Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Hall of Fame

I caught some of the complaining about the voting, the system, the chuckleheads who won't vote for top players in their first year of eligibility...

Just so you know, baseball's hall of fame has always been insane in its selections, except the first year. In 1936 they put in Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, and Honus Wagner. You might argue around the edges if these were indeed the top five to that point, or just five of the top ten, but they were all clearly top-shelf qualified.

The very next year, they went with 3 players, 2 great and one legitimate. They elected two managers, McGraw and Mack, which seems reasonable. And three executives, two of which you never heard of. Then more executives, plus a move to include players from the early years. Which they got approximately sorta right. Then they stopped electing anyone at all through most of WWII. After the war they elected more guys from old baseball, plus Tinker, Evers, and Chance, who weren't that great, but were in that poem and all.

The 20's and 30's were the big hitter's eras of baseball. The National League averaged .300 in 1930. The whole league. Consequently, just after the pitcher's era in the 1960's, people voting for the hall of fame saw all those gaudy numbers from a generation earlier and voted in a lot of guys who were pretty good but not great who played in the 20's and 30's. Joe Medwick. Earle Combs. Chick Hafey.

Softest roads to the HOF?
1. Outfielder or 1B in the 30's
2. Braggart before 1910 who played a long time
3. Play for the Yankees in dynasty years.

1 comment:

Carl said...

My reactions here.