Chat Excerpt: Boswell on Hall of Fame
From this morning's live Q&A with Thomas Boswell:
Hall of Fame: Tom, what did you think about the results of the Hall of Fame voting?
Tom Boswell: If ex-Expo Andre Dawson belongs in the Hall, then Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn should be cheering this morning because that means, if they play out long full careers, they'll be in Cooperstown, too.
Which makes you wonder if The Hawk really belongs.
I enjoyed him. I'm happy for him. But if I still voted, I wouldn't have voted for him. His career is identical to Dwight Evans. Both had eight Gold Gloves in the outfield. They played the same years. Dawson had 2,882 RBI-plus-runs in 2627 games; Evans had 2,854 in 2606 games. But Evans was a key player on top Red Sox teams, Dawson played for losers. (Not his fault.) Both drove in 100 runs four times. Dawson stole over 300 bases, but Evans had vastly more walks and a better OPS .840 to Dawson's mere .806.
To Dawson's credit, his offensive numbers were almost identical to Hall of Famers Billy Williams and Tony Perez and neither of them had any gold gloves or significant steals.
Dawson's line is .279-.323-.482-.806. Zimmerman, who just turned 25, is .284-.347-.478-.825. And, after a break out season, Zimmerman's numbers will probably get better. If he plays until he's 38, he'll have Dawson numbers -- or better -- across the board and, after his first Gold Glove this season in '09, will probably have a pile of defensive awards.
Just saying, every time a marginal candidate like Dawson makes it, the door gets cracked open wider for others.
The Hall vote also underlines why Dunn should care so much about becoming an adequate first baseman. If he does, it may put him in Cooperstown in 20 years. The rule of thumb for decades has been to double a star player's stats on his 30th birthday if you want to know where he will end his career statistically. It doesn't always work. But it does most of the time. By that measure, Dunn, who turned 30 after the '09 season, would end up with 632 homers, 3,114 RBI-plus-runs, a .903 OPS and 1,826 walks (in the top four ever). There is no way a player with those numbers -- if he has a half-decent defensive position -- does not get into the Hall.
Of course, that means Dunn has to stay in shape for many years, hard for a huge dude. But he's been very durable his whole career. Anyway, if he needs motivation to hit the gym or take another 1,000 balls off the bat at first base, this Hall vote ought to provide it.
Two other points: Alomar missed by a few votes because of the spitting incident. Otherwise, he's instant first-ballot Hall of Fame. Good, that's a fitting punishment. He'll make it next year and shouldn't have to wait any longer.
The push for Blyleven, who only missed Cooperstown by five votes, drives me crazy. I followed his whole career. His reputation was that, more than any other top stuff pitcher of his era, he would find a way to lose or not to win. He's just not a Hall of Famer in my book. His high career strikeout total means nothing. It's a flashy stat but it's no different than getting a routine pop up.
Blyleven only won 20 games one time and more than 17 only twice! And he pitched in the era when top starters got 4-5 more starts a year and winning 20 games was easier. Blyleven had nine seasons with 36-to-40 starts and averaged 38 in those years. When manager Chuck Tanner got him in Pittsburgh the word went around that Chuck had decided, over Blyleven's protestations, to take him out of late-and-close games because he'd never had the stomach for it. "Take him out before he can lose." Tanner never said it in public. But Blyleven's winning percentage got better.
I'll concede that I'm tougher than most on Hall of Fame voting. Maybe too tough. I remember sitting on a national TV set -- three feet from Don Drysdale -- explaining why big bad Don shouldn't have been voted into the Hall of Fame that day! I think Charlie Gibson got me into that pickle.
Posted by: dfh21 | January 7, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Thomas_Boswell | January 8, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: dfh21 | January 8, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: JennEric1 | January 8, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 10, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 10, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: B2O2 | January 11, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: B2O2 | January 11, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.