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Should the HoF induct minor leaguers?

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  • #16
    http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/ho...rees/rules.htm
    Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
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    • #17
      Originally posted by Ashburn1
      People talk about international leagues or minor leagues like they are somehow equal to major league baseball. They're not.

      I would argue that any PCL players good enough to be in the HOF made it to the majors. Were Sadaharu Oh or Buzz Arlett as good as some HOFers? Maybe, but we'll never know because they never played a good enough level of competition to prove it. It's not the "Hall of what might have been".

      This idea that the Japanese league is anywhere close to the level of major league baseball is absurd.
      By those standards, Negro Leaguers don't belong either. The Negro Leagues weren't as good as the majors, and Japan isn't as good as the majors either. However, Japan is generally considered at least AAA quality todayand probably a little better, and hasn't been more than one level lower than that since at least the end of WWII. If that fits your definition of "not anywhere close", so be it.

      Jim Albright
      Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
      Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
      A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

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      • #18
        I would say, I'm not opposed to see an extension to the HOF built to include a history of the minor leagues and stories of the best players, but aside from a few players who toiled their entire noteworthy careers in the PCL, which I believe should be called a Major League (for a while there, the PCL was where the greatest players in Western North America played because scouts weren't out there checking them out...in the 1920-1940s the PCL was absolutely an outstanding league and its' history is largely forgotten except in cities with a significant PCL history (San Diego, Seattle, San Fnacisco etc))...I don't think the HOF should make a special show out of "inducting" the greatest minor leaguers.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Ashburn1
          People talk about international leagues or minor leagues like they are somehow equal to major league baseball. They're not.

          I would argue that any PCL players good enough to be in the HOF made it to the majors. Were Sadaharu Oh or Buzz Arlett as good as some HOFers? Maybe, but we'll never know because they never played a good enough level of competition to prove it. It's not the "Hall of what might have been".
          Then I guess you disagree with induction of all Negro Leaguers since they never played in the majors and the Negro Leagues were by definiton minor leagues, right?

          When I started this thread I had in mind the minor leaguers before 1930. In those years the minor leagues were independent of the major leagues and such had a strong level of play. Before 1901, the American League was a minor league called the Western League. If minor leagers ever do get inducted we should start there.
          This idea that the Japanese league is anywhere close to the level of major league baseball is absurd
          Can you give actual evidence instead of just rhetoric? You need to check out Jim Albright's research on the quality of the Japanese Leagues. The Japanese Leaguers are probably between triple-A and the majors in terms of quality.
          Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 01-31-2006, 08:14 AM.
          Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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          • #20
            What minor leaguers of the past would be viable candidates? I nominate Joe Bauman:

            Joe Willis Bauman, Sr.

            Bats Left, Throws Left
            Height 6' 5", Weight 235 lb.
            Born April 17, 1922 in Welch, OK USA
            Died September 20, 2005 in Roswell, NM USA

            Joe Bauman was one of baseball's forgotten warriors. A big first baseman, he played primarily in the low minor leagues; he appeared in the Northeast Arkansas League, the Southern Association, the West Texas-New Mexico League, the American Association, the Eastern League, the Longhorn League, and the Southwestern League. He is best remembered for his time with Roswell.

            Bauman debuted in pro ball with Newport in the Northeast Arkansas League. He hit only three home runs in 59 games with Newport. He also went 0-10 when he was called up to Little Rock in the Southern Association. During the winter, World War II began. Bauman played semi-pro ball in '42 and was in the service for 1943 to 1945.

            Upon his return, Bauman settled in with Amarillo in the West Texas-New Mexico League. He led the circuit with 48 home runs. He also had 159 rbi and a .301 batting average.

            The next season his home run totals went down but his production went up. He hit just 38 homers but he hit .350 and drew 151 walks. He was then signed by the Boston Braves.

            Bauman played 1948 in the Braves organization, going 0 for 1 in AAA and posting fair stats in AA (.275, 55 BB, 10 HR in 276 AB) while splitting time with Ray Sanders. It was Bauman's only time outside of the high minors and left it inconclusive whether he could have played in the majors or not. He did not enjoy his time and left organized ball again in 1949 for another three years.

            At 30, Bauman knew he was through with the major leagues but he still wanted to play. He joined up with the Longhorn League for 1952. He signed with Artesia. In 1952, his triple crown stats were .375-50-157, good to lead the league in homers, rbi and walks (148). The next year, he led the league in walks (130), runs (135), and home runs (53), while maintaining a high average. After the season, he moved to Roswell.

            In 1954, Bauman broke out, if you can break out from a 53 home run season. With Roswell, he won the triple crown and led the league in runs and walks. His totals were eyepopping. In 138 games, he had 199 hits in 498 at bats for a .400 average. He hit 35 doubles, 3 triples, and 72 home runs, a record that stood for pro ball until Barry Bonds topped it in 2001. He also drove in 228 runs and walked 150 times.

            Bauman couldn't duplicate his 1954 season in '55. He only hit 46 home runs and batted .336. The following season, he played just 52 games and hit 17 homers. He was retiring at 34.

            The career ledger for Joe Bauman reads 1019 games, 982 runs, 1166 hits, 337 home runs, 1057 rbi, 974 walks, and a .337 batting average. He was a true legend on a small stage.

