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  • Steve Garvey

    If I was a 5 time National League champion, a World Series champion, I played in an unbelievable 1207 consecutive games, I had 2599 major league hits, was National League MVP, a 10-Time All-Star, 188 consecutive games without an error at first base!, and had the good sense to retire as soon as my skills diminished unlike other Hall of Famers (Carlton, Sutton, Henderson etc.) I would be Hall of Famer Steve Garvey. By the way from 1974-1980 He had 192 hits or better every year and played in every single game. People that did that over a 7 year span.....? Is it his fault that the Dodgers did not recognize his talent and play him every day untill he was 25! Had they started him at 23 even he would have had 3000 hits. So why is he not in the hall and Kirby Puckett is?
    90
    Yes, Garvey belongs in the HoF
    20.00%
    18
    No, Garvey's career is not Hall of Fame worthy
    80.00%
    72

  • #2
    He makes my cut, but as the other thread indicates, there are a lot of guys in front of him in line.

    Comment


    • #3
      One never knows about these things, but perhaps the fact that one of his extra-cirricular activities was beating the crap out of his wife on a regular basis, all the while maintaining his Mr Clean image on the feild and with the media has perhaps soured some HOF voters on his selection.

      Comment


      • #4
        I thought Garvey was a philanderer rather than a wife-beater.

        (Not to defend either.)

        Comment


        • #5
          Garvey would get my vote for the Hall.

          I also have to back up what Cougar mentioned. He may have cheated on his wife, but I don't believe has ever been accused of beating her.

          Comment


          • #6
            On all accounts, I agree. However, this is the first forum in which I have seen supporters for Garvey on this matter. He seems to have paid a Draconian price over a common mistake. I collect baseball yearbooks and annual magazine issues, and Garvey is often mentioned as a future HoF'er in these publications.
            Catfish Hunter, RIP. Mark Fidrych, RIP. Skip Caray, RIP. Tony Gwynn, #19, RIP

            A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. -- Winston Churchill. (Please take note that I've recently become aware of how this quote applies to a certain US president. This is a coincidence, and the quote was first added to this signature too far back to remember when).

            Experience is the hardest teacher. She gives the test first and the lesson later. -- Dan Quisenberry.

            Comment


            • #7
              I also think that part of the problem with Garvey may be that the press somehow feels betrayed by him. He was always presented as such a clean cut all-around good guy, that when the truth surfaced that he is human they may have felt as if they had one pulled over on them. If they hadn't put Garvey on such a high pedetal to begin with in their minds and helped perpetuate that image through their writing, they might not feel so let down about it. Then again, they might just not vote for him then because they didn't like him as person as they are doing with Jim Rice.

              Comment


              • #8
                Steve Garvey is not my Padre!
                Gotta vote "No!" on this one.
                Is this heaven?
                No, it's Iowa.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Garvey was the Mark Grace of his time. A fine fielder and singles hitter who played many years without injury.

                  His black ink score is well below the average Hall of Famer. His gray ink score is a little below the average Hall of Famer. He meets only 31.5% of the Hall of Fame standards (relative to an average Hall of Famer meeting 50%.)

                  He never walked more than 50 times in a season, had a terrible 56% success rate in 145 attempts, and his park-adjusted OPS is only 16% better than league average which, quite frankly is very unimpressive for a first base candidate for the Hall of Fame.

                  Garvey's all-star selections and MVP finishes are better explained by his popularity and good public image (certainly assisted, in part, by the overall Dodger public image at that time.)

                  Despite 200 hits in 6 different seasons, Garvey only led the league in hits twice and only finished his career with 2,599 hits. He had a 0.48 walk-to-strikeout ratio.

                  His consecutive games streak is nice, but not a serious argument for induction.

                  He had only five seasons of 100+ RBI, which seems poor for a #3 hitter making an argument for Cooperstown.

                  I'm not saying that he's unqualified. I am saying he's far from the most qualified first baseman waiting his turn.
                  "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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Steve Garvey played from 1969-87. During that time he was responsible for creating 1,225 runs. This may seem like an impressive total, but it represents only 163 runs over what an average player created giving as much playing time in the NL from '69 to '87. Even worse, it represents only 57 runs more than the average NL first baseman in that era.

