Friday, April 15, 2005
The Last Step for Hitters in the RLWHF
4/16/05: I weeded out all the players below the 85% threshold, and that left me with 413 players....I'm not very amused. So it looks as if I'm moving up to 90% right now, or a 190 Win Shares cutoff...I'm not even posting this until I counted..............377 players, damnit. 200 WS cutoff? I'll see after work.
4/15/05 Afternoon: This paragraph has been added on since the post this morning after I came to realize my list was much too big. I have 534 hitters on my list using 157-161 as the bottomline, so I am going to have to shave it off some. There are 260+ guys in Cooperstown, and I don't mind surpassing that at all, but not by 500 guys (remember I have not done pitchers yet). So instead of players who hold 75% of the value of the Filter Lineup, I will use players who are 80% as valuable, or maybe even 85%. This has to be done to cut the number down. Basically, if it is 80%, no players under 172 Win Shares will be allowed to enter the voting pool, and an 85% limit would raise that figure to 183 Win Shares. A separate figure will probably be instituted for pitchers. Basically, I'll go through the list and count the players below 172...if the figure I end up with minus those players is still too high in the end, I'll add the guys below 183 Win Shares to the list of castoffs as well. The players do get a 5 Win Share minus bonus, so 167 and 178 would be acceptable respectively until I get to figuring their JAWS scores. If the JAWS score for the players I have allowed to linger on the list is not adequate, than they will get their final push out the door. Basically, I'm trying to make it so that the wrong people do not come in here and devalue the RLWHF as a whole, but I want to make sure I do not miss out on too many people, or guys who look borderline via Win Shares but JAWS sees them as legit and vice versa. Just so everyone knows, Smokey Joe Wood has enough Win Shares as a hitter to enter the RLWHF that way...ahh the good old days, when many pitchers could hit.
As I was going through my 2003 edition of Total Baseball, and my list kept growing and growing since I arbitrarily picked 135 as my cutoff point for Win Shares, I did not think too much of it. Then I came to Scott Fletcher's name in the book. I realized at that point, that since Scott Fletcher was going to be allowed into the RLWHF, it was time to mathematically figure out a cutoff point, even if it is done simply. So here is what I did.
I took the average of the Win Shares of the Nine Man Filter Lineup I built yesterday, with Mickey Tettleton, Mo Vaughn, Frank White, Todd Zeile, Johnny Pesky, Ray Lankford, Ellis Burks, Eric Davis, and Hal McCrae. This figure came out to be 215.5555556. I then multiplied that by .75 to come out to a Win Shares total for players that would be 75% the player my filter lineup is as a collective unit. This brought me to a figure of 161.6666667, or for Win Shares purposes, 162. I will use 161 as the figure though. This will be used as my guideline; if anyone has around 157 or 158 Win Shares, I will list them from Total Baseball just incase their JAWS score is adequate for induction. I have a lot of name crossing off to do for now, so you should get an article later tonight, something along the lines of an AL Roundup thus far.
By the way, for pitchers (to save a post for later) will probably be gauged off of Win Shares as well, and I'll see if I can find 5 pitchers who fit the bill much like my lineup, and then proceed to average them out and come out to a bottomline figure as well.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
I've Got It...I think....
Of course, as good as Ray Lankford is a relative term. Catchers will not be punished for not being as good at hitting as Ray Lankford, but instead I have to find the JAWS qualifications I used in the Tim Raines article yesterday and see what the differences are between Catcher and Left Field and Left Field and First Base and so on...so I have my work cut out for me. Or I could do this instead; set a position player for each position as the gauge for each position. I do not have to pick the best player, just one who will keep me from embarassing myself.
