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  • Hall of Fame Error

    Johnny Evers teamed up with shortstop Joe Tinker and first baseman Frank Chance to form the Cubs' famous Tinkers to Evers to Chance double play combination. The most double plays they ever turned in a season was 58.

    http://baseball.suite101.com/article..._of_fame_error
    Baseball articles you might not like but should read.

  • #2
    While the Cubs did not lead the league in double plays during the years that Tinker, Evers, and Chance played, that doesn't mean that they were poor fielders. Tinker in particular was a great fielder, leading the league in assists 3 times, range 4 times, fielding percentage 5 times, and yes, even led the league in double plays once. He earned a fielding grade of A+ from Bill James and I don't see any evidence that such a grade is not deserved. Evers led the league in putouts twice, assists twice, range twice, and fielding percentage once. He received a fielding grade of A- from James.

    While Chance had the best hitting stats of the three, as one might expect from a 1B, hiscareer was a bit too short for a Hall of Famer for my tastes - he only had 5 seasons with 500 or more plate appearances. But as a combined player-manager, I don't have an objection to his induction.

    Personally, I would not put either Tinker or Evers in the Hall; I have them in the good but not all-time great category. But at the same time, you have to be careful when considering articles that are written with such obviously A player with a .270 lifetime batting average and a .955 fielding percentage is not a Hall of Famer.
    misleading statements. The article that was linked states about Evers: "A player with a .270 lifetime batting average and a .955 fielding percentage is not a Hall of Famer." How can anyone intelligently make a statement like that without taking context into account? If a .270 lifetime batting average is not a Hall of Famer, then I will miss the empty spots in the Hall where the plaques of Mike Schmidt, Harmon Killebrew, and Johnny Bench once graced. Could it be that that power they supplied and the positional adjustment for Bench offsets their batting average? The linked article doesn't say. Could it be that the league average during Killebrew's era was only .259 makes a difference? Article doesn't say.

    In the case of Evers, his lowly .270 average was 3% above league average. The article forgot to discuss the value of his plate patience, resulting in an OBP that was 8.5% better than league average. His fielding percentage of .955 was dismissed as if it were minor league caliber, ignoring that it was 6 points above league average or that his range factor was 12 points above league average. I am not implying that Evers is a no-doubt Hall of Famer or a more deserving 2B than Morgan, Hornsby, Collins, Lajoie, etc. But it irks me a bit when people make such misleading comments like "Home Run Baker only 96 homers - he shouldn't be in the Hall" leaving out that he led the league 4 straight years, or "Tony Gwynn only hit .338 so he wasn't much better than Heinie Manush who hit .330" ignoring that Gwynn hit 29% better than league average while Manush was 14% better than league average.

    Need to keep things in context to make a valid comparison or absolute statement like a .270 batting average is not a hall of famer.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by LouGehrig View Post
      Johnny Evers teamed up with shortstop Joe Tinker and first baseman Frank Chance to form the Cubs' famous Tinkers to Evers to Chance double play combination. The most double plays they ever turned in a season was 58.

      http://baseball.suite101.com/article..._of_fame_error
      If you read Baseball Dynasties you find in the chapter about the 1906 Cubs that although they never turned a great number of double-plays in and of themselves, compared to the amount of double plays they were expected to recieve they were phenomenal. When I go home again and get the book I'll tell you more.
      “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.” Walter Lippmann

      "Fill in any figure you want for that boy (Mantle). Whatever the figure, it's a deal." - Branch Rickey

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CTaka View Post
        While the Cubs did not lead the league in double plays during the years that Tinker, Evers, and Chance played, that doesn't mean that they were poor fielders. Tinker in particular was a great fielder, leading the league in assists 3 times, range 4 times, fielding percentage 5 times, and yes, even led the league in double plays once. He earned a fielding grade of A+ from Bill James and I don't see any evidence that such a grade is not deserved. Evers led the league in putouts twice, assists twice, range twice, and fielding percentage once. He received a fielding grade of A- from James.