                    Garvey's 1225 RC represent a paltry sum of 57 runs better than the average first baseman in his league and era. How does this stack up with other first basemen in history?

                    Rather poorly. It's the 89th highest total by a first baseman in the game's history.

                    Lou Gehrig's 989 RCAP are the most in history (if you don't count Stan Musial and his 992 RCAP at first base). All the all-time greats are there in the top 10 or 20 - Greenberg, Foxx, McGwire, Anson, McCovey, Brouthers, Connor, Mize, Killebrew, etc.

                    Where does Garvey rank? In the 89th slot. A few spots below such heralded players as Bill Skowron and Roy Sievers. About half as valuable a career as players like Alvin Davis, John Mayberry and Jim Gentile. About one-tenth as valuable as Frank Thomas's 553 career RCAP.

                    Here's a smattering of other candidates at first base, relative contemporaries:

                    553 Frank Thomas (6th all-time)
                    506 Jeff Bagwell (9th all-time)
                    503 Mark McGwire (10th all-time)
                    395 Dick Allen (13th all-time)
                    295 Norm Cash (21st all-time)
                    294 Will Clark (22nd all-time)
                    289 Fred McGriff (23rd all-time)
                    255 Keith Hernandez (28th all-time)
                    235 Pedro Guerrero (31st all-time)
                    221 Boog Powell (33rd all-time)
                    144 Bob Watson (48th all-time)
                    127 Don Mattingly (54th all-time)
                    113 Cecil Cooper/Mark Grace (tied 59th all-time)
                    93 Bill White (71st all-time)
                    66 Don Mincher (83rd all-time)

                    And then there's Garvey, with 57 RCAP, sitting at 89th all-time.

                    Garvey doesn't really have the muscle, so to speak, to power through to the head of the class.

                    I'm not sure if I'd draw the line above or right below Garvey. I'm a proponent of Mickey Vernon and Dick Allen (among old-timers) and I certainly advocate the election of Hernandez, but I'm unconvinced that Garvey really belongs in.

                    Both win shares and linear weights - more complete ratings than the RC derivations I'm using - rank Garvey in much the same way, well below the top dozen guys on this list. I'm inclined to believe that Garvey will remain out becaue the more time passes, the less "mystique" (or whatever it is) he'll have.

                    He is not a "sexy" candidate. (No pun intended.)
                    "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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      That's actually a really devastating statistic for Garvey. Taken at face value, there's almost no way one can say anything but "No way!" to Garvey's candidacy.

                      But then I look things over & I get skeptical. These "runs created" stats generate all kinds of unexpected results, and with unexpected results, you've got to ask yourself -- are they valid?

                      Was Garvey's career really half as valuable as Alvin Davis' and John Mayberry's?

                      Was Garvey worth only one-tenth of Frank Thomas? I mean, Thomas is better -- way better, it's not even close -- but ten times better??

                      Was Pedro Guerrero really twice as good -- twice as good! -- as Don Mattingly, Cecil Cooper, and Mark Grace?

                      These conclusions generated from this statistic just don't pass my BS detector. I mean, I know damn well that Don Mattingly was better than Pedro Guerrero. I was there. I saw them both play. In person.

                      Maybe some fancy statistical analysis could convince me that I'm missing something about Guerrero, and that he was a lot better than he looked, and I know Mattingly tailed off badly at the end and didn't walk enough...but Guerrero twice as good?? There's something wrong with the measuring stick.

                      I've never understood the RCAA statistic well. I know it doesn't account for defense, which accounts for part of the disconnect. All I know is that it claims to explain practically everything, and it generates some results that conflict with both common sense and some more transparent types of statistical measurement.

                      I actually have very little quibble with your conclusion that there are a lot of 1b better than Garvey who are not in the HOF. That's probably so, and there are several different methods by which one can come to that conclusion.

                      I am disputing the runs created statistic.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        (1) I saw Garvey play.
                        (2) "Physics and trigonometry" don't enter into how good a ballplayer Garvey was, which is much more objectively measured by a comprehensive accounting of his statistics than by anyone's eyesight/memory.

                        As for RCAP...
                        Here's how it was explained to me:

                        RCAA and RCAP are derivations of RC, one of the most commonly accepted sabermetric measurements over the last 20+ years.

