Card of the Week (and Hall of Fame poll): 1997 Bowman Chrome International Refractors #127 Andruw Jones
8th September 2011
So much to say about this card...
8th September 2011
So much to say about this card...
17th May 2011
Todd Helton has played his entire career for the Colorado Rockies, first filling in the outfield in 1997 and eventually taking over at 1B for Andres Galarraga. That makes him only the second full-time first-baseman in Rockies history, and he's held down that position for 14 years.
Helton was overshadowed for a number of years by Larry Walker, another Rockie with an interesting resume worthy of HOF debate. But Helton put up a ton of good numbers in his own right, and his career is definitely worth a long look too.
Some career highlights:
Jumping in, I want to try to list some pros and cons of Helton's Hall of Fame case, but I'd like to try to avoid numbers that inflated by Coors Field. Here's why:
There's no doubt that Helton's raw numbers have benefited tremendously from playing for the Rockies. Look at the last column above, tOPS, which is a breakout of his overall offensive performance split by home vs. away. That number of 120 has got to be one of the highest all-time for a long-time player like Helton. It's incredible. It's led to 58% more home runs, 52% more RBI, and a whopping 63% more runs scored.
I didn't include the data in the above chart, but here's another interesting thing about Helton's H/A splits. At home, he has 640 walks and 420 strikeouts, a fantastic margin. On the road? He has exactly 566 walks AND strikeouts each (through Saturday's games.) So his big advantage at home in walking over striking out disappears on the road.
10th May 2011
On another thread, we debated a bit about Nolan Ryan's career and legacy. I have long felt that some people give Ryan too much credit, but I'm not as sure that he doesn't deserve to be in the Hall of Fame anyway.
When it comes to Ryan's career, there are 3 things that most people think of in terms of his accomplishments:
18th March 2011
Here's a cool link from Adam Darowski:
It is exactly what it sounds like -- he took our Wins Above Replacement stat, peak-adjusted it by combining regular WAR with "Wins Above Excellence" & "Wins Above MVP", and then repopulated the Hall of Fame using that weighted metric. Here were the members of his Hall:
|Aaron, Hank||Dawson, Andre||Kelly, King||Robinson, Jackie|
|Alexander, Pete||Delahanty, Ed||Killebrew, Harmon||Rose, Pete|
|Allen, Dick||Dickey, Bill||King, Silver||Rusie, Amos|
|Alomar, Roberto||DiMaggio, Joe||Koosman, Jerry||Ruth, Babe|
|Anson, Cap||Drysdale, Don||Koufax, Sandy||Ryan, Nolan|
|Appier, Kevin||Eckersley, Dennis||Lajoie, Nap||Saberhagen, Bret|
|Appling, Luke||Evans, Darrell||Larkin, Barry||Sandberg, Ryne|
|Ashburn, Richie||Evans, Dwight||Lyons, Ted||Santo, Ron|
|Bagwell, Jeff||Ewing, Buck||Magee, Sherry||Schmidt, Mike|
|Baker, Home Run||Faber, Red||Mantle, Mickey||Seaver, Tom|
|Bando, Sal||Feller, Bob||Marichal, Juan||Simmons, Al|
|Banks, Ernie||Finley, Chuck||Martinez, Edgar||Simmons, Ted|
|Bell, Buddy||Fisk, Carlton||Mathews, Eddie||Sisler, George|
|Bench, Johnny||Flick, Elmer||Mathewson, Christy||Smith, Ozzie|
|Berra, Yogi||Ford, Whitey||Mays, Willie||Smith, Reggie|
|Blyleven, Bert||Foxx, Jimmie||McCormick, Jim||Snider, Duke|
|Boggs, Wade||Freehan, Bill||McCovey, Willie||Spahn, Warren|
|Bonds, Bobby||Frisch, Frankie||McGinnity, Joe||Speaker, Tris|
|Boudreau, Lou||Galvin, Pud||McGraw, John||Stargell, Willie|
|Boyer, Ken||Gehrig, Lou||McGwire, Mark||Stieb, Dave|
|Bresnahan, Roger||Gehringer, Charlie||McPhee, Bid||Stovey, Harry|
|Brett, George||Gibson, Bob||Medwick, Joe||Sutton, Don|
|Brouthers, Dan||Glasscock, Jack||Minoso, Minnie||Tanana, Frank|
|Brown, Kevin||Gordon, Joe||Mize, Johnny||Tenace, Gene|
|Brown, Mordecai||Gore, George||Molitor, Paul||Terry, Bill|
|Buffinton, Charlie||Goslin, Goose||Morgan, Joe||Tiant, Luis|
|Bunning, Jim||Gossage, Rich||Munson, Thurman||Torre, Joe|
|Burkett, Jesse||Greenberg, Hank||Murphy, Dale||Trammell, Alan|
|Campanella, Roy||Grich, Bobby||Murray, Eddie||Vance, Dazzy|
|Carew, Rod||Grove, Lefty||Musial, Stan||Vaughan, Arky|
|Carlton, Steve||Gwynn, Tony||Nettles, Graig||Ventura, Robin|
|Carter, Gary||Hack, Stan||Newhouser, Hal||Waddell, Rube|
|Cedeno, Cesar||Hamilton, Billy||Nichols, Kid||Wagner, Honus|
|Cey, Ron||Hartnett, Gabby||Niekro, Phil||Walker, Larry|
|Childs, Cupid||Heilmann, Harry||Olerud, John||Wallace, Bobby|
|Cicotte, Eddie||Henderson, Rickey||O'Rourke, Jim||Walsh, Ed|
|Clark, Will||Herman, Billy||Ott, Mel||Waner, Paul|
|Clarke, Fred||Hernandez, Keith||Palmeiro, Rafael||Ward, Monte|
|Clarkson, John||Hershiser, Orel||Palmer, Jim||Whitaker, Lou|
|Clemente, Roberto||Hornsby, Rogers||Perry, Gaylord||White, Deacon|
|Cobb, Ty||Hubbell, Carl||Pierce, Billy||Wilhelm, Hoyt|
