was 35), and missed basically the entire 1959 season. He made it back as a part-time player in 1960 and hung on until 1963.
_Magpie - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 10:18 PM EST (#12994) #
It's pretty hard for me to believe that Mazeroski was a great enough fielder to save enough runs to compensate for a 84 OPS+.

There are some "Yeah, buts..." to say about Mazeroski's hitting. Mainly the time and the place. He was absolutely killed by Forbes Field and the 365 feet down the LF line (93 career HR on the road, just 45 at home); and just as he was moving into what should have been his best years as a hitter (1963, when he turned 27) they rewrote the strike zone, and his production fell sharply...
_Jonny German - Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 10:44 PM EST (#12995) #
is this Granny Hamner, the 'Whiz Kid' (1950) Phillies second baseman

Nope. This is Garvin, who played just one season, 1945 for Philadelphia. Granny played from '44 to '59, also for the Phillies, and his career totals were -4 RCAP, -7 RCAA. In english: .262/.303/.383 in 5839 AB, 104 HR, 84 OPS+. All-Star in '52, '53, and '54, 6th in MVP voting in '50. Youngest player in the league from '44 to '47, age 17 to 20 (A total of 132 AB, but still pretty crazy).
_Willy - Wednesday, November 24 2004 @ 11:45 AM EST (#12996) #
Nope. This is Garvin, who played just one season, 1945 for Philadelphia. Granny played from '44 to '59,

O.K., thanks. I'd never heard of Garvin H.--and had forgotten about Granny being so young when he started.
Hall Watch 2004-The Second Basemen-Jeff Kent, Roberto Alomar and Craig Biggio (Part 1) | 38 comments | Create New Account
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