Monday, April 11, 2005

 

New Additions to the RLWHF

There are ten new additions to the Ray Lankford Wing of the Hall of Fame:

Mark Grace, Will Clark, Matt Williams, Darryl Strawberry, Cecil Fielder, Frank Viola, David Cone, Dwight Gooden, Orel Hershiser and Darryl Kile.

I had a huge post detailing all of their careers, but Blogger decided to eat it, so I'm slightly demoralized.
The players are all linked up to their Baseball-Reference cards, so you can see their peaks and career statistics from there. I promise I won't make this a habit, but seriously, it took me an hour to write that in detail and I'm a little annoyed at Blogger for erasing it. A few notes:

  • Mark Grace was used incorrectly in his career and if viewed as a #2 hitter he was almost as successful as could be.
  • Will Clark is the closest thing to a Hall of Fame teammate Barry Bonds has had to this point in his career, and if Jason Schmidt doesn't make it someday then Bonds will never have played with a HoF'er.
  • Matt Williams could have broken the homerun record in 1994 if not for the strike, and his career ending with injuries and poor play was a disapointment to me.
  • Darryl Strawberry, off the field behavior aside, had the potential to be one of the very greats...instead my favorite memory of him is from his appearance on The Simpsons when he wept.
  • Cecil Fielder was a large man, and I still talk about how he was screwed out of the MVP Award in atleast one of his 50 homerun seasons. No one else was hitting 50 homeruns, wasn't this important to anyone outside Detroit? I'll get to this later, as I just decided where to focus a future post.
  • Frank Viola was an innings horse that had his career ended early because of it. 240-250 IP were more than frequent, they were commplace in his career. He was a dominating changeup artist, and would still be pitching today, ending his career gracefully with the likes of Roger Clemens on his way to the Hall of Fame. Sigh, what could have been...
  • David Cone should make the Hall of Fame, but he probably will not. His entire career looked like a peak, minus the very end with Boston and the Mets.
  • Dwight Gooden flamed out much too early for his own good, hurting his Hall of Fame chances; but that is why I've created this RLWHF.
  • Orel Hershiser, based on his 1988 season alone would make the RLWHF. One of the all-time great seasons, with a Cy Young, the scoreless innings streak, the World Series victories, the World Series MVP, the NLCS MVP, the Gold Glove, the fact that an entire Dodgers' team rode on his back, and the fact he outhit Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire combined in the World Series makes for great everything. Sometimes you spend too much of your talent or luck in the same year though, and 2 years later Hershiser was an effective slightlt above league average pitcher after the culmination of his peak in 1988.
  • Darryl Kile was one of my favorites growing up, and I was saddened by his passing. Career wise, when he hit his stride in Houston he was signed by Colorado and effectively ruined what would have been his peak years. Figure in all the wins, strikeouts, and low ERA's he lost by pitching in Colorado rather than in Houston or St. Louis and you would have yourself an extremely good career, rather than a pretty good one.

There you go, 10 new members of the RLWHF. This is the plan going forward though. I am going to induct all of the shoe-ins I have on lists now (remember I only have the 90's and a lot of the 80's covered, with some random 70's names sprinkled in), so the list will swell quickly. I will then pick a few to write about on occasion so that I don't bore all of you with a new article everytime I come up with 5 entrants. I will also start the voting process for the fringe RLWHF'ers, starting with polls at www.minorleagueball.com until I get the new site setup with its own poll features. Plus, with the traffic that goes there, it makes it easier to amass large vote totals.


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