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265+ HR Through Age 31 Season

Posted by Steve Lombardi on June 13, 2011

How many players in baseball history have hit at least 265 homeruns through the season in which they were age 31? 

Here's the list - with 2011 being through yesterday:

Rk Player HR From To Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Alex Rodriguez 518 1994 2007 18-31 1904 8482 7350 1501 2250 395 26 1503 915 70 1524 127 16 74 173 265 64 .306 .389 .578 .967 *65/D SEA-TEX-NYY
2 Jimmie Foxx 464 1925 1939 17-31 1834 7853 6583 1485 2217 377 112 1625 1193 0 1007 11 66 0 17 80 61 .337 .439 .640 1.079 *35/27961 PHA-BOS
3 Ken Griffey 460 1989 2001 19-31 1791 7736 6716 1220 1987 362 35 1335 885 193 1173 60 7 68 124 175 64 .296 .379 .566 .945 *8/D379 SEA-CIN
4 Albert Pujols 422 2001 2011 21-31 1625 7075 5992 1232 1971 436 15 1270 942 238 670 76 1 64 220 80 34 .329 .423 .618 1.041 *375/9D64 STL
5 Eddie Mathews 422 1952 1963 20-31 1792 7800 6549 1220 1834 275 65 1166 1155 76 1095 19 31 46 92 62 32 .280 .387 .535 .922 *5/73 BSN-MLN
6 Mickey Mantle 419 1951 1963 19-31 1740 7414 6068 1380 1875 264 67 1187 1291 82 1246 11 13 31 66 135 30 .309 .429 .582 1.011 *89/6475 NYY
7 Frank Robinson 403 1956 1967 20-31 1786 7652 6582 1248 2004 375 59 1225 856 154 963 135 13 66 170 171 65 .304 .392 .563 .955 9738/5 CIN-BAL
8 Hank Aaron 398 1954 1965 20-31 1806 7855 7080 1289 2266 391 80 1305 663 143 736 21 19 72 193 149 45 .320 .376 .567 .943 *987/453 MLN
9 Juan Gonzalez 397 1989 2001 19-31 1503 6374 5824 957 1727 346 22 1282 417 71 1125 56 2 75 160 23 17 .297 .345 .568 .913 97D8 TEX-DET-CLE
10 Mel Ott 388 1926 1940 17-31 2015 8449 7080 1421 2216 386 66 1465 1235 0 616 44 90 0 58 68 0 .313 .418 .551 .969 *958/74 NYG
11 Sammy Sosa 386 1989 2000 20-31 1565 6513 5893 947 1606 244 36 1079 519 83 1537 38 17 46 133 231 103 .273 .333 .523 .856 *98/7D TOT-CHW-CHC
12 Harmon Killebrew 380 1954 1967 18-31 1433 5889 4944 845 1305 182 15 968 868 70 1084 36 0 41 122 7 8 .264 .375 .537 .913 573/49 WSH-MIN
13 Andruw Jones 371 1996 2008 19-31 1836 7514 6617 1066 1716 338 35 1131 744 65 1470 84 6 63 165 138 56 .259 .339 .489 .828 *89/D7 ATL-LAD
14 Willie Mays 368 1951 1962 20-31 1534 6663 5862 1143 1846 301 99 1076 725 106 667 24 1 51 137 240 74 .315 .390 .588 .978 *8 NYG-SFG
15 Adam Dunn 361 2001 2011 21-31 1506 6310 5175 885 1282 276 10 909 1029 107 1716 75 2 29 79 59 22 .248 .378 .514 .892 *739/D CIN-TOT-WSN-CHW
16 Babe Ruth 356 1914 1926 19-31 1350 5589 4419 1125 1539 312 90 1101 1084 0 743 29 57 0 0 85 79 .348 .479 .701 1.181 791/83 BOS-NYY
17 Ralph Kiner 351 1946 1954 23-31 1359 5866 4884 915 1373 203 39 961 946 0 703 24 9 3 118 22 2 .281 .400 .554 .954 *7/83 PIT-TOT-CHC
18 Lou Gehrig 348 1923 1934 20-31 1538 6847 5714 1341 1966 402 131 1450 1007 0 581 24 102 0 0 81 85 .344 .444 .643 1.087 *3/976 NYY
19 Manny Ramirez 347 1993 2003 21-31 1383 5912 5004 959 1585 337 14 1140 792 114 1106 61 2 53 142 31 26 .317 .413 .598 1.010 *97D CLE-BOS
20 Vladimir Guerrero 338 1996 2006 21-31 1457 6159 5502 952 1786 328 39 1052 544 195 674 70 0 43 173 166 80 .325 .390 .583 .972 *9/D8 MON-ANA-LAA
21 Ernie Banks 335 1953 1962 22-31 1370 5862 5280 838 1519 230 65 962 482 119 648 36 10 54 122 42 40 .288 .348 .546 .894 *63/57 CHC
22 Jim Thome 334 1991 2002 20-31 1377 5723 4640 917 1332 259 20 927 997 86 1377 42 1 43 86 18 14 .287 .414 .567 .982 *35D CLE
23 Barry Bonds 334 1986 1996 21-31 1583 6713 5537 1121 1595 333 51 993 1082 226 871 34 3 57 82 380 110 .288 .404 .548 .952 *78/9 PIT-SFG
24 Johnny Bench 332 1967 1979 19-31 1763 7293 6411 949 1721 330 22 1191 772 127 1097 17 9 84 161 63 36 .268 .345 .482 .827 *2/39758 CIN
25 Duke Snider 331 1947 1958 20-31 1531 6451 5644 1039 1711 300 69 1061 724 61 923 16 44 23 136 94 43 .303 .383 .557 .939 *8/97 BRO-LAD
26 Jose Canseco 328 1985 1996 20-31 1341 5816 5071 864 1379 251 13 1033 623 51 1349 63 1 58 131 156 68 .272 .355 .521 .876 9D7/81 OAK-TOT-TEX-BOS
27 Rocky Colavito 328 1955 1965 21-31 1488 6274 5385 852 1472 252 18 1013 797 51 723 24 15 53 142 14 22 .273 .366 .510 .876 *97/31 CLE-DET-KCA
28 Albert Belle 321 1989 1998 22-31 1237 5329 4684 795 1388 316 19 1019 530 65 811 44 4 67 157 71 33 .296 .368 .577 .946 *7D/9 CLE-CHW
29 Mike Schmidt 314 1972 1981 22-31 1336 5592 4615 856 1216 227 41 878 851 91 1148 51 16 59 68 141 63 .263 .380 .535 .914 *5/643 PHI
