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Best Non Hall Of Famer 'Peak'

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  • #16
    What is a 'peak'?

    Originally posted by willshad View Post
    It has been discussed which non hall of fame player had the best single season...but I dont know if 'peak' has been discussed. It has been said about many players that he was 'great' for a while, then declined too early, or was injured too much, to be a hall of famer. But who had the best peak among players who were not clear hall of famers.
    Unless you have very broad meaning for 'peak' the best peaks may not be in the records of players who were "'great' for a while, then declined too early, or was injured too much, to be a hall of famer." The best peaks should be notably above the 'great' level. And three years is about right. Anyone who put up six seasons at the career level of the very best players should be in the Hall of Fame (Ross Barnes is the only exception, I believe), but there may be dozens who did that for three seasons. Catcher may be a good position on the field to look because so many decline so young. Maybe Elston Howard but I guess there has been a relatively unknown catcher with a higher peak.

    Along these lines, Frank Howard and Al Rosen are among the best examples mentioned. Also outfielder Tip O'Neill and his teammate pitcher Silver King (not named yet). And Dave Orr (not named yet). How about Orr 1884-1887 and King 1887-1890?

    Charley Jones at one extreme was a great batter for 12 years (two suspended from the NL and friendly leagues) and must be one of baseball's most consistent great batters, at least as measured by OPS+.

    Dwight Gooden at the other extreme belongs in the single-season conversation.
    Maris and McLain were two-year superstars but I'm sure you can find better. I'm not sure you can beat Gooden for one.
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 05-03-2008, 01:51 PM.

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    • #17
      Even though he isn't eligable, I would nominate Kevin Brown as the non-HOF with the best 5-6 year peak. This is assuming that he won't be elected, which we all predict.
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      • #18
        Bill James peak rankings of 20th century mlb players (1988)

        One score years ago in the BJ Historical Baseball Abstract (2nd ed., 1988), Bill James ranked players by peak value and career value separately, naming a top ten at every position with a twist at pitcher. He considered major league players only, nominally 1900s to 1980s but effectively more like 1910s to 1970s. Here are the players he ranked in the top ten by peak value who are not Hall of Fame members today.
        Code:
        LF			CF			RF
        5 Joe Jackson		6 Dale Murphy		6 Charlie Keller
        6 Jim Rice					8 Tony Oliva
        10t Sherry Magee				9 Dwight Evans
        						10 Roger Maris
        
        3B			SS			2B		1B
        7 Al Rosen		8 Glenn Wright		9 Larry Doyle	7 Don Mattingly
        8 Ron Santo		9 Maury Wills		10 Joe Gordon	9 Ted Kluszewski
        10 Harlond Clift
        
        RHSP (top 30)		LHSP (top 10)		RP (top 5)
        4 Denny McLain*		5 Vida Blue		3 Dan Quisenberry
        12 Dwight Gooden #	6 Ron Guidry		4 Dick Radatz
        13 Joe Wood		
        16 Jack Coombs
        17 Ed Cicotte
        19 Wes Ferrell
        21 Urban Shocker
        24 roger clemens #
        30 Jim Maloney
        
        C
        7 Thurman Munson
        10 Bill Freehan
        * Lunacy
        # Dwight Gooden and Roger Clemens! Where are they now?
        (Clemens does not fit the point of the table, but it's so notable that Bill James lists him among the best of the 20th century through the 1987 season (scope of BJHBA, 2nd ed.), evidently for his work in 1985-1987, and in 2007 he is still playing.)
        Last edited by Paul Wendt; 05-04-2008, 06:34 AM. Reason: clemens

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        • #19
          Rickey Henderson or Barry Bonds

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          • #20

            Clemens doesn't belong, I know, but it's so notable that Bill James lists him among the best of the 20th century through the 1987 season (scope of the 2nd ed.), evidently for his work in 1985-1987, and in 2007 he is still playing.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by jjpm74 View Post
              Rickey Henderson or Barry Bonds
              Rickey isn't in yet because he played here and there for several years he'll be a shoe in if he ever gets to 5 retired

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              • #22
                --I'd bet a pretty penny that if James got a do over on his peak rankings quite a few of the names above wouldn't be on it.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by lovethegame View Post
                  Rickey isn't in yet because he played here and there for several years he'll be a shoe in if he ever gets to 5 retired
                  That'll be this coming January assuming a MLB team doesn't let him play this summer.
                  "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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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by willshad View Post
                    It has been discussed which non hall of fame player had the best single season...but I dont know if 'peak' has been discussed. It has been said about many players that he was 'great' for a while, then declined too early, or was injured too much, to be a hall of famer. But who had the best peak among players who were not clear hall of famers(steroid guys like Mcgwire dont count)? Some names to consider:

