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Since: 2.1.02
From: Ottawa, Ontario

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.87
What about players who were considered shoe ins who are more or less flushing that away? I only bring this up because of all the talk surrounding A-Rod, Chipper Jones, Giambi, and all the other young bucks who are future hall of famers. How much pressure does that put on them?

I'm thinking specifically of Frank Thomas in this situation. Here's a guy who was considered a LOCK just five years ago. What the hell happened?!?

I haven't seen anything resembling a good season recently, and every time he started to get on track he'd get injured. This guy was a lock. Is there really such a thing as a lock with a young player? Is it fair to judge a guy after a couple of seasons and declare him going to the Hall Of Fame?

Now Frank Thomas COULD rebound and play well for the next five years, and retire headed to the hall...but he's REALLY damaged his legacy something awful.

Looks to me like the lock has been picked.




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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#2 Posted on
The problem is that its hard to tell if a guy is going to be the next Pete Rose or the next Chris Sabo by looking at his first year of stats... or first few years.

Wally Joyner looked pretty impressive those first few years.

Kerry Woods looked unstoppable his first year, but injuries will probably haunt him his entire career.

Sammy didn't look good his first few, and I doubt you can keep him out of the hall just off of his HR production in the last 4 seasons.

IMHO, the young guys that are "on the radar" have it harder because they have probably already peaked- or are just starting to peak. Guys that get better over time have a better chance of sustaining career numbers that will get them into the hall.



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Since: 5.1.02
From: Dover, NH

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#3 Posted on
Frank Thomas had good numbers in 2000:

.328 BA, 43 HR, 143 RBI, .436 OBP, .625 Slug

He just got injured last year so he couldn't back it up. And he's one of these guys that has put up huge numbers, but can't field worth a Cecil Fielder. It'll be interesting to see if he can put 5 more years together (he's still only 33) with great numbers if he will be considered for the Hall.

But I know what you are talking about. There are people like ARod who are sho-ins to the Hall of Fame, and then there are the people who are supposed to shine for years and years, but don't, like 2 recent pitching staffs (A's with Todd Van Poppel and Steve Karsay, and Mets with Isringhausen, Bill Pulsipher, and Paul Wilson).

The problem is, no matter how many stats and scouting reports one has, it's just speculation. Nobody can really predict what's going to happen with any certainty. Some are overrated, some under. Remember the Giants of 1989? With Will Clark, Matt Williams, and Kevin Mitchell? Most people picked Mitchell to shine for the next decade, and he turned out to be a distant 3rd best from that group. And remember the stupid trade the Red Sox made for Larry Anderson? One Jeff Bagwell? Everyone thought he would be a decent 3B. No one thought he would be such an excellent 1B. Same with his teammate Craig Biggio, the young servicable catcher. He didn't become very good until 1993, his 6th year in the league. And before that, he had a slugging percentage over .400 once in his 5 years.

So who knows what an Albert Pujols will do in the future. He had an amazing season last year. I think he will do it again. But that doesn't mean he'll still be great 10 years from now. And that doesn't mean that people who have struggled in the past few years like, say, Griffey (relative to his previous years) won't catch the fire once again.



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The Masked Hungarian
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Since: 23.1.02
From: Staten Island NY USA

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#4 Posted on
Being a Mets fan this is a sore subject for me. The two best examples of a career carwreck are:

Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry

If these two lived up to their talent the Mets would have won 2 or 3 World Series easy between 86-90. There also would have been no way Strawberry leaves after 88 if Frank Cashen didn't think he was a headcase. Gooden should be approaching 300 wins right now. Strawberry should be around 500 HRs right now. They are the poster kids of what NOT to do with your career.
Quezzy
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Since: 6.1.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#5 Posted on
I have to agree with you, i've always considered Darryl Strawberry as the biggest flop in all of sports (since i've been alive). He just had that natural swing like Bonds and Griffey. From 1983 to 1991 he had 241 HR and 832 RBI. So that's about 27 HR and 92 RBI per year. So if he continued on that pace then by now he would have approximately 511 HR and 1752 RBI. But you also have to factor in that the offense in major league baseball has increased a lot so his number could be even higher than that.