30 Reggie Jackson 313 1967 1977 21-31 1511 6220 5373 891 1442 286 30 934 728 95 1366 65 12 42 85 188 76 .268 .360 .508 .868 *98/D7 KCA-OAK-BAL-NYY
31 Willie McCovey 313 1959 1969 21-31 1374 5219 4449 760 1257 177 38 859 672 116 840 52 5 41 88 19 18 .283 .380 .550 .930 *37/9 SFG
32 Dale Murphy 310 1976 1987 20-31 1519 6382 5583 928 1555 241 33 927 732 115 1230 23 6 38 121 145 58 .279 .362 .500 .862 *839/72 ATL
33 Orlando Cepeda 306 1958 1969 20-31 1699 6973 6366 953 1902 341 26 1097 453 122 951 89 2 63 161 132 67 .299 .351 .505 .855 *37/95 SFG-TOT-STL-ATL
34 Eddie Murray 305 1977 1987 21-31 1659 7109 6242 973 1850 324 23 1106 782 123 849 15 2 68 160 56 22 .296 .372 .502 .875 *3D/75 BAL
35 Troy Glaus 304 1998 2008 21-31 1395 5840 4969 835 1271 273 10 877 788 38 1269 42 0 41 121 56 29 .256 .360 .498 .858 *5/D63 ANA-ARI-TOR-STL
36 Carlos Delgado 304 1993 2003 21-31 1295 5467 4550 815 1290 317 11 959 758 116 1127 109 0 50 82 9 6 .284 .395 .558 .953 *3D/72 TOR
37 Jim Rice 304 1974 1984 21-31 1493 6528 5963 921 1804 272 69 1076 451 62 1065 47 5 62 217 53 31 .303 .353 .524 .877 *7D/98 BOS
38 Frank Thomas 301 1990 1999 22-31 1371 6091 4892 968 1564 317 10 1040 1076 133 741 41 0 82 152 28 18 .320 .440 .573 1.013 *3D CHW
39 Ron Santo 300 1960 1971 20-31 1844 7828 6768 976 1888 299 59 1139 939 80 1099 28 11 82 200 33 33 .279 .365 .474 .839 *5/67 CHC
40 Mark Teixeira 294 2003 2011 23-31 1280 5626 4854 820 1379 311 16 953 652 77 972 85 0 35 112 17 5 .284 .376 .536 .913 *3/D957 TEX-TOT-NYY
41 Ted Williams 293 1939 1950 20-31 1273 5764 4555 1164 1594 338 57 1135 1183 0 397 21 5 0 111 19 13 .350 .486 .642 1.128 *79/1 BOS
42 Boog Powell 291 1961 1973 19-31 1653 6510 5568 759 1483 230 10 1018 837 121 1044 28 21 56 134 18 16 .266 .362 .468 .830 *37/9 BAL
43 Darryl Strawberry 290 1983 1993 21-31 1323 5434 4664 780 1210 219 34 869 690 117 1138 32 1 47 56 205 84 .259 .356 .508 .863 *9/87 NYM-LAD
44 Fred McGriff 289 1986 1995 22-31 1291 5318 4512 788 1284 229 17 803 744 100 1019 22 2 38 108 48 29 .285 .386 .535 .921 *3/D TOR-SDP-TOT-ATL
45 Dick Allen 287 1963 1973 21-31 1363 5769 4985 890 1491 256 74 889 718 123 1259 12 17 37 112 103 42 .299 .386 .553 .939 537/648D PHI-STL-LAD-CHW
46 Shawn Green 281 1993 2004 20-31 1514 6228 5525 907 1560 347 27 885 600 65 1076 60 2 41 126 139 43 .282 .357 .508 .864 *93/7D8 TOR-LAD
47 Chipper Jones 280 1993 2003 21-31 1405 6067 5144 966 1588 305 26 943 853 94 781 10 3 57 135 116 40 .309 .404 .541 .946 *57/69D ATL
48 Gary Sheffield 279 1988 2000 19-31 1449 6160 5146 884 1508 265 19 916 858 85 621 76 9 71 119 160 77 .293 .397 .515 .912 957/6D MIL-SDP-TOT-FLA-LAD
49 Matt Williams 279 1987 1997 21-31 1271 5133 4735 680 1249 211 28 837 306 63 980 42 9 41 111 41 31 .264 .312 .497 .809 *56/3 SFG-CLE
50 Al Kaline 279 1953 1966 18-31 1862 7793 6857 1115 2087 344 62 1117 804 85 631 36 36 60 175 109 46 .304 .377 .495 .872 *98/75 DET
51 Adrian Beltre 278 1998 2010 19-31 1835 7518 6874 912 1889 397 28 1008 518 65 1166 58 14 54 178 113 39 .275 .328 .462 .791 *5/D64 LAD-SEA-BOS
52 Mike Piazza 278 1992 2000 23-31 1117 4620 4135 701 1356 199 4 881 439 93 632 16 0 30 129 17 15 .328 .392 .580 .972 *2/D3 LAD-TOT-NYM
53 Mark McGwire 277 1986 1995 22-31 1094 4428 3659 621 921 150 5 747 673 54 833 40 3 53 92 7 8 .252 .369 .523 .892 *3/5D9 OAK
54 Paul Konerko 276 1997 2007 21-31 1426 5758 5110 748 1434 260 5 895 538 42 815 59 1 50 192 5 2 .281 .353 .495 .848 *3D/57 LAD-TOT-CHW
55 Richie Sexson 273 1997 2006 22-31 1150 4786 4214 661 1135 230 17 844 494 30 1127 47 0 31 123 12 13 .269 .350 .526 .877 *37/D9 CLE-TOT-MIL-ARI-SEA
56 Cal Ripken 273 1981 1992 20-31 1800 7807 6942 1043 1922 369 34 1014 752 69 797 33 3 77 206 32 27 .277 .347 .458 .805 *6/5D BAL
57 Todd Helton 271 1997 2005 23-31 1279 5424 4560 924 1535 373 24 915 773 131 622 40 3 48 111 33 23 .337 .433 .607 1.040 *3/79 COL
58 Dave Kingman 270 1971 1980 22-31 1143 4254 3839 552 933 155 20 720 333 38 1139 36 9 37 77 65 42 .243 .307 .505 .812 7359/D1 SFG-NYM-TOT-CHC
59 Ryan Howard 266 2004 2011 24-31 940 4051 3484 584 963 174 17 801 496 122 1113 37 0 34 69 11 4 .276 .369 .565 .934 *3/D PHI
60 David Ortiz 266 1997 2007 21-31 1192 4937 4215 738 1219 315 12 880 651 73 899 23 1 47 97 9 3 .289 .384 .559 .942 *D3 MIN-BOS
61 Bobby Bonds 265 1968 1977 22-31 1416 6342 5546 1009 1505 247 57 806 704 56 1384 39 7 46 76 364 113 .271 .355 .480 .835 *98/D7 SFG-NYY-CAL
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/13/2011.

