In preparation of the establishment of my own Baseball Hall of Fame to replace the Hall of Subjective Moralizing and Politics in Cooperstown, here are a few players currently enshrined that I can say right of the bat (no pun intended; but appreciated nonetheless) would not make it into my new Hall of Fame:
Paul Molitor: I would say that it’s pretty weird that Molitor got voted in while Harold Baines did not, considering their near-identical careers as designated hitters (Molitor: 21 seasons, 122 adjusted OPS+; Baines: 22 seasons, 120), except for the fact that there is little rhyme or reason to who the BBWAA elects to what is supposedly baseball’s highest honor.
Neither Baines nor Molitor will find themselves in Jake’s Hall of Fame, but both have unquestioned claims to residency in the Hall of Very Good. Fun fact: Baines and Molitor were even selected two picks apart in the 1977 Draft, with Baines going first overall to the White Sox and Brewers taking Molitor third.
Dave Winfield: Maintaining an adjusted OPS+ of 130 over the course of a 22-year career is impressive, however, a corner outfielder who only finishes in the top five in that category once during those 22 years is not a Hall of Famer. He’ll be right up there with Molitor and Baines in the Very Good ranks though.
Ernie Banks: The first half of his career was epic, with a line of .290/.353/.552 as a shortstop in a low-offense era; however, after becoming a full-time first baseman in 1961, he managed to hit just .260/.310/.454, making him a league-average bat at what is supposed to be a high-offense position for more than half of his career.
Nellie Fox, Bill Mazeroski, & Red Schoendienst: Finishing one’s career with an adjusted OPS+ below 100 is grounds for immediate disqualification unless your name is Ozzie Smith.
Bruce Sutter: Being an elite closer isn’t enough if you only play for 12 seasons. Off the top of my head, the only relievers I’m taking are Mariano Rivera, Goose Gossage, Trevor Hoffman, and Dennis Eckersley.