Monday, December 3, 2012

Hall of Rage

OK, the new player in the Hall of Fame is Deacon White.

Do I agree with this pick?  In a word, no.  I don't think any of the players on the ballot were that worthy this year, and I think we've got enough of the pre 1800 guys in already, although I think we probably shouldn't have as many of them as we do, maybe in a separate part where we honor the initial greats that gave way to the Ty Cobbs and Babe Ruths and Hank Aarons of the world.

Deacon White was a catcher and third baseman (which he was more of) in the very early years of baseball.  He wasn't too bad, an OPS+ of 127, but had an OBP of 346 and a SLG of 392.  He averaged roughly a HR a year, which was probably average back then.  In fact, I'd imagine that all of his stats are fairly typical for a decent hitter in his time.  His 127 OPS+ is like 200th all time (no joke).

That's the thing, when I look at his numbers, he looks mostly like a typical guy from his time and nothing really stands out for me.  Where is the dominance?  Where is the greatness?  He was a fine player in his day, but so were guys like Harold Baines and Fred Lynn.  Is anyone arguing for them to be inducted?  I hope not.

This guy cannot be an all time great.  This is why I've been slaving over the data for half a year looking at every Hall of Fame Player.  We've got to strive to be better than that.

I've read plenty of articles that say he was a superstar of the 1870s.  The venerable Bill James even thinks he should be inducted.  But, lets be real here for a moment.  The 1870s were a long time ago.  I agree that the Hall has a duty to honor the past.  But is he one of the greatest of all time?  I don't think he is.  He definitely has his place as an important person in the history of baseball, but not as a legendary player.  If you do, good, I just think there are better players that aren't in the Hall yet.

Edit: If the HoF puts him in as a Pioneer or something along those lines, then I fully agree with that decision.

No comments:

Post a Comment