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Should Bill Freehan be in the HoF?

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  • #16
    He's a better candidate than Thurman Munson or Elston Howard.
    "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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    • #17
      Nope not before Ted Simmons.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Chancellor
        He's a better candidate than Thurman Munson or Elston Howard.
        I wouldn't argue with you there. However, I'd say he probably stands even less of a chance of getting elected than either of them.

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        • #19
          --Freehan was far and away the best AL catcher of the 1960s and into the early 70s (11 straight All Star games). The arguement for best MLB catcher of the 60s boils down pretty quickly to Freehan vs Torre. Torre was a better hitter, but Freehan was a MUCH better defender. In balance, I'd have to go with Freehan over Torre for the honors.
          --Torre did go on to have the better career, posting some big seasons (including his best) at 1B/3B. Freehan's career suffered in large part becasue he WAS a better catcher than Torre. As often happens, the toll of the position started eroding Freehan's numbers after a decade behind the plate. By 1972 he had caught over 100 games 9 years in a row, over 140 in three
          of those years and over 130 in two more. Back trouble held him under 100 games in 1973 and in 1974 he split his playing time between 1B and C.
          --Spared the everyday burden of catching, Freehan had his best offensive season since his near MVP days in 67-68. He hit .297 with 18 HR and slugged .479 - excellent numbers for those years. He was only 32 that year and had he been allowed to play several more seasons at 1B this discussion would quite possibly not be taking place. Unfortunately, the Tigers stuck him back behind the plate for 113 games again the next year, his numbers dropped and he was pretty much completely broken down by the end of that season.

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          • #20
            In Detroit, yes. In Cooperstown, no. As the good Captain said, you have to draw the line somewhere.

            Even if you judge him as the best catcher of his time, that is not an automatic "in."
            "Someone asked me if I took steroids. I said, 'No. I had a contract with Wheaties.'"
            --Bob Feller

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            • #21
              He's on my personal borderline along with everyone else, but for the time being I'm going to say "in", based on who is already enshrined.
              http://gifrific.com/wp-content/uploa...-showalter.gif

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Chancellor
                He's a better candidate than Thurman Munson or Elston Howard.
                I'm not really convinced he's a better candidate than Lance Parrish. Parrish lasted longer, and he hit 124 more home runs in his career. That's a LOT of HRs, even adjusting for era. Parrish also won 3 Gold Gloves. Parrish was, arguably, the best catcher in the AL from 1980-86 overall, although Fisk was better at least once.
                "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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                • #23
                  --I saw them both play alot and Freehan was much better defensively than Parrish. Lance probably had a little bit stronger arm, but he was actually pretty immobile behind the plate - at least compared to Freehan. Offensively Parrish had a little more power, but Freehan hit for better average and had VASTLY better plate discipline. If Parrish had Freehan's discipline he would have been the better player and would also be a Hall of Famer.

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                  • #24
                    Freehan had a great peak in '67-'68, and although he didn't sustain at that level he did have a quite a few seasons near there (1964, 1971, 1972, 1974). He had quite a few other decent seasons, those four very, very good ones, and two years when he was arguably the best in baseball. He was good defensively, had a little power, drew walks, and handled the pitching staff well (isn't it him who wrote "rules for a catcher" or soemthing like that?) and hit for That's a pretty impressive resume for a catcher. While I would want Torre and Simmons in first, Freehan probably would make my HOF.

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                    • #25
                      Freehan was very good but has never been viewed as an HoFer by an real number of evaluators. He certainly isn't the best catcher not in the HoF. With the current structure of the VC he has zero shot at election.
                      Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

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                      • #26
                        Should Bill Freehan be in the Hall of Fame?

                        here are his stats


                        even though his hitting numbers are pretty good, I think the era he played in had a negative impact on them.


                        his defense was great...and there was a 7-year stretch where he started for the American League at catcher for the all-star game.

                        his ops+ is only 3 pts below Gary Carter btw (112-115)
                        Last edited by sturg1dj; 08-24-2008, 05:51 PM.
                        "Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment."

                        -Bill James

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                        • #27
                          It's unfortunate that Freehan had his two greatest seasons in '67 and '68 when the average AL team scored about 575 runs. In 1968, Freehan won a gold glove and finished 2nd in MVP voting despite hitting only .263 with 25 HRs and 84 RBIs. Even for a great defensive catcher, those numbers dont look look MVP worthy by today's standards, but Freehan was working in a freakishly low-scoring season.

                          In a normal 715-run context Freehan's numbers in '68 were equivalent to a BA of .306 with 30 HRs and 104 RBIs. If you apply the 715-run context throughout Freehan's whole career, his triple crown stats go from .262 BA, 200 HRs and 758 RBIs to .279 BA, 218 HRs and 848 RBIs. Combine that with his reputation as a great fielder at the most important defensive position (5 gold gloves) and a dominant peak when he was the best catcher in the AL and had three top-7 MVP finishes, and you've got a Hall of Famer (or at least someone who should be enshrined).

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                          • #28
                            I'm bumping this thread, in the hope that the two threads of the same title can be combined.
                            "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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                            • #29
                              Arguably (I don't think so, but people I respect do) the best catcher eligible for the HOF who's not in.

                              Great defensive catcher, plainly hurt by his era offensively, quite possibly the most valuable player on the great Tiger teams of the late 1960's -- teams that included Kaline, Cash, McLain, and Lolich. Solid power bat, especially for the era and position. Took walks. Somewhat short career in terms of seasons (15) but not games played (almost 1600 caught) -- very durable. His 11 All-Star Game appearances are the most by any eligible player who is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

                              Yes, I would induct Freehan.
                              Last edited by Cougar; 08-25-2008, 06:18 AM. Reason: Clarification

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Cougar View Post
                                Arguably (I don't think so, but people I respect do) the best catcher eligible for the HOF who's not in.
                                Who do you think is the best catcher not in the Hall?

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