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A-Rod is so far ahead of the pace of Bonds, Aaron and Ruth at age 31. 

Of all the guys to get off to a great start here, which one amazes you the most in terms of how few homers he went on to hit, compared to how he started off?

This entry was posted on Monday, June 13th, 2011 at 11:48 am and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

73 Responses to “265+ HR Through Age 31 Season”

  1. I'm kind of blown away how many Jimmie Fox had -- more than 60 ahead of Aaron and almost 100 ahead of Mays! He would have cleared 800 if he had the late career of Aaron or Ruth.

  2. Yankillaz Says:

    Notable Failures:

    Juan Gonzalez ---- Steroids
    Andruw Jones ---- Forgot to hit. Still in progress.

    The everything seems normal.

  3. The Legendary Frank King Says:

    @ #2

    You could tag half this list with the "Steroids" tag. Especially the guy right at the top. If you want to go that route, it amazes me that nobody took a serious look at these numbers and what was happening to power in the 1990's.

    When I was younger, I always thought Griffey would end up the HR King. Maybe if he had injected more HGH or that Gorilla Testosterone that A-Rod shoots up with he would have hit more as he got closer to 40.

  4. Surprised to not see Bagwell on that list, apparently he just missed by 2 HR as he had 263 through his age 31 season.

  5. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Or maybe if he ever bothered to stretch or put any effort into keeping in shape, he would have hit more too.

  6. Johnny Twisto Says:

    (Referring to Griffey)

  7. @3 I tell you, the New York media is willing to look the other way for ARod, just like they are trying to pretend that Andy Pettitte didn't use steroids. ARod has developed man breasts because of the female hormones he takes to balance the roids. As far as I'm concerned ARod is the biggest phony in sports today.

