The Veterans Committee

Well, the reconstituted Veterans’ Committee failed to elect anyone to the Hall of Fame. While I think there were a couple of worthy candidates, I’d rather get this outcome than the enshrinement of a “who’s that?” by the former committee, which was a bigger bastion of cronyism and closed-room politics than anything Tammany Hall or Mayor Daley ever conceived of. Jayson Stark also approves of this, and Rob Neyer predicted the outcome when the new Committee was first formed, though given his usual crankiness about the Hall I’m more than a little surprised at how many guys he stumped for.

Personally, I’d have voted for Ron Santo (the only player enshrined by Internet voters), Marvin Miller, and Billy Martin. Yes, Billy Martin, whose record as a manager is criminally overlooked. Anyone who can take four different teams to the postseason is worth consideration, but Joe Torre will get in before Martin ever does (not that Torre’s record is anything to sneeze at, especially if you overlook his early years with the Mets).

Finally, I can’t believe that people are still stumping for Roger Maris. Look, he had a couple of great seasons, but his career record doesn’t come close to Hall standards. For cripes’ sake, the players whose career stats are closest to his are as follows:

Bob Allison (946)
Hank Sauer (939)
Jay Buhner (922)
Jesse Barfield (918)
Tony Armas (914)
Dean Palmer (912)
Eric Davis (907)
Danny Tartabull (905)
Bill Nicholson (902)
Raul Mondesi (896)

If there’s a Hall of Famer in that bunch, I’m the queen of Romania. Maris was a great guy, but he wasn’t a Hall of Famer. Sorry.

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2 Responses to The Veterans Committee

  1. Norm - Ventura says:

    Maury Wills should be in the Hall. He revolutionized the game in the early sixties. He put the stolen base back in the game and led the way for Lou Brock, Henderson etc. He was so feared by the Giants that they would water the field into a mud bowl before the games with the Dodgers.

  2. Wills’ problem is that his career was too short. He really only had 12 full seasons, and so his career numbers are not very compelling. Players in that category have to be really dominant to be Hall-worthy, and I think Wills was too one-dimensional. Basically, he was a singles hitter (career .331 slugging, never as many as 20 doubles in a season) who stole a lot of bases. His OBP numbers were consistently below league average, he only scored 100 runs in a season twice – it’s just not enough IMHO.

    His closest career matches:

    Larry Bowa (869)
    Dave Bancroft (867) *
    Steve Sax (857)
    Don Kessinger (852)
    Johnny Evers (847) *
    Omar Vizquel (847)
    Donie Bush (844)
    Kid Gleason (842)
    John Ward (840) *
    Roger Peckinpaugh (840)

    Bancroft, Evers, and Ward are HoF players, though all Evers and Bancroft are really marginal (I know nothing about John Ward).

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