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VEB Historical Hall of Fame Ballot: Part Eleven

Two pitchers in the conversation for greatest of all time, the original home run king and Chris Carpenter

NLCS - St Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants - Game One

In case you missed it, I am keeping up the 10th ballot of the Hall of Fame voting for another day. Vote here. Another day with 31 members, so another day where you get 14 votes even with one less player than we’ve been doing.

Here’s a refresher in case you don’t remember from the last time or maybe this is your first time here. I wrote a primer here. In case you don’t want to read that, I said I would give the averages of the current Hall of Fame standards for context, though that is simply there to give you some sort of basis for how good something is. Here is the average Hall of Famer by position (PP = position players except catcher)

SP: 71 bWAR, 67 fWAR (3.8 bWAR per 200 IPs, 3.3 fWAR per 200 IP)

RP: 33.5 bWAR (1.6 WAR per 65 IP), 25.5 fWAR (1.3 WAR per 65 IP)

C: 53.7 WAR (3.9 WAR per 550 PAs)

PP: 68 WAR (4.4 WAR per 600 PAs)

Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs evaluate pitchers differently. There was not an appreciable difference in how they evaluated hitters, at least not on a macro scale. Individually, sure we will see some differences. But they had virtually identical career WAR and WAR per 600 PAs figures. Next, the average Hall of Fame peak by their seven best seasons and their JAWS, which factors in peak with career total.

SP: 40.7 bWAR Peak, 61.4 JAWS

RP: 23.4 bWAR Peak, 29.7 JAWS

C: 34.7 bWAR Peak, 44.2 JAWS

PP: 43.1 bWAR Peak, 55.8 JAWS

Yeah trying to figure out the fWAR peaks was... way too much work. And for position players and catchers, it would probably be the same. Just mentally downgrade a couple WAR for Fangraphs pitching and it’ll probably be right. So that’s... pretty much all the information and context you’ll need. Now the players.

John “Home Run” Baker (3B)

Career: 62.8 bWAR, 60.1 fWAR, 54.8 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 5.6 bWAR, 5.4 fWAR)

Peak: 46.8 bWAR, 45.1 fWAR

Acc: None (played from 1908 to 1922, predating ASG and awards)

4-WAR seasons: 9 by bWAR, 8 by fWAR

One notable stat: Baker had just 96 career home runs, but he played during the Deadball era and was the original home run king. He led the league in homers for four straight seasons from 1911 to 1914.

Profile: After playing a few seasons in semipro and minor leagues, he was purchased by Connie Mack of the Athletics in 1908 towards the end of the year. He was looking for someone to replace Eddie Collins, which he found in Home Run Baker, who in 1909 immediately became the 3B starter. In 1910, Baker batted .409 with four extra base hits in the World Series, leading to a victory. The next season he began his run that earned him the nickname home run. He also hit two homers in the World Series in another victory. He added another home run in the 1913 World Series and another victory. I think, more than the regular season, these are the homers that earned him his nickname. In a dispute with Mack over salary, he simply played for his local team and didn’t play at all in the majors in 1915. Under pressure, Mack was forced to sell him to the Yankees. He hit 10 homers twice in the next four seasons, but in 1921, when his wife died, he announced he was retiring. A few months into the season, he returned though, and hit 9 homers in 94 games. He retired in 1922 after just 258 PAs. 12 ballots on the writer’s failed to nominate him, but the Veteran’s Committee did in 1955.

Bert Blyleven (SP)

Career 96.1 bWAR, 102.9 fWAR, 72.4 JAWS (per his 225 IP average: 4.4 bWAR, 4.7 fWAR)

Peak: 50.3 bWAR, 52.2 fWAR

Acc: 2-time All-Star

4-WAR seasons: 14 by bWAR, 13 by fWAR

One notable stat: Blyleven has the 9th most shutouts in baseball history, leading the league in shutouts when he was 22, 34 and 38. In total, he had 60 career shutouts.

Profile: Blyleven was actually born in the Netherlands and was originally Rik Aalbert. They moved to Canada when he was two and California when he was five. He grew up listening to Vin Scully and got drafted in the 3rd round by the Minnesota Twins in 1969. The Sporting News named him AL Rookie Pitcher of the Year as just a 19-year-old in 1970. He added a changeup to pair with his curve and fastball for his sophomore campaign and started a string of six straight seasons with at least 275 innings and a high of a 3.00 ERA. In 1974, he demanded his salary double and though he got a raise, it did raise tensions between him and the owner. He demanded a trade after the 1975 season and when he didn’t get one, he played without a salary to begin 1976. He was traded a day after giving the fans the finger when they booed him off the mound. He played the rest of that year with the Rangers and one more in 1977. He signed a six year deal and then was immediately traded to Pittsburgh. He spent three seasons there, including winning two games in the World Series winning 1979 squad. He was traded to Cleveland following the 1980 season when he walked out on the team for a little bit in frustration. He missed most of 1982 and the 2nd of half 1983 to arm injuries. In 1984, he threw 245 innings. At this point though, he was once again demanding a trade, a wish he was granted in the middle of 1985 back to the Twins. After winning another World Series in 1987 and then leading the league in ERA and losses in 1988 he was traded to the Angels, where he finished out his career, pitching until he was 41, in fact he missed all of 1991 to a torn rotator cuff and to everyone’s suprise, returned for another year. He wasn’t voted in by the writer’s until the 14th try.

Wade Boggs (3B)

Career 91.4 bWAR, 88.3 fWAR, 73.9 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 5.1 bWAR, 4.9 fWAR)

Peak: 56.4 bWAR, 56.2 fWAR

Acc: 12-time All-Star, 8-time Silver Slugger, 2-time batting title, 2-time Gold Glover

4-WAR seasons: 11 by bWAR, 10 by fWAR

One notable stat: Wade Boggs claims to have drank 107 beers on a cross country flight. Ex-teammates have said between 50-70. I personally do not believe Wade Boggs on this one, but I’m sure he drank more than I can ever drink.

Profile: Boggs grew up in Florida, playing both football and baseball. He was a QB until his senior season, when he switched positions to avoid injury, which was probably smart in the 1970s but is funny to hear now. He was drafted in the 7th round out of high school by the Red Sox. Boggs spent a long time in the minors, not being added to the 40 man until the 1982 season. He played 3B and the incumbent 3B was Carney Lansford, who had won the batting title in 1981. But at 24, he made the team out of spring training as a utility player, eventually getting nearly 400 plate appearances. Lansford was traded and Boggs became the starter, winning his first of five batting titles in a span of six years. He didn’t make his first All-Star game until 1985 and then he made the next 11 in a row. The Red Sox made the World Series in 1986 and though he did not have a particularly good postseason, he did in both 1988 and 1990, but both times the Red Sox were swept in the ALCS. Before the 1992 season, Boggs thought he had a five year contract, but when the owner died, new management offered a year and an option. He signed with the Yankees in the offseason. He spent five years as a Yankee, oddly enough having his worst postseason when they won it all. He played his last two years in Tampa Bay, retiring at 41. He was first ballot.

