Welcome back! I knew I was going to do another cycle if spring training got delayed and since I was pretty sure it was getting delayed, I was sure I would do another cycle of voting. This second cycle will have three rounds of voting, 98 players in total, with an extra two on this first ballot.
You all know the drill. And if you don’t, 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
Harold Baines (DH)
Career: 38.7 bWAR, 38.4 fWAR, 30.1 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 2.1 WAR)
Peak: 21.4 bWAR, 21 fWAR
Acc; 6-time All-Star, Silver Slugger
4-WAR seasons: 1 by both bWAR and fWAR)
One notable stat: The most notable thing is that he’s led in team or position specific stats at one time until someone else passed him. He once had the record for career home runs on White Sox, once played most games at DH, most career homers as a DH. But he doesn’t hold those records anymore.
Profile: Baines was selected first overall in the 1977 draft by the Chicago White Sox. He was bad in his debut season in 1981 at the age of 21, and his next season, injuries limited him to a half season. He started having recurring knee problems which ultimately forced him to DH full-time. At the trading deadline of his 10th season, he was traded to the Rangers, who traded him to the Athletics at the waiver deadline the next year. After a couple seasons, he was traded to the Orioles. Even though he hit free agency, he stayed with the Orioles for three seasons. He then flipped back-and-forth between the White Sox and Orioles, with a pit stop for one month in Cleveland. He was on six HOF ballots, but received 6.1% at the most. Veteran’s Committee elected him in 2019.
Wally Berger (OF)
Career: 42.5 bWAR, 42.7 fWAR, 39.2 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 4.5 WAR)
Peak: 35.9 bWAR, 36.2 fWAR
Acc: 4-time All-Star (ASG started in fourth season)
4-WAR seasons: 7 by both bWAR and fWAR
One notable stat: In 1930, Wally Berger set a record for most HRs by a rookie player with 38 in 1930. Frank Robinson matched it and it was not surpassed until Mark McGwire in 1987. He also set a rookie RBI record with 119. That wasn’t beaten until Albert Pujols.
Profile: Berger established himself as a highly sought after prospect after four years in the minors. Prior to the 1930 season, the Boston Braves acquired him. He immediately became a star, setting rookie records that took years to be broken. He made the first four All-Star games in existence. When injury problems limited him to 30 games in 1937, Boston traded him to the Giants. With the Giants, he became a platoon player and was traded in the middle of 1938 after a poor start. He found his bat with the Reds and even made the World Series with them in 1939. He had just two plate appearances when the Reds released him in May. The Phillies picked him up, and though he hit well, he asked to be released when he didn’t play much. He finished 1940 in the minors and played there as well in 1941. In 1942, he was drafted into the war and his career was over. Was on two ballots with no real support.
Dolph Camilli (1B)
Career: 43.2 bWAR, 44 fWAR, 41.6 JAWS (4.1 bWAR, 4.2 fWAR)
Peak: 40 bWAR, 40 fWAR
Acc: MVP, 2-time All-Star
4-WAR seasons: 7 by both bWAR and fWAR
One notable stat: We’ve seen this player a lot, but they probably didn’t see it as much in the 1930s when he played. Top 10 in HRs nine times (led league once), top 10 in walks eight times (led twice), and top 10 in strikeouts nine times (led 3 times). Your basic all-or-nothing, good eye, power 1B.
Profile: Camilli played in the minors for six years before the Cubs purchased him late in the 1933 season when he was 26. When he was traded to the Phillies early in 1934, the Phillies were bad, constantly forced to sell their players because they couldn’t afford them. He only reported because the manager told him he would play everyday, which he did. At 31, the Phillies traded him to the Brooklyn Dodgers. He stayed there until he was traded to the New York Giants in the middle of the 1943 season. He simply went home and refused to play for them he hated them so bad. He returned to the minors for 1944 and in 1945, the Red Sox picked him up for the rest of the season. He played poorly and that was his last year. He was on four ballots, but received 4 votes max.
Max Carey (OF)
Career: 55.3 bWAR, 60.1 fWAR, 44.4 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 3.1 bWAR, 3.3 fWAR)
Peak: 33.5 bWAR, 35.2 fWAR
Acc: None (played before All-Star game existed)
4-WAR seasons: 8 by bWAR, 9 by fWAR
One notable stat: Max Carey stole a lot of bases. He led baseball in stolen bases 10 times. He stole at least 40 bases 10 times in his career. Unfortunately, caught stealing wasn’t recorded for most of those seasons.
Profile: Carey started his life training to be a Lutheran minister. He went to Concordia Seminary in St. Louis in 1909. When he attended a minor league game, he convinced their manager to give him a shot as the starting shortstop, who they had just traded away. The next year, he moved to left field. When he batted .298 with 86 stolen bases, he dropped out of the seminary. He was signed by the Pirates at 20 late in the season. He then played the next 15 years for them. When he had a 52 wRC+ in 1926, he was put on waivers and selected by the Brooklyn Robins. He bounced back the next year and played a couple more years until he was released at the end of the 1929 season at 39-years-old.
