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All-time Cardinals-Rangers team

Posted by Andy on October 19, 2011

Here are the top players who appeared in the majors for both the Cardinals and the Rangers:

C: Darrell Porter
1B: Will Clark, Joe Cunningham, Andres Galarraga
2B: Don Blasingame, Luis Alicea
3B: Todd Zeile, Fernando Tatis
SS: Royce Clayton
LF: Alex Johnson
CF: Curt Flood
RF: Brian Jordan, Ryan Ludwick, Bobby Bonds

Starting pitchers: Bob Tewskbury, Ken Hill, Todd Stottlemyre, Jeff Fassero, Jamie Moyer, Sonny Siebert
Relief pitchers: Tom Henke, Rick Honeycutt, Darold Knowles, Rich Rodriguez, Jeff Brantley, Hal Woodeshick

59 Responses to “All-time Cardinals-Rangers team”

  1. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Plus Whitey Herzog, 47-91 for the pitiful 1973 Rangers in his first managerial gig.

  2. oneblankspace Says:

    Honeycutt started over 60% of his games for the Rangers. He had more starts for Texas than appearances for St Louis.

  3. John Says:

    Here's my Rangers/Cards question: how many players have played for both teams in the World Series? I know Molina did it last year. Arthur Rhodes did it this year, and interestingly, it looks like these are the first two pennant-winners he's ever played for, in his 20-year career. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong.)

  4. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    John, you're right about Arthur Rhodes. As for the other players who played for both pennant winners in the same season, check this SI article by Jeff Pearlman.

  5. Brian Says:

    @2: Maybe, but between the two teams he had more relief appearances (109) than starts (71).

  6. idiot Says:


  7. John Autin Says:

    @3, John -- I think you may be mixing up the Molinas. Bengie Molina was on Texas last year, but he's never played for St. Louis. Yadier has only played for the Cardinals, and Jose has never played for either team.

    Also, I don't see how Arthur Rhodes qualifies as playing "for both teams in the World Series." This will be his first WS appearance.

  8. John Says:

    "Playing for both teams" meant that Rhodes has played for both pennant-winners (the Rangers and the Cardinals) this year.

    Bengie did the same last year, playing for both the Rangers and the Giants.

    Sorry that I was unclear.

  9. John Autin Says:

    @8, John -- I get it now. I thought you meant specifically Rangers/Cards. Apologies.

  10. John Says:

    According to the SI piece offered by Kahuna -- should it be Mr. Tuna, since I don't know you? -- Rhodes will be the seventh player to have played for both eventual pennant winners in a given season. Four of them -- Jack Kramer, Johnny Schmitz, Sid Monge and Jim Bruske -- didn't play in the World Series, and probably weren't even on the roster. (The article states for a fact that Bruske -- of the 1998 Padres and Yankees -- was not on the roster.)

    The other two won a Series, and lost a Series. Lonnie Smith played all 7 games of the 1985 World Series for the Royals, batting .333 against his St. Louis ex-teammates. Then, last year, Bengie Molina batted .182 in 4 games for the Rangers against the Giants.

  11. steven Says:

    Alex Johnson was a good hitter for just about every team he played for except the Cardinals.

  12. shaqfearsyao Says:

    to #6

    like your name says, you are an idiot! Read what was written before you say anything. People have such small attention span.

  13. John Says:

    (Pretty sure that was a joke there, shaq. The last of these two-team rosters Andy posted, about a third of the posters couldn't grok the qualifications.)

  14. Detroit Michael Says:

    Let's also mention again that "Rangers" includes the Washington Senators after their original franchise left for Minnesota. For example, Curt Flood never played for the Rangers but he did play for the Senators before that franchise relocated to Texas.

  15. deal Says:

    The Cards/Rangers stints for Jamie Moyer have got to be among his career worst. in those 50 or so gms he was 14 gms under .500

    The rest of his career he is +77.

  16. John Says:

    Wow... yeah. Moyer's turns with the Rangers and Cardinals were... okay, I'll say it...

    ... Brad-Penny-in-the-AL-esque.

  17. Andy Says:

    Amazing that Moyer's 4020 career IP is good enough for only 40th.

  18. Andy Says:

    What a bitch that Dennis Martinez finished with 3999 and 2/3rds IP

  19. Gonzo Says:

    @18: If only El Presidente's pseudo-perfecto wasn't rained out.

