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Players Who Had Statistically Great Careers Who Were Snubbed Due to Character Issues

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  • Players Who Had Statistically Great Careers Who Were Snubbed Due to Character Issues

    Cougar's reply to a post of mine regarding Art Fletcher's temper brings up a good point about players who were seen as "jerks" or bad teammates. Who else had a career where they probably should have received more votes than they did but character issues hurt them in the eyes of the BBWAA and/or VC? On the opposite end, who received votes primarily because of the perception that they were a great teammate or seen as a great person (Hank Gowdy is the first to come to mind here)?

    Originally posted by Cougar View Post

    There seems to be a long list of guys who were snubbed by the writers & VC's just because they were jerks and/or were perceived as jerks.

    Carl Mays, Dick Allen, Albert Belle...maybe Kevin Brown, though there was a PED issue there too. (Press dislike & PEDs are, or seem to be, entwined in interesting ways.) Sosa, Palmiero, maybe Sheffield. Schilling, for sure, although he may get over the hump this coming vote. I seem to remember Jim Rice losing votes because he wasn't press-friendly. Vern Stephens was rather disliked. Bunning?

    I can't think of any more off the top of my head, but there must be around a dozen more, at least.

    This would actually make for a pretty good thread. I'm on my phone & away from my PC, so if anyone wants to start that thread, please be my guest.

  • #2
    Eddie Grant, a good but far from great Deadball infielder, entered the military during WWI and was slain in the Argonne Forest.

    Grant got some HOF support, pretty much entirely based on his service & sacrifice; it was a pet cause of Judge Landis'.

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    • #3
      Ray Schalk,although he wasn't particularly well liked, was selected by the Veteran's Committee, at least in part, because he didn't throw the 1919 World Series.

      Maybe Pee Wee Reese was aided in his HoF candidacy by his conduct as a player.

      Harold Baines seems to be a highly respected & well liked player and that certainly didn't hurt him when he was select to the HoF by the Today's Game Era Committee.

      Despite his engaging personality and general worthiness, Buck O'Neal has yet to be elected to the HOF for his contributions to the game over many decades.

      Ditto Luis Tiant, who as a colorful character, worthy of the HoF and generally well liked & respected.

      I'm not sure I'd describe any of the players I mentioned as having statically great careers, although Reese & Tiant are deserving based on stats & O'Neal based on his overall contributions.
      Last edited by NJRob65; 06-27-2020, 02:09 PM.

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      • #4
        The popularity of David Ortiz will probably be a positive factor when he makes his debut on the BBWAAHoF ballot in 2022, despite p.e.d. issues.

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        • #5
          I'm actually kinda surprised Ted Williams was elected, considering the terrible relationship he had with the press (and the fans).

          (I'm kidding about being surprised, but he did have a lousy attitude.)
          Put it in the books.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by milladrive View Post
            I'm actually kinda surprised Ted Williams was elected, considering the terrible relationship he had with the press (and the fans).

            (I'm kidding about being surprised, but he did have a lousy attitude.)
            Did he have a good reason? I heard he was good with kid fans.
            “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.” Walter Lippmann

            "Fill in any figure you want for that boy (Mantle). Whatever the figure, it's a deal." - Branch Rickey

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            • #7
              Originally posted by NJRob65 View Post
              The popularity of David Ortiz will probably be a positive factor when he makes his debut on the BBWAAHoF ballot in 2022, despite p.e.d. issues.
              He may not make it on the first ballot, but I'm confident that Ortiz will be elected by the BBWAA.

              I don't care that some people will make false arguments on Ortiz's behalf - inflating his career production or claiming that Ortiz was better than Edgar Martinez - I am only interested in Ortiz crossing the finish line as it will help more deserving candidates to do so in the future. Oh yeah and despite not being Edgar Martinez, Ortiz still deserves it, overhyped or not.
              "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
              "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
              "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
              "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

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              • #8
                I think, at the time they were elected, a not insignificant part of Kirby Puckett's and Ozzie Smith's cases were that they were good guys, great ambassadors for the sport, etc.
                "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chadwick View Post
                  He may not make it on the first ballot, but I'm confident that Ortiz will be elected by the BBWAA.