  8. Only guy that has a shot to join the list this year is Miguel Cabrera, who has 260 in his Age 28 season.

    Prince Fielder will probably be next, he's at 211 in his Age 27 season.

  9. @5 Good point about Griffey, I think he might have been a little lazy. He was a natural no doubt about it, and I think the game was easy for him and he took for granted it always would be. He was hurt often for several of his prime years, and that hurt him.

  10. @ 7 Pettitte didn't use steroids technically

  11. @7: Just like the Boston media looks the other way on Ortiz? Let's not forget the revelation in the summer of 2009 that Ortiz is on that list of 103 or so players.

  12. Lots of guys hit a wall when they turned 30 (or not long after). Foxx, Mathews, Mantle, Gonzalez, Kiner, Bench, Colavito, Rice, Santo, Powell, Green, Allen. There's a different explanation for almost all of those guys. Age, weight, injuries, steroids, attitude, etc.

    Other guys like Ripken and Banks played a long time after 30 but weren't really the same player afterwards.

  13. @11 I love Ortiz, and of all the guys that got fingered for PED's, I think he probably needed it least, or didn't use it much. I still think he is disqualified for the HoF. And Rich is right it was HGH for Pettitte. Manny, Sosa, Giambi, Pudge, Sheffield, Clemens, Tejada, Juan G., Bonds, McGwire, Bonds, Santo, all don't get into the hall because of PED's!

  14. Spartan Bill Says:

    The age 31 cut off captured Dale Murphy;s last good season. After that 1987, I believe Bill James favorite Toy said he was slightly better than a 50-50 shot at hitting 500 HR, but it was all downhill after that.

  15. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    20+ years ago, Bill James wrote a series of articles on which players were "ahead" of the pace of the record-holders in the major offensive categories. Foxx and Matthews were the only ones ahead of Aaron's HR pace into their early thirties.

    Of course both of them started fading at age 32/33 - that shows how hard it is to get close to any major record (both more than 200 HR short); ten years ago, lots of people assumed that Junior Griffey would pass 755 career HR's. It's not that easy, folks.

  16. A-Rod has actually been savaged by the New York media over the years, including for his use of PEDs. I'm not sure what else they are supposed to do. I guess they could write daily columns on the subject, but I think most fans have moved on, just as they have for the dozens of other players who have either tested positive or confessed to using PEDs. In addition, A-Rod hit .358 with 36 HRs as a skinny 21-year-old, so unless he was using then it seems unlikely that much, if any, of his power came through the use of PEDs.

  17. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I love Ortiz, and of all the guys that got fingered for PED's, I think he probably needed it least, or didn't use it much.

    That's objective. Sure, why would a 27-year-old who had never played a full season and just got non-tendered need them more than the #1 pick in the draft?

    Santo

    Insulin? Makes sense to me, that treatment was available to diabetics of decades earlier.

  18. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Was *not* available.

  19. @16 Disagree! The New York media has nicked him only when it was unavoidable, then they revive him because he has a guaranteed contract that nobody else would want at this point in his career. SOME fans have moved on my friend, but not the kind of fan that pours over stats like it's the Bible. The fans that keep score at games and use stats to compare Giambi to Hack Wilson have not moved on.

  20. " In addition, A-Rod hit .358 with 36 HRs as a skinny 21-year-old, so unless he was using then it seems unlikely that much, if any, of his power came through the use of PEDs."

    Technically, it was his "age 20" season

  21. @17 I was just testing you about Ronnie Santo, making sure your paying attention. I'm a Cub fan and I think Ronnie was the best 3rd baseman in the NL for at least 10 years.

  22. I think the biggest post steroids era fallout that we're going to see is a lot of players careers flaming out in their mid-30's plus or minus a year or 2 and a lot of these contracts sign thru when a player is in his late 30's or even early 40's in some cases are going to be huge problems for some franchises. There have always been a few freaks of nature or conditioning like Jamie Moyer or Omar Vizquel who could keep playing seemingly forever and a few of the greatest were injury free enough to still be fairly effective into their early 40's (Wagner/Williams/Spahn/Mays) but if I were a GM right now I wouldn't sign anyone (except maybe Albert Pujols) to a multiyear contract beyond their 35th birthday.

  23. Ron santo may well not be in the Hall because of steroids. His numbers just don't look all that impressive today compared to the ridiculous numbers put up by the steroid users.

  24. Another indication that Ron Santo should have been in the Hall a LONG LONG time ago. I grew up a Cub fan - my dad and mom died Cub fans, mom right after they lost in 84 - and Santo was as good as there was at third. Writers drooling over Robinson and laughing at the Cubs and Wrigley's hurt him then while stubbornness and stupidity prevented his selection in later years. He numbers were on a par with both Matthews and Robinson except for Eddie's homers and he did it all as a diabetic at a time when management of that wasn't very well done while playing for the worst team in the league. Had he been a Yankee or Dodger he'd have been in the Hall long ago,
    It's a shame and the writers should be ashamed of themselves

  25. Re: TimmyP - so Ortiz used PED but "didn't use them much"? Is this TimmyP or Bill Simmons?

    Seems ludicrous to me to attempt to qualify or exonerate your favorite users by how much they may or may not have used. Boorish players like ARod and Bonds get raked over the coals; Papi and Pettitte get a pass because they're more likeable.