                    Frank Howard
                    Jim Rice
                    Albert Belle
                    Don Mattingly
                    Dwight Gooden
                    Dick Allen
                    Tim Raines
                    Al Rosen
                    Will Clark
                    Babe Herman
                    Lefty O'doul
                    George Foster
                    Greg Luzinski (underrated peak)
                    Rocky Colavito
                    Roger Maris
                    I'm going with Mattingly and to a lesser extent Gooden, but how about Juan Gonzalez. He put together an incredible short career. Although limited by injuries in 3 of his middle seasons, he had 8 years that will rival anyone and probably could make the Hall of Fame on those 8 years alone.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by bas1311 View Post
                      I'm going with Mattingly and to a lesser extent Gooden, but how about Juan Gonzalez. He put together an incredible short career. Although limited by injuries in 3 of his middle seasons, he had 8 years that will rival anyone and probably could make the Hall of Fame on those 8 years alone.
                      Gooden had one great seasons, with a few good seasons surrounding it, but was largely just another guy every other year. If you are talking about best pitching season among non-HOFers, Gooden would be at the top, but any more than one season, I don't see how any multiple year peak he posted is that remarkable.
                      1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

                      1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by STLCards2 View Post
                        Gooden had one great seasons, with a few good seasons surrounding it, but was largely just another guy every other year. If you are talking about best pitching season among non-HOFers, Gooden would be at the top, but any more than one season, I don't see how any multiple year peak he posted is that remarkable.
                        Of course 1985 was his pinnacle, but at age 24 Gooden was 100-39 with a 2.64 ERA for his career. This was not a one year wonder we are talking about.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by willshad View Post
                          Of course 1985 was his pinnacle, but at age 24 Gooden was 100-39 with a 2.64 ERA for his career. This was not a one year wonder we are talking about.
                          But Gooden's record at age 24 was heavily weighted towards his age 19-21 seasons. His ERA+ by age:

                          19: 137
                          20: 238
                          21: 126
                          22: 119
                          23: 102
                          24: 113

                          After age 21 Gooden was just a slightly above average pitcher. At age 25 he was 19-7 with a 97 ERA+. The Mets simply destroyed Gooden's magnificent arm by blatant overuse.
                          Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                            But Gooden's record at age 24 was heavily weighted towards his age 19-21 seasons. His ERA+ by age:

                            19: 137
                            20: 238
                            21: 126
                            22: 119
                            23: 102
                            24: 113

                            After age 21 Gooden was just a slightly above average pitcher. At age 25 he was 19-7 with a 97 ERA+. The Mets simply destroyed Gooden's magnificent arm by blatant overuse.
                            well yeah but his age 19-21 seasons would be his 'peak' would they not?
                            I dont know if I buy the 'blatant overuse' theory. Young Nolan Ryan was pitching WAY more innings than Gooden, and he went on to be effective well into his forties. What difference does it make exactly if those early years were ages 19-21 as opposed to ages 25-27?

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by willshad View Post
                              well yeah but his age 19-21 seasons would be his 'peak' would they not?
                              I dont know if I buy the 'blatant overuse' theory. Young Nolan Ryan was pitching WAY more innings than Gooden, and he went on to be effective well into his forties. What difference does it make exactly if those early years were ages 19-21 as opposed to ages 25-27?
                              Even though a 126 ERA+ is pretty good, it hardly fits in the "best peaks of all time" category. Kevin Brown, for example, had 5-6 years in a row in which his ERA+ was in the 150's or higher. After Gooden's sophmore season, he never went over 126 again.
                              1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

                              1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

                              1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


                              The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
                              The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by STLCards2 View Post
                                Even though a 126 ERA+ is pretty good, it hardly fits in the "best peaks of all time" category. Kevin Brown, for example, had 5-6 years in a row in which his ERA+ was in the 150's or higher. After Gooden's sophmore season, he never went over 126 again.
                                Gooden's peak was really quite incredible. But nobody addressed the real center of what I wrote which was about Juan Gonzalez and Don Mattingly. I would take these two peaks over just about anybody not in the hall. Gooden would be a solid 3rd.

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