Just so we can see what the relative difference between Cooperstown Hall of Famers position by position are, here are Jaffe's figures:
Position and JAWS
C - 68.1
So we can see here that the catchers I select can be (relative to Ray Lankford at LF with a 52 JAWS) about 5-6 JAWS points less. This applies to everyone else as well. Of course with the sample of players I have and the fact I'm doing this now, it won't be the same as Jaffe's numbers above; for example, my catcher had a better JAWS career than my first basemen. That point brings us to here:
C - Mickey Tettleton (184 Win Shares; 50.3 JAWS)
1B - Mo Vaughn (200 Win Shares; 49.15 JAWS)
2B - Frank White (211 Win Shares; 54.9 JAWS)
3B - Todd Zeile (217 Win Shares; 43.35 JAWS)
SS - Jim Fregosi (261 WS, 53.25 JAWS)
LF - Ray Lankford (227 Win Shares; 52 JAWS)
CF - Ellis Burks (260 Win Shares; 55.7 JAWS)
RF - Eric Davis (224 Win Shares; 55.2 JAWS)
DH - Hal McRae ( 230 Win Shares; 46.7 JAWS)
Another note, as I was figuring the JAWS score I noticed that Will Clark would be a slightly above average first basemen in Cooperstown with a JAWS score over 72...go figure huh? Just more stuff to write about come inductions in the summer.
Take that team I just made in its prime and it would be pretty hard to beat by the way.
So now that I have this list, what do I get to do? Sift through all the players who are currently in as well as the 275-300 names on my computer right now to see who is eligible. Luckily, this will be great when it is completed, especially now that I am not just throwing guys in on a whim.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Tim Raines and the Actual Hall of Fame
1) I'm going to check out Baseball References Black Ink, Gray Ink, HOF Standards and HOF Monitor scores on Raines.
2) I'm going to get Tim Raines' career Win Shares, a Bill James invention that is great for evaluating contributions of the past. Basically, a nice shiny simple number I can use to compare some players to Raines.
3) I'm going to get the Win Shares for comparable or similar players to Raines who are in the Hall of Fame, as well as some other outfielders who are in who Raines either stacks up to or is ahead of in career Win Shares.
4) I will also use the WARP3 statistic, which is "WARP-2, expanded to 162 games to compensate for shortened seasons. Initially, I was just going to use (162/season length) as the multiplier, but this seemed to overexpand the very short seasons of the 19th century. I settled on using (162/scheduled games) ** (2/3). So Ross Barnes' 7.4 wins in 1873, a 55 game season, only gets extended to 15.2 WARP, instead of a straight-line adjustment of 21.8." In a nutshell...it is an adjustment for all-time.
5) Use Jay Jaffe's JAWS score to determine his worth versus the average left fielder in the Hall of Fame.
Now as of right now, I do not know how Raines stacks up against these other players and on these HOF scores, so if I am proven wrong in the end I might admit it, depending on if I am far off or not. The thing is, I don't think he is far off. Before I delve into this, let me just say he is probably one of the greatest leadoff men of all time who had the misfortune of being a contemporary of the greatest leadoff hitter of all time in Rickey Henderson, as well as Hall of Fame leadoff man Paul Molitor. You know how that voting committee loves their contemporaries; no way three men can be Hall of Fame worthy at the same position in the same era! Blasphemer! Granted, Henderson is way above the two of them in my mind, but I think Raines and Molitor are relatively similar in total career worth. Let's put it this way: If Rock Raines is not a Hall of Famer in your eyes, then Paul Molitor better be a fringe one, which would call the BBWAA's thoughts into question (Tony Perez and George Kelly anyone?)
First off, here are Raines HOF scores as seen on Baseball Reference:
Black Ink: Batting - 20 (Overall rank 103) (Average HOF'er ~ 27)
Gray Ink: Batting - 114 (Overall rank 171) (Average HOF'er ~ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting - 46.8 (Overall rank 92) (Average HOF'er ~ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting - 90.0 (Overall rank 165) (Likely HOF'er ~ 100)
So according to the average Hall of Famer, Tim Raines is basically there. Paul Molitor is way ahead using this metric:
Black Ink: Batting - 24 (78) (Average HOF'er ~ 27)
Gray Ink: Batting - 145 (95) (Average HOF'er ~ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting - 59.1 (27) (Average HOF'er ~ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting - 165.5 (58) (Likely HOF'er > 100)
So using these standards, I look slightly (to be kind to myself) dumb. But luckily I have backup plans. Also, one note on these forms: they have not been reevaluated since 1994, and a lot of thought and development has been done since then. Jay Jaffe used the phrase, "Bill James' Hall of Fame Standards and Hall of Fame Monitor tools have reached their sell-by date." He has a point, as his system using JAWS (a modified version of the WARP3 statistic Clay Davenport created) is more in depth and more accurate in many ways. Read the article from the link above to get an in-depth view of it.