|Cochrane, Mickey||Jackson, Joe||Plank, Eddie||Williams, Ted|
|Collins, Eddie||Jackson, Larry||Porter, Darrell||Willis, Vic|
|Collins, Jimmy||Jackson, Reggie||Radbourn, Charles||Winfield, Dave|
|Cone, David||Jenkins, Fergie||Raines, Tim||Wood, Wilbur|
|Connor, Roger||Jennings, Hughie||Randolph, Willie||Wynn, Early|
|Coveleski, Stan||John, Tommy||Reese, Pee Wee||Wynn, Jim|
|Crawford, Sam||Johnson, Walter||Reuschel, Rick||Yastrzemski, Carl|
|Cronin, Joe||Kaline, Al||Ripken, Cal||Young, Cy|
|Dahlen, Bill||Keefe, Tim||Roberts, Robin||Yount, Robin|
|Davis, George||Keeler, Willie||Robinson, Brooks|
|Davis, Willie||Kelley, Joe||Robinson, Frank|
16th February 2011
A commenter recently pointed out that the team of best players with a Valentine's Day birthday isn't very good.
I guess when we look up any particular day, we hope to find a few Hall of Fame players and a whole bunch of All-Star caliber players.
Here's a bit of a reality check, though.
The Hall of Fame has 295 members. That total includes 60 people who made it as a manager, pioneer, execute, or umpire, meaning there are only 235 Hall of Fame players. That works out to an average of just about 0.65 Hall of Famers per day, and since a few probably have the same birthday I'm guessing as many as 40% of the days of the year have no Hall of Famers born that day.
I made a rough approximation of the total number of All-Star appearances and it looks to be about 4,000. That's the total number of times any player made the All-Star team. It looks like there have been something like 1,300 different players elected to at least one All-Star game, meaning that the average number of All-Star game appearances per All-Star player is about 3.
With about 1,300 All-Star players, that's an average of about 3.5 such players per day.
What does this mean? A typical average birth day would have 0 or 1 Hall of Famers and 3 or 4 players with a total of about 10 All-Star appearances.
So, yeah, a date with no Hall of Famers and just 1 player with 1 All-Star appearance is definitely well below average.
What dates can you find that are above or below average?
4th February 2011
Any minute now, Andy Pettitte will be officially announcing his retirement. About a year and a half ago, Pettitte was the subject of one of my very first Hall of Fame polls. Let's see if anything has changed.
Pettitte, originally drafted by the Yankees in 1990, finishes as a member of 5 championship teams (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2009, all with the Yankees) and 3 other World Series teams (2001 and 2003 with the Yankees and 2005 with the Astros.)
He was a 3-time All-Star and had 5 top-6 finishes for the Cy Young award.
Pettitte was also named in the Mitchell Report and later admitted to using HGH. I'm still finding it very tough to assess how this sort of thing affects a guy's HOF chances. I tend to doubt that Pettitte used HGH for just the two times he admitted to, but on the other hand I believe that hundreds of other players are guilty of using banned substances but haven't been caught.
Anyway, let's take a look at some basic arguments for and against Pettitte going in the Hall of Fame.
12th January 2011
He finishes as the all-time leader in saves and games finished as well as his run as the active leader in appearances as a pitcher.
Few people know that the Padres were actually Hoffman's third team. He was originally drafted by the Reds in 1989 (a few spots behind Kelly Stinnett in the year that Ben McDonald was taken first overall), and was then plucked off the vine by the Marlins in the 1992 expansion draft. In the middle of his first big league season, he was one of the youngsters shipped to the Padres in a trade that sent Gary Sheffield to Florida. Then, 16 years later, he signed with the Brewers as a free agent, spending his final 2 seasons in Milwaukee.
There is no doubt that Hoffman is one of the best closers of all time. The question of his candidacy for the Hall of Fame has, I think, more to do with how closers are valued overall.
Let's take a look at some of the numbers and have a vote.
5th January 2011
Other authors may have their own take on the HOF voting just completed, but to me this is the craziest result of anything that happened.
I just don't get it.
13th December 2010
For a baseball fan, the month of December means it's time for the winter meetings and debates about this year's candidates for the Hall of Fame. Sean already has you covered on the former, so let me show you some features we have regarding the latter:
Enjoy the features, and don't let the debates get too heated when someone calls your favorite player a "fringe candidate"...
1st December 2010
The link above gives you all of the candidates along with their credentials and a brief form that allows you to vote yea or nay on each candidate. Give us your reasons here.