  20. Bip Says:

    #6 made me smile.

  21. Gary W Says:

    You could add Pete Richert to thislist, but he didn't do much for the Cards.

  22. Hippie J Says:

    @19: Was there almost a second perfecto for Martinez?

  23. Ellis Says:

    It'd be great to see a simple list of best all-time Cardinals roster vs. best all-time Rangers.

  24. DoubleDiamond Says:

    Strange to see Sonny Siebert's name on this list because he pitched the only no-hitter against the 2nd Senators/Rangers franchise while they were in Washington.

    Names that I recognize as those of one-time Washington Senators:

    Darold Knowles
    Joe Cunningham
    Don Blasingame
    Hal Woodeshick - He played for the 1st Senators and was picked from the Twins by the expansion Senators.

    Plus Curt Flood, who was already mentioned by someone else and whom I mentioned in this context earlier this week.

    Darold Knowles was with the Oakland A's for their World Series championship series in 1972 and became the first pitcher to ever appear in every game in a 7-game World Series. He was later a Phillies pitching coach.

  25. DoubleDiamond Says:

    Clarification of something I said in my previous posting:

    Hal Woodeshick - He played for the 1st Senators and was picked from the Twins by the expansion Senators in the expansion draft.

  26. John Autin Says:

    @23, Ellis -- I'll take a shot at an all-time Cardinals lineup:

    C -- Ted Simmons
    1B -- Albert Pujols
    2B -- Rogers Hornsby
    SS -- Ozzie Smith
    3B -- Ken Boyer
    LF -- Stan Musial
    CF -- Jim Edmonds
    RF -- Enos Slaughter
    SP (RH) -- Bob Gibson
    SP (LH) -- Harry (the Cat) Brecheen
    RP -- Todd Worrell

    Seems odd to leave out HOFer Lou Brock, especially with the World Series going on, not to mention Ducky Medwick. But we need a CF, and none of the other OFs mentioned here was a legit CF.

    Honorable mention to Lindy McDaniel, who pitched 21 years in the majors (the first 8 with St. Louis) but never made it to the postseason. Bad timing: he was with the Cards during their down '50s, then was dealt away in '63, just missing their 3 pennants from '64-'68. Then he spent 6 years with the Yankees during their championship hiatus; and finished with 2 years in KC, ending in '75, just before their first division crown.

  27. John Autin Says:

    A Rangers all-time lineup (including the 1961-71 Senators):

    C -- Ivan Rodriguez
    1B -- Rafael Palmeiro
    2B -- Ian Kinsler
    SS -- Alex Rodriguez
    3B -- Buddy Bell
    LF -- Frank Howard
    CF -- Josh Hamilton
    RF -- Juan Gonzalez
    SP (RH) -- Charlie Hough
    SP (LH) -- Jon Matlack
    RP -- Francisco Cordero

    Timothy P. will haunt me for leaving out Michael Young, but I just don't think he's a better all-around player than Kinsler, A-Rod or Bell. Buddy Bell had a better OPS+ than Young (both career and in his Texas years), and obviously was a far better fielder.

  28. Johnny Twisto Says:

    That's the interesting thing about picking all-time franchise teams. A-Rod was only there three seasons. As good as those years were, should they give him a starting spot over Young, whose been there 11 full seasons?

    And Hamilton has played only a few more games than A-Rod over 4 seasons. Are you claiming he was a greater Ranger than Oddibe McDowell?!!?!?!

  29. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Wow, hard to believe McDowell's career was only 7 seasons long. How many useless players have had longer careers? Obviously McDowell wasn't anything special, but for a brief time it looked like he might *become* special. And he certainly seems to be well-remembered for a guy who was just a blip in history. Maybe that's just because his name is so fun.

  30. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    @ 27 John Autin,

    If Timmy P. sees you put Buddy Bell over Michael Young, well… lets just see.

    It’s amazing that all those years and teams, and Todd Zeile’s top WAR is 2.3. Conversely, Fernando Tatis, his thirdbase partner had a negative 2.3 dWAR in 1999 alone.

    I don’t know why I know this, but Buddy Bell’s first season with the Rangers, is an almost exact duplicate of Buckner’s 85 season for the BoSox.

