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  • Jim Kaat

    Jim Kaat won 16 gold gloves in a row. Three 20 win seasons. 283 lifetime wins. He didn't walk anybody, only 1083 in 4530.3 career innings. Gave up a hit an inning for his career and a strikeout every other inning for his career. He did have two 200 strikeout seasons. Kaat is an odd case. I give him credit for 7 great season,s but a couple of them are marginal. Ask me again tomorrow and I might say 4 or 5. And that's the trouble with marginal candidates, isn't it.

    Obviously this is just scratching the surface. I consider Kaat to be a Hall of Famer. But he is definitely a bit of a compiler, especially as far as wins go.

    Does anybody have anything to say about Jim Kaat?
    61
    Yes
    55.74%
    34
    No
    44.26%
    27

  • #2
    PBH-I'd go with your analysis. He is a tossup. Certainly has to get credit for longevity and durability. Even at his best, I don't think he would be a guy you could win a pennant with as your #1 starter, although perfect as #2. I always liked Bill James HOF definitions of A,B,C,D and using that, he's a classic C caliber HOFer.
    It Might Be? It Could Be?? It Is!

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    • #3
      I'll agree with the both of you. I however believe that the hall is so watered down (see Bill James: Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame?) that admitting the Kaats and Blylevens (please, don't all attack at once) just brings the overall talent level down. I am more of an elitest rather than an inclusivest however, and the 'threshold' to be elected is different for everyone.
      I'd be the first to sit on a committee to 'eject' (so to speak of course!!!) 20% of all inductees. Again, my threshold is just a bit higher than most. Cheers!
      "Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you. What's that you say Mrs. Robinson? Joltin' Joe has left and gone away. Hey hey hey."

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      • #4
        I don't know if there's any way to actually go about this, but I would love to be able to elect a Hall of Fame within the Hall of Fame. I mhave always thought this to be an interesting idea, but can never come up with a system that is even worth discussing. Any ideas about how to go about this? Feel like it's a good idea/ bad idea?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 64Cards
          PBH-I'd go with your analysis. He is a tossup. Certainly has to get credit for longevity and durability. Even at his best, I don't think he would be a guy you could win a pennant with as your #1 starter, although perfect as #2. I always liked Bill James HOF definitions of A,B,C,D and using that, he's a classic C caliber HOFer.
          Kaat was probably considered to be the #1 starter on the pennant winning 1966 Twins, although Mudcat Grant ended up with more wins that season.

          Kaat belongs in the Hall; I think PBH and 64C sum the case up well.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Pitching Beats Hitting
            didn't walk anybody, only 1083 in 4530.3 career innings.
            1,083 walks is "anybody". That isn't very many, but you can't say "anybody". Also, if you think Kaat should get in for his lack of walks, then so shoud Tiny Bonham. Bonham hold the record for least amount of walks career with over 1,000 innings with 287 in 1,551 innings. To make it fair, I will give the average walks per inning. Kaat averaged .239 walks per inning. Bonham averaged .176 per inning.

            Just for agumenititve purposes.

            -Felipe
            Baseball (basbĂ´l)- The GREATEST sport ever invented.

            Town of origin:Cooperstown

            Used in a sentence:I love baseball.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Felipe Banana
              1,083 walks is "anybody". That isn't very many, but you can't say "anybody". Also, if you think Kaat should get in for his lack of walks, then so shoud Tiny Bonham. Bonham hold the record for least amount of walks career with over 1,000 innings with 287 in 1,551 innings. To make it fair, I will give the average walks per inning. Kaat averaged .239 walks per inning. Bonham averaged .176 per inning.

              Just for agumenititve purposes.

              -Felipe
              Nobody was using a singular statistic for arguing about HOF worthiness, though. Kaat brought a lot more to the table then that. Does Bonham?
              Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose
                Nobody was using a singular statistic for arguing about HOF worthiness, though. Kaat brought a lot more to the table then that. Does Bonham?
                http://www.baseball-reference.com/b/bonhati01.shtml

                Not really. I don't know much about him, but he looks like a good but not great pitcher who enjoyed his best seasons during WWII. Played 10 years, career record 103-72, 3.06 ERA. If he'd had a longer career, the HOF might be worth thinking about, but even then it'd be a big stretch.

                The alarming thing is that Bonham apparently dropped dead at 36 years old, about three weeks after his final ML appearance. Anyone know what happened to poor Tiny?

                (One clue -- he apparently was nicknamed ironically; listed at 6'2", 215 lb.)

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                • #9
                  Felipe

                  The Captain is accurate when he points out that Kaat's case is by no means based solely on any singular statistic be it walks or otherwise. Also, Bonham is nowhere near the pitcher that Kaat was. I am being intentionally as lenient as possible, and I still credit Bonham with only 2 good seasons, 1 of which was Hall caliber. Bonham's body of work is nonexistant. Cougar is astute in pointing out that both of these seasons were during the watered down league that existed during the war.

                  Bonham aside, my point with the walks was that he doesn't get hit, and he doesn't give up walks. For a guy who only had 4 strikeout totals that are at all impressive, although two were over 200, the lack of baserunners against him is a necessity. Even ignoring strikeout totals for a moment, Since he doesn't walk many(can we agree on that assessment?) people, he is throwing strikes and after a couple of years, everybody kows he is going to throw the ball over the plate. Even then, he usually gave up less hits than innings and was at about a hit an inning for his career. This is a mark of excellence. If they don't get on base, it's real difficult for them to score.

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                  • #10
                    From the Sporting News of September 21,1949
                    Attached Files
                    Dave Kent

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                    • #11
                      Sad story.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Pitching Beats Hitting
                        Jim Kaat won 16 gold gloves in a row. Three 20 win seasons. 283 lifetime wins. He didn't walk anybody, only 1083 in 4530.3 career innings. Gave up a hit an inning for his career and a strikeout every other inning for his career. He did have two 200 strikeout seasons. Kaat is an odd case. I give him credit for 7 great season,s but a couple of them are marginal. Ask me again tomorrow and I might say 4 or 5. And that's the trouble with marginal candidates, isn't it.

                        Obviously this is just scratching the surface. I consider Kaat to be a Hall of Famer. But he is definitely a bit of a compiler, especially as far as wins go.

                        Does anybody have anything to say about Jim Kaat?

                        I would vote for Jim Kaat making the HOF.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Kaat gets my vote; his ability to stay in the game long after his prime is a plus, not a minus. Retention of ability is evidence of greatness.
                          "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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                          • #14
                            Kaat was an above average pitcher who pitched an incredibly long time and managed to stay healthy all that time. He's not an HoFer to me, but Tommy John would vote for him.
                            Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

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                            • #15
                              I like to compare Jim Kaat to Brooks Robinson.They both deserve to be in Cooperstown.

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