  26. @23

    Sorry, but you can't really blame steroids for keeping Ron Santo out of the Hall of Fame. He first appeared on the ballot in 1980, long before the steroid era. Santo only got 3.9% of the vote that year, and then was off the ballot until they let some guys back on in 1985. He was on the ballot from 1985-1998, polling between 13.4% and 43.1%.

    So you could make a case that his later years on the ballot might have been hurt by the offensive explosion, but I think you can more clearly blame unenlightened voters during the 80's and 90's more so than anything else.

    And I still fully expect him to be elected on the "Golden Era" Veteran's Committee ballot this coming winter.

  27. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    @ Hartvig,

    It is generally assumed Albert Pujols is closer to 35 right now then 31. I think The Cardinals did not want to sell the farm to sign him for just that reason.
    I also think Pujols had or is using PEDs. Just my opinion. But from just looking at that guy, he has the body type of a steroid user.
    Ozzie Guillen pointed out the dilemma of a great deal of latin players, who are misguided by scouts and have much easier access to PEDs, especially in the Dominican Republic.
    But we shouldn't assume the entire league is clean because of testing. Just remember, it was only a few years ago Balco had developed undetectable steroids. And Lance Armstrong has been chased to the limit by biking community, ratted on by teammates and friends, and yet he has not yielded one positive test.

  28. @25 Great points, Papi and Pettitte are more likable no doubt, but if you read what I said, both can NOT be in the HoF. You have to take the bad with the good and both cheated. As far as Pujols, I had never heard he was closer to 35, and from what I understand, since 9/11 it is all most impossible to lie about your age no matter what country you come from. I have wondered about Pujols and steroids, but it seems unlikely that he and he alone has figured out a way to cheat the tests. I don't believe he is on steroids.

  29. Johnny Twisto Says:

    he has the body type of a steroid user.

    I don't know, he looks a lot bigger than Alex Sanchez to me.

  30. @23 Howard - Not only that, but Ronnie played in a the pitcher dominated '60's and there was many a hitter that had his stats neutered because of the high mound and Gibson and Koufax.

  31. Never said anything about HOF for Papi or Andy; just take exception to those who minimize cheaters because *you* think they only cheated a little bit. Maybe you're a Sox fan, maybe you just like Papi (both defensible positions!) But there's really no evidence to suggest he only used a little bit.

  32. What about Adam Dunn #15 on this list. Pretty impressive.

  33. Sort the list by the "To" column. You will see 32 of the names (over half) had careers that are active or ended within the past 20 years (since 1992).

    Expansion and PEDs to be sure. Will have to do some calculations to gauge how much PEDs may have over-represented the recent past.

  34. Duke Snider only finished with 407, after clubbing 331 by age 31.

  35. You guys aren't really suggesting that everyone implicated with steroids should be left out of the Hall, are you? You can't just have a 15 year gap in the HOF.

  36. You'll notice that the big reason Arod is at the top of this list is that he started playing so young. Check the games played column, and try dividing by homers hit to a get a list of HR-rate through age-31 and you'll get a different list entirely. Pujols and Ruth both pull ahead of Arod, and if Bonds doesn't, well...he's a historical aberration with so much more power at the front end than the back end of his career.

  37. Richie Sexson hit 273 through age 31, but only 33 more after that. Juan Gonzalez was at 397 and finished at 434. Most dramatically, Troy Glaus was at 304 and finished at 320.

  38. John Autin Says:

    @35, Aryeh -- Why can't we have a 15-year gap in the HOF?

    I'm not necessarily endorsing that position. But if the best objective analysis leads to the conclusion that a player strongly implicated in steroid use should not be in the HOF, why should that conclusion be overturned by a desire to avoid a 15-year gap? HOF inductees serve no tangible purpose but to give HOF visitors more plaques to gaze upon and provide an annual reason for HOF members to get together on a hotel porch. Both of those are nice, but not necessary. And after all, there have been several years in which no one was inducted.

  39. Johnny Twisto Says:

    It provides an annual reason for thousands of fans to go to Cooperstown and spend money. If the BBWAA decides not to elect anyone, the HOF will find a new electorate which will.

  40. @34

    I think the switch from Ebbets Field to Dodger Stadium had quite a bit to do with that.

  41. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @38? John Autin Says: "...@35, Aryeh -- Why can't we have a 15-year gap in the HOF?... ... And after all, there have been several years in which no one was inducted."

    Why, John A.? - because the actual Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown is an ongoing business venture, in an actual set of buildings, that needs many visitors during its yearly Induction Week to maintain its revenue stream. No inductions for one year, perhaps, but I can't see the HOF Board of Directors allowing that to go on for a number of years.

