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  • George Foster

    Every single person who ever hit 50 HR in a major league season before 1990 is in the Hall of Fame... except Roger Maris, and George Foster. There have been endless debates and what ifs and arguments about Maris... why not so for Foster?
    49
    Yes, he should already be there
    2.04%
    1
    He's borderline at best
    12.24%
    6
    He was very good but falls a little short
    63.27%
    31
    Not even close
    22.45%
    11
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

    Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

  • #2
    ---I think they are equally (un)qualified for the Hall of Fame. As far as the attention, well 50 isn't 61 and didn't set any records. Perhaps as important, Maris had his great years in New York. Foster turned into a bum when he moved to New York. Too many people remember the huge disappoint for the Mets and too few the great hitter for the Reds. Not to mention, Foster was only about the 4th or 5th or 6th best player on the Reds when they were winning their championships. His best years came in 77-78 when the Dodgers were winning the division. The stars were just never aligned right for George.
    Last edited by leecemark; 06-24-2004, 09:33 PM.

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    • #3
      He had a nice peak, but it was on a team of superstars, and it was fairly short. His career numbers are comparable to a number of other All-Star caliber but not HOF players in the corner OF/1b category. He didn't do anything particularly well (nor terribly badly, to be fair) without a bat in his hand.

      There's not really any one reason why he's not a popular HOF candidate. Pretty much he just wasn't good enough for long enough.

      Comment


      • #4
        I was a big George Foster fan. He was my favorite NL player for quite a long time.

        He was Jim Rice, but for not as long as Jim Rice was. If you're going to produce that much in the short term, you should at least finish with Tony Perez-like numbers to earn consideration. I believe a player should have strong peaks for HOF consideration, but they also need strong overall numbers if they play 15 years+.

        As far as the Maris comparison, Foster, to put it lightly, was not nearly the defensive player Maris was. I don't know if Foster's teammates talked about him like Maris's teammates did in St. Louis, with much glowing praise.

        He's a good guy, and active around Southwestern Ohio in terms of appearances. And no one can take away his 1977 season from him. But he's short of the mark.
        Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
        Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
        Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
        Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
        Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

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        • #5
          I think it's quite fair to throw Cecil Fielder into this thread. Sure 1990, but 1990 was only made as a line to cut Cecil out, not for any better reason. 1995 would be a much better year to draw the line. Plus Cecil has already received votes and we can see his support.

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          • #6
            Overall, I'd say Foster would have been the guy I'd have taken 1st...then Maris...then Fielder. Although Maris is a bit closer to Fielder in my book than he is to Foster, just a hair .

            Fielder was a little more consistant with the HRs and RBIs than the other two.
            Foster had the better AVG and he took a few more bases that Maris and Cecil.
            Merely going by fielding numbers (I don't know their legacy) Foster "seems" to be equal or slightly better than Maris. All I remember is Foster making a dead on throw to home to nail the base runner in the 75 WS game 6.

            Now if we take each player's high HR season, we can see how much of an impact it had of HR career totals:
            Foster's 52 in 77 was 15% of his total.
            Fielder's 51 in 90 was 16% of his total.
            Maris's 61 in 61 was 22% of his total.
            ------------------------------------With most HR hitters, any 1 season being greater than 10% of the total is a "crutch" season. Realistically, anything over 12% of the total should be considered "crutch" since even McGwire and Foxx eclipse the 10% with their high seasons.

            I didn't know Foster played for the White Sox...I've never seen a picture or a card.

            As to Foster being a disappointment with the Mets...it may be true, he was not doing with them what he did with the Reds, just his RBI numbers didn't fall off the cliff like Maris's did. Foster still put respectable 80s-90s for RBIs.


            As to why Maris gets more talk than Foster...obviously 1961, and then Foster might have had more players during his day that were just too damn similar to him for his own fame.
            Last edited by dgarza; 06-25-2004, 08:46 AM.

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            • #7
              His abysmal .274 career average such discount Foster before any discussion begins. And forget about Maris and his .260, right El Halo?