    162 720 670 89 200 42 3 18 101 30 45 .299 .327 .451 .778 109 302
    162 718 673 89 201 46 3 16 110 30 36 .299 .325 .447 .772 106 301

  31. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    @ 10 John,

    What a career for Lonnie Smith. In six years (80-85) he wins 3 WS for 3 teams. He also wins over future and past teams. In 80, while with the Phils, he beats KC. Then with KC in ’85, he beats the Cards whom he won it with in ’82. And in ’82, his Cards beat the Braves in the NLCS to advance to the WS, the same Braves whom he’d advance with to the WS ten years later.
    He also admits to, in '86, carrying a gun as he drove over to the Royals’ GM John Schuerholz’s house, high on pot and coke, to kill him for not letting play, convinced it was not his coke addiction that kept him out of the line up, but a vendetta against him orchestrated by Schuerholz.

  32. SocraticGadfly Says:

    @26 John Autin. Put Brock in RF. He'd cover the ground, tho with a weak arm. And, Boyer over Rolen? Boy, that's a toughie.

    @27 John Autin If you had to leave off the three likely roiders, who would replace them?

  33. Thomas Court Says:


    Not a bad looking team. Making them pee in a cup would thin their ranks a little though.

  34. John Says:

    Ah! All-time franchise teams! That project was my first loving moment (okay, sumnmer) with a MacMillan encyclopedia: sometime around 1994. (I know because the Rockies and Marlins teams would have probably won 10 games each, in a full season.) I pored through the book, over and over, and eventually put together 25-man rosters for all 26 teams, complete with their game ratings for the "Sherco" baseball game I had. Managed to make a one-team decision for everyone but one: Don Baylor was one of the best players in Angels history (at the time, anyway), and the ONLY manager in Rockies history at the time, so he got doubled.

    I just found those old rosters last week in the back of a filing cabinet. Flipping through, I saw some ridiculous decisions I made to beef up an already beefed-up Red Sox team. Carlton Fisk... well you can make an argument there. But Jimmie Foxx and Tris Speaker? Sorry. Pure homer bias. 😛

  35. John Autin Says:

    @32 SG -- Assuming that your "three likely 'roider[s]" are Palmeiro, A-Rod and I-Rod, we could replace them with:

    1B -- Mike Hargrove
    SS -- Toby Harrah
    C -- Jim Sundberg

    Sundberg is a no-brainer -- he won 6 Gold Gloves and was OK with the stick, and there just isn't another catcher in Rangers history who's remotely worthy.

    Harrah is a fairly easy call over (again) Michael Young -- similar players (good hit, weak glove), with Harrah being the better hitter.

    Hargrove is a judgment call over Mark Teixeira; both had almost identical Texas totals of years, games and PAs. I'm going with the .399 OBP (and a little nostalgia for my Strat-O-Matic days).

    We could also shift Frank Howard to 1B -- although he played less there than I had thought; it was never his primary position until his last year with the club -- and bring in Rusty Greer.

  36. ART B Says:

    Somebody mentioned Brad Penny. I was hugely relieved that Leyland was smart enough not to start Penny in the playoffs. If he had, the Tigers would have lost the series with New York and if they didn't, they would have lost much more quickly to the Rangers. Starting Porcello was also a pretty shakey move. Verlander-Fister-Scherzer was a great playoff rotation except that none of those guys can pitch on short rest. What's most awesome about Verlander is that like Jack Morris, he finds a way to win even if he has a bad day.

  37. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @26/ John Autin - All-time Cardinals team:

    With one of the "original 16" teams, I think it makes more sense to have two teams, or {preferably} divide it up into pre-expansion/ post-expansion. You mentioned a couple HOFers you left out; there is also Dizzy Dean, Johnny Mize, and a number of other first baseman,just for starters.

    PRE-EXPANSION (before 1962)
    C -- Del Rice, Walker Cooper (kinda thin)
    1B -- Johnny Mize; Ed Konetchy, Jim Bottomley deserve a mention
    2B -- Rogers Hornsby; Frankie Frisch, Red Schoendienst, Miller Huggins deserve a mention
    SS -- Marty Marion
    3B -- Ken Boyer; Pepper Martin deserves a mention
    LF -- Stan Musial; Joe Medwick, Chick Hafey deserve a mention
    CF -- Terry Moore
    RF -- Enos Slaughter; Jesse Burkett deserves a mention

    SP (RH) -- Dizzy Dean (peak); Jesse Haines
    SP (LH) -- Harry (the Cat) Brecheen; Wee Willie Sherdell deserves a mention
    RP -- Lindy McDaniel