    Besides (practically speaking) there are more than enough qualified, relatively "clean" players, that there won't be any gaps in electing players, not even one year. To start, you could vote in one/year from the current backlog of Larkin/ Trammell/ Raines, and do just fine for a few years.

  42. John Autin Says:

    JT @39 and Lawrence @41, aren't you mixing up "should" and "would"?

    Aryeh's question asked: "You guys aren't really suggesting that everyone implicated with steroids should be left out of the Hall, are you? You can't just have a 15 year gap in the HOF." (emphasis mine) He's asking a question of right and wrong -- not one of politics.

    I maintain that the BBWAA and anyone else voting in the HOF election should not be motivated by anything beyond that player's credentials; they should not let their votes be swayed because the Otesaga Hotel needs bookings.

  43. Santo also played at Wrigley which sort of balances out the pitching era he played in. Still belong on the HOF

    Whenever I see Dave Kingman on a HR list of any kind I wonder what the HOF would have done if that guy hit 58 more home runs. Pre steroid era, how do you keep a guy out with 500 home runs?

  44. @ 43. When your career batting average is .236, that's how.

  45. Ron Santo was a very good ballplayer,but not a Hall of Famer.

  46. John Autin Says:

    @43, Scott -- There's a first time for many things. Kong wasn't getting near the HOF with 500 HRs.

    Speaking of HOF precedents ... I'm rooting for Johnny Damon to get 3,000 hits so that we can be done with that as an "automatic" HOF qualifier.

    (Or am I wrong in assuming that Damon gets rejected by the HOF voters?)

  47. @38

    "...if the best objective analysis leads to the conclusion that a player strongly implicated in steroid use should not be in the HOF..."

    And there is the blurred line in the steriods/Hall debate. John, what are you referring to by "objective analysis"? That a specific player used? Or that having used, he should or should not be in the Hall?

    (I'd say objective is tricky on both counts.)

    But, can we please eliminate all judgment (objective or subjective) in this?

    It is my belief, that since MLB/Selig et al, shamelessly looked the other way during this era, that makes MLB is MORE responsible as the players. MLB could have policed the steroid problem, and chose not to. Because of this, steroid use should NOT be a consideration when voting to enshrine. Admit, clearly and loudly that this happened. Instead of hanging individual players out to dry.

    Note how baseball has openly acknowledged its past segregationist ways . You don't ignore it. (keeping players out of the Hall) You acknowledge it. You say, "This was the steriod era. Here is what happened. Here is how we lost our way. Here is how we fixed it. Here are the players who excelled during this time."

    Just like the dead ball era, fans will be able to adjust those numbers for themselves (like a personal OPS+).

    Otherwise, to use steroid as criteria for HOF consideration, it becomes an endless debate of who used, how much, and were they HOF qualified before? Who is popular? Who is contrite? It's endlessly subjective.

  48. @ 41 Lawrence

    "besides...there are more than enough qualified, relatively 'clean' players"

    And there's my point about subjectivity.

    relatively clean

    There is term that can never be quantified and endlessly debated.

  49. @47
    I'm with KJ. The moral high road in these debates seems artificial to me. Where were the calls for more testing and enforcement back in the 90s and early 00s? It was a high-offense era for 'clean' players anyways and we've had high offense eras before (1890s, 1920s-30s).

    Voting is going to be a mess in the next few years. Crowded ballots were going to create a consensus problem anyways, but this PED issue is going to split the voting even more.

  50. David Ortiz don't use no steroids man.

    He just took some vitamin drinks and it got him tagged as a positive. He didn't know about it until the media reports came out.

    David Ortiz don't use no steroids.

  51. @43

    Kingman could have hit 600 home runs and he still wouldn't have made it to the HOF. Bad attitude, .236 batting average, and a terrible walk to strikeout ratio. A .302 lifetime OBP? Where does that rank him? The guy at #999 all time, the immortal Moose Solters, finished with a .334 OBP.

    Even with all the power Kingman had, he didn't put people on the edge of their seats like his contemporary, Reggie Jackson. Even when Reggie struck out, it was exciting! When Kingman struck out, it was: "Hand me the remote control."

  52. The Legendary Frank King Says:

    I'm glad WHERE these HR was hit has been brought up. A-Roid, Gonzalez and Teixeira would have hit a lot of these out in Arlington, a notorious wind tunnel. Are there any other parks that really stand out on this list?

  53. 'He was hurt often for several of his prime years, and that hurt him.'

    heh, no pun intended, right?!!? lol

  54. @46

    I think Johnny Damon has a better HOF case then you might think. That being said, I don't think he makes it unless he gets to 3000 hits. He'd be far from the worst player inducted.

  55. Thomas Court Says:

    I think Damon has a decent chance at making the Hall, if he can get his aggregate numbers past some notable checkpoints. 3000 hits will do it of course - but getting past 1000 extra base hits will also be huge. He is at 823 currently, so he has some work to do. Getting to a 1000 will illustrate that he is not just a singles hitter. Throw in 400+ stolen bases, his post season heroics, and at least the perception that he did it cleanly and his resume begins to look better.

