For some time, I’ve wanted to analyze the Hall of Fame; specifically, who today is going in? I’ve tried it once before, but the result never felt satisfying.
But then, it hit me.
Instead of writing three sentences each about fifty-odd guys and splitting it over two articles, write a more focused bit on smaller groups at a time.
I am starting with my favorite group, the third basemen.
Third is an extra interesting group, because the baseball writers committee, as a whole, seem to have absolutely no idea how to treat the position.
Shortstops and second basemen get special considerations for their offense, as the positions are defensively difficult. However, they completely ignore defense at third. Consequently, the position is under-represented.
Let me phrase this a different way: name every third baseman in the Hall of Fame. Not Veteran Committee/Negro Leagues/etc., JUST those elected through the standard process. Keep track of how many you name.
Did you get past five? If you did, you have named every third baseman in the Hall. The hot corner has a mere SIX representatives in Cooperstown: Pie Traynor, Eddie Mathews, Brooks Robinson, Mike Schmidt, George Brett, and Wade Boggs.
Think about it this way: of the six Hall of Fame third basemen, one was elected before the Korean War, and half were inducted in Bryce Harper’s lifetime.
Despite this bizarre condition, I have confidence that the current group manning the position can reverse this trend.