As for players who are definite Hall of Famers, I never take any of that seriously. I think the only guys in MLB that are definite Hall of Famers are Roberto Alomar, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and Roger Clemens. Probably Piazza too, just because his offensive numbers are so impressive compared to past catchers. Mark Grace should definitely be a Hall of Famer too, but since he isn't as much of a big name as the others I don't know if people will overlook him or not. A-Rod is probably the best player in the game and I don't think even he is a definite Hall Of Famer yet, anything could happen.



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Since: 23.1.02
From: Staten Island NY USA

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#6 Posted on
I don't see Mark Grace as a hall of famer. What did he ever do? He never placed top 5 in the MVP, never led the league in any offensive categories. He is a singles hitter, a good one but nothing more.
Quezzy
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Since: 6.1.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#7 Posted on
You don't argue that Roberto Alomar is a sure Hall of Famer do you?

Grace
1123 R 2343 H 487 2B 45 3B 163 HR 1082 RBI 1013 BB 597 K .386 OB .447 SLG .833 OPS .307 AVG
Alomar
1341 R 2389 H 446 2B 72 3B 190 HR 1018 RBI 902 BB 949 K .378 OB .455 SLG .833 OPS .306 AVG

Alomar has more Runs and hits but not my much. Grace has more doubles and RBI, and a MUCH better strikeout/walk ratio. And they are pretty even in slugging, OPS, and average.

Sure Roberto Alomar has tons of Golden Gloves but Mark Grace was probably the best defensive first baseman for the first 10 years of his career, he just didn't win the Golden Gloves because of a combination of there being more stars at first and the voters just being stupid. He did win four (92, 93, 95, and 96) Probably should have ATLEAST won six.

Also compare him to McGwire's numbers.
McGwire
1167 R 1626 H 252 2B 6 3B 583 HR 1414 RBI 1317 BB 1596 K .394 OB .588 SLG .982 OPS . 263 AVG

McGwire has a lot more HR of course, and more RBi by about 300, but Mark Grace can close the gap before his career is over. McGwire has a few more runs but Grace will catch up to him. Grace already has 700 more hits, 200 more doubles, 40 more triples. McGwire has more walks (mostly intentional) but McGwire also has three times as many strikeouts. And Grace has more stolen bases, a MUCH better batting average and is a FAR superior defensive player.

Should McGwire make it and Grace not only because he hit so many homeruns? Hell no.



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Since: 23.1.02
From: Staten Island NY USA

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#8 Posted on
Couple of things:

You cannot compare Alomar to Grace. Roberto Alomar is one of the top 3 best second basemen OF ALL TIME! He is the best second baseman of this generation. That puts him into the hall of fame. Using the same argument, Mark Grace is NOT even in the top 10 best first basemen. Mark Grace never dominated his position, never single handedly carried his team. HE NEVER EVEN PLACED TOP 10 IN THE MVP! In 1989, Ryne Sandberg and Jerome Walton carried that team. In 1998, Sammy Sosa was the team. Last year he was an old veteran who had some timely hits. Mark Grace is a good hitter and a good fielding first baseman, that's it. How can you even TRY and compare McGwire and Grace?? What awards has Grace won? When did Mark Grace put a team on his back? When McGwire was healthy he was DOMINANT. Mark Grace has never had that word placed next to his name. How is Mark Grace going to "close the gap" with McGwire when he doesn't even figure to be a full time starter this year?? He has ONE season left before he retires. A better comparison is Grace and Keith Hernandez.

Grace:
1123 R 2343 H 487 2B 45 3B 163 HR 1082 RBI 1013 BB 597 K .386 OB .447 SLG .833 OPS .307 AVG

3 time All Star
4 Gold Glove
Led league in at bats once
Led league in doubles once
One World Series championship

Hernandez:
1124 R 2182 H 426 2B 60 3B 162 HR 1071 RBI 1070 BB 1012 K .384 OB .436 SLG .820 OPS .296 AVG

5 time All Star
11 time Gold Glove - arguably the best fielding first baseman ever
1 MVP
3 time top 5 MVP
4 time top 10 MVP
Led league in batting once
Led league in runs twice
Two World Series Championships
Dated Elaine on Seinfeld

You tell me who's stats are more impressive. Factor in Grace played his home games at Wrigley Field during the HR era. Hernandez played at Busch before they moved the fences in and Shea, a pitcher's park during an era when 30 HRs might lead the league.
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#9 Posted on
The argument could be made for Grace that since he had the most hits from 1990 - 1999 in the league, that he was dominant in that regard.