Tim Raines has 390 career Win Shares, while Paul Molitor has 414. Basically, that is one really good season more than Raines, or can simply be attributed to the fact that Molitor stuck around to get 3,000 hits and so played for 21 seasons. Well, 20 seasons technically, as he only played 13 games in 1984. Tim Raines has 23 seasons under his belt, but he lost 2000 and didn't get to play much for his last few teams. So they are roughly in the same area for career length. Molitor did accumulate more Win Shares, but he was an important part of his team in Minnesota at the end (more a tribute to Minnesota's bad teams than to Molitor's greatness) while Raines spent his 2002 on a team fighting for the playoffs. So I guess we can either call this a draw or hand a slight edge to Molitor, although the difference in their Win Shares is small...the point of this discussion of course is not me trying to prove Raines belonging OVER Molitor, but showing how closely related they may be in order to prove how Raines belongs when Molitor is so sure of a true Hall of Famer. This isn't me saying Don Mattingly should be in because guys like Ralph Kiner, who had less win shares, are in because of a mistake made by the committee in voting. This is me saying Tim Raines belongs because he meets the qualifications of a Hall of Famer, not a fringe one, but a real Hall of Famer.
In The New Bill James Historical Abstract, James has Tim Raines ranked as the 81st greatest player of all time, while Molitor is not on the list...or on his consensus list of guys left off the Top 100 of 20 more players. Bill James has Tim Raines as the 8th best left fielder of all time, ahead of Hall of Famer Willie Stargell and directly in front of Hall of Famer Al Simmons. He has Paul Molitor ranked as the 8th greatest third basemen of all time, but his lack of inclusion on the Top 100 does away with what might appear to be equality. Left field traditionally has better hitters than third base does, so this is apples and oranges, not apples to apples. As far as apples to apples comparisons go, I give you this:
"Tim Raines has been overlooked by everyone else except Total Baseball", which rates him much higher than I do. Raines, in my opinion, is the second-best leadoff man of all-time, behind Rickey Henderson, but had the misfortune of being an exact contemporary not only of Henderson but also of Paul Molitor, the third-greatest leadoff man ever."
That is straight from Bill James' Player Rankings and Comments section of the New Abstract, and gives more kudos to Raines in his argument for the Hall. Also, if Raines is the 81st greatest player of all time (from a 2000 book) and there are 260+ Hall of Famers...then isn't he technically better than roughly 180 of those guys? 44 guys had totaled 400+ Win Shares at the time the book Win Shares was published, with 39 of them in the Hall (and the other 5 listed below in the excerpt from Baseball-Fever.) Tim Raines just misses being one of those 44 players by 10 win shares, or one season by the 2004 version of Reed Johnson.
I found this searching on Google at Baseball-Fever.com, posted by user Appling:
"Bill James has outlined a number of "qualifications" for potential members of the Hall of Fame -- His Black Ink Test, Grey Ink Test and the like. But perhaps the most simple and accurate test is the player's Total Win Shares for his career. In his book "Win Shares" Bill James lists 44 players with career "Total Win Shares" of 400 or more. 39 of this group are already in the Hall of Fame -- and four of the other five are stars who who should be elected on their first HOF ballot:Barry Bonds 572 (thru 2002)Rickey Henderson 530 Cal Ripken, Jr. 427 Paul Molitor 414. Of course, the fifth player over 400 is Pete Rose (547 WS)
IMO there should be no question on the HOF qualifications of anyone with 400+ Win Shares. In fact, most eligible players with 350 WS or more are already in the Hall of Fame. The most contraversial members seem to be players with less than 300 career Win Shares (Luis Apparico 293? Kiki Cuyler 292? George Sisler 292? Kirby Puckett 281? Bill Terry 278? Ed Walsh 265? Lloyd Waner 245?) Players with fewer than 300 Win Shares may still belong because of a few great seasons, but anyone over 400 should be almost automatic."