            After his career, he retired to run a service station in Roswell which he had been operating during the last years of his playing career.

            source: http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Joe_Bauman
            Two knocks against Bauman that I see:

            1) short career
            2) played mostly in the "low" minors

            He never played in the majors, not even one game, which I find odd. World War II probably cost him any shot at the majors.
            Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 01-31-2006, 01:53 PM.
            Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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            • #21
              Originally posted by jalbright
              By those standards, Negro Leaguers don't belong either. The Negro Leagues weren't as good as the majors, and Japan isn't as good as the majors either. However, Japan is generally considered at least AAA quality todayand probably a little better, and hasn't been more than one level lower than that since at least the end of WWII. If that fits your definition of "not anywhere close", so be it.

              Jim Albright
              A completely different situation. If you can't see that, I don't know what to tell you.

              The Negro Leagues had to exisit because those players weren't allowed to play in the majors. Japanese players could have come over and started any time that they were good enough to make it.

              And yes, I do consider AAA to be "not anywhere close" to the majors. Ask a rookie up from the farm who's getting his first taste of major league pitching or a young fireballer who's facing the best hitters in the world all of a sudden, and they'll tell you, there IS a difference.
              Last edited by Ashburn1; 01-31-2006, 11:23 AM.
              "You should enter a ballpark the way you enter a church." - Bill Spaceman Lee

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              • #22
                That's just not true...and if you can't see how wrong you are...I can't help you.

                Japanese players for *YEARS* were honor bound to play out their careers in Japan...it's only recently that Japanese players attained slightly improved labor rights and have been able to leave Japan to play in American baseball while they were still desired players in Japan.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
                  Then I guess you disagree with induction of all Negro Leaguers since they never played in the majors and the Negro Leagues were by definiton minor leagues, right?
                  You can't possibly be serious. Anyway, I just addressed that point above.


                  Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
                  Can you give actual evidence instead of just rhetoric? You need to check out Jim Albright's research on the quality of the Japanese Leagues. The Japanese Leaguers are probably between triple-A and the majors in terms of quality
                  Well, you've made my case for me. Even IF the Japanese leaguers are AAA quality (which, don't forget, is NOT major league quality), that doesn't make them HOF worthy.
                  Last edited by Ashburn1; 01-31-2006, 11:25 AM.
                  "You should enter a ballpark the way you enter a church." - Bill Spaceman Lee

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by SABR Matt
                    That's just not true...and if you can't see how wrong you are...I can't help you.

                    Japanese players for *YEARS* were honor bound to play out their careers in Japan...it's only recently that Japanese players attained slightly improved labor rights and have been able to leave Japan to play in American baseball while they were still desired players in Japan.
                    That may be true, but it still does not mean that they are the equal of major league players.

                    Bottom line is they are simply not playing against the same level of competition as players in the majors do (and MLB IS an international league, it has the best players in the world). You can't compare their numbers to major league numbers, they just aren't the same thing.

                    I've got no prejudice against the old minors or the Japanese league, I just can't imagine how anyone could justify the idea of inducting players from those leagues into the HOF.
                    "You should enter a ballpark the way you enter a church." - Bill Spaceman Lee

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                    • #25
                      And yet you like Negro Leaguers.

                      How is being kept out of the game due to racism any different than being kept out of the game due to poor labor rights and a sense of national pride. Oh wait...maybe it's different because of the racism thing...it's politically important that we pretend the negro leagues were special somehow relative to the other non-major leagues...

                      Gimme a break.

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                      • #26
                        Not to ignore what is a solid issue, but the basketball HOF does not induct college players it and of themselves. They look at the entire career, college and pro, with the pro career being weighted to a much greater extent. Thus, players like Christian Laettner and Walter Berry will not get in.
                        The minor league exhibit in Cooperstown is quite nice, incidentally.
                        Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
                        Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
                        Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
                        Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
                        Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by SABR Matt
                          And yet you like Negro Leaguers.

                          How is being kept out of the game due to racism any different than being kept out of the game due to poor labor rights and a sense of national pride. Oh wait...maybe it's different because of the racism thing...it's politically important that we pretend the negro leagues were special somehow relative to the other non-major leagues...

                          Gimme a break.
                          You've got to be kidding. The bottom line is that the doors to mlb were never open to those Negro League players. They've been open to players from around the world for decades. Conditions in Japan may have prevented them from coming here, but mlb never would have prevented a worthy Japanese player from being signed. It's a simple matter of opportunity.

                          I also have never seen any evidence that Japan has produced players the calibre of Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston, Satchel Paige or Cool Papa Bell. Is your contention that the Japanese league has produced players of that quality?

                          And please. Your inference of a politically correct motive behind my opinion is more than a little insulting.
                          Last edited by Ashburn1; 01-31-2006, 11:50 AM.
                          "You should enter a ballpark the way you enter a church." - Bill Spaceman Lee

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Ashburn1
                            Conditions in Japan may have prevented them from coming here, but mlb never would have prevented a worthy Japanese player from being signed. It's a simple matter of opportunity.
                            http://www.baseball-reference.com/m/murakma01.shtml
                            Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
                            Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

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                            • #29
                              I just don't understand your point Ashburn1...

                              It doesn't matter WHY players have been prevented from playing in the major leagues...Negro Leaguers were prevented because the major leagues didn't want them. Japanese players were prevented because the Japanese baseball authorities and labor laws wouldn't allow it...it's the same ********* thing.
                              Last edited by Bob Hannah; 01-31-2006, 11:57 AM.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by SABR Matt
                                I just don't understand your point Ashburn1...

                                It doesn't matter WHY players have been prevented from playing in the major leagues...Negro Leaguers were prevented because the major leagues didn't want them. Japanese players were prevented because the Japanese baseball authorities and labor laws wouldn't allow it...it's the same ********* thing.
                                How come these laws didn't stop Masanori Murakami (click on ruthmaybonds' link above)?
                                "You should enter a ballpark the way you enter a church." - Bill Spaceman Lee

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