Dean Chance (SP)
Career: 35 bWAR, 41.3 fWAR, 29.2 JAWS (per his 213 IP avg: 3.5 bWAR, 4.1 fWAR)
Peak: 28.5 bWAR, 36.6 fWAR
Acc: Cy Young, 2-time All-Star, ERA title
4-WAR seasons: 4 by both bWAR and fWAR
One notable stat: His 1964 season is really remarkable. At 23-years-old, in a league leading 278.1 IP, he had a 1.65 ERA with a league leading 15 complete games and a league leading 11 shutouts.
Profile: A two-sport star at Northwestern High School in Ohio, he was signed for a $30,000 bonus by the Baltimore Orioles in 1959. After two seasons in the minors, the Washington Senators drafted him in the 1960 expansion draft. They immediately traded him to the other expansion team, the Angels. He debuted late in the year in 1961 at 20-years-old. After five years with the Angels, he was traded to the Twins. He hurt his back prior to the 1969 season and tried to rush back, but only pitched 88 innings. He was traded afterwards to his hometown Indians, but they sold him before end of the season. He pitched just one more year, with his career ending at age 30. He was not on a Hall of Fame ballot.
Frank Chance (1B)
Career: 46 bWAR, 48.1 fWAR, 40.8 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 4.7 bWAR, 5.7 fWAR)
Peak: 35.6 bWAR, 38 fWAR
Acc: None (Career ended before All-Star game)
4-WAR seasons: 5 by bWAR and fWAR
One notable stat: When Frank Chance played, this may have been less weird, but he is a very unusual first baseman. He hit 20 career homers and stole 403 bases. He led the league in stolen bases twice with 67 and 57 stolen bases.
Profile: Born in California, Chance attended college, pursuing a degree in dentistry. While in college, he played for the college baseball team. The Cubs took notice and signed him to be the backup catcher and outfielder. He made his debut in 1898 at 21-years-old and for the next five years was nothing more than a backup. When the Cubs needed a new 1B, Chance became the regular in 1903 and he saw a leap in performance with the change. When the Cubs manager became ill in the 1905 season, he became player-manager. In 1909, despite still playing well, he started phasing himself out of playing as manager. This was complete in 1912 as he played in just two games. He played two more seasons as a player/manager for the Yankees although he was 99 percent manager. He was on nine HOF ballots, getting as high as 72%, but the Veteran’s Committee put him in with Johnny Evers and Joe Tinker.
David Cone (SP)
Career: 61.6 bWAR, 56 fWAR, 52.8 JAWS (per 200 IP: 4.3 bWAR, 3.9 fWAR)
Peak: 43.4 bWAR, 36.5 fWAR
Acc: Cy Young, 5-time All-Star
4-WAR seasons: 7 by bWAR and fWAR
One notable stat: David Cone struck out a lot of batters, especially given the time. He ranked 1st in the league in K/9 three times and placed in the top 10 nine times. He ranks 55th in K/9 in baseball history, but would have been top 20 when he retired.
Profile: Drafted in the 3rd round of the 1981 MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals, Cone took some time to the majors, debuting five years later at 23 in 1986. The Royals traded him after that first season to the Mets and he had his first great season in 1988. He was a Met until 1992 when he was traded midseason to the Blue Jays, and subsequently won a World Series with them. He signed with the Royals in the offseason. He won a Cy Young and was traded early in 1995 season to Blue Jays and then traded to Yankees before that year was over. He stayed a Yankee until 2000, winning four more rings. He played ‘01 for the Red Sox, skipped the 2002 season, and ended his career in May with the Mets of 2003. He was on one ballot, getting less than 5%.
Murry Dickson (SP)
Career: 43 bWAR, 32.8 fWAR, 39.2 JAWS (per 200 IP: 2.8 bWAR, 2.1 fWAR)
Peak: 32.3 bWAR, 23.3 fWAR
Acc: 1-time All-Star
4-WAR seasons: 4 by bWAR, 0 by fWAR
One notable stat: Dickson was not really bad pitcher in these years, but he did play for a bad team when he led the league in losses three straight seasons. He was actually bad in that third year, but he was 2+ WAR in the first two.
Profile: Dickson entered the vaunted Cardinals farm system in 1936 at the age of 19, though he claimed he was 18 at the time. He made his MLB debut on the second to last game of the 1939 season. While he pitched well in relief, he pitched poorly in his next opportunity in 1940. That turned out to be his last until late April of 1942. He was called up and stayed up for the next two seasons in the bullpen. He missed the next two years in the Army for World War II. He moved to the rotation in 1946 when two starters defected to Mexican League. He was sold to the Pirates after the 1948 season. Branch Rickey became the Pirates GM with Dickson on the team and he traded the 37-year-old to the Phillies. He pitched until he was 42, including a return to the Cards for a season and a half. He did not appear on a ballot.
Joe DiMaggio (OF)
Career: 79.2 bWAR, 83.1 fWAR, 65.7 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 6.2 bWAR, 6.5 fWAR)
Peak: 52.1 bWAR, 54.6 fWAR
Acc: 3-time MVP, 13-time All-Star, 2-time batting title
4-WAR seasons: 12 by both bWAR and fWAR
One notable stat: We all know the popular 56-game hitting streak, but here’s a more unique one. DiMaggio made the All-Star game every season of his career. I can’t figure out if he’s the only one, but he has to be one of the few at the least.