Chris Carpenter (SP)

Career 35.1 bWAR, 37.9 fWAR, 31.8 JAWS (per 200 IP: 3.2 bWAR, 3.4 fWAR)

Peak: 29.3 bWAR, 29.8 fWAR

Acc: Cy Young, 3-time All-Star, ERA title

4-WAR seasons: 3 by bWAR, 4 by fWAR

One notable stat: While his advanced stats are not necessarily anything special, I would be remiss as a Cardinals fan not to mention his 10-4 record in the playoffs with a 3.00 ERA. Oddly enough, I remember him being better than his 3.25 ERA in 2011.

Profile: Carpenter was All-State in his New Hampshire high school in both baseball and hockey. Out of high school, the Blue Jays selected him with the 15th overall pick in the 1993 MLB Draft. By 1995, he had become a top 100 prospect according to Baseball America and he rose as high as 28th by 1997. 1997 was also when he made his debut, making 13 okay starts at 22-years-old. His tenure as a Blue Jay was rife with injuries and ineffectiveness. He moved to the bullpen in both 1998 and 1999, and had both his 2000 and 2002 seasons heavily impacted by injuries. His 2001 was his only healthy and effective season. After they nontendered him following 2002, he signed with the Cardinals, though he missed 2003 as well. In 2004, Carpenter won the NL Comeback Player of the Year but was forced to miss the postseason to injury. The next year he won the NL Cy Young. In 2006, he helped lead the Cardinals to a World Series. He missed just about all of 2007 and 2008, but was reasonably healthy for the next three years, winning a second World Series in 2011. But he only made 3 starts in 2012 and missed 2013, retiring at 38. He was on just one Hall of Fame ballot.

Lenny Dykstra (OF)

Career 42.4 bWAR, 40.3 fWAR, 37.7 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 4.4 bWAR, 4.7 fWAR)

Peak: 33 bWAR, 31.3 fWAR

Acc: 3-time All-Star, Silver Slugger

4-WAR seasons: 3 by bWAR and fWAR

One notable stat: If clutch is a thing, Dykstra was clutch in the postseason. In comparison to 81 career homers, a .285 average, and 122 wRC+, Dykstra batted .321 with 10 homers and a 195 wRC+ in 136 PAs in the postseason.

Profile: Dykstra was all-league, all-county, and all-state in both his junior and senior seasons in high school. He was drafted in the 13th round by the Mets in 1981. Dykstra excelled in the minors and when Mookie Wilson got hurt in the middle of 1985, Dykstra was promoted to the majors at 22-years-old. The next season, he stole Mookie’s job in CF forcing him to move to LF. With the help of his 147 wRC+, the Mets won the 1986 World Series. After being on the strong side of the platoon for the next few seasons, the Mets traded him in the middle of 1989 because he was a little on the crazy side. He struggled with the Phillies to end 1989, but had his best season the next year, making the All-Star game and getting 9th in MVP voting. In 1991, he missed two months from crashing when driving drunk and later re-broke his collarbone running into the outfield wall. He broke his hand on Opening Day in 1992 on a hit by pitch. But in 1993, he played in 161 games, the Phillies won the NL pennant, and Dykstra had a whopping 202 wRC+ in the playoffs. Dykstra said beginning in 1993 season, he hired private investigators to dig up dirt on umpires to get a more favorable strike zone. His last three seasons as a Phillie were marred by injuries and though he tried to play as late as 1998, his career was over at 33. He was on just one Hall of Fame ballot.

Bob Elliott (3B/OF)

Career 51 bWAR, 50.5 fWAR, 43 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 3.7 bWAR and fWAR)

Peak: 35 bWAR, 34.6 fWAR

Acc: MVP, 7-time All-Star

4-WAR seasons: 6 by bWAR and fWAR

One notable stat: He was the second third baseman to have five seasons of at least 100 RBIs (after Pie Traynor) and had the highest slugging percentage of any 3B at the time of his retirement (.440)

Profile: Elliot got his break in the MLB when a sergeant summoned him to play for his semipro team and then recommended him to a former MLB player who told the president of the Pirates about him. He signed in 1936 at 19-years-old and after a few seasons in the minors, debuted late in the 1939 season at 22-years-old. He hit the ground running with a 139 wRC+ in 32 games. He wasn’t quite that good after that, having a couple average seasons after that. Before the 1942 season, the Pirates lost their starting 3B to World War II, so Elliott moved from OF to 3B. That same year his bat exploded and he kept pace for the next three seasons. There is an account that he was denied military service because of a head injury sustained playing baseball. Whatever the reason, he never got called. After a couple of okay seasons in 1945 and 1946, he was traded to the Boston Braves. After not hitting any more than 10 homers as a Pirate, he hit 22 and 23 in his first two years as a Brave. In fact, he won MVP in his first season and in his second, he hit two homers in a 6-game losing effort in the World Series. He had three more good seasons, but after a salary dispute and an upcoming 3B in their system, he was traded to the Giants. He only had 313 PAs, and was released at the end of the year. He played one more season, with the Browns and then a trade to the White Sox. He didn’t retire, playing in the minors after, but his career was done at 36. He was on three HOF ballots without much support.

Larry French (SP)

Career 45 bWAR, 43.7 fWAR, 38.4 JAWS (per his 225 IP average: 3.2 bWAR, 3.1 fWAR)

Peak: 31.4 bWAR, 28.5 fWAR

Acc: 1-time All-Star (first All-Star game ever was in his 5th season)

4-WAR seasons: 5 by bWAR, 4 by fWAR

One notable stat: He wasn’t a bad pitcher in those years, but he has to be on the short list of pitchers who lead the league in hits allowed for three consecutive seasons. He was 1st and 2nd in TBF in that span to be fair.