Most players with over 350 win shares are in the Hall of Fame already, and Tim Raines has 390. Using this system, it is obvious he belongs. But how does he stack up all-time in ways other than win shares?
Using Baseball-Reference's Similarity Scores, we see this:
1) Lou Brock*
2) Max Carey*
3) Willie Davis
4) Jimmy Ryan
5) Jose Cruz
6) Fred Clarke*
7) Harry Hooper*
8) Enos Slaughter*
9) Mickey Vernon
10) Rod Carew*
Six of those players are Hall of Famers, and the rest were very good players. Is Raines better than any of these players who are already in the Hall of Fame by a substantial margin? His career OPS+ bests any of the hitters except Fred Clarke and Rod Carew, so there is a plus. He stole more bases than anyone on the list except Lou Brock. Let's take a look at their Career WARP3 scores to get a look and see where Raines ranks among the 6 Hall of Famers he is supposedly similar to:
Lou Brock - WARP3: 86.3
Max Carey - WARP3: 93.2
Fred Clarke - WARP3: 100.6
Harry Hooper - WARP3: 86.5
Enos Slaughter - WARP3: 96.6
Rod Carew - WARP3: 112.3
Tim Raines - WARP3: 124.1
And just for kicks, Paul Molitor's WARP3 score is 127.2...barely ahead of Tim Raines, who bests the crowd of his similar Hall of Famers by a very good margin, an extremely good margin after Rod Carew.
And now, I will use Jay Jaffe's JAWS score (JAffe WARP Score) to see where it is Tim Raines stands among leftfielder in the Hall of Fame.
Here are the left fielder averages calculated by Jaffe:
WARP - 103.8; Peak WARP - 42.8, JAWS - 73.3
For Tim Raines career, he had a total WARP3 of 124.1 (a difference of 20.3 in Raines' favor), a peak WARP3 of 50.6 (a difference of 7.8 in Raines' favor) and a JAWS score of 87.5...a difference of 14.2 in Raines' favor.
What does this tell us? Well, since those scores for the left fielders are the average score of all the left fielders in the Hall of Fame, we can see that Tim Raines is an above average Hall of Famer. Now what will all of these numbers do? Nothing except on a few ballots, such as Peter Gammons, where sabermetrics and the like have been accepted as a great resource. You may be reading this and wondering, "why is he even questioning if Raines belongs in the Hall?" Well, I'm not. I know he does, and I just want to reinforce how much he deserves it, because there has been little mention and fanfare of his place on the ballot come 2008. We might see a great player slip through the cracks. Here is his competition on the 2007 and 2008 ballots:
Harold Baines, Derek Bell, Dante Bichette, Bobby Bonilla, Jeff Brantley, Jay Buhner, Ken Caminiti, Jose Canseco, Eric Davis, Tony Fernandez, Tony Gwynn, Darryl Hamilton, Pete Harnisch, Charlie Hayes, Glenallen Hill, Ken Hill, Stan Javier, Wally Joyner, Ramon Martinez, Mark McGwire, Paul O’Neill, Gregg Olson, Cal Ripken Jr., Bret Saberhagen, Jeff Shaw, Kevin Tapani, Devon White, Bobby Witt
Shawon Dunston, Travis Fryman, David Justice, Mike Morgan, Tim Raines, Randy Velarde
2008 shows Raines to be far and away the best player, with a career that may have more Win Shares and a better JAWS and WARP3 score than the rest of them possibly combined.
The names in bold in 2007 are those who I think will either make the Hall of Fame (you know who they are) or at least be sticking around in 2008 as competition with Raines or someone who might take votes away. Raines could get lucky if McGwire, Ripken, and Gwynn all get elected in 2007. Why? Because then his biggest competition is Jose Canseco (yeah right), Bret Saberhagen (I wish) and Paul O'Neill, who may get a lot of support because he was a Yankee on one of the teams that can be classified as THE Yankees. We'll have to see,but raising awareness for the vote for Tim Raines is of the utmost importance if we want the Hall of Fame to represent what it claims to: the greatest players in the history of the game.