              Comment


              • #8
                DGarza,

                Mostly I'd agree with you, but I'd take Maris over Foster... because, contrary to your analysis of their fielding numbers, Roger Maris is generally regarded as one of the best corner outfielders of the last fifty years. He was an excellent fielder... good enough to stay in the majors even if he couldn't hit at all.
                "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ElHalo
                  DGarza,

                  Roger Maris is generally regarded as one of the best corner outfielders of the last fifty years. He was an excellent fielder... good enough to stay in the majors even if he couldn't hit at all.
                  How does Foster stand up in his fielding/arm? No one has really said yet. Average? Weak? Better than average, but not great?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dgarza
                    How does Foster stand up in his fielding/arm? No one has really said yet. Average? Weak? Better than average, but not great?
                    Not looking at the numbers, I know Foster did have a fielding percentage of 1.000 at least once. But, even Dave Kingman disparaged his fielding. I don't think he had the best reputation, outside of the one throw you mentioned.

                    Foster can be seen with the Chisox on the 1986 Topps Update series, for one.
                    Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
                    Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
                    Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
                    Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
                    Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ---Foster had very good speed and a decent arm. He was quite possibly the most talented player of his time. The question with him was his effort. Pete Rose once said of Foster "I've never seen him get his unifrom dirty". Foster himself once said he wouldn't go after a ball to near the wall because it wasn't worth the chance of getting hurt.
                      ---As mentioned earlier, Foster was pretty much an NL Jim Rice in the late 70s. Take the parks into account and you could make a pretty good case he was better than Rice. Rice just stayed good a little longer.
                      ---I'd probably have to take Foster over Maris. His 77 season was better overall than Maris 61 and he had more good years. Maris was a better fielder and more of a high effort guy though. The Cards thought he was good enough to start for their pennant winning teams in 1967-68 when he really wasn't hitting at all. So while Foster is better on paper, its possible Maris was a more valuable guy to have on your team. You've got ot really buy into the intangibles to make that call though.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by leecemark
                        Maris was a better fielder and more of a high effort guy though. The Cards thought he was good enough to start for their pennant winning teams in 1967-68 when he really wasn't hitting at all. So while Foster is better on paper, its possible Maris was a more valuable guy to have on your team. You've got ot really buy into the intangibles to make that call though.
                        Heh, George Foster sounds kind of like Roger Dorn. Also, in Ball Four, Bouton claims a few times that Maris would not run it out to first and that he would dog it on some plays.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Can't see Foster over Maris. Maris didn't even get 500 AB many years and when he did his numbers were very good. Maris was good enough to help both the Yankees and Cardinals win pennants and WS, George was a small part of the Big Red Machine. Would anyone pick Foster over Maris if they were putting together a team for the playoffs? I can't see how or why anyone would.

                          Fielder actually had the best AB/HR number 16.2 Foster was 20.2 and Maris 18.5 but George had many more AB than Roger, tho not as many as Cecil.

                          The only reason I'd consider Maris for the hall is because of 61 HR, and that's not a lock. The other two definitely don't make the cut

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by four tool
                            Would anyone pick Foster over Maris if they were putting together a team for the playoffs? I can't see how or why anyone would.
                            Back before free agency, I'd take Foster 1st over the long haul. For the playoff, well, I'm not a big one to look at post-season stats and make a decision based on them, but Foster's post-season batting numbers are better.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              --Maris was a very good player for only 3 years (1960-62) and even in 1961 was not the best hitter in the league. The 61 HR was only good enough to get him to 4th in slugging and OPS+. Outside his 3 year run, Maris had a career high of 28HR and 80RBI. 1960 and 61 were the only years he finished in the top 10 in MVP voting.
                              --Foster also had a three year run (1976-78) that stands out from the rest of his career. It looks as good or better than Maris top three to me. Given if you give the peak edge to maris though, Foster was much better outside those years. He had 4 other 90 RBI season and a 5th year where he drove in more than Maris' best off peak year. Foster won the MVP once to Maris twice, but also had a 2nd, 3rd and 6th. He never lead the league in OPS+ either, but was 2nd twice, 3rd twice and top 10 seven times.
                              --I wouldn't vote for Foster, but he was significantly better than Maris both at their best and over the course of their careers. Maris' fluke 61 HR season does not make him a Hall of Famer. Norm Cash was better in 1961 and MUCH better for his career. His flukish 1961 gets counted against him becasue he never came close to repeating it. Why people think Maris singular accomplishment should be viewed differently is beyond me.

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