                  I don't care that some people will make false arguments on Ortiz's behalf - inflating his career production or claiming that Ortiz was better than Edgar Martinez - I am only interested in Ortiz crossing the finish line as it will help more deserving candidates to do so in the future. Oh yeah and despite not being Edgar Martinez, Ortiz still deserves it, overhyped or not.
                  He was a different type of hitter than Martinez, but just as good, and had better career numbers and post season stats.

                  Ortiz 2002-2016: 2078 G 8864 PA 503 HR 1605 RBI 146 OPS+
                  Martinez (career): 2055 G 8674 PA 309 HR 1261 RBI 147 OPS+

                  The idea that Martinez was better than Ortiz is flat out wrong.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by willshad View Post

                    He was a different type of hitter than Martinez, but just as good, and had better career numbers and post season stats.

                    Ortiz 2002-2016: 2078 G 8864 PA 503 HR 1605 RBI 146 OPS+
                    Martinez (career): 2055 G 8674 PA 309 HR 1261 RBI 147 OPS+

                    The idea that Martinez was better than Ortiz is flat out wrong.
                    Ooh ohh I know the answer to this one: Ortiz is also a roider.
                    “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.” Walter Lippmann

                    "Fill in any figure you want for that boy (Mantle). Whatever the figure, it's a deal." - Branch Rickey

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                    • #11
                      Ortiz and Man-Ram carried the Red Sox during those playoff runs. Both are likable guys. The writers who choose to ignore steroids for Ortiz but not for Man-Ram are burying their heads in the sand.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by willshad View Post

                        He was a different type of hitter than Martinez, but just as good, and had better career numbers and post season stats.

                        Ortiz 2002-2016: 2078 G 8864 PA 503 HR 1605 RBI 146 OPS+
                        Martinez (career): 2055 G 8674 PA 309 HR 1261 RBI 147 OPS+

                        The idea that Martinez was better than Ortiz is flat out wrong.
                        Martinez has an award named after him. Martinez has won that award 5 times. Ortiz has won that award 8 times.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Chadwick View Post
                          I think, at the time they were elected, a not insignificant part of Kirby Puckett's and Ozzie Smith's cases were that they were good guys, great ambassadors for the sport, etc.
                          How would Ozzie Smith, one of the greatest defensive players of all time, not be seen as a slam-dunk HOFer at the time of his eligibility on the strength of his fielding alone? Sure, he was no slugger, but he wasn't as bad as Belanger, who didn't even make it to a second ballot.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pedrosrotatorcuff View Post

                            How would Ozzie Smith, one of the greatest defensive players of all time, not be seen as a slam-dunk HOFer at the time of his eligibility on the strength of his fielding alone? Sure, he was no slugger, but he wasn't as bad as Belanger, who didn't even make it to a second ballot.
                            Voters have, traditionally, not been good at measuring defense and certainly not at weighting it properly against offense. The offensive stats are easier to understand and cite so, naturally, voters pay more attention to them. When Smith was elected in his first try in 2002, I'll remind you that close to 1-in-10 voters said "pass". Granted, he sailed in on exactly the point you make, but Smith's character was a factor for a fair number of them, at least as I recall reading columns about it at the time. It may or may not have been the deciding factor for some of them. You didn't have nearly the amount of lying about Smith's bat than you see with Omar Vizquel supporters today.
                            "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                            "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                            "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                            "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Chadwick View Post
                              I think, at the time they were elected, a not insignificant part of Kirby Puckett's and Ozzie Smith's cases were that they were good guys, great ambassadors for the sport, etc.
                              Something that was largely a lie in Puckett's case.

                              Dick Allen is an interesting case. Obviously, he was widely seen at the time, spurred on by a press corps that was at least somewhat questionable in it's judgement of black and Latino players at times, as a bad clubhouse guy. It's a factor in the perception of him to this day, especially among older fans who can't quite get past all the bad stories about what an awful guy "Rich" was.

                              Having said all of that, his case is largely dependent on modern metrics, especially that 156 career OPS+ and 912 OPS. His RBI total is 1119 and his homer total is 351 which puts him in the company of Good But Not Great type sluggers like Joe Adcock and Willie Horton.

                              The character stuff factors in but it doesn't tell the full story of why he never got any real traction in HOF voting.

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                              "Because as I learned in my years covering Frank McCourt: MLB owners do not see themselves as stewards of the national pastime. They see their teams as their property they can light on fire if they so choose." - Molly Knight

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