Man, that felt good. Onto the rantings.
- If one more person tells me Mariano Rivera is washed up, I'm going to beat them to death with his numerous championship rings. It's unbelievable. So he blew 2 saves against arguably the best lineup in baseball? Big freaking whoop. If this was any team but the Red Sox, no one would care. Really, he's not losing his touch. The cutter is still phenomenal. The Sox, might, MIGHT, be in his head, but I'd chalk up the 2 blown saves to 78 innings of regular season work, a long and arduous post season, and not enough work during spring training. You feel free to crucify Rivera, I'll still put my money on the best closer in post season history, and possibly the modern era.
- The reason this post is entitled WTF: Bobby Cox. It's the top of the 9th inning, and he's trying to protect a 3-1 lead. Hudson has pitched 8 innings of 6 hit ball. Now I know it's only the second game of the season, but what the #$@%! He's only thrown 102 pitches, and he's clearly been dominant all night. How do you not at least let him face the first batter, have Kolb warm up, and let him try to finish what he started? If he puts a runner on, bring in Kolb, no harm, no foul. If he doesn't, you gave your closer a night off, and some confidence to your new ace. Instead, you pulled Hudson, brought in Kolb, and left him in long enough to give up 3 runs, Hudson's masterpiece, and eventually cost you the win. I bet Yoda is very angry with Bobby Cox right now, like, I won't be surprised at all if I turn on ESPN right now to find Cox has been mysteriously crushed by an X-Wing.
- Someone, anyone out there, who understands Dusty Baker, explain to me why when Todd Walker gets hurt, you don't play Jerry Hairston Jr., and, 2 parter here, you instead play Neifi Perez and bat him second? Let's make it a three parter. Why in the name of God is Corey Patterson (arguably the second best hitter on your team behind Ramirez/Lee) leading off? Am I the only one who thinks Dusty Baker is actually Satan?
- A giant, Learyesque, Shut the F*ck up to everyone who was willing to crucify John Smoltz after one start. It was one start. Did you see the next one? He K'd 15 and tied his own team record. Oops.
- Pedro Martinez is continuing his crusade to be among the greatest pitchers ever. A change of scenery, and a latin GM to overpay him, spoon with him at night, and whisper sweet nothings in his ear about being the bestest pitcher witcher in the whole world has brought back the Ace of old. Of course, not having to compete with Curt Schilling, who pitches in the ALCS with his tendons sewn to his skin can make your life alot simpler.
- Reasons I love fantasy baseball: I spent a 3rd round pick on Mark Teixeira, because I think he's going to bust out into a 45-50 homerun guy. He's sitting on my bench right now in favor of Xavier Nady, and another GM in the league just complimented my move. You just can't make stuff like that up. (Of course, it's not a bad move as Teix is typically an incredibly slow starter).
- Pat Burrell is reminding me why I wasted a second round pick on him in a year passed. With his wrist healthy, and a decent core around him, he currently has more RBIs than the whole of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and more homeruns. Hooray parody!
- I can't believe I'm saying this, kudos to the New York Yankees for proving once again how classy they are (except Gay Rod, he can burn in hell, wait, not burn, be forced into a life of sodomy with Ghenghis Khan..I bet he doesn't use lube) when they not only watched the Red Sox get their rings (attentively might I add), but they actually applauded for some of the players, like Tim Wakefield. This was an absolute slap to Yankee Nation, and they took it like men. If only more teams were like them, then we could win the AL Pennant in 7 game fashion ever year!
- This just in, for 155 more games, announcers everywhere will be forced to introduce the defending World Champion Boston Red Sox. Read that over again. Felt good, didn't it.
- Closing note here. I've been loving Marc's idea for the RLWHF, and i've got my own private submission. Another member of the Big Red Machine. That's right, the one armed, deaf, mute, color blind batboy with a heart of gold, Zeppy. Zeppy won't be wearing a hat into the hall of fame, because hats made him angry. He will instead be engraved with his customary racing stripe of Red ketchup across his head. God bless you Zeppy, and welcome to the RLWHF.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
RLWHF Update...and a Thank You
Thanks everyone for helping out so far!