If you break it down though, Gwynn played those same years and should have owned the number but for injuries. Grace is the guy that hit well that didn't really get hurt.

1990 - 1999 is really an arbitrary period to look at, but its convenient because its a 10 year span.

I'm not saying Grace is HOF bound - just throwing out an interesting stat.



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Since: 23.1.02
From: Staten Island NY USA

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#10 Posted on
The only way I can see Mark Grace getting in is if he rebounds and has five great years, getting him to 3000 hits. That's it. If you have to think about whether a person is a Hall of Famer they do not belong.
Quezzy
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Since: 6.1.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#11 Posted on
It doesn't matter if Grace has won any awards (although he has, unless you don't count Golden Gloves as awards), what matters is what he's done on the field, and you can't deny he has great numbers.

When comparing him to Roberto Alomar, i'm not saying he is as good as Alomar by any strectch of the imagination, Alomar is the best player in the game. And you can't compare them defensively or leadership or heart or whatever but you CAN compare them offensively because they've played in the same era. When you take into consideration that Alomar is the best player in the game and Mark Grace is right with him in every stat except stolen bases, that makes him damn good.

Mark Grace isn't one of the top 10 first basemen of the time?? Name 10 above him then? I can't think of anyone other than McGwire that is even close.

Sure Grace has never won the MVP, but there isn't a requirement that you have to win the MVP, most of the time the person who deserves the MVP doesn't win it anyway. McGwire has played on a GREAT Oakland A's team, and a pretty good Cardinals team. Grace has played his whole career for a sucky Cubs team, so how can he win the MVP when you have to be on one of the top teams to ever win it now.



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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#12 Posted on
Don Mattingley - Not a HOF bound player as far as I'm concerned...

Don Mattingley Stats (Career)

G 1785 AB 7003 R 1007 H 2153 2b 442 3b 20 HR 222 RBI 1099 SB 14 CS 9 BB 588 SO 444 BA .307 OBP .358 SLG .471 TB 3301

Mark Grace - To date

G 2055 AB 7632 R 1123 H 2343 2b 487 3b 45 HR 163 RBI 1082 SB 68 CS 48 BB 1013 SO 597 BA .307 OBP .386 SLG .447 TB 3409

There are a few more guys with comparable stats... Here's another few:

Wally Joyner

Will Clark

If you pull the Grace stats, and look at the bottom of the page, you can see the list of similiar batters. I pulled these four guys out of my memory... Surely there are more, better examples of guys like or better than Grace. These just happen to be the ones from the period that I know baseball.



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(edited by Guru Zim on 26.1.02 1412)

(edited by Guru Zim on 26.1.02 1418)
The Masked Hungarian
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Since: 23.1.02
From: Staten Island NY USA

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#13 Posted on
The Oakland A's dominated from 88-91....then came the freefall. The Cardinals have been good for the last two years. That's only a third of his career where McGwire played on a great team. McGwire is first ballot Hall of Famer easy. Nobody is saying different.

Mark Grace played on two Cubs teams that made the playoffs. There were decent years in between.

As for naming ten first basemen that are better than Grace, how about: (in no particular order)

1) Lou Gehrig
2) Harmon Killebrew
3) Jimmy Foxx
4) Willie McCovey
5) Hank Greenberg
6) Orlando Cepeda
7) Tony Perez
8) Johnny Mize
10) Bill Terry

Now you can throw in McGwire, Bagwell, McGriff, Palmiero. Giambi is still a couple of years away, although he is going to KILL in Yankee Stadium

I think Grace falls into the good player category. NOT a Hall of Famer. He never impacted the game, never had a GREAT season. Just plenty of solid ones, nothing more.
Quezzy
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Since: 6.1.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#14 Posted on
Originally posted by The Masked Hungarian
The Oakland A's dominated from 88-91....then came the freefall. The Cardinals have been good for the last two years. That's only a third of his career where McGwire played on a great team. McGwire is first ballot Hall of Famer easy. Nobody is saying different.

Mark Grace played on two Cubs teams that made the playoffs. There were decent years in between.

