January 08, 2003
Murray, Carter enter Hall of Fame
Eddie Murray and Gary Carter were elected to the baseball Hall of Fame yesterday, meaning the baseball writers' judgment matched that of Internet voters. Ryne Sandburg did get jobbed by the voters, but at least it was his first year on the ballot. He could well climb into contention in a few years, unlike the equally unlucky yet deserving , who got about half of Ryno's vote total.
I see that Scott is not impressed by Gary Carter's enshrinement. Sorry, big guy, but you're just wrong. I'll even abide by your wishes and make a non-sabermetric argument. Here's the list of all Hall of Fame catchers. Can anyone honestly say that Gary Carter wasn't better than at least some of them? I'd rank him above everyone except Bench, Campanella, Berra, Mickey Cochrane, Josh Gibson, and Carlton Fisk. Anyone who can reasonably be considered one of the top eight or ten guys ever at his position is a Hall of Famer in my book.
(Yeah, Piazza and I-Rod are better than Carter. They ain't in yet, and even counting them Carter's still Top Ten. And I'm not a Mets fan, either.)
Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 08, 2003 to Baseball
Yeah, probably. He just never impressed me much, which ain't saying anything. He always seemed like the best of a mediocre bunch during his heyday. Combine that with his preening, and he just rubbed me the wrong way.
So, since I'm asking: give me the SABR rundown on Carter.
Short version is 324 HRs by a catcher who played mostly in the low-offense 70s and 80s is quite an achievement. He was also an excellent glove man, with a good arm in an era where stolen bases were a common weapon.
Stats are here, with some more good info here and here. Basically, Carter compares favorably by any metric to the best catchers in the game.
Sandberg was one of the great players of the 80's, but he's never going to make the Hall because his career numbers aren't impessive enough, which is stupid. He was the best second baseman of the decade by miles, 2-time MVP for some largely unimpressive teams, and put up good numbers for his era (40 HR at 2nd base? Are you kidding?)
I think Sandberg will eventually make it in. 49% support for a first-timer isn't too bad. There are a couple of years coming up with no obvious first-ballot winners, so that will help him. He shouldn't have retired/unretired like he did, but his case for the Hall should be strong enough to overcome that.
Like Charles, I'm reasonably confident that Sandberg will be elected at some point in the next few years (and I also agree that he belongs, as the premiere second baseman of his time). Whether or not it makes sense, it seems like there are still a large number of voters infected by anti-first-year bias.