Monday, April 11, 2005
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.
Sunday, April 10, 2005
A New Hall of Fame?
Ray Lankford, LF: Of course Ray Lankford is going to make it, the place is named after him. Lankford has not officially retired yet, but no one has signed him this season, and I have to include him since it's his wing. Here are Lankford's career stats, with his peak years separate:
.272/.364/.477 238 HR's, 874 RBI, 1561 H, 258 SB
Lankford had a 5 year peak (it could be 6 years with the power spike in 2000, but his average dropped).
1995: .277/.360/.513 25 HR, 35 2B, 24 SB, 63 BB
1996: .275/.366/.486 21 HR, 36 2B, 35 SB, 79 BB
1997: .295/.411/.585 31 HR, 36 2B, 21 SB, 95 BB
1998: .293/.391/.540 31 HR, 37 2B, 26 SB, 86 BB
1999: .306/.380/.493 15 HR, 32 2B, 14 SB, 49 BB (122 games)
WARP1 score, with the definition straight from BP: "Wins Above Replacement Player, level 1. The number of wins this player contributed, above what a replacement level hitter, fielder, and pitcher would have done, with adjustments only for within the season."
Career WARP1: 67.3
Career EqA: .291
WARP1 during peak seasons (1995-1999): 5.8, 8.6, 7.0, 7.6, 4.4.
Single season WARP1: 1992; 10.1
Single season EqA: 1997; .325
Awards: All-Star, 1997
Lankford was the real hero in the St. Louis outfield in the 1990's, no matter how many Brian Jordan stories you hear. Lankford will wear a St. Louis Cardinals hat into the RLWHF.
Andres Galaragga, 1B: 399 career homeruns is hard to argue with, not to mention his career didn't peak until he was 32. A very good player who was sometimes very scary; the key to being a member of the RLWHF. Career stats, then 6 year peak:
.288/.347/.499 399 HR's, 1425 RBI, 2,333 H, 444 2B
1993: .370/.403/.602 22 HR, 35 2B
1994: .319/.356/.592 31 HR, 21 2B
1995: .280/.331/.511 31 HR, 29 2B
1996: .304/.357/.601 47 HR, 39 2B
1997: .318/.389/.585 41 HR, 31 2B
1998: .305/.397/.595 44 HR, 27 2B
Career WARP1: 62.3
Career EqA: .281
WARP1 during peak seasons (1993-1998): 7.3, 4.7, 2.8, 5.1, 4.3, 5.8
Single Season WARP1: 1988; 7.7
Single Season EqA: .324; 1998
Awards: All-Star in 1988, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2000. Gold Gloves in 1989 and 1990. Silver Sluggers in 1988 and 1996. Batting Title in 1993. 4 Top Ten MVP finishes. Highest Placing was 6 (twice).
Galaragga did something not many players do; build an entire successful career after turning 32 years old. Commendable indeed, and sadly one shy of 400 HR's. A Colorado Rockies hat for you.
David Justice, OF: His teams always made the playoffs...coincidence? Probably. But that does not take away from what was a very good career, one that had 305 HR's and a .279/.378./.500 line...nothing to sneeze at.
.279/.378./.500 305 HR, 1571 H, 280 2B, 903 BB, 1,107 RBI
1993: .270/.357/.515 40 HR, 15 2B (odd), 78 BB
1994: .312/.427/.531 19 HR, 19 2B, 69 BB (104 G)
1995: .253/.365/.479 24 HR, 17 2B, 73 BB
1996: .321/.409/.514 6 HR, 9 2B, 21 BB (40 G)
1997: .329/.418/.596 33 HR, 31 2B, 80 BB
1998: .280/.363/.476 21 HR, 39 2B, 76 BB
1999: .287/.413/.476 21 HR, 18 2B, 94 BB
2000: .286/.377/.584 40 HR, 31 2B, 77 BB
Career WARP1: 63.5
Career EqA: .294
WARP1 during peak seasons (1993-2000) 8.5, 5.4, 4.9, 2.3, 6.7, 3.6, 4.3, 6.1
Single Season WARP1: 8.5; 1993
Single Season EqA: 1997; .324
Awards: All-Star in 1993, 1994, 1997. NL Rookie of the Year in 1990. ALCS MVP in 2000. Silver Sluggers in 1993 and 1997. Two Top Ten MVP finishes, highest 3rd.