Profile: DiMaggio’s professional career started when his brother Vince convinced his PCL team to let DiMaggio fill-in at shortstop at the end of the 1932 season. In 1933, he had a 61-game hitting streak in the minors. The obsession to get a daily hit during that streak, according to him, is what got baseball in his blood. In 1934, he tore a ligament in his knee, but a Yankees scout convinced them to acquire him because he believed he would heal. When he passed the physical, he became a Yankee. They made him play one more minor league season and he debuted in 1936. He was an instant star, making 13 straight All-Star games, only interrupted by his service in the Army, which was as comfortable as a soldier’s life could be. He retired in 1951 after his worst season and was elected to the Hall on his third try with 88.8% of the vote.
Larry Gardner (3B)
Career: 48.3 bWAR, 45.2 fWAR, 39.8 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 3.8 bWAR, 3.5 fWAR)
Peak: 31.4 bWAR, 30.3 fWAR
Acc: None (Career ended before ASG)
4-WAR seasons: 7 by bWAR, 5 by fWAR
One notable stat: Gardner appears to be as bad of a base stealer as I’ve seen. Luckily for him, most of the years he played does not have caught stealing as a stat. Just in the years there are caught stealing, he stole 67 bases to 91 caught stealing. In one year, he stole three bases and got caught 20 times!
Profile: Born in Vermont, Gardner played three years of baseball at the University of Vermont, which led to the Red Sox signing him in 1908. He debuted that year, but didn’t get a real opportunity until 1910. He stayed with the Red Sox through three World Series wins. He was traded after the 1917 season to the Philadelphia Athletics. A year later, he was traded to the Indians, where he stayed until he retired at 38-years-old. He was not on a Hall of Fame ballot.
Lou Gehrig (1B)
Career: 113.7 bWAR, 116.3 fWAR, 90.7 JAWS (7.1 bWAR, 7.2 fWAR)
Peak: 67.7 bWAR, 70.1 fWAR
Acc: 2-time MVP, 7-time All-Star (no ASG in first 8 full seasons), batting title
4-WAR seasons: 13 by bWAR and fWAR
One notable stat: Well, he played in 2,130 consecutive games, only stopped because of a disease ultimately named after him “Lou Gehrig’s disease.” It started June 1, 1925 as a pinch-hitter and ended on May 2, 1939.
Profile: Gehrig first drew notice when he was 17-years-old, playing for his high school team at Wrigley Field when he hit a mammoth home run out of the stadium. Despite that, he ended up going to Columbia University for engineering, earning a scholarship to play football. He also played for the baseball team. In April of 1923, he drew the attention of a Yankees scout when he struck out 17 hitters. But he was more impressed with his bat and signed him by the end of the month. Gehrig appeared in parts of 1923 and 1924, first established himself as a starter in 1925, and was Lou Gehrig as we know him in 1926 when he was 23-years-old. His disease forced him to retire at 36. He was elected to the Hall of Fame later that year by special election before he died in 1941.
Jason Giambi (1B)
Career: 50.5 bWAR, 49.8 fWAR, 46.3 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 3.4 bWAR, 3.4 fWAR)
Peak: 42.2 bWAR, 40.9 fWAR
Acc: MVP, 5-time All-Star, 2-time Silver Slugger
4-WAR seasons: 6 by both bWAR and fWAR
One notable stat: The best power hitters are not good because they hit homers. It’s because in addition to the homers, they get on base. Giambi led the league three times in OBP and in walks four times. He also led the league in HBPs twice.
Profile: Giambi managed to improve his draft stock from the 43rd round to the 2nd round upon playing college baseball at Long Beach State. Drafted by the Athletics in 1992, he debuted in 1994 and played multiple positions until Mark McGwire was traded in 1997 and 1B became his permanent position. Starting in 1999 when he was 28, he became a legitimate MVP candidate yearly. In the middle of this run, he signed a 7 year, $120 million deal with the Yankees when he became a free agent. When he was done with that deal, well past his prime, he re-signed with the Athletics. They released him midseason. He was picked up by the Rockies, where he stayed a few seasons as a bench player and then finished his career with two years with the Indians, retiring at 43. On the 2020 ballot, he received six votes.
Bob Gibson (SP)
Career: 81.7 bWAR, 82.3 fWAR, 75.2 JAWS (per his avg. 228 IP: 4.8 WAR)
Peak: 61.2 bWAR, 51.4 fWAR
Acc: MVP, 2-time Cy Young, 9-time Gold Glover, 9-time All-Star
4-WAR seasons: 10 by bWAR, 12 by fWAR
One notable stat: How can I say any other stat than 1.12 ERA? In 1968, Bob Gibson threw 304.2 IP with a 1.12 ERA, which included 28 complete games and 13 shutouts. He also had the best FIP in the league and lowest WHIP with an insane 0.853 WHIP.