As for naming ten first basemen that are better than Grace, how about: (in no particular order)

1) Lou Gehrig
2) Harmon Killebrew
3) Jimmy Foxx
4) Willie McCovey
5) Hank Greenberg
6) Orlando Cepeda
7) Tony Perez
8) Johnny Mize
10) Bill Terry

Now you can throw in McGwire, Bagwell, McGriff, Palmiero. Giambi is still a couple of years away, although he is going to KILL in Yankee Stadium

I think Grace falls into the good player category. NOT a Hall of Famer. He never impacted the game, never had a GREAT season. Just plenty of solid ones, nothing more.



I agree with your 10 first basemen, I never claimed Mark Grace was one of the top 10 first basemen of ALL TIME, i said of HIS TIME. Out of the other people you mentioned.
McGwire is better sure, Bagwell, i'll agree with that too. But McGriff?? Grace is better than McGriff. Palmeiro? Palmeiro is a good hitter but not as good defensively, but he's been a DH for a while now, which some people say could hurt his HOF chances. And as you said Giambi is still years away.

One more thing, on my original post I forgot Bonds on my definite Hall of Famers, silly me.



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Since: 5.1.02
From: Dover, NH

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#15 Posted on
FWIW, the New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract lists Mark Grace as the 32nd best 1B of all time.

Among 1B who played during his era ahead of him are Mark McGwire, Jeff Bagwell, Eddie Murray, Frank Thomas, Don Mattingly, Will Clark, Rafael Palmeiro, Fred McGriff. Keith Hernandez is 16th.

Now, I am not one of these that goes, "Bill James said it so it muct be true..." people, but the list is a very tool.

Personnaly, Clark just doesn't have enough to cut it. He's in back of Hernandez and Mattingly, probably ahead of Clark, if I were to check Clark's starts, which I may or may not do.






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Since: 2.1.02
From: Ottawa, Ontario

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.87
Isn't Bill James the one who has Craig Biggio as the 20th best player of all time or something like that?




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Since: 11.12.01
From: Catlin IL

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#17 Posted on

Originally posted by Guru Zim
Don Mattingley - Not a HOF bound player as far as I'm concerned...

Don Mattingley Stats (Career)

G 1785 AB 7003 R 1007 H 2153 2b 442 3b 20 HR 222 RBI 1099 SB 14 CS 9 BB 588 SO 444 BA .307 OBP .358 SLG .471 TB 3301

Mark Grace - To date

G 2055 AB 7632 R 1123 H 2343 2b 487 3b 45 HR 163 RBI 1082 SB 68 CS 48 BB 1013 SO 597 BA .307 OBP .386 SLG .447 TB 3409

There are a few more guys with comparable stats... Here's another few:

Wally Joyner

Will Clark

If you pull the Grace stats, and look at the bottom of the page, you can see the list of similiar batters. I pulled these four guys out of my memory... Surely there are more, better examples of guys like or better than Grace. These just happen to be the ones from the period that I know baseball.



I love it when a plan comes together

(edited by Guru Zim on 26.1.02 1412)

(edited by Guru Zim on 26.1.02 1418)




Guru,

Grace has OVER ONE THOUSAND more plate appearances than Mattingly in that example...so there is really no comparison when it comes to production between the two.







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squiz
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Since: 5.1.02
From: Dover, NH

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#18 Posted on
Originally posted by cfgb
Isn't Bill James the one who has Craig Biggio as the 20th best player of all time or something like that?




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I don't know about that, but he has him as the 6th best 2B of all time.



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Since: 11.12.01
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.21
Talking about Mark Grace being a Hall of Famer is ludicrous. He has nowhere near the credentials to be in the HOF. He gets in just like the rest of us - by paying his $12.



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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#20 Posted on

Grace has OVER ONE THOUSAND more plate appearances than Mattingly in that example...so there is really no comparison when it comes to production between the two.



7632 - 7003 = 629. It isn't 1000 - it is a little more than 1 seasons worth of AB. Grace has only 200 more hits in those 629 AB. Power wise, Mattingly was more productive. Matty had the MVP in 1985. Both have all-star appearances.

The weakest part of my argument was that Matty isn't a potential HOFer. I checked the last few voting results, and he actually has a fairly decent shot if he can pick up some votes.





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