        While Chance had the best hitting stats of the three, as one might expect from a 1B, hiscareer was a bit too short for a Hall of Famer for my tastes - he only had 5 seasons with 500 or more plate appearances. But as a combined player-manager, I don't have an objection to his induction.

        Personally, I would not put either Tinker or Evers in the Hall; I have them in the good but not all-time great category. But at the same time, you have to be careful when considering articles that are written with such obviously A player with a .270 lifetime batting average and a .955 fielding percentage is not a Hall of Famer.
        misleading statements. The article that was linked states about Evers: "A player with a .270 lifetime batting average and a .955 fielding percentage is not a Hall of Famer." How can anyone intelligently make a statement like that without taking context into account? If a .270 lifetime batting average is not a Hall of Famer, then I will miss the empty spots in the Hall where the plaques of Mike Schmidt, Harmon Killebrew, and Johnny Bench once graced. Could it be that that power they supplied and the positional adjustment for Bench offsets their batting average? The linked article doesn't say. Could it be that the league average during Killebrew's era was only .259 makes a difference? Article doesn't say.

        In the case of Evers, his lowly .270 average was 3% above league average. The article forgot to discuss the value of his plate patience, resulting in an OBP that was 8.5% better than league average. His fielding percentage of .955 was dismissed as if it were minor league caliber, ignoring that it was 6 points above league average or that his range factor was 12 points above league average. I am not implying that Evers is a no-doubt Hall of Famer or a more deserving 2B than Morgan, Hornsby, Collins, Lajoie, etc. But it irks me a bit when people make such misleading comments like "Home Run Baker only 96 homers - he shouldn't be in the Hall" leaving out that he led the league 4 straight years, or "Tony Gwynn only hit .338 so he wasn't much better than Heinie Manush who hit .330" ignoring that Gwynn hit 29% better than league average while Manush was 14% better than league average.

        Need to keep things in context to make a valid comparison or absolute statement like a .270 batting average is not a hall of famer.

        I accept your points completely, but the major point remains, and that is that Evers should not be in the Hall of Fame.
        Baseball articles you might not like but should read.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by 1905 Giants View Post
          If you read Baseball Dynasties you find in the chapter about the 1906 Cubs that although they never turned a great number of double-plays in and of themselves, compared to the amount of double plays they were expected to recieve they were phenomenal. When I go home again and get the book I'll tell you more.
          Fine, it is appreciated. Context is critical, and that is why what has happened in this century is so upsetting.
          Baseball articles you might not like but should read.

          Comment


          • #6
            "Baseball's Sad Lexicon," the poem by Franklin P. Adams, is the reason Tinker and Evers are in the HOF.

            Comment


            • #7
              I guess we need to remind everyone that the HoF is not the one with blame here, but the electing body. In this case that is the BBWAA. When Evers got elected only 25 people had been elected previously.How could you comeup with Evers when a number of great players had yet to be picked. Well the poem, of course, and Evers was a good player. You will note that in career win shares Evers ranks ahead of Schoendienst, Lazzeri, and Mazeroski.

              I think we should just chill on pointing out mistakes from that long ago and concentrate on avoiding them in the future. To that goal we should work diligently to eradicate the Veteran's Committee and all of its ilk.
              Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by KCGHOST View Post
                I guess we need to remind everyone that the HoF is not the one with blame here, but the electing body. In this case that is the BBWAA.
                Actually in Evers' case, it wasn't the fault of the BBWAA. The much maligned Veteran's Committee can claim responsibility for voting Evers (and his infield mates) into the Hall. In fact, Evers never received more than 54% of the vote from the BBWAA and that was in 1945. In 1946, it actually dropped to less than 42% of the vote, but the Veterans Committee took care of that by deciding that Evers should be inducted as a "baseball immortal."

