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Chief Zimmer

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  • Chief Zimmer

    Catcher Chief Zimmer spent 19 years in the big leagues, hitting .269 with 1,225 hits, 222 doubles and at least 151 stolen bases. He was a solid defender (10.7 dWAR per Baseball Reference) who twice led the league in games at catcher, catcher putouts, catcher assists and runners caught stealing. He led the league in caught stealing percentage once and catcher fielding percentage three times.

    Statistically, he is similar to one Hall of Famer (who isn't in the Hall due to his hitting, granted): Wilbert Robinson. He is also similar to Johnny Kling, Jimmie Wilson, Rollie Hemsley, Heinie Peitz, Hank Severeid, Bob O'Farrell, Jack Clements, Joe Girardi and Luke Sewell.

    In 1938, Zimmer received a little support for the Hall of Fame, earning 0.4% of the vote. He also received some support in the Progressive Hall of Fame project.

    What do you think about Chief Zimmer? Should he be in the Hall of Fame? Did he have Hall of Fame potential?
    9
    Yes
    0.00%
    0
    No
    77.78%
    7
    Maybe
    0.00%
    0
    Not a Hall of Famer, but he had Hall of Fame potential
    22.22%
    2

  • #2
    After reading about him in Wikipedia, I would say he's got a better chance being elected for innovations than for his playing career.
    "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

    "I have the ultimate respect for Whitesox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Redsox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country."--Jim Caple, ESPN (Jan. 12, 2011)

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    • #3
      He was a polarizing character and definitely had potential.

      Comment


      • #4
        His contributions are pretty interesting and noteworthy, but were any of them 'strong' enough to make him notable? His case, if he has one, seems to be a collection of a bunch of semi-notable things that could somehow be amalgamated into one big Hall of Fame case.

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        • #5
          Kinda see him in the Bob Boone category. Long career, good-great defense, adequate bat for a player better than that for a catcher. Maybe he was a little better maybe he wasn't. There seems to be a few long career OK but not great offense catchers @ the 1880-1900 era that I confuse: Duke Farrell, Wilbert Robinson and Zimmer. Jack Clements was a major step up offensively and a lefty.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Cowtipper View Post
            His contributions are pretty interesting and noteworthy, but were any of them 'strong' enough to make him notable? His case, if he has one, seems to be a collection of a bunch of semi-notable things that could somehow be amalgamated into one big Hall of Fame case.
            I think this is a good assessment of his HOF case. He is not a HOFer.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by PVNICK View Post
              Kinda see him in the Bob Boone category. Long career, good-great defense, adequate bat for a player better than that for a catcher. Maybe he was a little better maybe he wasn't. There seems to be a few long career OK but not great offense catchers @ the 1880-1900 era that I confuse: Duke Farrell, Wilbert Robinson and Zimmer. Jack Clements was a major step up offensively and a lefty.
              Boone has a much better case, in that his career was much longer. Zimmer drew little support in 1938 when people were alive to remember him.
              "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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