    POST-EXPANSION (since 1962)
    C -- Ted Simmons; Tim McCarver and Tony Pena deserve a mention
    1B -- Albert Pujols; Keith Hernandez, Mark McGwire, Jack Clark, Orlando Cepeda, and Bill White deserve a mention (Wow...)
    2B -- Tommy Herr, Julian Javier
    SS -- Ozzie Smith; Gary Templeton deserves a mention
    3B -- Scott Rolen; Joe Torre, Terry Pendleton deserves a mention
    LF -- Lou Brock
    CF -- Jim Edmonds; Curt Flood, Ray Lankford, Willie McGee deserve a mention
    RF -- George Hendrick or JD Drew

    SP (RH) -- Bob Gibson; Bob Forsch, Joquin Andujar, Carpenter and Wainwright deserve a mention
    SP (LH) -- Steve Carlton
    RP -- Bruce Sutter; Lee Smith, Worrell honorable mention

    Ok, I got _really_ carried away with second/ third choices, but still this is in no way super-comprehensive, and I am sure I have missed a player or four that someone else would list. I would argue for almost all of my first choices.

  38. Brian Says:

    @ 26 John,

    I was actually playing around with that idea in my head this morning. I'm not sure about Worrell as the closer (I'd look at Sutter or Izzy) but otherwise I pretty much agree.

    Brock would definitely be on the bench along with Red, Medwick and either Pagnozzi, Matheny or Molina as a backup catcher. I'd put Carpenter, Dizzy and Jesse Haines in the rotation with Gibby and Breechen.

  39. ART B Says:

    Harry Walker?

  40. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @39/ART B - "Harry Walker?"

    ART B - Walker was pretty mediocre with the Cardinals (87 OPS+), and his best year (1947 - by far) came immediately after the Cards traded him to the Phillies. I'd rate him well behind Brian Jordan, whom I did not list, but could have.

  41. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @30/ Dukeofflatbush -
    "... I don’t know why I know this, but Buddy Bell’s first season with the Rangers, is an almost exact duplicate of Buckner’s 85 season for the BoSox... "

    Dukeofflatbush, it may be because they both amongst the very few seasons where a player had 200 hits and a BA under .300.

    Complete list (sorry if columns do not line up neatly):
    Players With Most Hits in A Season While Batting Below .300

    Year Player, Team AB H BA
    2007 Jimmy Rollins, Phillies 716 212 .296
    1962 Maury Wills, Dodgers 695 208 .299
    1967 Lou Brock, Cardinals 689 206 .299
    2006 Juan Pierre, Cubs 699 204 .292
    1935 JoJo Moore, Giants 681 201 .295
    1970 Matty Alou, Pirates 677 201 .297
    1985 Bill Buckner, Red Sox 673 201 .299
    1973 Ralph Garr, Braves 668 200 .299
    1979 Buddy Bell, Rangers 670 200 .299

    Rollins also set the record in 2007 for PA with 778.

  42. SocraticGadfly Says:

    @John Autin, all: Agreed that Sutter should be the closer for all-time Cards, not Worrell. How did I miss that last night.

    And, how is Lefty himself not the Cards' all time LH pitcher? Even on his relatively short early-career stint in St. Louis, he's Breechen's equal.

  43. pauley Says:

    @34- nice to hear someone else is as crazy as I am. For me the hardest players to place were Frankie Frisch and Eddie Collins, they both played for so long with and were so important to two different franchises.
    To all, agree with the all time teams for the most part. Musial played over 300 games in CF, for an even stronger offensive lineup I'd put him there to get Medwick in the lineup (Brock would be low on my list of StL of's.)

  44. John Says:

    Pauley: HA! We should have a support group, or something.

    /me reaches to the back of the filing cabinet.

    Just as a baseball fan, I associated Frisch and Collins with the Cardinals and the White Sox, respectively. Collins was one of the Clean Sox, and Frisch was one of the Gas House Gang. I would have left both on those teams, except that Frisch would have been riding the pine behind Hornsby. Since I was doing a lot of talent-balancing*, hoping to get as many of the best players starting on some team or another, I decided to put Frisch on the Giants instead.

    * - except for, as previously mentioned, the Red Sox, who I was hoping to make competitive with the Yankees.