Profile: Due to being named to the All-State basketball team in a Nebraska high school, he received an athletic scholarship to play basketball for Creighton University. In 1957, he received an offer to play for the Harlem Globetrotters and an offer from the Cardinals. He played for the Globetrotters for a year and then quit to play baseball. He made his MLB debut, but much like Curt Flood, struggled with misuse by manager Solly Hemus. When Johnny Keane took over, he became a full-time member of the pitching rotation. He was an All-Star caliber pitcher from that point on, until he retired in 1975 at the age of 39. He was a first ballot Hall of Famer with 84% of the vote.
Orel Hersisher (SP)
Career: 51.3 bWAR, 48 fWAR, 48.1 JAWS (per 200 IP: 3.3 bWAR, 3.1 fWAR)
Peak: 40.1 bWAR, 34.3 fWAR
Acc: Cy Young, 3-time All-Star, Silver Slugger, Gold Glover
4-WAR seasons: 5 by bWAR, 6 by fWAR
Notable stats: For a three-year stretch, Orel Hershiser threw the most innings in the league. He led the league in IP three straight years in fact, throwing a combined 788.1 IP from 1987 to 1989.
Profile: Drafted in the 17th round out of Bowling Green University by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1979 MLB Draft, Hershisher spent four years and most of a fifth in the minors before debuting late in the 1983 season at 24-years-old. The next season, he started the year in the bullpen, but eventually pitched well enough to start 20 games. He then pitched a ridiculous number of innings for the Dodgers, which led to a torn labrum early in 1990. Dr. Frank Jobe performed shoulder reconstruction surgery, and when he returned the next year, he was a diminished, but still good pitcher. After the strike, he signed with the Indians, then a series of one-year deals finishing with the Dodgers at 41. He was on two ballots with as high as 11.2%.
Burt Hooten (SP)
Career: 36.4 bWAR, 40.4 fWAR, 32.7 JAWS (per 200 IP: 2.7 bWAR, 3 fWAR)
Peak: 29.8 bWAR, 29.5 fWAR
Acc: 1-time All-Star
4-WAR seasons: 4 by both bWAR and fWAR
One notable stat: Perhaps most notable for his playoff performance in the 1981 playoffs. In 5 starts and 33 IP, he had a 0.82 ERA, which helped contribute to the Dodgers World Series win in 1981. He won NLCS MVP.
Profile: Hooton was drafted in the 5th round of the 1968 Draft, but chose not to sign to play for the Texas Longhorns. He then had what became a College Hall of Fame career, and got drafted 2nd overall in the 1971 draft by the Cubs. He debuted without spending a game in the minors, though they later sent him down. In his fourth ever start, he threw a no-hitter. After a disappointing 1974 and three bad starts in 1975, he was traded to the Dodgers. He then spent the next 9 and a half years as a Dodger before hitting free agency and spending his last season as a Ranger. He was released at the end of spring training in 1986, ending his career at 36. He received a single vote on the Hall of Fame ballot.
Addie Joss (SP)
Career: 47.7 bWAR, 33.9 fWAR, 42.5 JAWS (per his 259 IP avg: 5.3 bWAR, 3.8 fWAR)
Peak: 39.7 bWAR, 29.3 fWAR
Acc: 2-time ERA title
One notable stat: He only led the league twice in WHIP, but for his career, he has the all-time best WHIP ever with 0.968. He was also in the top 10 in the league in ERA in 8 of his 9 seasons.
Profile: In 1900, Addie Joss was offered his first professional contract, to play for the minor league Toledo Mud Hens. He quickly became a desired pitcher by MLB teams. Eventually, the Cleveland Bronchos (soon to be Naps and later Indians) acquired him. With his unusual pitching motion which hid the ball for as long as possible, he became one of the most dominant pitchers of his era for nine seasons. He frequently had to miss games due to illness and injury, missing the last month of 1903 due to high fever, malaria in 1904, and a back injury in 1905. During spring training 1911, Joss collapsed on the field and eventually died of tuberculous meningitis. He was only 31 and still in the middle of his career. He was inducted by the 1978 Veteran’s Committee, agreeing to forgo the ten-year minimum rule.
Joe Judge (1B)
Career: 47.8 bWAR, 45.6 fWAR, 37.2 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 3.1 bWAR, 3 fWAR)
Peak: 26.7 bWAR, 26.4 fWAR
Acc: None (First ASG happened when he was 39)
4-WAR seasons: 4 by bWAR, 1 by fWAR
One notable stat: Judge was probably a great defender. He was in either first or second place in fielding percentage among 1B 10 times in his career, including five times as the league leader.
Profile: Judge was signed by the Red Sox in 1914 and sent to a minor league team before his contract was sold to the Washington Senators. He debuted at 21 in 1915 with the Senators late in the year. He struggled in his first full season, but his bat exploded the next year. From then on, he was the starting 1B for the Senators through 1930. Judge played in just 35 games in 1931 due to an appendicitis attack and was a bench player after that. He was released before the 1933 season, signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers and got released midseason by them. His career ended with a release by the Red Sox in 1934 at the age of 40. He was on seven HOF ballots, but topped out at 5.6%.