                        While Runs Created (RC) is a flat out total of the number of runs the individual was responsible for creating, the others are relative measurements.

                        RCAA is a comparison of how many RC above the average player in the league.

                        RCAP is the same thing, but only relative to the average player at his position in the league.

                        These stats are not park adjusted - so there's a discrepancy - and Garvey (for one) would certainly rank higher considering the parks he played in during his career.

                        For more information on RCAA and RCAP, look
                        here.

                        What an RCAP is saying is that Garvey produced only 57 runs more than the average NL first baseman "using the same number of outs" (as Garvey) during those seasons (1969-87).

                        Hence, an average first baseman during that time would have an RCAP of 0. So Garvey was worth 57 runs above average.

                        This looks really low because, frankly, first base is a high-offense position and Garvey didn't have that high an offense relative to others. Also the fact that you're talking about projecting this "average player" to the same number of outs used and that will hurt Garvey a little, too, because he simply had so many 162-game seasons.

                        As for saying something like "John Mayberry was a better first baseman than Steve Garvey" based on RCAP, I'm not sure that's entirely accurate.

                        What we can say, using RCAP, however is that Mayberry's 99 RCAP and Garvey's 57 RCAP tell us that Mayberry was a more dominant player at his position (worth 99 runs above the average first baseman in his league from 1968-82) than was Garvey.

                        So by saying Mayberry was (approximately) "twice as good" as Garvey, I'm saying he was twice as dominant.

                        Obviously this hampers a guy like A-Rod who plays in an era of great shortstops (Tejada, Nomar and Jeter being in the AL at the same time), but you'll find that great players always rise to the top anyhow.

                        As I said before, Garvey has a (fairly) long line ahead of him. There's no reason I can see for letting him cut in front. I would think the best argument for him could probably be made using the subjective questions list James derived and re-published in The Politics of Glory. (This early in the morning...I forget the name of the list.)
                        "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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Chancellor

                          (1) I saw Garvey play.
                          (2) "Physics and trigonometry" don't enter into how good a ballplayer Garvey was, which is much more objectively measured by a comprehensive accounting of his statistics than by anyone's eyesight/memory.

                          As for RCAP...
                          Here's how it was explained to me:

                          RCAA and RCAP are derivations of RC, one of the most commonly accepted sabermetric measurements over the last 20+ years.
                          Commonly used, OK. Commonly accepted...I don't know; there's a reason this has never caught on universally. Three, really:

                          1. It's hard to calculate, and even trickier to figure out how you got at the final figure.
                          2. No park adjustments, no accounting for defense, league.

                          I'll come back to the third.

                          Originally posted by Chancellor
                          While Runs Created (RC) is a flat out total of the number of runs the individual was responsible for creating, the others are relative measurements.

                          RCAA is a comparison of how many RC above the average player in the league.

                          RCAP is the same thing, but only relative to the average player at his position in the league.

                          These stats are not park adjusted - so there's a discrepancy - and Garvey (for one) would certainly rank higher considering the parks he played in during his career.

                          For more information on RCAA and RCAP, look
                          here. .
                          I get all that; that's not the problem.

                          Here's the calculation from that source, although there are a few different variants on it floating around:

                          RC = ((H+BB+HBP-CS-GIDP) * (TB+ 0.26*(BB+HBP-IBB) + 0.52*(SB+SH+SF)))/(AB+BB+HBP+SH+SF)

                          The calculation is simple enough -- just plug in the data and turn the crank.

                          But why does this particular formula give us a magical figure that quantifies offensive performance so precisely? There's a reason Bill James, who originated this concept, has abandoned it.

                          Originally posted by Chancellor

                          What an RCAP is saying is that Garvey produced only 57 runs more than the average NL first baseman "using the same number of outs" (as Garvey) during those seasons (1969-87).

                          Hence, an average first baseman during that time would have an RCAP of 0. So Garvey was worth 57 runs above average.

                          This looks really low because, frankly, first base is a high-offense position and Garvey didn't have that high an offense relative to others. Also the fact that you're talking about projecting this "average player" to the same number of outs used and that will hurt Garvey a little, too, because he simply had so many 162-game seasons.