                Again, I don't think Evers was a bad player. I think he was a very good player when taken in the context of his time. But I think the Hall should be for the very great players and not the very good. So I wouldn't put him in the Hall if I were the Supreme Ruler of Baseball. But I think there are others in the Hall less deserving than The Crab.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by shlevine42 View Post
                  "Baseball's Sad Lexicon," the poem by Franklin P. Adams, is the reason Tinker and Evers are in the HOF.
                  I agree with this opinion. Franklin Pierce Adams' poem had way too much to do with Evers/Chance/Tinkers getting elected.
                  http://www.baseball-fever.com/showpo...&postcount=321

                  However, once someone is elected to the Hall, it is the kiss of death for people talking about them. I give you Nellie Fox/Billy Williams as examples. The moment someone is elected, if they are in the bottom of the Hall of Fame barrel, all conversation about them stops. I didn't intend to classify Billy as bottom of the Hall barrel. Just that his bandwagon stopped. Abruptly.

                  If Pete Rose, Joe Jackson or Gil Hodges ever get in, their bandwagons will disperse the moment the Hall door closes behind them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by shlevine42 View Post
                    "Baseball's Sad Lexicon," the poem by Franklin P. Adams, is the reason Tinker and Evers are in the HOF.

                    When I first started in journalism I was a sportswriter for a weekly paper. I wrote the following column about the greatest keystone combo in baseball history:


                    They roomed together. They made their major league debut together. Now it’s time for them to go into the Hall of Fame together.

                    Individually, neither Alan Trammell nor Lou Whitaker measures up to Cooperstown standards, although both are mighty close.

                    But together?

                    If you consider the longtime Tigers as a unit, there’s no question - they belong in the Hall. They’re the most prolific double-play combo in baseball history by a long shot.

                    But isn’t the Hall of Fame for individual ballplayers? The answer is, yes - with an asterisk. There has been one notable exception. And, oddly enough, it involves another double-play combination.

                    In 1946, the famous Chicago Cubs keystone combo, Tinker to Evers to Chance, was voted in as a unit. Of the three, only Chance put up numbers worthy of the honor. The punchline is, third baseman Harry Steinfeldt was the best player in the Cubs’ infield - yet nobody remembers him any more.

                    Steinfeldt was a fine third baseman and a deadly clutch hitter. But his name didn’t have the right amount of syllables.

                    Johnny Evers and Joe Tinker are in the Hall of Fame because of a poem. The two got their big break in 1908, when New York sportswriter Franklin P. Adams, looking to fill space in his column, decided to compose a sonnet. You might have heard it:


                    “These are the saddest of possible words,
                    Tinker to Evers to Chance
                    Trio of bear Cubs, fleeter than birds,
                    Tinker to Evers to Chance,
                    Constantly pricking our gonfolan bubble
                    Making a Giant hit into a double,
                    Words that are weighty with nothing but trouble
                    Tinker to Evers to Chance.”


                    The poem went on to become one of baseball’s most famous - and Tinker and Evers rode the lyrics right into Cooperstown.

                    They’re certainly not in the Hall because of their records. If you stack Trammell and Whitaker against Tinker and Evers, there’s no comparison. Evers was a peppery little player, whose unyielding desire to win earned him the nickname, “the Human Crab” - but he was no Lou Whitaker. And Trammell blows Tinker right out of the water.

                    Most baseball historians agree: Tinker and Evers are in the Hall of Fame because of Adams’s poem.

                    Well, then, if a poem is all it takes, allow me to do the honors:


                    “Coffee and cream, peanut butter and jelly,
                    Trammell and Whitaker - TWO!
                    Leaving the baserunner flat on his belly,
                    Trammell and Whitaker - TWO!
                    Seamlessly plugging the hole up the middle,
                    A pitcher’s best friend, a double acquittal,
                    The dish and the spoon, the bow and the fiddle,
                    Trammell and Whitaker - TWO!


                    There you go, Hall of Fame voters. Now that Trammell and Whitaker have a poem to call their very own, how can you resist punching their names on the ballot?
                    "Hey Mr. McGraw! Can I pitch to-day?"

                    Comment

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