  45. Ken Says:


    You didn't say when Lonnie admitted fantasizing about killing John Schuerholz, but surely it was AFTER he left the Braves! I can't imagine him ever playing for the Braves if Schuerholz had known that. Unless he joined the braves before Shuerholz did? Maybe that was one of the factors involved in his leaving?

  46. John Says:


    After looking through those rosters a little more, I just realized the reason I hadn't seriously considered putting Eddie Collins on the Athletics: I was already done with the A's roster, and I'd put Lajoie there instead, for his fantastic 1901 season. (The rosters I constructed were based off of single seasons.)

    It wasn't until later that I realized that the Indians were actually named the Naps for a while, because Lajoie was so beloved. I moved Nap to the Indians, but never considered moving Collins.

  47. Ken Says:


    Well, I have the answer to my own question: a little research (which I should have done before) shows Lonnie Smith came to the Braves BEFORE John Scheurholz did. Which leads to some interesting conjecture - like I wonder how Smith felt when his nemesis followed him to Atlanta? Don't recall anything in the press at the time about anything between them. But of course, I COULD research that! But I don't want to have all the fun; anyone know about this? It seems more probable that he admitted this after leaving the Braves; his life would have been hell if it was common knowledge when he was in Atlanta.

  48. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    @45 Ken,

    According to this story:
    Smith was acquired by the Braves when Cox was the GM and by the time Smith got the starting job, Cox moved to the dugout and Schuerholz was brought in as GM.
    Again, according to the above story and other sources, Smith is quoted as saying he is ‘proud’ he contemplated shooting Schuerholz, and he makes a half joking side reference that Bobby Cox was saving Schuerholz’s life by giving him the starting job. And further, the article states; all parties, including Schuerholz, were aware of the situation, when Smith was receiving salary from the Braves.
    I find that very hard to believe, that Schuerholz went about his day to day job, which included paying a recovering drug addict that was fantasizing about killing in the same building.
    Hey, I’m glad that Lonnie Smith overcame his drug dependence and made good in baseball and seemingly, his personal life. But the fact he is still quoted as saying he is proud he had intentions to shoot and kill his boss, even though he admits the reasons may have all been in his drug addled mind, I find very disturbing.

  49. John Autin Says:

    @42, Socratic Gadfly -- Sorry, but I think Brecheen wins in a walk over Carlton for best Cardinals lefty:

    Stats with the Cardinals:

    W-L -- Brecheen 128-79, Carlton 77-62

    ERA -- Brecheen 2.91, Carlton 3.10 (in a very low-run context)

    ERA+ -- Brecheen 133, Carlton 114

    IP -- Brecheen 1,791, Carlton 1,265

    WAR -- Brecheen 36.5, Carlton 22.6
    -- Peak seasons: Brecheen 8.0 and 5.0; Carlton 7.2 and 4.6

    20-win Seasons -- One each

    World Series record:
    Brecheen 4-1, 0.83 ERA in 7 games (3-0 with a shutout in '46);
    Carlton 0-1, 2.70 ERA in 3 games (1 start, a tough loss)

    ERA titles -- Brecheen 1, Carlton 0

    Looks like a clean sweep for The Cat. What's the case for Carlton?

  50. John Autin Says:

    Bruce Sutter vs. Todd Worrell with the Cardinals:

    IP -- Worrell 426, Sutter 397
    ERA -- Worrell 2.56, Sutter 2.72
    ERA+ -- Worrell 145, Sutter 132
    Saves -- 127 each
    SO/9 -- Worrell 7.7, Sutter 5.9
    W-L -- Worrell 33-33, Sutter 26-30
    WAR -- Worrell 10.1, Sutter 7.6
    -- Peak seasons: Sutter 4.7 and 1.9, Worrell 3.3 and 2.9 (Sutter wins this, but his biggest year was '84, when the Cards were not serious contenders)

    Worrell 2.01 ERA in 22.1 IP, 14 games, 4/5 in save tries, 1-1 record (the loss was the BS, also was the "Denkinger game")
    Sutter 3.00 ERA in 12 IP, 6 games, 3/3 in save tries, 2-0 record

    It's often forgotten that Sutter had 1 bad year out of 4 with the Cards -- in 1983, he had a 4.23 ERA with 21 saves, 9 blown saves and a 9-10 record. Worrell never had a bad year for the Cards.

    I can see why some would take Sutter, but for me it's Worrell.