                          As for saying something like "John Mayberry was a better first baseman than Steve Garvey" based on RCAP, I'm not sure that's entirely accurate.

                          What we can say, using RCAP, however is that Mayberry's 99 RCAP and Garvey's 57 RCAP tell us that Mayberry was a more dominant player at his position (worth 99 runs above the average first baseman in his league from 1968-82) than was Garvey.

                          So by saying Mayberry was (approximately) "twice as good" as Garvey, I'm saying he was twice as dominant..
                          And here's reason #3: The concept (runs created) simply doesn't match the measurement (the formula). The formula measures some aspect of run creation, to be sure, but the end product doesn't really jibe with reality. There's no way on earth that Mayberry was twice as good, dominant, anything as Garvey. (Well, maybe twice as big toward the end of their careers.)

                          Garvey and Mayberry are almost perfect contemporaries (good choice). They were born about 3 months apart. Mayberry played in the AL, where offense was more plentiful (friendlier hitters parks at the time, the DH). They both played their prime years in extreme pitchers parks.

                          Old fashioned statistics -- here are their career lines (source: Baseball-reference.com):

                          Mayberry: 1620 G, 5447 AB, 733 R, 1379 H, 211 2B, 19 3B, 255 HR, 879 RBI, 20 SB, 17 CS, 881 BB, 810 K, .253 BA, .360 OBP .439 SLG, .799 OPS, 2393 TB, 10 SH, 53 SF, 106 IBB, 55 HBP, 108 GDP.

                          Garvey: 2332 G, 8835 AB, 1143 R, 2599 H, 440 2B, 43 3B, 272 HR, 1308 RBI, 83 SB, 62 CS, 479 BB, 1003 K, .294 BA, .329 OBP, .446 SLG, .775 OPS, 3941 TB, 33 SH, 90 SF, 113 IBB, 29 HBP, 251 GDP.

                          It's important to look at basic statistics because these are the ingredients of RC, and we understand very well where these numbers come from. If the derived statistic is really different from the sum of its parts, then it signals a problem.

                          In just about every category, Garvey has an advantage, either a little (HR, a trivial difference, really) or a lot (hits, doubles, and total bases, where Garvey's totals are large and about twice Mayberry's). The only ones he doesn't are in walks & HBP (which translate directly to the OBP and OPS stats) and GIDP.

                          The GIDP advantage should be weighted down a bit -- since Garvey has around 50% more AB, he should have a few more GIDP. Even adjusted for that, Mayberry had fewer GIDP. Conversely, Mayberry reached base a lot more in fewer plate appearances via walks and HBP; Garvey really didn't reach base via means other than a hit much, while Mayberry was surprisingly good at it.

                          Fine. Walks are good, making outs is bad. But lets look at the formula again:

                          RC = ((H+BB+HBP-CS-GIDP) * (TB+ 0.26*(BB+HBP-IBB) + 0.52*(SB+SH+SF)))/(AB+BB+HBP+SH+SF)

                          OK, now we see a bit of what's happening, I think:

                          1. Mayberry's getting a huge bump from the walks & HBP (in two places).
                          2. Garvey's taking a huge hit from the GIDP.
                          3. Garvey gets no credit for the substantial advantage in runs scored or RBI (Yeah, yeah, they're team dependent, but none whatsoever?)
                          4. Garvey's big advantages in stolen bases, sacrifice hits, sacrifice flies are taken into account, but discounted by the formula by almost half.
                          5. Garvey's big lead in IBB is discounted by almost three-quarters.
                          6. Garvey's penalized for his caught stealings at 100%, while only rewarded at 26% for successful steals. (So despite the fact that Garvey stole four times as many bases at a slightly better percentage than Mayberry, this formula punishes him for it -- pretty harshly.)

                          Now, I'm sure there are good empirical underpinnings for all these weightings, but the upshot is that the final scores are a function of these weightings. And the problem is that the formula tells us that Mayberry was twice the offensive force, twice as dominant, whatever, that Garvey was over his career.

                          Just subjectively, that would have seemed patently absurd at the time, and it sure seems wrong now. Garvey's long been a person who's at least been seen as someone worthy of HOF consideration. Mayberry was a fine player for a few years, but is a laughable candidate, frankly, then and now. (Or is there a Mayberry bandwagon I've not noticed?)