Chuck Knobluach (2B)
Career: 44.6 bWAR, 39.8 fWAR, 41.6 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 3.6 bWAR, 3.2 fWAR)
Peak: 38.6 bWAR, 35.9 fWAR
Acc: Rookie of the Year, 4-time All-Star, Gold Glover, Silver Slugger
4-WAR seasons: 5 by bWAR, 4 by fWAR
One notable stat: Knobluach was once one of the most surehanded gloves in baseball. From 1993 to 1998, he committed an average of 8.6 errors in baseball. Then, the yips. He committed 26 errors in 1999 and 15 errors in just 82 games the next year before moving off 2B permanently.
Profile: Knobluach was drafted 25th overall in the 1989 MLB Draft by the Twins and rose through the system quickly to find himself with a job in April of 1991. He won Rookie of the Year and was a reliable starter at 2B for seven seasons. In the offseason prior to 1998, he was traded to the Yankees. He had a good initial season, but his throwing problems eventually caused the Yankees to move him to LF. He signed a deal with the Royals in 2002 but his bat had collapsed along with his glove. His MLB career was over at 33. He received one vote on his only Hall of Fame ballot.
Willie Mays (OF)
Career: 156.1 bWAR, 149.9 fWAR, 114.8 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 6.5 bWAR, 7.2 fWAR)
Peak: 73.5 bWAR, 70.5 fWAR
Acc: 2-time MVP, 24-time All-Star (2 ASGs for two seasons), Rookie of the Year, 12-time Gold Glover
4-WAR seasons: 17 by both bWAR and fWAR
One notable stat: Here’s an insane stat. Willie Mays had the highest wins above replacement according to Baseball-Reference in 10 seasons of his career. 10! He finished top 10 another five times.
Profile: At an Alabama high school, Mays played three sports, leading all-black high schools in scoring in basketball and playing quarterback, fullback, and punter for the football team. While still in high school, he played in home games for the Negro League Birmingham Black Barons. Upon graduation, he signed with the New York Giants, spent one season and one month in the minors and played his first MLB game at 21-years-old in 1951. He won Rookie of the Year with a pretty good year. Early in the 1952 season, he was drafted and missed the rest of that year and the 1953 season. When he returned in 1954 at 23, he was Willie Mays with his first 10 WAR season. They won the World Series that year, but the next time he saw the World Series, they were in San Francisco, he was 32, and they lost. After a slow start in 1972 when he was 41, he was traded to the Mets. He bounced back with a 144 wRC+, played another season and retired at 42. He received 94.7% on his first ballot.
Bill Nicholson (OF)
Career: 42 bWAR, 40.6 fWAR, 37.9 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 3.9 bWAR, 3.8 fWAR)
Peak: 33.8 bWAR, 33.2 fWAR
Acc: 5-time All-Star
4-WAR seasons: 5 by bWAR, 3 by fWAR
One notable stat: Nicholson is one of six players ever to get intentionally walked with the bases loaded, in the middle of his 1944 campaign when he was 2nd in MVP voting.
Profile: Nicholson enrolled in at his hometown college, Washington College, in 1931 at 16-years-old. He wanted to be a naval officer, so he left for Annapolis in 1933, but was rejected because he was colorblind. He was signed by Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics upon graduation and debuted in the 1936 season. But he struck out 5 times in his only 12 plate appearances and was sent down. After not appearing in the majors for two years, he was traded to the Washington Senators in 1938. He didn’t come back to the majors though until the Cubs traded for him midseason in 1939. He became their regular right fielder from that point on. After the 1948 season, he was traded to the Phillies, where he became a bench player for his last five seasons. He retired at 38. He received just one vote on his only Hall of Fame ballot.
Claude Passeau (SP)
Career: 43.4 bWAR, 47.3 fWAR, 41 JAWS (per his 241 IP avg: 3.8 bWAR, 4.2 fWAR)
Peak: 36.9 bWAR, 34.9 fWAR
Acc: 5-time All-Star
4-WAR seasons: 6 by both bWAR and fWAR
One notable stat: While pitching for the Cubs in Game 3 of the 1945 World Series, Passeau pitched a complete game, one-hit shutout, putting Cubs up 2 games to 1. That was the only postseason he made.
Profile: Attending Millsaps College, Passeau earned three letters in basketball, baseball, football and track, graduating in 1932. He stuck with baseball and spent three years in minors battling control problems before finding it in the 1935 season at 26-years-old. He signed with the Pirates in late July and debuted later that year. He was traded in the offseason to the Phillies. The Phillies were perpetual doormats at the time and he was traded to the contending Cubs in the middle of the 1939 season. From his first season as a Phillie to 1945, Passau averaged 252 innings a season. He pitched about half that in 1946 and only 63 innings in his last season. He retired a Cub at 38-years-old. He was not on a HOF ballot.
Terry Pendleton (3B)
Career: 28.5 bWAR, 28.2 fWAR, 26.9 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 2.2 WAR)
Peak: 25.3 bWAR, 24.7 fWAR
Acc: MVP, 3-time Gold Glover, 1-time All-Star
4-WAR seasons: 3 by both bWAR and fWAR
One notable stat: As a Cardinal, Pendleton rated as an unbelievable fielder. In his six full seasons in St. Louis, he was worth 83 runs by Total Zone, for an average of 13.8 per year.
