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  • #31
    Originally posted by ElHalo

    Ruth 4
    Foxx 2
    Mays 2
    Mantle 2
    Kiner 2
    Mize
    Maris
    Wilson
    Greenberg
    Foster
    How about those that barely missed the feat,
    Lou Gehrig hit 49 HR 2 times
    Harmon Killebrew also hit 49 HR twice,
    Frank Robinson hit 49 during his triple crown season,
    MCGwire obviously did it, but just missed hitting 50 in his rookie year!

    We should add Bert Blyleven (pitcher) to that list, he served up 50 gopher balls in 1986
    Last edited by Biofury; 07-06-2004, 02:35 PM.

    Comment


    • #32
      foster has no chance

      foster was NEVER the most talented guy on the big red machine, and...

      he was an above average power guy for several seasons, but not close to a Hall contender in my view. too may others of his ilk with much better numbers, ie., Canseco. which reminds me "will jose ever enter the hall?"

      thoughts?

      Comment


      • #33
        Foster is one of the biggest "what ifs" of the HOF gray area. And Foster IS in the HOF gray area. Most guys who do what Foster did aren't in the HOF, but some (more than one) are.

        Foster was originally a product of the Giants' system, but he was trapped behind Bobby Bonds, Ken Henderson, and Willie Mays. As a prospect, Garry Maddox and Gary Matthews were ahead of him, and there was a guy named Bernie Williams (not Bernabe) who was rated about even with Foster as a prospect. His chances of moving up were not good in 1970.

        Foster got a break when, during the 1971 season, the Reds traded for him to fill the hole caused by CF Bobby Tolan's injury. Foster turned in a 13-58-.241 line for the year in 473 ABs while playing CF. This wasn't the most auspicious debut for a 22 year old who we are discussing about being a HOFer, but it wasn't terrible for the era. One could conclude that Foster, given a regular job, would have thrived.

        Instead, events conspired to keep Foster on the bench for THREE MORE YEARS:
        • The Reds reinstated Tolan to the lineup, even though his injury was a knee injury, and he was never the same player after that.
        • In 1972, Sparky tried to fill his OF void with "proven veterans" like Ted Uhlaender and a few others.
        • In 1973, Sparky acquired Cesar Geronimo, and chose to live with his defense in CF.
        • In 1974, Ken Griffey, Sr. was the hot Red prospect, and he became the third OF regular.


        Foster did not re-emerge as a regular until age 26, in 1975, when Dan Driessen's glove became a liability. That's when Sparky installed Pete Rose at 3B and the LF job became open. Foster got the job, and held it this time.

        There is much made of the four players that were the leadership core of the great Reds teams (Rose, Morgan, Bench, and Perez). What is forgotten is the performance of Foster. In 1975, Foster was part of a team that won their division by 20 games, and who won perhaps the greatest World Series ever. In 1976, the Reds went all the way again, and Foster finished second to teammate Morgan in MVP voting. (Foster was actually the favorite for much of the year, but Morgan finished super strong that year to win back-to-back awards.)

        All of this was before the 50 HRs in 1977.

        Foster's image was tarnished by his mediocre 1982 season with the Mets; he was a permanent disappointment for the Mets after that. Foster's 1983-85 seasons were reasonably productive, however; they were seasons consistent with the decline phase of a HOFer's career. Foster went into the tank again in 1986, and that ended up being his last season. Whether or not he could have squeezed out a last hurrah is irrelevant; he didn't really try to.

        There ARE some legit questions about how good Foster was. One would have expected a future HOFer to have seized Tolan's job by the throat in 1971, playing Gehrig to Tolan's Pipp. Foster didn't do that. One would have expected a future HOFer to have risen above the cast of thousands in the Red outfield from 1972-74, but Sparky was a guy with a bias toward veterans and glove guys, plus the Reds were not in rebuilding mode; they contended every year but 1971 (the year Foster first played regularly). Foster dropped on the Red depth chart over that period and had to re-emerge as a prospect.

        Had Foster just been given a job at age 22 and been told to go for it, things probably would have been different. Foster would have achieved 400 HRs easily, and would probably have had a Stargell-esque career. He's be a stronger candidate than he is now.

        I really can't support Foster for the HOF; there are guys ahead of him. A number of guys. Foster was a guy who SHOULD have been a HOFer, and, with a little more luck, probably would have been.
        "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


        • #34
          Foster is not as far out as I would have thought offhand. I always thought of him as a guy who had only two good seasons, but he is not far from HOF matierial. His years with the mets really killed him, because he was such a huge disappointment.

          Comment


          • #35
            Hardly Hall of Fame #s:

            AB-7,023 Runs-986 Hits-1925 2B-307 HR-348 RBI-1,239 TB-3,370 SO-1,419 OBP-.338 Avg.-.275

            Only 3 years in which he posted 30+ HRs and 100HRs. He strung together a few dominating years, like Dale Murphy, but not enough for entrance into the Hall. Of course, stats don't tell the whole story, but he just doesn't measure up to the players in the Hall. Loved watching him in the 70s and
            80s, though.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by dl4060
              Foster is not as far out as I would have thought offhand. I always thought of him as a guy who had only two good seasons, but he is not far from HOF matierial. His years with the mets really killed him, because he was such a huge disappointment.
              What killed him was not "his years with the Mets", but his first year and his last year with the Mets.