Profile: After building a reputation as a prized prospect, French was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1929. He was shaky in his rookie year and missed time to injury, but in his second season - at 22-years-old - French threw nearly 275 innings, a feat he repeated for the next four years. French became known for his screwball. After the 1934 season, he was traded to the Cubs. The Cubs made the World Series in his first season, but he lost two games in a lost series. He had steadily declining numbers, but still managed over 200 innings the next three seasons, the last of which the Cubs also lost in the World Series, with French only pitching in relief. He had a slight rejuvenation in 1940, making 33 starts, but the next year he seemed washed up and was put on waivers. The Dodgers claimed him, and in 1943 spring training, started throwing a knuckleball that led to a 1.83 ERA in 147 innings as a swingman. He enlisted in the Navy before the 1943 season and ended up staying there, serving for 27 years. His career was over at 34. He was not on a Hall of Fame ballot.

Lefty Gomez (SP)

Career 43.2 bWAR, 34.6 fWAR, 37.4 JAWS (per his 214 IP average: 3.7 bWAR, 3 fWAR)

Peak: 36.1 bWAR, 30 fWAR

Acc: 7-time All-Star, 2-time Triple Crown, 2-time ERA title

4-WAR seasons: 5 by bWAR, 4 by fWAR

One notable stat: Gomez was 6-0 in 7 World Series starts with a 2.86 ERA. He did play for the Yankees so I’m sure the run support was great, but he still pitched better than his career 3.34 ERA.

Profile: Gomez’s baseball career started when he was 13, playing in local sandlot games. He tried out for the minor league team San Francisco Seals, but was told to come back when he “fattened up” since he was 6’2, 125 pounds. Four years later, after continuing to try out, the Seals finally signed him in 1927 at 18. He was sent to a lower level in his first season and in 1929, started the year in the bullpen, but eventually impressed enough to get signed by the Yankees. Over the offseason, the Yankees sent him to a health farm to gain weight, which they did for the next two offseason as well. He started the year in the bullpen and ended up getting sent back down to the minors to get some work. He also started 1931 in the bullpen, but ended up making 26 starts. It was the start of five straight years with at least 230 innings for Gomez. In 1932, he won his only World Series outing with a one run complete game as the Yanks swept the Cubs. In 1933, he made his first of seven straight All-Star trips. In 1936, he made 30 starts, but battled a sore arm all year and didn’t throw 200 innings, but the Yankees made the World Series and Gomez again went 2-0 in his two starts in a Yankees win. He rebounded to throw 278 innings the next year and 239 the year after, going 3-0 in two World Series games across the two years, both Yankees wins. Gomez was limited by injuries in 1939 and he could only throw one inning in the World Series. He made 41 starts in the next three years, constantly battling injuries. He was released after 1942, and made just one more start, before his career was done at 34. He did not make it on 15 writer’s ballots, but by the Veteran’s Committee in 1972.

Luis Gonzalez (OF)

Career 51.6 bWAR, 55.2 fWAR, 42.7 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 2.9 bWAR, 3.1 fWAR)

Peak: 33.8 bWAR, 52.2 fWAR

Acc: 5-time All-Star, Silver Slugger

4-WAR seasons: 4 by bWAR, 5 by fWAR

One notable stat: Gonzalez did not win a Gold Glove, but maybe he should have. As a left fielder in the beginning of his career, he was on average a +12 fielder by Total Zone in his first 9 seasons.

Profile: Gonzalez was born in Tampa, attending the same high school as future MLBer Tino Martinez. He attended the University of South Alabama, and was drafted in the 4th round of the 1988 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros. He quickly made the majors, debuting during the September callups in 1990. He became a starter the next season at 23-years-old and except for one great season in 1993, he was mostly just okay at Houston. After a slow 1st half to the 1995 season, he was traded to the Cubs. He spent 1996 with them and then signed a one-year deal with the Astros in 1997. He made his first postseason, but it was an early exit. He then signed a deal with the Tigers, and he hit the first ever homer at Tropicana Park. He was traded to the Diamondbacks and at 31-years-old, he made his first All-Star team. For the next two years, he appeared in every game, and in 2001, he was 3rd in MVP voting and got the game winning hit in Game 7 of the World Series. He made his third and 4th All-Star teams in the following seasons and after a down year, his fifth and final one in 2005. He played his last two seasons on one-year deals to the Dodgers and Marlins, retiring at 40-years-old. He was on just one ballot.

Noodles Hahn (SP)

Career 46 bWAR, 39.4 fWAR, 44.5 JAWS (per his 253 IP average: 5.7 bWAR, 5 fWAR)

Peak: 44.5 bWAR, 38.6 fWAR

Acc: None (played his last game in 1906 before even the Chalmers award or any ASG)

4-WAR seasons: 6 by bWAR and by fWAR

One notable stat: Here’s a real fun fact. Noodles Han was the last pitcher throw a no hitter in the 19th century and the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the 20th century.

Profile: There are a few different explanations for his nickname, but all of them involve him carrying, enjoying, or selling noodle soup. He was only 16 when he joined his first minor league team and 19 when he was at his first big league camp. Acquired by the Reds before the 1899 season, he ended up throwing over 300 innings. He began his career with at least 296 innings in his first six seasons, becoming the youngest player to reach 100 wins and he still is the 2nd youngest after Bob Feller. The innings caught up with him in 1905, as he was only able to throw 77 innings and was released by the Reds. The New York Highlanders gave him a chance, but he made just 6 starts. At the end of the season, he asked for his release and retired. He was only 27.

Elston Howard (C)

Career 27 bWAR, 31.3 fWAR, 26.8 JAWS (per 550 PAs: 2.5 bWAR, 2.9 fWAR)

Peak: 26.5 bWAR, 28.9 fWAR

Acc: MVP, 12-time All-Star (3 years had two ASG), 2-time Gold Glover

4-WAR seasons: 3 by bWAR, 4 by fWAR

One notable stat: Howard was pretty good at catching runners trying to steal. He was in the top 10 in eight seasons of his career, placing 1st once and 2nd twice.

Profile: Howard was born in St. Louis and was a standout athlete at Vashon High School. He passed up a football scholarship at 19 to play for the Kansas City Monarchs. He signed with the Yankees in 1950, but missed the following two years to service in the Korean War. In 1954, he was converted to catcher, but completely blocked by Yogi Berra. It may have been intentional to block his entrance to the majors, as the Yankees had not integrated at that point. But in 1955, he made the team out of spring training, playing both catcher behind Berra (who won MVP) and in the outfield occasionally. He hit homers in the 1955, 1956, and 1957 World Series. In 1957, he made his first All-Star game despite not having a position. In 1959, he started playing 1B as well as catcher. In 1960, he finally took over the main catching duties. In 1961, Howard hit .348 and reached the 20 HR mark for the first time. In 1963, he won his first and only MVP and in 1965, he made his last All-Star game. His bat collapsed in 1967 and he was traded to the Red Sox at the end of the year. His bat rebounded some in his last year, but he retired at 39 at the end of the year. He was on 15 Hall of Fame ballots by the writers, but topped at 20.7%.