Profile: Pendleton was drafted in the 7th round of the 1982 MLB Draft. He made his way to AAA in 1984 and was moved to 3B. The Cards were so impressed with his defense, they traded Ken Oberkfell to make room for him. His defense was as advertised but his offense was not consistent. Injuries plagued his 1988, and after a bounceback 1989, he had his worst offensive year in 1990. He signed with the Braves in free agency. He placed 1st and 2nd in MVP voting in his first two seasons, but injuries plagued him in his final year as a Brave. In his last four seasons, he played for four teams, retiring in 1999 at 37. He received one vote on his only HOF ballot.
Jim Perry (SP)
Career: 41.6 bWAR, 40 fWAR, 35.6 JAWS (per 200 IP: 2.3 bWAR, 2.3 fWAR)
Peak: 30.3 bWAR, 25.6 fWAR
Acc: Cy Young, 3-time All-Star
4-WAR seasons: 3 by bWAR, 2 by fWAR
One notable stat: Probably the most unusual thing about Perry is that three of his best seasons were when he was 33 and older, which is only unusual I suppose because at age 33, he was in his 11th season.
Profile: The older brother of Gaylord Perry, he was signed by the Indians out of college in 1956 at 20-years-old. After a few seasons in the minors, Perry debuted in 1959 at 23-years-old and placed 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting. He was a regular member of their rotation for three more years, but was traded early in the 1963 season to the Twins. In 1964, the Twins moved him to the bullpen, but he starting getting starts again in 1965 and he spent four years in the starter/bullpen hybrid role. He was back to a full-time rotation member in 1969 at 33-years-old, and he won the Cy Young the next year. After nearly 10 seasons as a Twin, he was traded to the Tigers for one season, then the Indians for one, and they traded him early in his last season to the Athletics, who released him in August at 39. He was on two Hall of Fame ballots with little support.
Mike Piazza (C)
Career: 59.5 bWAR, 63.7 fWAR, 51.3 JAWS (per 550 PAs: 4.2 bWAR, 4.5 fWAR)
Peak: 43.1 bWAR, 50.7 fWAR
Acc: Rookie of the Year, 10-time All-Star, 10-time Silver Slugger
4-WAR seasons: 8 by bWAR, 9 by fWAR
One notable stat: The difficulty with defensive reputations at catcher is sometimes they’re wrong. Piazza had a poor throwing arm (-42 runs in career), but his framing (+99.2) and blocking (+11.2) made up for it and he was an overall good defensive catcher. Framing is NOT reflected in those WAR numbers by the way.
Profile: We all know the story. Piazza was drafted in the last round of the 1988 draft purely as a favor by Tommy Lasorda to his father. Lasorda suggested Piazza, a first baseman when drafted, to convert to catcher to increase his chances of making the majors. He saw his first taste of MLB at the end of the 1992 season, when he was 23-years-old. He came into the 1993 season as the #38 prospect by BA and he won ROY, playing in 149 games. After making five straight All-Star games to begin his career, he rejected an extension offer by the Dodgers, who traded him to the Marlins early in the 1998 season. A week later, the Marlins traded him to the Mets. At the end of the season, the Mets made him baseball’s richest player with a seven year deal. At the end of that deal, he signed one year deals with the Padres and Athletics, retiring at 38. He needed four ballots to make the Hall of Fame.
Boog Powell (1B)
Career: 39.1 bWAR, 44.1 fWAR, 35 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 3 bWAR, 3.4 fWAR)
Peak: 30.9 bWAR, 32.8 fWAR
Acc: MVP, 4-time All-Star
4-WAR seasons: 5 by both bWAR and fWAR
One notable stat: Powell was a slugger of his day. He led the league in slugging percentage once and was in the top 10 five times. He also had the best AB per HRs mark in the league twice. His 303 HRs as an Oriole is 3rd to Eddie Murray and Cal Ripkin Jr.
Profile: Upon graduating high school, Powell signed with the Orioles in 1959. He debuted two years later for just four games, played in a full season for the first time the next season, and was a good player for the first time in 1963. The next year, he hit 39 HRs. He was moved from left field to first base permanently after the 1965 season. Powell remained an Oriole through four pennants and two World Series wins. Earl Weaver had the left-handed Powell platoon in his last two seasons as an Oriole and they traded him prior to the 1975 season. With the Indians, Powell had one more great season and one poor one before being released. He lasted 50 games as purely a pinch hitter with the Dodgers before being released at 36. He received five votes on his only HOF ballot.
Del Pratt (2B)
Career: 45.7 bWAR, 40.9 fWAR, 38.5 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 3.6 bWAR, 3.2 fWAR)
Peak: 31.4 bWAR, 28.5 fWAR
Acc: None (played before All-Star games)
4-WAR seasons: 5 by bWAR, 4 by fWAR
One notable stat: Pratt was remarkably durable. He played in 360 consecutive games, leading the league in games played from 1913 to 1916, and his streak was interrupted by being tossed and missing the second game of a doubleheader. His streak would have been over 700 games if not for that.
