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What if Dave Kingman had 500 HRs. HOFER?

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  • #91
    The exercise would show what Dave Kingman's numbers would look like had he hit 500 HRs in the same number of PAs in his career (or close to it). I suspect it wouldn't change much, and he would still fall short of a HOF career, but it'd be something for someone to do for a few hours. :-)
    http://gifrific.com/wp-content/uploa...-showalter.gif

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    • #92
      bat/onbase/slug .242/.308 (up 2%)/.511 (up 7%)
      and OPS+ 125 (up 10) if i estimate correctly.

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      • #93
        Originally posted by Paul Wendt View Post
        bat/onbase/slug .242/.308 (up 2%)/.511 (up 7%)
        and OPS+ 125 (up 10) if i estimate correctly.
        So, playing this out, he now has a classic Triple Crown line of .242/500/1310.

        (I'm assuming the extra 58 HR will bring about 100 RBI along with them, give or take.)

        And now his BA goes from .236 to .242...small increase, but .24_ looks better than .23_ , and his slugging percentage is now over .500.

        I think that might have just sold the BBWAA. He at least hangs on the ballot a little while.

        It's a counterfactual...we'll never know, because in fact he didn't hit those extra HR.

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        • #94
          Would he have been? Yes, absolutely. 500 home runs was a key milestone at that time, and enough writers would have ignored the embarrassingly low batting average to get him in. If we assumed he would have played a few more seasons to get to 500, as opposed to just averaging more home runs per season in the years that he did play, he would have become eligible in the mid-90's. He would have been one of just a couple players from his era to make the 500 home run club, and he would have made it in before membership became about as common as being member of Sam's Club. That definitely would have swayed the voters. Almost none of the metrics that we use now were in common use in the first few years that he would have been eligible for the HOF. Now, do I think he would have deserved to get in? Absolutely not.

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          • #95
            > "membership became about as common as being member of Sam's Club"

            Babe Ruth and three players from the next thirty years achieved 500 homeruns.

            Eight players who debuted in the 1950s joined them, including six who debuted in merely four seasons 1951-54. It was bigger than Sam's Club. There were 16 teams, so every other team had one.

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            • #96
              Originally posted by Paul Wendt View Post
              > "membership became about as common as being member of Sam's Club"

              Babe Ruth and three players from the next thirty years achieved 500 homeruns.

              Eight players who debuted in the 1950s joined them, including six who debuted in merely four seasons 1951-54. It was bigger than Sam's Club. There were 16 teams, so every other team had one.
              But you have to remember that after the surge of new 500 home run club members from the 1950's there was a drought. How many new members were there from 1975 through 1995? Only 3 by my count. That's only one new member every 6+ seasons. If Kingman had 500 home runs and was eligible for the HOF between 1985 and 1995 I think he gets in. That was a very brief window that closed fast as the power/steroid era moved in. Now he wouldn't have a chance. Of the 7 members of the 600 home run club, 4 made their debut between 1985 and 1995. It'll be 5 out of 8 when Thome joins them.

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              • #97
                It suppose you portray this as an unprecedented explosion of career homerun kings because it is the first you have experienced. Eight players who debuted in the 1950s (incl'g six 1951 to 1954) bumped Lou Gehrig down from number five to number 13. Four of them (debuts '51, 54, 54, 56) finished 1-3-4-5 in the all-time ranks, almost forty ahead of the previous runnerup.

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                • #98
                  Originally posted by Paul Wendt View Post
                  It suppose you portray this as an unprecedented explosion of career homerun kings because it is the first you have experienced. Eight players who debuted in the 1950s (incl'g six 1951 to 1954) bumped Lou Gehrig down from number five to number 13. Four of them (debuts '51, 54, 54, 56) finished 1-3-4-5 in the all-time ranks, almost forty ahead of the previous runnerup.
                  It was unprecedented at the level of career home runs, which is why Kingman falls so far short compared to the modern slugger. One guy from the steroid era has finished his career with over 300 home runs more than Kingman, while another is likely to accomplish the feat before his career is over. 16 of the 34 players above Kingman on the all time home run list were not there when he retired. In other words, 47% of the sluggers above 442 home runs finished their careers within the past 23 years. That number will likely be 50% (18 of 36) by the end of next season.

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                  • #99
                    Writers also pay attention to BA as a benchmark, and Kong's lifetime .236 would have put a lot of them off.

                    Aside from the career HR total, Kingman's stats aren't all that great: black ink score 11, gray ink 74, where the average HOFer scores are 27 and 144.
                    Just as an exercise, compare him to, say, Ralph Kiner:

                    RK - career BA .279; lead league in HR seven times; only 1 season (his first) with more than 100 strikeouts (career average 82K per season)
                    DK - career BA .236; lead league in HR twice; many seasons over 125 strikeouts (career avg. 152K per season)

                    The writers had a lot of trouble putting Ralph into the HOF; Kingman was a significantly worse player than Kiner.
                    Last edited by westsidegrounds; 10-28-2010, 05:30 PM.