                          The RCAP scores look wrong when you look at the hit totals, the doubles, the total bases, etc....never mind the more team dependent or otherwise subjective stuff like runs and RBI, All-Star games, MVP votes, some of the other Jamesian HOF stats, etc. And we haven't even mentioned defense (4 GG, some putout records [partly a function of simple preference on Garvey's part]), postseason play (2 NLCS MVP's; only 1 series out of 11 where he played poorly), all-star game MVPs (2 -- fluky to be sure, but must be worth something) durability (NL record consecutive games streak), etc., all of which is hugely advantageous to Garvey.

                          (Durability is measured a little with the AB, but in the denominator [plate appearances, basically], where it actually hurts him rather than helps him [well, just by providing context to the counting stats, so it's not unfair per se, but there's no extra credit provided for longevity].)

                          Originally posted by Chancellor

                          Obviously this hampers a guy like A-Rod who plays in an era of great shortstops (Tejada, Nomar and Jeter being in the AL at the same time), but you'll find that great players always rise to the top anyhow.

                          As I said before, Garvey has a (fairly) long line ahead of him. There's no reason I can see for letting him cut in front. I would think the best argument for him could probably be made using the subjective questions list James derived and re-published in The Politics of Glory. (This early in the morning...I forget the name of the list.)
                          It's the Keltner list. Probably a good exercise to do in Garvey's case, but I'll leave that to someone else. I think someone did it on baseball-primer.com if I'm remembering right for the last HOF ballot; Garvey did OK but not great.

                          Again, there's at least a half-dozen first basemen alone that should be ahead of Garvey in the Cooperstown queue -- we don't disagree on that.

                          I just think the RC statistic and its derivatives systematically underrate some players and overrate others because of their factor loadings; Garvey is an example of someone who is hurt by the statistic unjustly. I don't think the statistic is completely useless; it's got some utility for putting players into gross groupings (there's a reason Musial and Gehrig are on top) -- but in terms of finely sorting players and drawing distinctions and conclusions from the totals, it's a very, very flawed measure.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Here's a link to that article: http://www.baseballprimer.com/articl...-01-04_0.shtml

                            The author was supposed to evaluate these guys according to the editor's premise, but he more or less rejects the Keltner List and focuses on Win Shares. Garvey fares worse than Mattingly, Hernandez, Dick Allen, or Eddie Murray in the study, and is the only one who the author believe ought never reach the HOF.

                            Garvey really needs an advocate; he'd do better on the Keltner list, I think.

                            And his 1974 MVP wasn't the worst pick I've ever seen -- it was sort of his year, with an MVP in the All-Star game, his first gold glove, 200 hits, 111 RBI, .312 BA., and LA having the best record in the league and winning the pennant.

                            There were a lot of other good candidates, but no classic guy who got overlooked, as happened in, say, 1987, (in both leagues!) Every decent team in the league seemed to have one or two candidates. Stargell might have been best, or Schmidt, or Brock stealing 118 bags, or Reggie Smith, or Cesar Cedeno, or Ralph Garr, or Al Oliver. Cincinnati's best candidate is Bench, but Morgan, Concepcion, and Rose could all enter the discussion. (All gold gloves up the middle -- man the Big Red Machine could pick it!)

                            The most damning thing was that Garvey probably was only at best the 3rd best candidate on his team: Mike Marshall and Jimmy Wynn both being clearly better. Lopes, Cey, Messersmith, and Sutton weren't chopped liver either. I imagine no one knew exactly what to make of Marshall, and Wynn was underrated because the value of a base on balls was not yet fully appreciated. Plus, Garvey had that whole all-American boy thing going for him.

                            30 years later, I'm far from clear on who had the clutch hits, who had the big September, leadership, clubhouse scuttlebutt, etc. Looking back today...I'd probably vote for Jimmy Wynn, but I could be talked into Bench or Stargell or Marshall. But no one had such a clear cut case that a vote for Garvey was absurd.

                            I suspect Bench would have won if he hadn't had two already.
                            Last edited by Cougar; 07-01-2003, 03:48 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Hay Fever
                              In what seasons did you see Steve Garvey play?
                              Almost exclusively as a Padre.
                              "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

                              Comment

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