Larry Jackson (SP)

Career 52.6 bWAR, 53.9 fWAR, 43.8 JAWS (per his 233 IP average: 3.8 bWAR and fWAR)

Peak: 35.6 bWAR, 37.4 fWAR

Acc: 5-time All-Star

4-WAR seasons: 6 by bWAR and by fWAR

One notable stat: Jackson has the most wins of any MLB pitcher ever for someone who never once played for a first place team with 194 wins in his career.

Profile: I wrote an entire article about Larry Jackson, which I am posting here. Just to give you an idea, it’s titled “the forgotten Cardinal great” so it’s pretty positive. He played for the Cards to start his career, the Cubs in the middle (and his peak), and the Phillies to end it.

Harmon Killebrew (1B/3B)

Career 60.3 bWAR, 66.1 fWAR, 49.2 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 3.7 bWAR and 4 fWAR)

Peak: 38.1 bWAR, 41.4 fWAR

Acc: MVP, 13-time All-Star (2 years had two All-Star games)

4-WAR seasons: 9 by bWAR and by fWAR

One notable stat: At the time of retirement, Killebrew had the fifth most homers ever, the second most in the American League, and the most by a right-handed batter in the AL with 573 career HRs.

Profile: In high school in Idaho, Killebrew was an All-American quarterback and was offered a scholarship to Oregon, but declined. After dominating a semipro league, he was recommended to the Senators by an Idaho senator, and the Senators promptly signed him in 1954. At the time, there was a Bonus Rule, which stipulated that a player must be on the MLB roster for two years if they sign over a certain amount. He debuted six days after his 18th birthday in July, but only played in 9 games the rest of the year. He struggled with strikeouts in the first part of career, and when he could first be sent down, he spent his first three seasons mostly in the minors. In 1959, at the age of 23, he became the starting 3B and hit 42 homers in his breakout season. In his sophomore campaign, he struggled with injuries but still hit over 30 HRs. In 1961, the franchise moved to Minnesota and with it the start of a 40-HR streak of four straight years. In 1962, he played primarily LF for the next three years. His streak ended when he missed over 30 games in 1965, but the Twins made the World Series and though Killebrew did his part, the Twins lost. When Killebrew was healthy, he usually hit 40 HRs. He didn’t in 1968, when he only played in 100 games. The Twins made the playoffs in 1969 and 1970, but got swept both years. He won his only MVP in 1969 as well. His age and injuries caught up with him by 1973, and he was released after 1974. He played one more year, then retired at 39. He made the Hall on four tries by the writers.

Tony Lazzeri (2B)

Career 47.6 bWAR, 50.1 fWAR, 40.8 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 3.9 bWAR and 4.1 fWAR)

Peak: 34 bWAR, 34.4 fWAR

Acc: 1-time All-Star (first All-Star game in eighth season)

4-WAR seasons: 4 by bWAR, 5 by fWAR

One notable stat: Lazerri is the only player to end a “natural cycle (1B, 2B, 3B, HR in order) with a grand slam. Also the first MLBer to hit for two grand slams in one game, and holds AL record with 11 RBIs in one game.

Profile: Lazzeri was born in San Francisco to two parents who emigrated from Italy. He was expelled from school at 15, and went to work with his father as a boilermaker. At the same time, he played semipro baseball and trained to be a prizefighter. He tried out and made a PCL team in 1922, but was demoted in 1923. He found himself back there in 1925, where he hit .355 with 60 HRs and 222 RBIs. The Yankees signed him after the season after the Cubs passed due to his epilepsy. He debuted the next season at 22 for the 1926 Yankees. In his first three seasons, he was top 11 in MVP voting for the short-lived league MVP awards prior the “official” one existing. There was no AL MVP award in 1929, but he had a good chance of it winning it, with the best season of his career. In 1932, he made his fourth World Series, but it was his first that he actually hit, hitting two homers in the four games. In 1933, he made his only All-Star game in the first one that ever existed. He had four more above average seasons as a Yankee, with the Yankees releasing him at the end of 1937. He signed a player-coach for the Cubs in 1938, then was released at the end of the year. In 1939, he played for two teams, both of whom released him before the All-Star break. He didn’t retire, playing or managing in the minors until 1942, but his MLB career was done at 35. He was on 15 HOF ballots, but didn’t make it until 1991 by the Veteran’s Committee.

Freddie Lindstrom (3B/OF)

Career 28.3 bWAR, 30.6 fWAR, 27.4 JAWS (per his 233 IP average: 2.8 bWAR and 3 fWAR)

Peak: 26.4 bWAR, 28 fWAR

Acc: None (no All-Star game until his 10th season)

4-WAR seasons: 2 by bWAR, 3 by fWAR

One notable stat: Lindstrom was considered a great fielder for his team, and if he really was, the fielding stats underrate him. He was +16 in his career, which was only +3 per 150 games.

Profile: A diehard White Sox fan growing up, he signed a contract with the New York Giants at age 16. He was sent to the highest level of the minors for the next couple seasons. Towards the end of 1924, he was called up when the Giants’ starting 3B got hurt. He even played in the World Series, and at 18 months, 10 months, and 13 days, he is the youngest player to appear in a World Series still. He batted .333. In 1925, he played in 104 games and still just 20 in 1927, he played in 140 games. In 1930, he became the first ever 3B to hit more than 20 homers in a season. In the 1931 season, Lindstrom broke his ankle sliding in to 3rd base and had back problems that necessitated a move to the outfield. When McGraw stepped down and Lindstrom was passed over for manager, he was outspoken about his displeasure which led to a trade to the Pirates in 1933. He had one more great year in his first year as a Pirate, but he was traded to the Cubs after his second year. Injuries and ineffectiveness led to his release. After 30 games with the Dodgers, he asked for his release. His career, started so young, ended very young, at 30-years-old. He was on five ballots from the writers with a high of 4.4%, but in 1975, the Veteran’s Committee elected him.

Kenny Lofton (OF)

Career 68.4 bWAR, 62.4 fWAR, 55.9 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 4.4 bWAR and 4 fWAR)

Peak: 43.4 bWAR, 39.6 fWAR

Acc: 6-time All-Star, 4-time Gold Glover

4-WAR seasons: 8 by bWAR, 7 by fWAR

One notable stat: Lofton has the 15th most stolen bases ever, ranking 1st in the AL five times in his career. He also has the postseason record for most SBs with 34.