    Then look at his run scored numbers. He is currently at 1594. If he pushes that in the 1750+ range, then you are going to have to look for reasons NOT to put him in Cooperstown. If he scores 1800 he will be in the top 20 run scorers ever to play - with every eligible player in the top 30 (not named Pete Rose) already elected.

    Also, Johnny Damon is a likable player - no matter where he plays. Are we going to pretend that this quality is not important in getting votes? Whether or not we agree with this point, it is a fact.

  56. KJ and #47

    Ok, you don't want subjective judgment. Good goal but you just illustrated how difficult it is to achive.

    When you say "MLB/Selig et al, shamelessly looked the other way during this era" you are not only making a strong judgment, you and many others are way off base. In fact (you may say "judgment" but i say fact) it was one of the world's strongest unions over the past 35 years, the MLB players union, that stonewalled the issue for years with the threat of invasion-of-privacy protests and labor negotiation difficulties if the issue of testing was pursued. Sure, Selig/et al (including managers, clean players, etc) finally realized that steroid use was rampant and needed to be addressed, but they also knew that the union would fight it to the death, so MLB had to wait until public opinion forced the issue on steroid testing and swung pro-testing in their favor.

    Sure, the excitement over homeruns and revenue eventually became a factor, but Selig/et al's only real crime was not courting public opinion to their side sooner, and not realizing how devastating steroids would become. But it never would have gotten that far if not for the very powerful union's stubborn and short-sighted stance against testing -- especially and ironically because it eventually harmed its own clients/players' reputations in the future.

    Sorry for ranting a little and being a little off-topic, but yes, I'm a Selig apologist (he brought baseball to Milwaukee for me in my childhood) and it bugs me immensely when he gets blamed for things unfairly. All-in-all, he's done a lot of good for baseball, esp. as a traditionalist who has realized that sometimes he/we need to embrace the future, while balancing it with tradition and common sense.

  57. This is a link to Lou Rawls singing the national anthem before a 1982 world series game. At about 00:41 there is a close-up of 37 year old Don Sutton. Watch closely at Don's face and you can see the nervousness, and the patriotic pride in his eyes! It really is something and almost brings tears to my eyes watching it. This is a guy who's whole life was baseball, and he'd been to the WS 3 times before, all 3 unsuccessful for his team.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-MyDIuFcDI&feature=autoplay&list=PL04E035E17839D8FF&index=26&playnext=1

  58. Final add-on for now:

    Ranking players/teams and discussing issues will always be subjective. Until the next Einstein comes up with one theory to explain the universe, or until the next Bill James comes up with one stat that we all agree is the be-all and end-all of stats, we'll always have debates on this stuff. That's the fun of it! Accept the fact that we're all biased and judgmental, then enjoy the ride, while seeing who can make the most convincing arguments and enlighten the rest of us a little along the way.

    For me, Damon, nahhhh, not a HOFer, no way. But some of you convinced me that maybe he will earn it with a couple more good years.

  59. The guy with the latest start on this list is Howard (24 yrs old). He could have been up 2 years earlier if not for Jim Thome. If he had, maybe by now he would have learned to hit a breaking ball.

  60. The "automatic" HR threshhold that Kingman tested was not going to be 500 because it was 400! Up until that point every single eligible player who had hit 400 HR had been (or would soon be) elected.
    Also, now that Palmeiro is likely not going to be elected any time soon, the 3000-hit precedent has also been set.
    Lastly, I don't think any of these milestones ever guaranteed election in the minds of the voters, they are just round numbers that were/are seemingly impossible to achieve WITHOUT being a HOF-caliber player. We now know that such things are possible, but it does take some fairly extreme circumstances.

  61. @ 46 - John, at one time I thought Bill Buckner might be the first to challenge the 3000 hits and you're in silliness

  62. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @43, 46, 51: 500 career HR as an "automatic" HOF threshold - it certainly was not automatic for:
    Harmon Killebrew - elected on his 4th year, 1984/ debut year, 59%
    Eddie Matthews - elected on his 5th year, 1978/ debut year, 32%

    @60: 400 HR was not automatic for:
    Duke Snider - elected in his 11th (!) year in 1980/debut year, 17%

    Someone please explain why the above players were not considered by the BWAA voters as qualified as Willie McCovey, who was elected in his first year in 1986 with 81%. McCovey is Killebrew's #1 most similar batter.

    Well, 3000 hits still seems automatic now, although technically the following were not first-ballot:
    - Tris Speaker (2nd-ever ballot)
    - Adrain Anson
    - Eddie Collins
    - Napolean Lajoie (2nd-ever ballot)
    - Paul Waner

    Then again, _no one_ was first-ballot from 1937 to 1960.

    @24, 26 - Ron Santo was one of the worst mistakes of the BWAA HOF voters, along with Johnny Mize and Arky Vaughn. Many voters expect third basemen to match the offensive standards of OF and 1B, unless they have the "defensive wizard" rep of Brooks Robinson.