Justice made the playoffs every year from the start of the Braves' division dynasty until his retirement with Oakland in 2002. Justice will wear an Atlanta Braves cap to the hall.
Chuck Finley, SP: 200-173 career record with a career shortened by injuries. 21st overall in career strikeouts. A very underrated career for Finley, now he gets to enjoy his place in the Halls of Some Glory.
1989: 16-9 2.57 ERA, 156:82 K:BB, 9 CG
1990: 18-9 2.40 ERA, 177:81 K:BB
1991: 18-9 3.80 ERA, 171:101 K:BB
1992: 7-12 3.96 ERA, 124:98 K:BB
1993: 16-14 3.15 ERA, 187:82 K:BB, 13 CG
A pretty good peak, excellent in spots.
Finley's best season came in 1990, with his 18-9 2.40 ERA, 177:81 K:BB. 1993 was also exceptional, due to the high K's and high CG totals.
200-173 W-L record, 3.85 career ERA.
Clay Davenport DT Card Adjusted: 265-155 W-L record, 3.44 career ERA.
Awards: All-Star in 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996, 2000. 7th place in Cy Young in 1990.
Chuck Finley will wear a California Angels hat to the hall.
Bret Saberhagen, SP: One of the greatest control artists in baseball history, Bret Saberhagen would be a Hall of Famer if injuries were not on a par with success in his career. One of my favorites.
1985: 20-6 2.87 ERA, 158:38 K:BB, 10 CG
1986: 7-12 4.15 ERA, 112:29 K:BB
1987: 18-10 3.36 ERA, 163:53 K:BB, 15 CG
1988: 14-16 3.80 ERA, 171:59 K:BB, 9 CG
1989: 23-6 2.16 ERA, 193:43 K:BB, 12 CG
That peak, along with a 14-4 2.74 ERA, 143:13 K:BB ratio in 1994 with the Mets and a 10-6 2.95, 81-11 K:BB ratio season in 1999 (along with his Game 5 playoff start against the Indians which was gutsy considering his arm condition) gives you an excellent career brought down only by injury and half a season in Colorado. Saberhagen had many other very good to excellent seasons with the Royals and Mets, and a pretty good 1998 in Boston, so his career was fulfilling enough.
167-117 W-L, 3.34 ERA
Clay Davenport DT Card Translation: 211-105 3.16 ERA.
Awards: All-Star in 1987, 1990, 1994. Cy Youngs in 1985 and 1989; 3rd place in voting in 1994. Gold Glove in 1989.
Bret Saberhagen will wear his Kansas City Royals cap to the RLWHF.
So there you go folks, the first 5 members of the Ray Lankford Wing of the Hall of Fame (RLWHF). I will have many more 5 person inclusion ceremonies in the future, as I have just completed my preliminary list covering the 90's and some of the 80's players. The inclusion of these 5 first means nothing, as there may be more deserving out there, so don't take it to heart too much if someone isn't here you want to see yet. There time will come. Of course, please share who you think deserves to be here. I'm going to develop a system (that may be bendable) overtime, and I plan on holding votes between groups of players for inclusion. It should be a fun exercise for both reader and writer.
As of now, I am thinking of something like having x number of things on your resume from this list:
.275 career average, 250 HR, 300 SB, 300 2B, 2,000 H (might be 1,750; not sure), 1,000 RBI, 750 BB, and a few other things. It will develop over time to be more strict, and we'll have ourselves our very own Hall of Fame that we can vote in and decide on without having to be a sportswriter for however many years in an exclusive club.
I know Ray Lankford doesn't fit the bill exactly so far thanks to my stat layout, but since he was the inspiration, he needs to be there. I could even lower it to 1,500 hits, but that might be pushing it. We'll see as the list grows and grows.