Profile: In high school, Lofton was all-state in basketball while also playing pitcher and centerfield on the baseball team. He accepted a scholarship to play basketball for the University of Arizona. Lofton is one of only two men to play basketball in the Final Four (though he was backup that year) and MLB World Series. Lofton decided to try out for the baseball team his junior year and despite barely playing, his speed and potential got him drafted in the 17th round by the Astros in 1988. Lofton made his MLB debut three years later during September callups. In the offseason, he was traded to Cleveland and in his first season, he stole 66 bases and was 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting. He stole at least 50 bases in six of his first seven seasons. On the AL pennant winning Cleveland squad in 1995, he stole 11 bases in the postseason with a .375 OBP. Before the 1997 season, Lofton was traded to Atlanta in a blockbuster trade. When free agency hit, he signed for three years with Cleveland again. Coming off a down year in the last year, he signed a one-year deal with the White Sox, who traded him to the Giants before the year was up, with his season ending in a World Series loss. He again signed a one-year deal with the Pirates and was traded to the Cubs to end 2003. He signed a two year deal with the Yankees, but was traded to the Phillies in his second year. He signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers, and then the Rangers who traded him to Cleveland again. He retired at the end of the season at 40-years-old. He was one just one Hall of Fame ballot.

Ted Lyons (SP)

Career 66.8 bWAR, 54.6 fWAR, 43.8 JAWS (per his 212 IP average: 3.4 bWAR and fWAR)

Peak: 35.6 bWAR, 30.1 fWAR

Acc: 1-time All-Star, ERA title

4-WAR seasons: 9 by bWAR, 3 by fWAR

One notable stat: Lyons has the fourth highest ERA among pitchers inducted in the Hall of Fame and is the only pitcher with more walks than strikeouts in the Hall of Fame.

Profile: Lyons was a three-sport star at Baylor University - baseball, basketball, and track. Despite advice from his coach to stop pitching, he became the team’s pitching star. When the White Sox trained in spring training, some big leaguers visited Baylor’s field and after throwing to future Hall of Famer Ray Schalk, Schalk recommended the manager sign him. As soon as Lyons graduated, they did. He never played in the minors, throwing 22 innings in his first season at 22-years-old. In his second, he split his duties starting and relieving, but he had his first good season in 1925. This started a six-year stretch where Lyons was the workhorse of the staff, leading in innings twice and being in second two other times. He also led the league in complete games twice. In 1931, he only threw 101 innings due to a sore shoulder and more importantly, his fastball was significantly diminished. He started throwing a knuckleball and became a junkball pitcher. After a bounceback season, he threw three straight 200+ IP seasons, but with diminishing returns. In 1935, he became a Sunday only pitcher. This lengthened his career, as he never threw 200 innings again, but made 20 starts a year and pitched into his age 41 season. In fact, when he was 41, he threw a complete game in all 20 starts. He joined the Marine Corps during World War II, missing the next three seasons and made a go of it at 45-years-old in 1946. He had five starts with a 2.32 ERA when he was surprised to get hired as manager. He removed himself from the rotation and that was the end of his playing career. He was voted in by the writer’s on his 11th attempt.

Roger Maris (OF)

Career 38.2 bWAR, 36.9 fWAR, 35.3 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 3.9 bWAR, 3.8 fWAR)

Peak: 32.3 bWAR, 31.5 fWAR

Acc: 2-time MVP, 7-time All-Star, Gold Glover

4-WAR seasons: 2 by bWAR, 3 by fWAR

One notable stat: What else? In 1961, Roger Maris hit 61 home runs. For his day, it was controversial. The season had recently increased from 154 games to 162 games and he hit the 61st on the last day of the season.

Profile: Maris was born in Minnesota, but grew up in North Dakota. He played both baseball and football in high school, setting a national record for most return touchdowns in a game (4), a record that still stands. At 18, he signed with the Cleveland Indians organization, spending three years in their minor league system before debuting in 1957 as a 22-year-old. He was traded to the Kansas City Athletics in the middle of the 1958 season. He made his first All-Star game in 1959, though he missed a good portion of the 2nd half due to getting his appendix removed. In the offseason, the Yankees traded for him. He exploded as a Yankee. He hit 39 homers and won MVP. Then the 1961 season. On a personal level, this was his downfall. As he and Mickey Mantle chased 60, the media scrutiny became unbearable for Maris and he was not used to dealing with the media. It did not help that Yankees fans weren’t really rooting for him to break the record. But he did, and despite Ford Frick’s claim that he needed to do it in 154 games, his name was in the record books. He won his second MVP. While he was worse the next year, he was still a good player and he was a good player the following year as well, but injuries limited him to less than 100 games. Injuries devastated his 1965 and 1966 too, leading to a trade to the Cardinals. He rebounded in 1967 and even had a great World Series leading to a Cards championship, but 1968 was again plagued by injuries and he retired at just 33-years-old after the season. He was on 15 Hall of Fame ballots, topping at 43.1%.

Christy Matthewson (SP)

Career 100.4 bWAR, 90 fWAR, 88.4 JAWS (per his 312 IP average: 6.5 bWAR, 5.9 fWAR)

Peak: 70.2 bWAR, 57.1 fWAR

Acc: 2-time Triple Crown, 5-time ERA title

4-WAR seasons: 12 by bWAR, 13 by fWAR

One notable stat: Pick a stat, Matthewson probably led the league in it. He led the league in wins (x4), ERA (x5), games (once), games started (x2), complete games (x2), shutouts (x4), innings (once), hits allowed (x3), earned runs (once), strikeouts (x5), wild pitches (x3), ERA+ (x6), FIP (x8), WHIP (x4), homers allowed (x2), lowest H/9 (once), lowest BB/9 (x7), K/9 (once), and K/BB ratio (x9).

Profile: When Matthewson attended Bucknell University, football was actually his claim to fame. He was the first-string fullback, punter, and drop kicker. He was also an excellent student, was class president, joined the band, glee club, two literary societies and fraternities. After dominating in the minors, he was sold to the New York Giants. He debuted in July but barely played. He had his first great year the next season, at just 20-years-old. In 1904, Matthews made 42 starts and threw 366.1 IP, and the next season he matched those numbers. In the 1905 World Series, Matthewson made three starts and didn’t allow a run, winning all three games. His peak though, was probably the 1908 season. He threw 390.2 IP with a 1.43 ERA. He had 259 strikeouts to just 42 walks. The Giants made three straight World Series from 1911 to 1913. He made 8 combined starts, all complete games, with 11 earned runs total, though somehow went 2-5. In 1914, he started experiencing pain in his left side, but doctors could find nothing wrong. He played another season with less than 200 innings, and a final one in 1916. He asked to be traded so he could manage, and he was to the Reds, where he made a final start at 35-years-old. He was elected on the first ever Hall of Fame ballot with over 90% of the vote.