  63. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @62: 3000 hits and the HOF - yes, Rose and Palmeiro are not in the HOF, but of course that's for off-the-field reasons

  64. @63: agreed - it's going to be very strange once Bonds/Clemens come on the ballot. The writers can at least twist themselves into making cases against McGwire/Palmeiro (and even Bagwell) but still vote for lesser players. Once you've kept Bonds or Clemens out you've pretty much drawn a line in the sand.

  65. @62 The biggest mistake made by the HoF is Wahoo Sam Crawford, it's almost criminal what happened to him. Ron Santo not being in the hall is also a crime. What we see from many sportswriters, and many posters here is a sort of group-think mentality. Brooks Robinson is a good example of the group-think mentality. It just became excepted that he would be in the HoF and Ronnie would not.

  66. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @65/ Timmy p Says: "@62 The biggest mistake made by the HoF is Wahoo Sam Crawford ... .... Ron Santo not being in the hall is also a crime. What we see from many sportswriters, and many posters here is a sort of group-think mentality..."

    Timmy P - Yes, I should also have included Sam Crawford and Home Run Baker, the two worst dead-ball omissions by the BBWAA in HOF voting. I didn't, because I think they were a slightly different case - they got buried in the huge backlog of the HOF's first 12/15 years of voting, as did other deadball stars, and never gained any traction. Still, it's surprising that a player with 2,964 hits (Crawford) never got 5% of the vote.

  67. @64. I can't see them keeping bonds or clemens out, at least not eventually. And when they get in, others will sneak in. I think the steroids era players that will be excluded are mostly guys who are already retired and whose eligibility will come up before bonds/Clemens. Basically we get a couple instances of Rice and Blyleven instead of Palmero and Mcguire.

    Larkin and Bagwell will already put big pressure on the hall to be more ambivalent towards the steroid era. I think they'll both get in soon. And if we get Tim Raines or Jack Morris into the hall instead of a Larry Walker or similar, I'm fine with that.

  68. Johnny Twisto Says:

    The biggest mistake made by the HoF is Wahoo Sam Crawford, it's almost criminal what happened to him.

    Um, he is in, you know. And has been for over 50 years. And made it before he died. Considering the backlog the HOF had to work through, and there not being elections every year in those days, on the list of HOF crimes this is roughly equivalent to spitting on the sidewalk.

  69. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Re "automatic" HOF thresholds: Not long ago I compiled a list of the top HR hitters who had never been inducted. Don't know what became of it, so I'll do it again here.

    I'll start this from 1930, since the HR didn't really become a common weapon until about 1920, so career HR totals before then were of little consequence. (I realize that this is before the HOF even opened.)

    Cy Williams, 4-time HR champ, retired after 1930 with 251 career HR. This was the highest total not to be inducted until....

    1942, when Bob Johnson passed him. Johnson played through 1945 and retired with 288 career HR. This was the highest total not to be inducted until....

    1957, when Gil Hodges passed him. Hodges played through 1963 and retired with 370 career HR. This was the highest total not to be inducted until....

    1968, when Rocky Colavito passed him. Colavito retired after that season with 374 career HR. This was the highest total not to be inducted until....

    1973, when Frank Howard passed him. Howard retired after that season with 382 career HR. This was the highest total not to be inducted until....

    1985, when Dave Kingman passed him. Kingman played one more season and retired with 442 career HR. This was the highest total not to be inducted until....

    1998, when Mark McGwire passed him. McGwire played through 2001 and retired with 583 HR. This stands as the highest total which has come up for election but has not been inducted. If you assume McGwire would have made it but for steroid concerns, Kingman's total was passed in...

    2000, by Jose Canseco. Canseco played one more year and retired with 462. This was the highest total not to be inducted until....

    2002, when Fred McGriff passed him. McGriff played through 2004 and retired with 493 HR. This stands as the highest total which has come up for election but has not been inducted for reasons other than steroids.

  70. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Looked at another way:

    1926 is the first season there was a player with 200 HR who would not get inducted. Williams was the 2nd player to ever hit 200 HR.

    1958 is the first season there was a player with 300 HR who would not get inducted. Hodges was the 15th player to hit 300.

    1985 is the first season there was a player with 400 HR who would not get inducted. Kingman was the 21st player to hit 400.

    1999 is the first season there was a player with 500 HR who would not get inducted. McGwire was the 17th player to hit 500.

  71. John Autin Says:

    @47, KJ -- I think you and others have read far too much into my statements.

    All that I've said on the subject of HOF voting and steroids is that the voters shouldn't be affected by the business interests of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. I didn't express any judgment at all about the players in question.

    In particular, I did not say that "the best objective analysis leads to the conclusion" that steroid-tainted players should be kept out. Rather, I said, "IF the best objective analysis leads" them to that conclusion, then that's how the votes should go, and damn the consequences. Big difference.

    As for the difficulty of "objective analysis," I agree, and I wish I had said "the most reasonable analysis."

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  73. Brooks Robinson, 23 seasons, 268 HR, .267/.322/401! That's awesome. Actually those Bmore teams were pretty good during the late '60's and early '70s and I give Earl Weaver credit for coming up with an original plan!