It’s here. Graham Womack of Baseball: Past and Present released today his third annual compilation of The 50 Best Baseball Players Not in the Hall of Fame. I wrote the capsule for #40. Check out Graham’s piece to see who that is.
A few observations:
38 of the 50 players I voted for made the list, with only ancient pitchers Tommy Bond, Urban Shocker, and Eddie Cicotte; less-ancient pitchers Billy Pierce, Dwight Gooden and Kevin Appier, underappreciated third basemen Buddy Bell and Sal Bando, catcher Gene Tenace, outfielder Sherry Magee, and Negro Leaguers Buck O’Neil and Bingo DeMoss missing the cut. Only one other voter named DeMoss, and I was the only voter who thought him worthy of induction.
The 12 players I didn’t vote for who made the top 50 were Tommy John, Darrell Evans, Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly, Jim Kaat, Will Clark, Dale Murphy, Jack Morris, Gil Hodges, Thurman Munson, Albert Belle, and Dave Parker.
I’m surprised that Mike Piazza finished as low as he did. I’m a Lou Whitaker supporter, but I don’t understand how Whitaker finished ahead of Piazza. 34 of 148 voters left Piazza off their 50-man ballots, and of the 114 who voted for him, seven don’t think he should be in the Hall and two declined to state whether he should be inducted. That means that just 105 of 148, or 71 percent of voters in this project consider him a Hall of Famer. If the best hitting catcher ever isn’t good enough for the Hall, who is?
I’m also a little disappointed that Kevin Brown and Bill Dahlen continue to receive so little support.
Above all, I’m immensely impressed with all the work Graham puts into this list, and I’m honored to have been involved this year. Give it a read, leave a comment, and if you’re up for it, vote in the project next year.
Happy New Year!