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Pedro Guerrero - HOFer?

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  • Pedro Guerrero - HOFer?

    I'll use a Keltner List to start the discussion:

    1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?

    Outside of myself, I can’t think of anyone else. I thought that Guerrero was the most underrated star in baseball during his best years.

    2. Was he the best player on his team?

    From 1982-87, Guerrero was, arguably, the best player on the Dodgers. Guerrerro missed most of 1986 with an injury and the Dodgers went from the NL West champs to 73-89.

    3. Was he the best player in baseball at his position? Was he the best player in the league at his position?

    Guerrero was the multi-position star of his generation, in the tradition of Harmon Killebrew and Dick Allen. He wasn’t as good as those guys, but he led the NL in OWP one year. He was, unquestionably, one of the top offensive players in baseball from 1982-87, and his offensive peak was easily at the level of a HOFer at the left end of the defensive spectrum.

    4. Did he have an impact on a number of pennant races?

    The Dodgers missed the NL West title by 1 game in 1982, and won it in 1983 and 1985, which were three (3) of Guerrerro’s best seasons. Guerrero’s 1981 season was not quite at that level, but it was a star season, and Guerrero was the World Series MVP that year when the Dodgers went all the way.

    5. Was he a good enough player that he could continue to play regularly after passing his prime?

    Guerrero injured his knee severely in 1986. He came back in 1987 to post a .736 OWP in 1987 and a .723 OWP in 1989. The injury robbed him of some speed, but he could still hit for average. His career ended at age 36, after a 3 year decline, and there’s little doubt that the knee was the reason.

    6. Is he the very best player in baseball history who is not in the Hall of Fame?

    No, he’s not. He’s up there, however, surprisingly so.
    7. Are most players who have comparable career statistics in the Hall of Fame?

    No, but some are. He started a wee bit late, he ended his career somewhat early, and he didn’t hit the power milestones.

    8. Do the player's numbers meet Hall of Fame standards?

    His peak value and career OWP numbers meet HOF standards for a player at the left end of the defensive spectrum.

    9. Is there any evidence to suggest that the player was significantly better or worse than is suggested by his statistics?

    Some would penalize Guerrerro for his third base defense. I don’t penalize him for his poor defensive play at third base; that was a poor decision by the Dodgers. I rate him as if he was a LF/1B guy his entire career, which he hit enough to be at a star level.

    10.Is he the best player at his position who is eligible for the Hall of Fame but not in?

    He is the second best multi-position star, behind Dick Allen, that is not in the HOF.

    11. How many MVP-type seasons did he have? Did he ever win an MVP award? If not, how many times was he close?

    Guerrero deserved the NL MVP in 1985; he finished 3rd. He finished 4th in 1983 and 3rd in 1982, and should have finished at least one place higher in both years. (Dale Murphy probably deserved both his awards in 1982-83.) He finished 3rd in MVP voting in 1989, and that was about right.

    12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the other players who played in this many go to the Hall of Fame?

    Guerrero played in five (5) All Star Games and had seven (7) seasons that would easily qualify as “All Star” seasons.

    13. If this man were the best player on his team, would it be likely that the team could win the pennant?

    Yes! This is one of Guerrero’s strongest qualifications; his best performances coincide with Dodger success

    14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?

    No to all.

    15. Did the player uphold the standards of sportsmanship and character that the Hall of Fame, in its written guidelines, instructs us to consider?

    From Wikipedia:

    In September 1999, Guerrero was arrested for trying to buy 33 pounds of cocaine from an undercover agent. In June 2002, he was acquitted of drug conspiracy charges after his attorney argued his low IQ of 70 prevented him from understanding that he had agreed to a drug deal and that he was borderline retarded. His attorney further argued that Guerrero could not complete basic tasks such as writing a check, making his bed, or dressing himself and that his wife had to place him on a daily monetary allowance.[2] [1]
    Later in 1999, O.J. Simpson claimed in a call to 911 that his then girlfriend, Christie Prody, was missing and had been using drugs for two days with Guerrero.[citation needed]
    In 2011, Guerrero joined the Arizona Winter League as a hitting instructor.[3]
    "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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