Joe Medwick (OF)

Career 54.5 bWAR, 54.6 fWAR, 46.9 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 4 bWAR and fWAR)

Peak: 39.3 bWAR, 38.6 fWAR

Acc: MVP, 10-time All-Star, Triple Crown, batting title

4-WAR seasons: 7 by bWAR, 6 by fWAR

One notable stat: During his MVP season, Medwick won the Triple Crown. In addition to the Triple Crown stats, he led the league in runs scored, doubles, slugging, OPS, OPS+ and total bases. He was the last NL player to do it.

Profile: Medwick was born to Hungarian parents, who had emigrated to the US prior to his birth. He was a four-sport star in high school - track, football, and basketball - and had offers to play football in college, but he preferred baseball. He signed with the Cardinals at 18 in 1930. By 1932, he had made his MLB debut and gotten his nickname, Ducky. He didn’t like the nickname and wanted to be called Muscles. Sorry, Joe, not how nicknames work. By the next season, he was a full-blown star. He made his first All-Star game in 1934 at 22 and also batted .379 with a homer in the World Series, and from 1935 to 1937, he was top 5 in MVP voting each year. In 1936, he set an NL record with 64 doubles, a mark that still stands. Because of salary disputes, Medwick got traded in the middle of 1940 to the Brooklyn Dodgers. That was the also the year he made the last of his seven straight All-Star games, although he was back in 1942. After a poor start in 1943, he was traded to the New York Giants in the middle of the year. He had one more great year in 1944, then his plate appearances took a nosedive in the following years. He was traded to the Boston Braves in the middle of 1945. He spent his last two years as a Cardinal, nearly exclusively as a pinch hitter. His career was done at 36. He was elected on his 11th ballot by the writers.

Minnie Miñoso (OF)

Career 53.8 bWAR, 50.8 fWAR, 46.8 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 3.9 bWAR, 5.9 fWAR)

Peak: 39.8 bWAR, 39.6 fWAR

Acc: 13-time All-Star (two had two ASGs), 3-time Gold Glover

4-WAR seasons: 8 by bWAR, 9 by fWAR

One notable stat: Miñoso made getting hit a part of his game. He led the league 10 times in his career and spent 14 seasons in the top 10. He is 11th all-time in HBPs.

Profile: Miñoso was born in Cuba, quitting school as a preteen to work in the cane fields and play ball. He played primarily catcher until a follow through swing whacked him in the head and his mother demanded he play a different position. In 1946, he signed with a Negro League team and was approached by the Mexican League, but hearing that MLB was banning players who jumped to the Mexican League and with the news of Jackie Robinson signing, he stayed in the US. While scouting another player on his team, Abe Saperstein saw Miñoso and recommended him to Bill Veeck of the Cleveland Indians. They signed him towards the end of the 1948 season, with Larry Doby having already broken the color barrier for the American League. At 23, he made his MLB debut the next season, but spent most of the year in the minors and all of 1950 in the minors. In 1951, he spent most of April on the bench before being traded to the White Sox. He was 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting, 4th in MVP voting, and made his first All-Star game. He made two more All-Star games the next two seasons, also leading the league in steals. After his rookie season, he moved from third base to outfield. He was traded back to Cleveland after the 1957 season. After the 1959 season, he was traded back to the White Sox. He made his final All-Star game - two really - in his first year as a White Sox. After two seasons, he was traded to the Cardinals, but he played just 39 games due to injury. He purchased by the Senators as a fourth outfielder and was released at the end of the season. That was the end of his career, until Bill Veeck got control of the White Sox and had the 50-year-old hired as a coach and convinced him to play a couple games. He also had two plate appearances at 54 in 1980. The writers did not vote him in on 15 tries, but Golden Days Era committee did earlier this year.

Jaime Moyer (SP)

Career 50 WAR, 48 fWAR, 41.3 JAWS (per 200 IP: 2.5 bWAR, 2.4 fWAR)

Peak: 32.8 bWAR, 26.8 fWAR

Acc: 1-time All-Star

4-WAR seasons: 4 by bWAR, 2 by fWAR

One notable stat: Moyer is one of only two pitchers to have 100 or more wins at the age of 40 or older, the other pitcher being Phil Niekro. He has the 2nd most games started at 40 or older, also behind Niekro.

Profile: Despite being a dominant pitcher in high school, Moyer went undrafted due to the lack of speed on his fastball. He went St. Joseph’s for college and learned to throw a changeup in addition to his fastball-curve that worked for him in high school. He was drafted in the 6th round of the 1984 MLB Draft. He reached the majors fairly, quickly debuting in 1986 at 23-years-old, making 16 starts. He spent the following two years in the rotation, one bad one, one good one. The good one came in his 2nd season and led to a trade to the Rangers. Due to a lat strain, he made just 15 starts in his first season. He mostly pitched in the bullpen in 1990 and was released following the season. He signed with the Cards, and he made 7 bad starts and was sent to AAA. He was released after the season. He signed with the Tigers AAA team in May the next year, and pitched well but was never promoted. He again signed a minor league deal in 1993 with the Orioles, and after eight starts, was promoted to the majors. He was good that year, less good in the following two seasons with the Orioles. He signed with the Red Sox in 1996, splitting between starting and relieving, before getting traded to the Mariners at the deadline. He pitched well in 11 starts and then stayed in Seattle for the next 9 and a half seasons. At 43-years-old, he was traded to the Phillies. He spent the next four seasons with the Phillies, including winning his first ring. At 47-years-old, following a season where he only started 19 games, he tore his UCL and required Tommy John. He missed the next year, but made 10 starts in 2012. He became the oldest pitcher to earn a win and oldest player to record an RBI, but was released in May. He made 5 starts in the minors after that for two different teams, and when the second release him, he finally retired. He was on one Hall of Fame ballot.

Bobo Newsom (SP)

Career 51.3 bWAR, 55.9 fWAR, 42.1 JAWS (per his 259 IP average: 3.5 bWAR, 3.9 fWAR)

Peak: 36.4 bWAR, 34.4 fWAR

Acc: 4-time All-Star

4-WAR seasons: 5 by bWAR, 7 by fWAR

One notable stat: This is a consequence of his long career more than anything, but he “led” the league in walks twice, and is 6th all-time in walks given out.

