Friday, January 23, 2009

Hall of Fame Requirements

Here is my opinion of the Hall of Fame in any sport in light of the discussions of McNabb, Warner, Rice, and Kent in recent weeks. If you watch a sport regularly, (for me that only includes baseball and football) and you saw the majority of player's career, and you don't say hall of famer in 30 seconds, then maybe that player was just good or even really good, but not hall of fame.

Let's try this together.

Is Jeff Kent a Hall of Famer? (waiting 30 seconds...thinking...thinking...)

Jeff Kent is not a hall of famer. Never have I thought Jeff Kent was one of the best ever and factor in his best year was at the height of the steroid era (2002) he was good, but not great. McNabb good, not great. (But his career is not over) Warner good, but if he is a key piece in two Super Bowl Championship teams I would say great. If you have to think for more than 30 seconds then you shouldn't vote for a player.

I am too young to remember Jim Rice, but how do you not get in for 14 years and then all of a sudden, Rice is in. He was great. Did he hit 45 HRS last year and I missed it? I am happy that Rice got in but logically I don't get it.

Try this litmus test. Name a player or coach in your own era, think, then vote. It is amazing how something so simple has gotten so complicated.


Dan said...

That's not a bad way to approach it, Joe. The only thing that makes me reconsider Kent is the fact that his numbers are all-time good for a second baseman of any era. But he certainly doesn't pass the test you've presented.

Joey said...

If Jeff Kent played a corner infield position then his numbers would be pedestrian. I only say this because the way he played second he should have been moved to a corner infield position. Plus his numbers took a huge hit when he wasn't protected by Bonds in the line-up.

Dennis said...

Hold on a second, I don't think Jeff Kent can be dismissed so quickly. For his 17 year career, Kent hit .290 with an OBP of .356 and a slugging percentage of .500. You know how many 2B have done better? One, Rogers Hornsby. He is 47th all time with 1518 RBI, just ahead of Mickey Mantle. he hit 377 HR, a record for 2B. He also won an MVP.

Compare that to Ryne Sandberg, a 2B who played 16 years and was inducted into the Hall of fame 4 years ago. Sandberg went 285/344/452, numbers well below Kent's. He also hit 100 less HR, and had 500 less RBI (500!). Sandberg also won an MVP and was a vastly superior fielder to Kent.

After all is said and done, I probably wouldn't vote for Kent, but I think he will probably get in. In 5 years, he will get maybe 30% of the vote, and then it will creep upward every year, until we have forgotten what a bad fielder he was and stat hounds will be convinced he was the 2nd greatest 2B of all time. Maybe someone can even convince us he was "the most feared hitter" in the NL with runners on base.

Dan said...

If we ran the Baseball HOF I think there would be less than 100 players in there. If we had the time, it would be fun to have a HOF Redux. We could take the current members one by one and decide if each belongs or not. In order to get in, a player would have to be voted in unanimously.

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