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Richie Ashburn belongs, right?

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  • Richie Ashburn belongs, right?

    He seems to be held in low regard by people, and I hardly ever hear of him. He does belong according to this site, right? What's the consensus? What do you think?

  • #2
    He's a member of this site's Hall of Fame. I think that's a pretty good indication of how the forum's longtime members feel about his Hall worthiness. I've not heard anyone I take seriously deride his induction in Cooperstown either.
    "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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    • #3
      Quite a few people chose him over Lou Brock in a thread on this forum.

      http://www.baseball-fever.com/showthread.php?t=48429
      Last edited by 1905 Giants; 05-28-2008, 04:05 PM. Reason: Adding a source
      “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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      • #4
        just making sure guys

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        • #5
          His name doesn't come up often because he's not among the upper echelon Hall members and he's not among the Hall's mistakes, which seem to be the most prominent areas of discussion regarding previously inducted players.
          "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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          • #6
            he appears to be a slightly better version of Lloyd Waner, or a very poor man's Ichiro. I dont think he would be in the hall of fame if not for his fielding.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by willshad View Post
              he appears to be a slightly better version of Lloyd Waner, or a very poor man's Ichiro. I dont think he would be in the hall of fame if not for his fielding.
              Isn't that like saying Lou Brock wouldn't be in he HoF because if not his base stealing? A good reason Ashburn is in the HoF is because of his fielding. And that why it took him so long to get inducted. The Baseball writers saw that he had no power and wasn't as good as contemporary center fielders, Mays, Mantle, and Snider and didn't vote for him.
              Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                Isn't that like saying Lou Brock wouldn't be in he HoF because if not his base stealing? A good reason Ashburn is in the HoF is because of his fielding. And that why it took him so long to get inducted. The Baseball writers saw that he had no power and wasn't as good as contemporary center fielders, Mays, Mantle, and Snider and didn't vote for him.
                But since when is gold glove fielding in the outfield position a reason to put anyone in the hall of fame? It probably wont help other great fielding outfielders make the hall...even those who were much better offensively than Ashburn. (Murphy, Walker, Bernie, Edmonds, Andrew Jones)
                Last edited by willshad; 05-26-2008, 09:59 AM.

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                • #9
                  Ashburn's in because of his .308 BA, his .396 OBP, his defense, his retention of his ability (he hit .306 in his last season with the 1962 Mets at age 35), and, to some degree, due to his long-term tenure as a Phillie broadcaster.

                  Ashburn's OK as a HOFer in my book. He'd have been a more effective ballplayer in the 1980s when offense was opening back up and steals were more of a part of the game. He'd also have been more remembered if he had played when Gold Glove awards were handed out.

                  Ashburn was a guy that Bill James argued on behalf of for over a decade. Ashburn was able to get into the HOF two years before he died, so at least he was able to enjoy his enshrinement. I hope Ron Santo will be able to enjoy the same someday.
                  "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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                  • #10
                    He's a legit HOF'er in my book...no power but a fantastic contact hitter....not to mention his fielding. It seems like he retired kind of young (35).
                    I think he could have racked up over 3000 hits had he hung around...and it doesn't seem like he was washed up. He managed a .308 BA and a .424 OBP in his final season for the god-awful 1962 Mets. Anyone have some insight on why he retired?
                    Say hello on Twitter @BSmile & Facebook "Baseball by BSmile"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by willshad View Post
                      But since when is gold glove fielding in the outfield position a reason to put anyone in the hall of fame? It probably wont help other great fielding outfielders make the hall...even those who were much better offensively than Ashburn. (Murphy, Walker, Bernie, Edmonds, Andrew Jones)
                      Apparently the Veteran's Committee made an exception for Ashburn. Often, a player's chances of gteting elected by the VC depended on how many buddies and former teammates were on the VC. The BBWAA was not impressed with Ashburn and passed him over. And Ashburn was more than just a great glove. He lead the NL in BA twice, OBP four times, hits three times, triples twice, walks four times, and SBs once. Plus, he's one of the great leadoff men in baseball history.

