The Ins and Outs of Baseball’s Hall of FamePosted: June 19, 2009
Despite a 266-251 lifetime record, Eppa Rixey is in the Hall of Fame.
Who’s in? Who’s out?
The question of who belongs in the Hall of Fame — and consequently who doesn’t — sparks endless debate among baseball fans.
Well, the SportsLifer is about to solve some of those debates.
At each position, we’ve taken one Hall of Famer (OUT) and replaced him with a player more deserving of Hall enshrinement (IN).
For pitchers, we’ve put five hurlers in and taken five out.
Omit the debates about Shoeless Joe Jackson and the Black Sox, gamblers like Pete Rose, and Mark McGwire and his fellow needle-pushers of the steroid generation. They’re out.
Also out are active players and players who have retired within the past five years and are not yet eligible for the Hall.
Who’s in? Who’s out? Here’s the list:
IN — Joe Torre — A .297 lifetime batting average, 252 home runs, and a National League MVP and batting title in 1971 with the Cardinals are good enough. Torre, right, will eventually go in as a manager..
OUT — Ray Schalk — The ancient catcher played 17 years with the White Sox, but a .253 lifetime average, 11 home runs and 594 RBIs have Schalk on the outside.
IN — Buck O’Neil — A first baseman and manager in the Negro Leagues, most notably with the Kansas City Monarchs, he later became the first black coach in the majors.
OUT — George Kelly — Despite six straight .300 seasons and four straight 100 RBI years, Highpockets, who had a nice career with the Giants and three other teams, gets the boot.
IN — Lou Whitaker — A mainstay with the Detroit Tigers for 19 seasons, Sweet Lou hit .276 with 244 homer runs and 1084 RBIs, He was Rookie of the Year in 1978.
OUT — Bill Mazeroski — The Pirates second baseman is best known for his dramatic home run that decided the 1960 World Series. Maz hit .260 lifetime with 138 homers.
IN — Bill Dahlen — His 20-year career spanned the 19th and 20th Centuries, and Bad Bill, left, hit.272 with 2457 hits and 547 stolen bases.
OUT — Joe Tinker — The Cubs shortstop of the Tinkers to Evers to Chance trio, his .262 lifetime average doesn’t cut it with this group.
IN — Ron Santo — This legendary Cubs third sacker had 342 home runs, 1331 RBIs and a .277 average, with five Gold Gloves and nine All-Star appearances.
OUT — George Kell — Perhaps the toughest cut, with only 10 3B in the Hall. Kell hit .306 lifetime and won a batting title in 1949, but was never much of a power hitter..
IN — Andre Dawson — Made his fame with the Expos and Cubs, hit 438 lifetime home runs, had 1591 RBIs, and was the 1987 National League MVP.
IN — Sherry Magee — A Phillie, Brave and Red from 1904-19, he led the league in RBIs four times and hit .291 lifetime, including a league-leading .331 in 1910.
IN — Tim Raines — A .294 lifetime hitter, Raines is fifth all-time in stolen bases with 808. The four players ahead of him, are all in the Hall of Fame.
OUT — Richie Ashburn — Hit .308 lifetime with a couple of batting titles, but only 29 career homers and 586 RBIs put Ashburn, right, on the pine.
OUT — Harry Hooper — Played with Red Sox and White Sox from 1909-25. Hooper played on four champions but hit just .281 in his career.
OUT — Ralph Kiner — This vaunted Pirates slugger won seven home run titles, but hit .just 279 in a brief 10-year, major league career.
IN — Ron Guidry — Louisiana Lightning fashioned a 170-91 record and a 3.29 ERA, and went 25-3 in 1978 while winning the Cy Young award with the Yankees.
IN — Tommy John — Anyone who has a surgery named after him is automatically eligible. John was a three-time, 20-game winner and had 288 career wins.
IN — Jim Kaat — Kitty played for 25 years, won 16 consecutive Gold Gloves, and was 283-237 while winning 20 games three times in his career.
IN — Firpo Marberry — Lost in the haze of history, Marberry was 148-88 lifetime, primarily with the Senators, and with 101 saves was the career leader from 1926-46.
IN — Tony Mullane — He had five straight 30-win campaigns on his way to 284 victories in the late 19th Century, mainly with the Cincinnati Red Stockings.
OUT — Jack Chesbro — This right-hander, with 198 career wins, made the Hall primarily on one great season, 41 wins for the New York Highlanders in 1904.
OUT — Ted Lyons — Just because Lyons, left, pitched for some mediocre White Sox teams his entire career doesn’t mean 260-230, 3.67 ERA all-time deserves the Hall.
OUT — Gaylord Perry — Granted, Gaylord was a 300-game winner and a Cy Young pitcher, but the spitballer lost 265…and he was an admitted cheater.
OUT — Robin Roberts — He won 20 games six straight seasons and 286 in his career, but no pitcher in history allowed more home runs (505) than Rockin’ Robin.
OUT — Eppa Rixey — Those who never saw him pitch wonder how this Phillies and Reds left-hander made the grade with a record just 15 games better than .500.