Profile: Newsom, who got the nickname ‘Bobo’ because he could never remember people’s name and just called them Bobo leading to him being called Bobo, made his MLB debut late in the 1930 season for the Brooklyn Dodgers at 21-years-old. He pitched just 3 innings in the following season and was drafted by the Cubs in the Rule 5 draft in the offseason. He pitched an inning and after not pitching in 1933, was drafted by the Browns in the Rule 5 draft. He finally stuck, starting 32 games and throwing over 250 IP. After just six starts in 1935, he was purchased by the Washington Senators. He finished the year with them, played a full season, and was again traded towards the beginning of the 1937 season, this time to the Boston Red Sox. He only played half a season before a trade back to the Browns. He spent a season and six starts, then was traded to the Tigers. He was stuck with the Tigers for a bit longer, finishing out 1939 and spending the next two years there. But in 1942, he was purchased by the Senators, and before that year was over purchased by the Dodgers. After angering manager Leo Durocher, he was traded to the Browns again, who then sold him to the Senators again. After the season, traded to the Athletics. He spent two seasons with the Athletics, plus 10 starts before getting released and then signed by… the Senators again. The Yankees purchased him in the middle of 1947, released him at the end of the year, then he signed with the Giants. He got released, didn’t play in the majors again until 1952 at age 44 for the Senators, who released him and then he finished the year with the Athletics and played one more year with them. He retired at 46. He was on 13 Hall of Fame ballots with a high of 9.4%.

Paul O’Neill (OF)

Career 38.9 bWAR, 41 fWAR, 33.2 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 2.8 bWAR, 3 fWAR)

Peak: 27.4 bWAR and fWAR

Acc: 5-time All-Star, batting title

4-WAR seasons: 3 by bWAR and fWAR

One notable stat: O’Neill is the only player to be on the winning team in three perfect games. He was in the outfield for Tom Browning in 1988, for David Wells in 1998, and David Cone in 1999.

Profile: Growing up, O’Neill was a fan of the Reds and ended up getting drafted by them out of high school in the 4th round of the 1981 MLB Draft. He debuted four years later during the September callups, and only had three pinch-hitting appearances the next season. His 1987 was split between the majors and minors. At 25-years-old, in 1988, he finally got a starting gig. In the 1990 playoffs, O’Neill had a 162 wRC+ with two stolen bases to help lead to an NL pennant but they were swept in four games in the World Series. He spent two more seasons with the Reds and following the 1992 season, was traded to the Yankees. He didn’t make the playoffs with the Yankees until his third season and then spent the next seven seasons in the playoffs. Some great performances, some not so great. Oddly, his best playoffs were when the Yankees got bounced in the first round - he hit 3 homers in 5 games in ‘95, 2 homers in ‘97. After the 2001 season, he retired at 38-years-old. He was on just one Hall of Fame ballot.

Al Orth (SP)

Career 51.3 bWAR, 44.5 fWAR, 44.5 JAWS (per his 239 IP average: 3.7 bWAR, 3.2 fWAR)

Peak: 37.6 bWAR, 31 fWAR

Acc: None (played from 1895 to 1909, so no awards or All-Star games yet)

4-WAR seasons: 5 by bWAR, 4 by fWAR

One notable stat: Orth was known for his hitting skills, placing 7th all-time among pitchers with 464 hits. Interestingly, there is a disparity between Fangraphs and BR on his hitting value. By FG, he added 3.3 wins via batting and by BR it was 7.5.

Profile: Orth made his MLB debut at 22-years-old in the middle of the season for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1895. He pitched reasonably well and made 23 starts the next year and 34 the year after that. He played for the Phillies until 1901, only missing starts in 1899 season. Before the 1902 season, he jumped to the American League, signing with the Washington Senators. He spent two seasons with them, and after a poor start to the 1904 season, was traded to the New York Highlanders. He was able to turn around his season by learning the spitball. He had three strong seasons after that, but in 1909, he was released in August when he was 2-13. He played one more year, mostly as a hitter in 1910. He played in the minors for a couple years, but his MLB career was done at 36. He was not on a Hall of Fame ballot.

Jorge Posada (C)

Career 42.7 bWAR, 40.4 fWAR, 37.6 JAWS (per 550 PAs: 3.7 bWAR, 3.1 fWAR)

Peak: 32.6 bWAR, 33.8 fWAR

Acc: 5-time All-Star, 5-time Silver Slugger

4-WAR seasons: 6 by bWAR and fWAR

One notable stat: You might wonder how a catcher who hit for a 123 wRC+ for the entirety of his career isn’t getting a stronger push for the Hall, but according to Baseball Prospectus, he was a -117.5 defender over his entire career - or -9 per 550 PAs.

Profile: Posada was born in Puerto Rico, getting named to the all-star team as a shortstop in his senior season. He did not have high enough SAT scores to get into a four year college, but he accepted a scholarship to a community college in Alabama without ever visiting the school. After excelling there, he was drafted in the 24th round in 1991 by the Yankees as an infielder. The Yankees didn’t feel he could stick in the infield because of his speed, so they converted him to catcher in 1992. He made it to AAA in 1994, but broke his leg before the season ended. He spent nearly all of 1995 in AAA too, but he did appear in a game without getting a PA during the September callups. He got his first plate appearance during next year’s September callups at 25-years-old. Posada became the backup to Joe Girardi during the 1997 season. The next two seasons, he split playing time with Girardi. When Girardi became a free agent, Posada succeeded him, appearing in 151 games. He made his first of four straight All-Star appearances. Posada became a free agent after 2007 and signed a four-year deal, where he was -1.1 fWAR in those four years. He retired at the end of 2009 at 39-years-old. He was on just one Hall of Fame ballot.

Robin Roberts (SP)

Career 83 bWAR, 74.7 fWAR, 70.6 JAWS (per his 254 IP average: 4.7 bWAR, 4 fWAR)

Peak: 55 bWAR, 44.1 fWAR

Acc: 7-time All-Star

4-WAR seasons: 8 by bWAR, 7 by fWAR

One notable stat: Roberts was ridiculously durable early in his career. From 1951 to 1955, he led the league in innings pitched in five straight seasons. He led the league in games started for six straight years and complete games for five straight years.