                      As for the others, Murphy aged rather poorly, Jones is aging poorly, and Walker had injury issues and had his best seasons in Coors Field. Bernie was a good to great ballplayer. Edmonds is about the same as Bernie. Remember all these players played in the 1990s-2000s so their stats are a bit inflated. Given that I would support Walker and perhaps Edmonds.
                      Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 05-26-2008, 09:49 PM.
                      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BSmile View Post
                        He's a legit HOF'er in my book...no power but a fantastic contact hitter....not to mention his fielding. It seems like he retired kind of young (35).
                        I think he could have racked up over 3000 hits had he hung around...and it doesn't seem like he was washed up. He managed a .308 BA and a .424 OBP in his final season for the god-awful 1962 Mets. Anyone have some insight on why he retired?
                        A combination of aging, the Mets, and a good opportunity. He was 35 years old and he stepped into a 35-year job as color man on the Phillies radiocast. On aging, maybe he wasn't washed up but his second-last season shows that he was over the hill and in his last season he didn't qualify for the on-base championship (which would have been his fifth).

                        From his Wikipedia entry:
                        "He was traded to the Chicago Cubs for three players, and anchored center field for the North Siders in 1960 and 1961. Anticipating his future career behind a microphone, Ashburn sometimes conducted a post-game baseball instruction clinic at Wrigley Field for the benefit of the youngsters in the WGN-TV viewing audience.[citation needed]"

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by willshad View Post
                          But since when is gold glove fielding in the outfield position a reason to put anyone in the hall of fame? It probably wont help other great fielding outfielders make the hall...even those who were much better offensively than Ashburn. (Murphy, Walker, Bernie, Edmonds, Andrew Jones)
                          Gold Glove defense in a CENTER fielder can make the difference between being in the HOF and being outside it.

                          I guarantee that Jim Edmonds will be a viable HOF candidate. He was a five-tool player at his best, and he was a great defensive center fielder. He will have his detractors, and he's not a shoo-in, but his defense will add to his viablity as a HOF candidate. I'm willing to say, here and now. that Edmonds will do better in HOF voting than Tim Raines, regardless of whether or not Raines was the better player.
                          "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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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by willshad View Post
                            he appears to be a slightly better version of Lloyd Waner, or a very poor man's Ichiro. I dont think he would be in the hall of fame if not for his fielding.
                            Waner's career BA was 20 points better than league average; Ashburn's was 41 points better.

                            Waner's career OBP was 7 points better than league average; Ashburn's was 59 points better.

                            Waner's career OWP was .559; Ashburn's was .611.

                            That's not a SLIGHT difference. Ashburn was more than SLIGHTLY better than Waner.
                            "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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Richie Ashburn was better than Duke Snider.


                              "Ashburn never really held the respect of most fans outside of Philadelphia. The majors had three other centerfielders who were that talk of the town at the time, Willie Mays, Duke Snider, and Mickey Mantle. But Richie was a great player. A natural lead-off hitter, and the best gloveman of the bunch. When the 50's came to an end, Ashburn had more hits than any other man who played during the era. That's right, more than Musial, more than Williams, more than Mantle, or Mays or Snider." -Erick Emert


                              Recently on Baseball-fever.com, there has been a poll trying to compile the greatest players of all time, using the votes of the most educated baseball fans on the internet. Of the players that were selected to represent the top 50 players of all time, eight of them were Center Fielders.
                              -Oscar Charleston
                              -Ty Cobb
                              -Joe DiMaggio
                              -Ken Griffey Jr.
                              -Mickey Mantle
                              -Willie Mays
                              -Duke Snider
                              -Tris Speaker

                              I can't see too good of an arguement for Richie Ashburn being better than Cobb, Mays, Mantle, Speaker, or DiMaggio. Heck, even Griffey is amazing. Oscar Charleston is a NGL (Negro Leaguer), therefor I don't have any real opinion on his skills and can't give an accurate comparison. However, I would say honestly that I believe Duke Snider is overated by baseball fans.

                              Reasons Duke Snider is overated:
                              1.Played in New York. Many New York players are overrated and/or recieve much more attention due to this.
                              2.Was one of the New York 3 CF's, with Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays. Most people acknowledge Mays and Mantle were far beyond Snider, but give a boost to Snider because he was ranked up there with those two.
                              3.Played for the romanticized Brooklyn Dodgers. The Bums always seem to get some sort of boost because of how much they were loved.

                              Reasons Richie Ashburn in underrated:
                              1.His teams made the playoffs once.
                              2.He retired while he was still towards the top of his game, leaving out a few years to pad his stats more.
                              3.He was a lead off hitter.

                              One of the metrics I like to use, is Win Shares. The top five players in win shares in 1950's:
                              1.Mickey Mantle: 317
                              2.Stan Musial: 285
                              3.Duke Snider: 278
                              4.Yogi Berra: 276
                              5.Richie Ashburn: 249

                              However, Win Shares is based off of how many games your team wins.
                              The Phillies record from 1950-1959 was 767-773.
                              The Dodgers record from 1950-1959 was 913-630.