              Foster never got over having such a bad first year with the Mets, as far as the media and fans were concerned. They paid all that money for a guy who hit 13 HRs with a low BA who wasn't special on defense. They expected 30 plus HRs. They never took into account that Foster was 33 when he began that contract, and Shea was more brutal than Riverfront for a hitter. Foster had productive seasons from 1983-85, but they were below expectations, and because of that, many Mets fans seem to think that Foster's whole stay in NY was 1982 x 5. Not true.

              Then, to make it worse, the Mets in 1986 had an all-time great team, but Foster wasn't part of it. He grew old, then was either released or traded to the White Sox for just about nothing (I forget which). Not being a memorable part of 1986 put the kibosh on Foster's image. He made a poor first impression in New York and a poor last impression in New York, and nothing he did in between overcame that.
              "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


              • #37
                Is George Foster HOF material

                I've been researching one of my favorite childhood players, George Foster and was surprised to see just how close to HOF numbers he has.

                His plusses:

                *Over a 7 year stretch from 1975-1981 hit 20 or more homeruns at a time when 20 home runs was considered a good number for a power hitter. Included in this stretch are the years 1977-1979 where he hit 52 home runs, 40 home runs and 30 home runs respectively.

                *Drove in 100 or more runs 3 times

                *Batted .300 or better 4 times.

                *1 MVP--1977, 2.37 MVP shares puts him 67th all time.

                *5 time All Star including 1976 where he was the All Star MVP

                *26 Black ink points puts him 1 away from the average HOFer.

                *HOF Monitor is 94.0

                *a standout on the Big Red Machine teams that also features Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan and Dave Concepcion.

                His minuses:

                *None of his comparables are in the HOF, though cases have been made for Gill Hodges, Fred Lynn, Del Ennis, and Rocky Colavito.

                *119 Gray Ink puts him below the average for a HOFer.

                So is he in or out?
                Last edited by jjpm74; 02-29-2008, 03:11 PM.

                Comment


                • #38
                  --He isn't THAT much different than Jim Rice and Rice is likely in for 2009. OTOH Rice had a few more good years to make for a better career and he is not going to be the most inspired choice by the BWAA. Foster is behind at least a half a dozen contemporary outfielders in the line of Cooperstown and most of them will never make it.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by leecemark View Post
                    --He isn't THAT much different than Jim Rice and Rice is likely in for 2009. OTOH Rice had a few more good years to make for a better career and he is not going to be the most inspired choice by the BWAA. Foster is behind at least a half a dozen contemporary outfielders in the line of Cooperstown and most of them will never make it.
                    He's actually more like Tony Oliva than Rice, in that Rice lost years at the back end of his career, whereas Oliva and Foster lost years on the front ends of their careers. In truth, both Rice and Foster are behind Oliva.

                    Well . . . maybe that's not quite accurate. Foster took longer than Rice to establish himself as an MLB regular, for reasons that were, in part, beyond his control. He was a superstar from 1976-81 after having a good season re-establishing himself as a regular in 1975. But he fell of the cliff in 1982 when he went to the Mets; he was a sub-.500 OWP man for 4 of the 5 years he played in NYC, and you can cobble together a platoon in LF that will equal that production.

                    Foster's not a HOFer for me, and I'm not really sure he would have been if he had been allowed to keep his regular OF job in 1972, either with the Reds or somewhere else. His rapid (and permanent) decline at age 33 is NOT the sign of a HOFer. And, all things considered, he's clearly behind Jim Rice, as well as Oliva.
                    "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


                    • #40
                      "He was very good but falls a little short"

                      That is such a reasonable statement!

                      He was Hall of Fame material but didn't tailor a hall of fame suit.
                      --without any cause of a type that some people credit: owned by minor club, in military service, under draconian suspension, etc.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        There's another thread somewhere here at BBF, the gist of which is non-HOF'ers who had one or more superb seasons.

                        IMO Foster would fit perfectly into that category.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          I voted for "Not even close" based on what I remembered about him. I thought he had about a three-year peak, when he was actually very good for about 7. Maybe he should have been in the "very good, but short" range, but it's still not the most glowing endorsement.

                          He had nine seasons of 20+ homers, including that streak of 7, broken up by the year he was traded to the Mets. The following two seasons in New York he also finished 6th in HR, with 28 and 24.

                          I liked Foster too, and he is still active in the community and looks like he could suit up and play today.
                          "Someone asked me if I took steroids. I said, 'No. I had a contract with Wheaties.'"
                          --Bob Feller

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                          • #43
                            I am not big on Jim Rice's candidacy so I really can't get excited about a player who Rice exceeds in career win shares, WARP3, and RCAA.
                            Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              [QUOTE=2Chance;1127838]I voted for "Not even close" based on what I remembered about him. I thought he had about a three-year peak, when he was actually very good for about 7. Maybe he should have been in the "very good, but short" range, but it's still not the most glowing endorsement.

                              {/QUOTE]

                              I'm probalby nitpicking about the categories, but I couldn't vote for "falls a little short". "Not even close" probalby doesn't give him his due, but he is far more then "a little short". As already stated, there are a number of outfielders in line in front of him, and in fairness the Hall would have to greatly expand in size before he would be seriously considered.

                              He was a nice player and a key part of the Big Red Machine, but was pretty much done by the time he left Cincinatti at age 32

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Foster is my all-time favorite, next to Yaz. Great guy to meet in person. And, as 2Chance said, very much a contributor to the community.

                                He was a very good player who had a couple big offensive seasons. There are a lot of those throughout history. Very good does not equal great or special, which a HOF player should be.
                                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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