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What if Dave Kingman had 500 HRs. HOFER?

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  • #61
    Kingman ruffled enough sportswriters feathers that he wasn't going to get in with 500 HR's.
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    • #62
      --In the scenario some have suggested where he got there (or close) with a career year in 1987 then he probably would have been elected. For sure if he had hit the 58 he needed all at once he would have been a strong candidate. In the far more likely event that he had been able to hang on for 3-4 years as a mediocore DH to get there, then I don't think he would have had a prayer. Kingman was not well liked and never regarded as big star. He really couldn't do anything well except hit HRs. Which if you're only going to have one skill that a good one, but I doubt it would have been enough.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by leecemark View Post
        --In the scenario some have suggested where he got there (or close) with a career year in 1987 then he probably would have been elected. For sure if he had hit the 58 he needed all at once he would have been a strong candidate. In the far more likely event that he had been able to hang on for 3-4 years as a mediocore DH to get there, then I don't think he would have had a prayer. Kingman was not well liked and never regarded as big star. He really couldn't do anything well except hit HRs. Which if you're only going to have one skill that a good one, but I doubt it would have been enough.
        Hanging on those extra 3-4 years would make his other career numbers look more HOF-like. He would've ended around 1800 hits, 1400 RBI and over 1000 runs scored.

        Of coure, collusion or not, I don't know how likely it is for a 38-year-old DH coming off a 90 OPS+ season to find a full-time gig.
        Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

        Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by philkid3 View Post
          I think that, until recently, the Hall voters adherence to the automatic bench marks would be just crazy enough to squeeze him in.
          I'd be inclined to agree if Kingman was a nice guy.
          THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Freakshow View Post
            Of coure, collusion or not, I don't know how likely it is for a 38-year-old DH coming off a 90 OPS+ season to find a full-time gig.
            Don't know about a FT job, but he did sign with the Giants mid-Summer '87.

            I would like to know when the last time a 90 OPS+ player was 2nd in his league in HRs.

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            • #66
              Originally posted by dgarza View Post
              Don't know about a FT job, but he did sign with the Giants mid-Summer '87.

              I would like to know when the last time a 90 OPS+ player was 2nd in his league in HRs.
              When was the last time a player retired after leading the majors over the previous 3 year period.

              What would have been real cool is if he had gone back to the Cubs for the '87 season had had say 49 home runs and 137 RBI and won the NL MVP award.

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              • #67
                Originally posted by dgarza View Post
                Don't know about a FT job, but he did sign with the Giants mid-Summer '87.

                I would like to know when the last time a 90 OPS+ player was 2nd in his league in HRs.
                You might enjoy these articles from The Hardball Times. They created something, just for fun, called the Home Run-centric Trifecta to look at players in a season who were completely committed to hittin home runs and doing nothing else.

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                • #68
                  That Kingman was not a HOF-quality player was obvious. He was not only below league average in BA; he was below league average in OBP as well.

                  Kingman is nowhere near the player Adam Dunn is. Dunn whiffs a lot and has a low BA, but with his walk rate, he's an OBP machine. Plus, Dunn has some defensive value and can run the bases OK. Dunn does two things; get on base and hit homers. Kingman did only one thing; hit homers. He was a downright liability in the field and on the bases, and he didn't get on base enough to be an effective DH.

                  Despite all this, Kingman WOULD have stayed on the ballot all 15 years had he hit 500 HRs. There would have been enough writers to have kept him on the ballot. Still, 58 HRs is a lot of HRs; it would be almost two seasons worth for Kingman.

                  If Kingman had played two more seasons, his counting stats in other areas would look better. If, on the other hand, you sprinkled 58 HRs into the rest of Kingman's career, you would add to his hit total, Runs Scored totals, RBI totals, BA, OBP, etc. You would have added to his black ink as well. Kingman would have been a better player had he hit the extra 58 HRs; that's NOT chicken feed, and it wouldn't have been, given the parks Kingman played in and the era Kingman played in.