Profile: Roberts attended Michigan State College to play basketball, not playing baseball until after his second season. He got signed by the Phillies after one season of college ball and one season of summer ball. I948, he made his MLB debut and started 20 games. In 1950, he was part of a group called the Whiz Kids as a sign of the team’s youth - Roberts was still 23. That year they won the NL pennant, but lost in the World Series. 1950 was also the start of six straight seasons with 300+ innings pitched. His streak ended when he threw 297 innings. But he still threw at least 237 innings for the next five years. He had a bad year in which he only threw 117 innings in 1961, and at 35-years-old was sold to the Yankees. He never pitched for the Yankees getting released in May. He did sign with the Orioles and spent three seasons there even throwing over 200 innings twice. Dissatisfied with his role later in the 1965 season, he asked for his release. The Astros picked him up for the remainder of the year and then released him in the middle of the next season. He finished his career as a Cub and his career was done at 39-years-old. He was elected on his fourth try by the writers.

Ken Singleton (OF)

Career 41.8 bWAR, 44.4 fWAR, 37.8 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 2.9 bWAR, 3.1 fWAR)

Peak: 33.8 bWAR, 33.9 fWAR

Acc: 3-time All-Star

4-WAR seasons: 6 by both bWAR and fWAR

One notable stat: Singleton walked a ton and because of that, got on base a lot. He ranked in the top 10 in OBP in nine seasons of his career, and his career OBP of .388 is 124th all-time.

Profile: Singleton grew up in New York, playing both baseball and basketball in high school. He was drafted 3rd overall in the 1967 MLB Draft out of Hofstra University by the Mets. He debuted in the middle of the 1970 MLB season at 23-years-old, playing in 69 games. The next year, he was more of a part-time player. After the season, he was traded to the Expos. He spent three seasons there and got traded to the Orioles after the 1974 season. His bat exploded in Baltimore. He only had one season with a better wRC+ than 121 before, but with Baltimore he had a 135 wRC+ or greater in his first seven seasons. He won an AL pennant in 1979 and in 1983, well past his prime, the Orioles won the World Series. The next year, his bat collapsed and he retired at 37-years-old. He did not receive a vote on his only ballot.

Paul Waner (OF)

Career 74.7 bWAR and fWAR, 59 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 4.2 by bWAR and fWAR)

Peak: 43.2 bWAR, 44.5 fWAR

Acc: MVP, 4-time All-Star (first ASG was in his eight season), 3-time batting title

4-WAR seasons: 12 by bWAR and fWAR

One notable stat: Waner holds the Pirates team record for most hits in a single season (237), most doubles (61) and most RBIs (131). Along with his brother Lloyd, they have the most combined hits by brothers in baseball history (5,611).

Profile: Waner was born in Oklahoma, four years before it became a state. In 1922, he had a 23-4 record with a 1.70 ERA in one year of college. He dropped out to sign with a minor league team. In 1924, he played for a AAA team and he was converted to outfielder. After the 1925 season, the Pirates purchased him. At 23-years-old, he played in 144 games and batted .336. Had it existed, he surely would have won Rookie of the Year. He topped that year the next season, batting .380, winning MVP, and making what would be his only World Series, a loss to the Yankees. In 1933, he made his first All-Star game, something he repeated three times in the next four years. Including his rookie season, he had a 4 fWAR or greater year 12 straight years. He dropped off in 1938 and never really got it back. At the end of 1940, after he missed a good portion of the season to injury, he was released. He was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers, only to be released 11 games into the season. He signed with the Boston Braves and had a decent year afterwards. He spent the next couple years as a part-time player, first with the Braves, then the Dodgers again. As a purely bench player, he was released towards the end of 1944 and picked up by the Yankees. After just one PA in 1945, his career was done at 42-years-old. He was elected on his fifth attempt.

Ken Williams (OF)

Career 43 bWAR, 40.4 fWAR, 39.9 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 4.6 bWAR, 4.3 fWAR)

Peak: 36.8 bWAR, 35.1 fWAR

Acc: None (career ended in 1928, before All-Star games)

4-WAR seasons: 5 by bWAR, 4 by fWAR

One notable stat: In 1922, Ken Williams became the first player to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases. Also the only season he achieved either of those feats.

Profile: Williams didn’t begin his professional baseball career until he was 23. He spent a couple seasons in the minors before his contract was purchased by the Reds in 1915. He debuted in the middle of the season and played in 71 games. He spent most of the next season in the minors, then got purchased by the Browns in the middle of 1917. He never appeared in the majors in 1917 for either of his two teams. In 1918, he was drafted in the Army and only saw two games. At 29-years-old, he was only a starter for about half of the 1919 season, then in 1920 finally got a chance to be a full-time starter. He saw a jump in his offensive stats the next year and for about three seasons, he was one of the best players in baseball. He played well through the 1927 season, though seems to have missed about 30 games per year in his last four seasons. He was purchased by the Red Sox and played his last two seasons there. He played two season in the minors after and retired at 41. He was on two Hall of Fame ballots, oddly nearly 30 years after he retired.

Cy Young (SP)

Career 165.6 bWAR, 131.5 fWAR, 120.8 JAWS (per his 344 IP average: 7.7 bWAR, 6.2 fWAR)

Peak: 78 bWAR, 53.9 fWAR

Acc: 2-time ERA title, Triple Crown (no awards during his career, no All-Star game either)

4-WAR seasons: 17 by bWAR, 18 by fWAR

One notable stat: Cy Young has the most career wins, most career losses, most career games started, most career complete games, most career innings, most career runs allowed, most career earned runs, and most batters faced. All of them are unbeatable in the modern game.

Profile: Young grew on a farm in Ohio, dropping out of school after the 6th grade to help with the farm. His father encouraged his kids to play baseball every chance they got. He started playing for semipro teams in 1884, but didn’t actually play in the majors until 1890. He played on a team in the Tri-States League that year, and in his last start, threw a no hitter with 18 strikeouts. A few days later, the Cleveland Spiders signed him and he finished out the year with them. He spent the next eight seasons with the Spiders, throwing over 400 innings five times. Beginning in 1893, he led in BB/8 for 13 of the next 14 seasons. Prior to the 1899 season, he was transferred to the St. Louis Perfectos - the owners of the Spiders also owned the Perfectos and they put all their best players on the latter. The Perfectos became the Cardinals in his second season. He defected to the AL and signed with the Red Sox in 1901. In 1903, he threw the first ever pitch in a World Series game, a series the Red Sox won. He spent eight seasons with Boston, throwing 299 or more innings in seven of them. He was traded in age 42 season to the now Cleveland Naps. He was there for two full seasons and a third which led to his release in the middle of the season. But he was picked up by the Boston Rustlers (soon to be Braves) to finish out 1911. He attempted to play in 1912, but a sore arm prevented it and he retired at 45-years-old. He was elected in his second year by the writers.

We have one less player than normal on this ballot, but the limit is still 14 players you can vote for. Unlike the previous three ballots, there will be no extra day as I plan to release these results on Thursday.