Profile: Coming from a wealthy family, Pratt was actually able to attend college and he graduated from Alabama in 1909. After entering professional baseball in 1910, he found himself on the St. Louis Browns at the age of 24 in his first MLB season in 1912. In 1917, he had his first problems with injury. With the Browns well out of first place, the Browns new owner suggested some players were “laying down.” Pratt, took exception, and sued him for libel, having studied law in school. The Browns traded him to the Yankees, and the case was settled before the season started. After gunning for Miller Huggins job as manager, he lost the battle and was traded to the Red Sox after the 1920 season. After two seasons there, he was traded to the Tigers, where his MLB career ended at 36. Near as I can tell, he was not on a HOF ballot.
Cal Ripkin Jr. (SS)
Career: 95.9 bWAR, 92.5 fWAR, 76.1 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 4.5 bWAR, 4.3 fWAR)
Peak: 56.3 bWAR, 53.2 fWAR
Acc: 2-time MVP, Rookie of the Year, 19-time All-Star, 8-time Silver Slugger, 2-time Gold Glover
4-WAR seasons: 11 by both bWAR and fWAR
One notable stat: Well what else? He played in 2,632 games consecutively, an MLB record, destroying Lou Gehrig’s previous record of 2,130. He played in every game from May 30th, 1982 until September 6th, 1995.
Profile: Ripkin was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1978 MLB Draft by the Orioles. He made his debut late in the 1981 season and was a full-time starter in the 1982 season by the age of 21. He missed the second game of a doubleheader on May 29, 1982, but otherwise played in 160 games. He then stayed an Oriole for the rest of his career, retiring at the end of the 2001 season, by which point he had turned 41. He received 98.5% of the vote on his first ballot.
Tim Salmon (OF)
Career: 40.6 bWAR, 35.4 fWAR, 36.1 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 3.5 bWAR, 3 fWAR)
Peak: 31.6 bWAR, 28.5 fWAR
Acc: Rookie of the Year, Silver Slugger
4 WAR seasons: 5 by bwAR, 4 by fWAR
One notable stat: Despite having the fourth best wRC+ in the AL in 1995 - with a 163 wRC+ - and also winning his only Silver Slugger and getting 7th in MVP voting, Salmon did not make the All-Star game that season.
Profile: Selected out of college in the 1989 MLB Draft by the California Angels, Salmon rose through the minors and made the majors in three years, debuting late in the 1992 season. In 1993, his bat led him to a Rookie of the Year win. Salmon stayed with the Angels through their name change, only hitting free agency once in his career. His 2004 season was marred by injuries and poor performance and he missed 2005 completely due to injury. Not wanting to retire under those circumstances, he signed a minor league deal with the Angels for 2006, earned his way on the roster, and retired at the end of that season at 37-years-old. He got five votes on his only HOF ballot.
Lee Smith (RP)
Career: 29.3 bWAR, 26.6 fWAR, 24.8 JAWS (per 65 IP: 1.5 bWAR, 1.3 fWAR)
Peak: 20.8 bWAR, 17.2 fWAR
Acc: 3-time Rolaid’s Relief winner, 7-time All-Star
2- WAR seasons: 6 by bWAR, 7 by fWAR
One notable stat: In 1993, Lee Smith recorded his 358th career save, taking over the career lead. He added to that lead over the next few seasons, finishing with 478 career saves, a record that stood until 2007 when broken by Trevor Hoffman.
Profile: Despite not picking up baseball until he was a junior in high school - his favorite sport was basketball - Smith was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1975 MLB Draft by the Cubs. Originally a starting pitcher, Smith moved to the bullpen in AA in 1979 when he struggled with walks. He debuted in September of 1980 and earned his first save in 1981. He was a heavily used reliever by 1983 and started his streak of 20+ save seasons in 1984. After eight seasons with the Cubs, Smith was traded to the Red Sox before the 1988 season. He was traded twice more, first to the Cards in the middle of 1990 and then Yankees in the middle of 1993, before he reached free agency. He played for four teams in his last four years before retiring at 39. He did not get elected on 15 tries by the writers, but by the Veteran’s Committee in 2019.
Javier Vazquez (SP)
Career: 43.4 bWAR, 53.7 fWAR, 40.8 JAWS (per 200 IP: 3.1 bWAR, 3.8 fWAR)
Peak: 36 bWAR, 37.5 fWAR
Acc: 1-time All-Star
4 WAR seasons: 5 by bWAR, 8 by fWAR
One notable stat: Vazquez is a remnant of a bygone era. From his debut in 1998 to current day, Vazquez is 14th in complete games with 28. Most of the pitchers ahead or around him are either Hall of Famers or had Cy Young peaks.