                  Kingman COULD have had a better career if he had come up with a different organization. If he had come up with the Cubs, there would have been a 1B job waiting for him. He could have settled into the position, become OK at it, and had the benefit of playing in a park that would have worked for him. It was Kingman's misfortune to come up with the Giants, where he was stuck behind Willie McCovey; he spent 3 years with the Giants getting ABs playing LF (badly), 3B (HORRIBLY), and backup time at 1B. In 1974, the Giants traded McCovey to San Diego, opening up the 1B job for Kingman, but he had an off year and was traded to the Mets after the season. He had two good (for him) years with the Mets, but they stuck him in LF, where he was a liability. His best statistical years were with the Cubs, but he still was stuck in the OF, and his defense wasn't good enough to keep him when he had an off year.

                  I doubt Kingman would be a HOFer if had come up with the Cubs and they had just stuck him on 1B and lived with his shortcomings. People often say that "this guy just hits homers, but he doesn't do anything else", but in Kingman's case, it's literally true. But he would have been a better player, and he would have put up better stats. The bouncing around took a toll on his skills as well as his reputaton.
                  "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."

                  NL President Ford Frick, 1947

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                  • #69
                    For all their shortcomings, I have to give the BBWAA enough credit to believe they would not have put a 500-HR Dave Kingman in Cooperstown.
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                    • #70
                      Dave Kingman received 1 vote for every 147 homeruns he hit.

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                      • #71
                        He could hit lots of home runs...and that's about it.

                        A .236 hitter shouldn't get in the Hall, unless he was a wizard in the field or something.

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                        • #72
                          Kingman hit some of the longest homers I ever saw. I remember his first game as a Cub when he broke an apartment building window.
                          But HOFer? Give me a break.

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                          • #73
                            Kingman did not retire because he wanted to. Nobody wanted him. I guess with his low batting average, and advancing age, no team wanted to sign him. He was upset at the time, he didnt want to stop playing and he couldnt believe that nobody would pick him up. He was quite upset at the time.

                            As to the Hall, I dont think he would have made it had he played a few more years, and maybe that would have been the start of voters realizing that certain career stats should not automatically get you in. Just because you have 500 homers or 300 wins or 3000 hits does not mean you were a great player worthy of the hall, it could just mean that you were a good player who had a very long career probably without any major injuries and your stats just built up over the years.
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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by dabigyankeeman View Post
                              Just because you have 500 homers or 300 wins or 3000 hits does not mean you were a great player worthy of the hall, it could just mean that you were a good player who had a very long career probably without any major injuries and your stats just built up over the years.
                              We've been through this a thousand times before, but it's a little more complicated than that.

                              First of all, the fact that very few players who weren't unquestionably great reached these milestones should as evidence against the idea of simply compiling mediocre stats for a long time. 500 HR may be in jeopardy of being open to players who simply very, very good, but not great - that's an issue of semantics though. Personally, I consider Jim Thome a great player, maybe you don't, but that's not really the point.

                              The underlying point remains; 3,000 or 300 is, in and of itself, a rather profound artifact of greatness. The reason for this has to do with the circumstances necessary to actually achieve such numbers, and the career arc patterns that reach it.

                              Too often, we see strawmen thrown out about a guy who just gets 150 hits every year for 20 years. But, those things don't happen, the statistical record shows no player who has ever reached one of these huge milestones did it that way.

                              To reach these numbers you need longevity, which means you have to be able to play, and contribute well past your prime. The fact is guys who aren't at least border-line greats aren't able to retain enough skills at an advanced enough age to stick around long enough to compile such totals.

                              The kind of longevity needed to reach 3,000 hits is a testament to greatness. The "worst" player who collected 3,000 hits is Lou Brock, and he was a CF, who retired as the all-time stolen base leader, and had a record of outstanding postseason play.

                              The merely "good" just don't get there!
                              Last edited by digglahhh; 03-24-2008, 11:08 AM.
                              THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

                              In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

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                              • #75
                                I don't think 500 HR's is automatic anymore. Kingman was really a 1 stat guy.
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