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                    • http://www.baseball-reference.com/pl...ingmda01.shtml

                      Check out the Similarity scores.

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                      • Originally posted by davewashere View Post
                        ...16 of the 34 players above Kingman on the all time home run list were not there when he retired. In other words, 47% of the sluggers above 442 home runs finished their careers within the past 23 years. That number will likely be 50% (18 of 36) by the end of next season.
                        When Aaron and Robinson retired, 54% of those above 442 homeruns had retired in the past nine years. After Mike Schmidt, 68% had retired in the past 22 years.

                        You choose the endpoints selectively but that still doesn't work to make this explosion unprecedented.

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                        • There's a significant difference between the hypothetical case of Doc Cramer and that of Kingman. There were things Cramer couldn't do but I doubt contemporaries viewed him as a badly flawed player who burdened his team with serious liabilities that had to be balanced against his valuable but limited strengths. That is exactly how Kingman was widely regarded, and it's hard to square with the image of a Hall of Famer.

                          As a result, if Cramer had reached a highly visible milestone, after a while people would probably have found it easy to accept that as a measure of the man. if Kingman had hit 500, anybody who had experienced his active days would still judge him as a complete (which is to say, incomplete) player. With or without 500, he could only be elected to the Hall by a body of voters most of whom had not been around for his active days.
                          “Money, money, money; that is the article I am looking after now more than anything else. It is the only thing that will shape my course (‘religion is nowhere’).” - Ross Barnes

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                          • Originally posted by Beady View Post
                            Doc Cramer .
                            Yikes, of his 2705 career hits, 2163 were singles!

                            He's the Anti-Kingman!!!

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                            • Originally posted by Paul Wendt View Post
                              When Aaron and Robinson retired, 54% of those above 442 homeruns had retired in the past nine years. After Mike Schmidt, 68% had retired in the past 22 years.

                              You choose the endpoints selectively but that still doesn't work to make this explosion unprecedented.
                              Look, I'm not denying that the 1950's produced a lot of sluggers, I'm just saying that it was the period after Kingman that really left him overshadowed. The power explosion of the recent generation is unprecedented not in its percentage growth of players above 442 (which is just the number I'm using because that's Kingman's career total), but in the total number of players that percentage increase represents. A 90% increase in membership in the 442 club is far more remarkable when you're starting with 18 players as opposed to a 100+% increase when you're starting with what, 6 players? Let me put it this way: there were nearly as many players reaching 442 in the 24 seasons since Kingman retired as their were in the previous 65+ years since the end of the dead ball era. I highly doubt there will ever again be a 10-year period where players starting their career during that time nearly double the membership in the 442 club. For example, I don't think there will be 36 players starting their careers between 2005 - 2015 who will reach 442.

                              Only a couple players hit more home runs than Kingman in the years that Kingman played. If he had the same career stats but started in 1987, a year after his actual career ended, there would be over a dozen guys with more home runs during that span. Since home runs is really the only stat that Kingman has in his favor, he really needed to stand well-above his peers who became eligible for the Hall at the same time. Reaching 500 would have gone a long way towards doing that. He still wouldn't have been the best slugger of his era, but he would have been in the 500 club with a group of just 13 other players, as opposed to the current count of 28.

                              I still wouldn't have voted for Kingman, but the OP was asking whether he would get in, not whether he should get in given the hypothetical that he reached 500 home runs. Everything that I saw from baseball writers involved in awards and HOF voting from that period (starting in 1992, the first and only year Kingman appeared on the ballot, and also the year in which 81.16% of voters agreed that Rollie Fingers was a HOFer) indicates to me that he would have been voted in.

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                              • Originally posted by Sliding Billy View Post
                                ...Bill James commented on the way hitting stats outlast all other estimates of a player's value, and he said, "Yes, even Dave Kingman will have his HOF defenders"...
                                "Even Dave Kingman" expresses exactly how his contemporaries -- mostly the same people who would have been voting on him through the 1990's -- viewed him. But it turned out James was wrong. It was three votes and off the ballot.

                                Rollie Fingers is like Cramer, who may not have had enormous positives but wasn't weighed down by large, highly publicized negatives. Probably most good players are like that, but you can't think about Dave Kingman the way you think about most good players. Kingman was the Babe Ruth of negatives, and people who saw him play were well aware of his drawbacks and limitations. In fact, they may have exaggerated how bad a fielder he was, because whereas a Howard or a Luzinski was just slow at getting to the ball, Kingman was actually fairly fast but so awkward that on occasion he could look just horrendous in the outfield in ways that would stick with you for a long time.

                                He was the first player in history to hit 400 home runs and fail to make the Hall, and he accomplished that feat handily, by a wide, wide margin. He was highly capable of being the first to hit 500 and fail to make the Hall.
                                “Money, money, money; that is the article I am looking after now more than anything else. It is the only thing that will shape my course (‘religion is nowhere’).” - Ross Barnes

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