Profile: Vazquez was drafted in the 5th round of the 1994 MLB Draft out of a Puerto Rican high school by the Montreal Expos. He quickly rose through the system and was a top 100 prospect by Baseball America going into 1998. At 21-years-old, he pitched 32 games in his rookie season, but struggled. It wasn’t until his third season that he had a good year. After six years as an Expo, he was traded to the Yankees for the 2004 season, who kept him for just a year before trading him as part of a package for Randy Johnson. The Diamondbacks traded him after a year, and he finally stuck around as a White Sox for three seasons. I guess he kept signing extensions before FA cause he was traded twice more before becoming a free agent. He played his last season as a Marlin, retiring at age 34. I don’t think he was on a HOF ballot weirdly enough.
Brandon Webb (SP)
Career: 33 bWAR, 29.6 fWAR, 31.1 JAWS (per his 219 IP avg: 5.5 bWAR, 4.9 fWAR)
Peak: 31.1 bWAR, 29.6 fWAR
Acc: Cy Young, 3-time All-Star
4-WAR seasons: 5 by both bWAR and fWAR
One notable stat: 12 professional innings, all in the minors, that Webb threw once he hit 30-years-old . Heading into his age 30 season, Webb was the model of durability, starting an average of 33 starts in his first six years. Pitching is nuts.
Profile: Webb was drafted in the 8th round of the 2000 MLB Draft by the Diamondbacks after setting the all-time single season strikeout record at Kentucky. He debuted early in the 2003 season and ending up pitching 28 starts. In 2007, he threw 42 scoreless innings, which included three shutouts in a row. He threw on Opening Day of 2009, but threw just four innings. He ended up needing right rotator cuff surgery and missed the rest of that year and 2010. In 2011, he signed with the Rangers, threw just 12 innings, and needed a second rotator cuff surgery. At the age of 33, Webb retired. Webb did not appear on a HOF ballot.
Lou Whitaker (2B)
Career: 75.1 bWAR, 68.1 fWAR, 56.5 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 4.5 bWAR, 4.1 fWAR)
Peak: 37.9 bWAR, 35.6 fWAR
Acc: 5-time All-Star, Rookie of the Year, 3-time Gold Glover, 4-time Silver Slugger
4-WAR seasons: 10 by bWAR, 7 by fWAR
One notable stat: Here’s going to be a hard-to-beat record. Whitaker and teammate Alan Trammell form the longest running double play combination in MLB history for 19 seasons.
Profile: Whitaker was drafted in the 5th round of the 1975 MLB Draft, choosing to sign with the Tigers instead of attending college. He made the right choice, debuting just two years later, late in the 1977 season, along with teammate Trammell. In the 1978 season, at 21-years-old, he won Rookie of the Year. He stayed a Tiger for his entire career, retiring in 1995 at the age of 38. He received 2.9% of the vote on his only ballot.
Billy Williams (OF)
Career: 63.7 bWAR, 60.4 fWAR, 52.5 JAWS (per 600 PAs: 3.6 bWAR, 3.4 fWAR)
Peak: 41.4 bWAR, 40.3 fWAR
Acc: Rookie of the Year, 6-time All-Star, Batting Title
4-WAR seasons: 9 by bWAR, 8 by fWAR
One notable stat: As a teenager, Williams signed with the Chicago Cubs in 1956. He said he never experienced overt racism until a promotion to AA in 1959, which discouraged him enough that he left the team. Future Hall of Famer Buck O’Neill, who scouted him, convinced him to stay. He debuted in 1959, but not until 1961 did he actually get to play a lot. That year he won Rookie of the Year. He stayed a Cub through most of his career, only departing when he was traded after 1974 to the Oakland Athletics. He played two years for them, then retired at 38-years-old. He was on six Hall of Fame ballots, but got elected on his sixth try by the writers.
Early Wynn (SP)
Career: 51.6 bWAR, 58.6 fWAR, 49.9 JAWS (per his 220 IP: 2.5 bWAR, 2.8 fWAR)
Peak: 38.8 bWAR, 28.2 fWAR
Acc: Cy Young, 9-time All-Star, 300 wins
4-WAR seasons: 4 by bWAR, 2 by fWAR
Notable stat: Wynn made his first All-Star game at 27-years-old, but didn’t make another one until he was 35. He then made an All-Star team the next six straight years, with the last two years being four All-Star games with two ASG in a year.
Profile: Born in Alabama, 17-year-old Wynn traveled to Florida to attend a baseball camp operated by the Washington Senators. He impressed, they offered him a contract, and he dropped out of high school. He spent most of three years in the minors, debuting at the end of 1939, but stayed in the minors in all of 1940 and only had 5 starts in 1941. In 1942, at 22-years-old, he finally stuck. His career was interrupted by World War II, missing all of 1945 and some of 1946 because of it. He was traded to the Indians in 1949, who thought if he developed more pitches, he would become a great pitcher. This came true and he stayed an Indian until 1957, when the Indians traded him to the White Sox when he was 38. Largely thought done at this point, he threw at least 237 innings for the next three seasons. He pitched a reduced amount of innings for two more years for them, then was released. In the middle of the 1963 season, the Indians signed him, and he pitched for them to the end of the year. He retired at 43-years-old. He was on four HOF ballots, and made it via the writers on his fourth try.
You can vote all the way to Wednesday night at around 9 pm. It will actually probably be up later, but try to get your votes in by that time. I will not be posting the responses until next Thursday, once the next three ballot results are in.