  51. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    Ahh, Ken, I see you beat me to the punch.
    The whole story, for some reason, made me look up Latrell Sprewell.
    If there ever was a more demeaning position than Schuerholz signing Smith’s checks, it has to have been when PJ Carlisemo’s Warriors lost to Sprewell’s Knicks twice in December, just a week before he was fired.

  52. Spindlebrook Says:

    Most obscure Cardinal/Ranger - Scarborough Green maybe?

  53. pauley Says:

    46- John, I can sympathize with you trying to strengthen the Red Sox, I probably tried to do the same with the A's to make them competitive with the Yanks, although they have better pitching to begin with. My teams were based on career numbers and each team had 'right of first refusal' for the players, so when I first made the teams A-Rod was a Mariner, now he'd be a Yankee.

  54. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @49/ John Autin -
    Reviewing the the best Cardinals pitchers in franchise history, I was struck by the lack of all-time great pitchers who played the majority of their careers with the team.

    There's Gibson and Dean, of course, and Carlton is an all-time great, but his best years and the bulk of his career was with the Phillies, as did Pete Alexander. For a team that been around nearly 130 years, that's not much. Kid Nichols is an all-time great, but had only one (excellent) year with the Cardinals.

    Jess Haines is in the HOF and spent most of his career w/the Cards, but he is considered one the worst HOF picks (still an excellent pitcher though). Sutter is in the HOF, but only had four years w/the Cards. Harry Breechen, Bob Forsch, Joquin Andujar, all had excellent years with the Cardinals, but are a ways from all-time greats. Maybe Carpenter or Wainwright will reach that level, but it seems doubtful.

    It is just kind of odd, similar to the Pirates' lack of truly great pitchers. There's only one Pirates HOF pitcher (Jack Chesboro) and a whole lot of good-to-excellent: Phillipe, Leever, Tannehill, Adams, Cooper, Law, Face, Friend, Veal, and Drabeck.

  55. John Says:

    And Chesbro, let's admit, was greviously overrated, because his 40-win season happened to fall on the near side of the turn-of-the-century. He never won so much as 25 games before or after his career year, and his career was pretty short.

    I remember Bill James writing (and I'm paraphrasing here) that it's not as if the media ran around screaming, "Dear Lord: Chesbro won 40 games!" Big-league baseball hadn't seen a 40-win season in 13 years, but during the previous stretch of multiple big leagues (NL/AA/UA, from 1882-1891), there was at least one 40-game winner every year. (I know this is ancient baseball history, but when Chesbro won his 40, it was still pretty recent.)

    Also, Eddie Plank -- a far worthier pitcher -- turned in a 40-win season just four years later.

  56. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    John @10: should it be Mr. Tuna, since I don't know you?

    This made me laugh. Since we've seen each other's avatar, I think we're on a first-name basis. That work for you? (-;þ

    [*channels Crush the Sea Turtle*] "Dude, Mr. Tuna was my father." (You dads know what I'm talking about.)

  57. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Also, Eddie Plank -- a far worthier pitcher -- turned in a 40-win season just four years later.

    John (which I feel totally comfortable calling you), I think you mean Ed Walsh. Plank never won more than 26 games in a season.

  58. John Says:

    LOL... thanks, Kahuna. I looked right at one name, and typed another.

    Although I suppose, now, that "far worthier" is pushing it. While Plank is indeed a much better pitcher than Chesbro, Walsh and Chesbro are more similar in terms of career accomplishment.

  59. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @55/ John -
    John, one small correction - Chesbro did indeed win more than 25 games in a year besides 1904, he had (a league-leading) 28 wins in 1902. Your overall point is valid, though; he had a short career, and wasn't a truly dominant pitcher except in 1904.

    Deacon Phillipe, Sam Leever, and Jesse Tannehill were three other excellent Pirates pitchers of the era, along with Chesbro (and Babe Adams). Those four have very similar career records to each other, and indeed show up in each other's Top-10 Most Similar lists. Even WAR rates them as very close (Leever - 40.3; others - 32 to 33). So why is Chesbro in the HOF, while the others got a handful of votes (peak of 0.8%)?

    Obviously, it was 1904; the 41 W-12 L, 48 CG in 51 starts, and 454 IP, are easy selling points. Useless factoids: in 1904, his 1.82 ERA was fourth, and his 6 shutouts were 6th (!). He led the AL in most of the other positive stuff, though.