                              See how many more opportunities for Win Shares Snider was given? In fact, lets look at how many times they led their team in win shares.
                              Snider: 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957,
                              Ashburn: 1951, 1955, 1956, 1958,

                              Pretty close there, with Snider being his team MVP one more time than Ashburn.

                              However, in my own ranking mechanics, which I call the 5-Tool Career Meter, which gives points to peak for Fielding, Eyes, Power, Speed, and Production, and does the same for career, Ashburn scores a 366 whereas Duke Snider scored only a 361. However, if you take away Ashburn's MVP award, they're tied at 361. Ashburn did receive an MVP award (on my MVP meter), therefor giving him the lead. That is one thing that puts Ashburn ahead of Snider. Ashburn in 1958 was clearly the best player in his league, leading in AVG and OBP. He led the league in triples and walks as well. Hell, he even had an OPS+ that was 5th in the league and was second in stolen bases. Duke Snider was never once clearly the best player in his league.

                              Richie Ashburn had three seasons of 200+ hits, and was the best lead off hitter in the major leagues through the 1950's, as he had perennially one of the highest AVG's and one of the highest OBP's. From 1950-1959, he was in the top 10 in AVG and OBP every year except '52 and '59. He led the league 3 times in OBP during that and twice in AVG. Yes, it's tough for Richie Ashburn to make up for the home runs that Duke Snider had. However, Ashburn has 400 more hits and 200 more walks. Snider should have been close in at lest one of them.


                              Offensively, I have to call them a draw. Sniders superior power ties the far superior getting on base ability of Ashburn. However, we're talking about center fielders. One of the 4 most important defensive positions. First there's one thing we must understand. Duke Snider played in Ebbets Field and then in in LA Colliseum. Ebbets wasn't a deep center; the coliseum had a deep center. Alas, neither went as far back as Connie Mack stadium did, where Richie Ashburn spent most of his career. Center field there ranged from 448-447 feet during Ashburn's reign in center field. That's the deepest center field in the major leagues at the time, except for the polo grounds in New York. Not only was Ashburn a great defensive outfielder, but he had to cover more ground than anyone else.

                              Ashburn set defensive records at the time he was playing: 4 seasons with 500+ putouts and 9 seasons with 400+ putouts, something that Tris Speaker did not even do.

                              One of my favorite defensive metrics, is Runs Above Average. It's stat that compares you to the average fielder at your position in the league. Over his career, Richie Ashburn was 86 runs ABOVE average, which is one of the greatest career totals. Duke Snider on the other hand, was 55 runs BELOW average. Snider was technically a horrid defender according to this system and Ashburn an amazing defender. Not only does RAA show that, but so does fielding win Shares.

                              Ashburn has 4 FWS gold gloves, Snider has two.
                              Snider: 3.37 FWS Per 1000 Innings and 54.8 FWS total.
                              Ashburn: 3.95 FWS Per 1000 Innings and 73.8 FWS total.

                              That means that Ashburn was almost half a run better per 1,000 innings and won 25 games to Sniders 18 with his glove. But not only did Ashburn win 7 more games with his glove, one of those was the last game of the 1950 Regular season. Ashburn threw out a run at home plate to force the game into extra winnings, which the Phillies would go on to win and go to the only world series of Ashburns career.

                              Ashburn was a far better fielder and played in a much harder park to field. Added with their different offensive characteristics, I think that Ashburn has a good reason to be ranked ahead of Duke Snider if one takes a close look at the two of them.


                              "After fifteen years of facing them (pitchers) you don't really get over them. They're devious. They're the only players in the game allowed to cheat. They throw illegal pitches and they sneak foreign substances on the ball. They can inflict pain whenever they wish. And, they're the only ones on the diamond who have high ground. That's symbolic. You know what they tell you in a war - 'take the high ground first.'" - Richie Ashburn
                              Last edited by The Dude; 05-26-2008, 04:14 PM.
                              AL East Champions: 1981 1982
                              AL Pennant: 1982
                              NL Central Champions: 2011
                              NL Wild Card: 2008

                              "It was like coming this close to your dreams and then watching them brush past you like a stranger in a crowd. At the time you don't think much of it; you know, we just don't recognize the significant moments of our lives while they're happening. Back then I thought, 'Well, there'll be other days.' I didn't realize that that was the only day." - Moonlight Graham

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