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  • Bob Turley

    This may be a case of "had Hall of Fame potential."

    Bob Turley played in the big leagues from 1951 to 1963, going 101-85 with, 78 complete games, 24 shutouts and a 3.64 ERA in 310 games, while allowing only 1,366 hits in 1,712.2 innings of work. The three-time All-Star won the 1958 Cy Young Award and finished second in MVP voting that year after going 21-7 with a 2.97 ERA and leading the league in wins, winning percentage, complete games and H/9 IP ratio.

    From 1954 to 1958, while pitching primarily for the Yankees, Turley averaged 15 wins, 12 complete games and three shutouts a season, posting a 3.32 ERA. Only five AL pitchers had at least that many wins in that span--including Hall of Famers Whitey Ford and Early Wynn and potential Hall of Famer Billy Pierce.

    Turley led the league in wins once, winning percentage once, complete games once, strikeouts once, K/9 IP once, H/9 IP four times and pitcher fielding percentage twice. He was also wild and erratic, leading the league in walks three times. He pitched in five World Series, going 4-3 with a 3.19 ERA in 15 games (9 starts). He posted sub-3.00 ERA in three of the Series and in the 1956 Fall Classic, his mark was 0.82. He earned two championship rings.

    Statistically, he is similar to Sam Jones, Mario Soto, Eric Show, Kirby Higbe, Joey Jay, Jim Bibby, Wilson Alvarez, Ray Culp, Steve Blass and Tony Cloninger. He is #576 on the Fan EloRater, ahead of Armando Benitez, Hank Aguirre and Pete Harnisch, but behind Jason Isringhausen, Dontrelle Willis and Bill Swift.

    What do you think about Bullet Bob Turley? Should he be in the Hall of Fame? Did he have Hall of Fame potential?
    10
    Yes
    0%
    0
    No
    80.00%
    8
    Maybe
    0%
    0
    Not a Hall of Famer, but he had Hall of Fame potential
    20.00%
    2

  • #2
    Turley's a nice guy, he was the parade grand marshall at last year's Cy Young festival in Young's adopted hometown in Ohio. And a good pitcher who pitched for some excellent Yankee teams. But not a HOF'er, and I doubt he was on a HOF path at any time.
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    • #3
      Very similar to Mario Soto, IMO. He was a good but not great pitcher who overachieved at times. Not a HOFer and not someone who had HOF potential.

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      • #4
        Probably more similar to Dontrelle Willis, except playing on a great team, than a lot of other pitchers.

        He had a brief peak where he somewhat harnessed his wildness, and was a good but not great pitcher with a lot of wins that threw hard, similar to Willis.

        Both Turley and Willis had one 20-win season.

        Both had a career ERA+ of exactly 101.

        Both had just 3 200+ IP seasons.

        Willis was finished by age 29, Turley by age 32.
        Career record: Turley 101-85 Willis 72-69

        Career K/9 rate: Turley 6.65 Willis 6.60

        Career FIP: Turley 4.02 Willis 4.22


        Actually they are more similar than I had even thought before looking it up. Very good short peaks, but finished far too young because of their wildness.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jjpm74 View Post
          Very similar to Mario Soto, IMO. He was a good but not great pitcher who overachieved at times. Not a HOFer and not someone who had HOF potential.
          Soto was a better pitcher than Turley, and would have been a HOF contender had he not hurt his arm early.

          Turley had poor control, leading the AL in walks 3 times. He was lucky to be a Yankee. He wouldn't have had the Cy Young Award season if he wasn't, and we wouldn't be talking about him if he hadn't had that season. Jim Bouton is about as much of a HOFer as Turley is.
          "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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          • #6
            Charlie Leibrandt has a better HOF case than Turley. Turley was wild and inconsistant.

            However, his perfomance in the 1958 World Seies is one for the ages. He was bombed out in game 2 Then pitched a shutout in game 5, got a 10th inning save in game 6, then pitched 6.2 innings of 2 hit relief in game 7, picking up the win. Talk about riding your pony.
            This week's Giant

            #5 in games played as a Giant with 1721 , Bill Terry

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JR Hart View Post
              Charlie Leibrandt has a better HOF case than Turley. Turley was wild and inconsistant.

              However, his perfomance in the 1958 World Seies is one for the ages. He was bombed out in game 2 Then pitched a shutout in game 5, got a 10th inning save in game 6, then pitched 6.2 innings of 2 hit relief in game 7, picking up the win. Talk about riding your pony.
              Sounds like someone is asking for a Charlie Leibrandt thread.

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              • #8
                There really is not a plethora of great pitching names from the 1950s. Consider the only American League hurlers with 70 or more wins from 1954 to 1958: two are in the Hall (Early Wynn, Whitey Ford), one is underrated (Billy Pierce) and two are basically forgotten (Frank Sullivan and Bob Turley). Sullivan and Turley were among the best for a few years, that's hard to believe.

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                • #9
                  Bob Purkey was better than Bob Turley.

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