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  1. Until now, I’ve never heard of anyone who considered damon a HoFer. It seemed that everyone was in agreeance that he was an above average player with a remarkably consistent career, but never HoF worthy. He can still get on base though and probably has a few more years left in him

    Comment by j6takish — April 27, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

  2. That top graph is enough to end serious debate.

    Comment by Blue — April 27, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

  3. A guy with the arm of a 10 year-old better hit like Ruth if he wants to get in the HoF.

    Comment by Anon — April 27, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

  4. If Beltran deserves consideration, then so does Andruw Jones

    Comment by Mike H — April 27, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

  5. Here’s the issue: he has ~2600 hits.

    If you believe, as you said, that he has a few more years left, he could realistically get to 3000 hits.

    Then what do the voters do with him?

    3000 hits has been an automatic ticket to Cooperstown.

    Long way to go, I know, but it’s very possible he gets there if he’s willing to keep playing.

    Comment by Steve — April 27, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

  6. Well, he does. And will get consideration. A lot of consideration, IMO.

    Comment by Steve — April 27, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

  7. Oh, we know.

    (I thought there was a more substantive article somewhere on the site addressing this question, but I can’t find it.)

    Comment by Anon21 — April 27, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

  8. Nonsense.

    Comment by Steve — April 27, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

  9. tag fail

    Comment by Steve — April 27, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

  10. Maybe the Hall of the Very Good for a Long Time?

    Having seen his whole career I can’t honestly say that I was ever very afraid of him. Whenever the White Sox would play a Damon team I never went into the game or series thinking “Whatever you do, don’t let Damon beat you!” or if he came up in a big situation I was never really quaking in my chair.

    But as you hint at, his time in Boston and New York will probably earn him bonus points. If he had played his whole career in KC and put up those numbers this column wouldn’t have needed to be written.

    Comment by MikeS — April 27, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

  11. I realize you were using some hyperbole, my point was merely that if a player does everything else good enough to be in the Hall, I wouldn’t use a weak throwing arm as a valid reason to hold him back. Not saying Damon has such a resume…

    Comment by Steve — April 27, 2011 @ 1:57 pm


    But seriously. Since 2007, his ARM rating is -30. His defense is already mediocre enough, his lack of anything resembling an arm certainly doesn’t help.

    Comment by Anon — April 27, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

  13. Haha, I think we posted that at the same time. Obviously that wouldn’t be THE reason to keep him out. His arm really is awful though. Makes Grady Sizemore look like Roberto Clemente…

    Comment by Anon — April 27, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

  14. Amos Otis? Sweet. AO was the man.

    Comment by Matty — April 27, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

  15. Honestly, is there any proof whatsoever of this imagined “NY bias” in Hall of Fame voting?

    Maybe some guys hang around longer on the ballot than they would otherwise, but I can’t think of anyone who played in NY that got into the Hall of Fame underservedly (by the BWAA vote, the veteran’s committee is another story). Mattingly is rightfully on the outside looking in. Munson too.

    Paul Molitor managed to get in, as will Barry Larkin. Who are these small market players that are being kept out of the Hall for wallowing in obscurity?

    Now, Jim Rice on the other hand….

    Comment by Steve — April 27, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

  16. The voters should definitely look beyond the basic stats with Damon. Any borderline candidate or player that a voter thinks they should consider but isn’t a slam dunk, should always have their non-basic stats examined. Sometimes they deserve a little more and sometimes they don’t.

    Comment by Devon & His 1982 Topps blog — April 27, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

  17. I’ve never ever read or heard that Damon should be considered for the HOF. Never ever.

    Comment by Oscar — April 27, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

  18. I’m going to guess that Damon doesn’t even meet the 5% threshold to stay on the ballot. Who is going to make up the critical mass of voters putting him on their ballot?

    He didn’t play in any one city for all that long. He’s not going to get any support from statheads. Even if he gets to 3,000 hits, it will be viewed as a product of his offensive era. He’s a corner outfielder with a .790 OPS and a defensive reputation that is mostly about his weak arm.

    He’s basically Paul O’Neill, just without all the gamer/Yankee legend stuff, and O’Neill got 12 votes.

    Comment by Dave Cameron — April 27, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

  19. This one?

    Comment by Lewie Pollis — April 27, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

  20. Dear MikeS,

    Thank you for your comments. Please provide, at your convenience, a list of players who did make you quake in your chair, IN ORDER OF QUAKEY-NESS.

    We will induct them ASAP.


    The HOF Veteran’s Committee

    Comment by Conrad — April 27, 2011 @ 2:14 pm

  21. 3000 hits has been an automatic ticket, doesn’t mean it should be.

    That’s also 3-4 years for Damon to keep playing.

    Comment by descender — April 27, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

  22. If he gets to 3000 hits, 5% won’t be a problem. I bet for at least 20-30% of the voters 3000 hits is an automatic, regardless of era. Otherwise, I agree.

    Comment by Luke in MN — April 27, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

  23. If Johnny Damon reaches 3000 hits, and I expect him to, then I do believe that he gets in.

    The 3000 hit plateau is probably THE most beloved/important of all traditional HOF benchmarks for HOF voters.

    More importantly, however, are a few other factors that, in my opinion, seal the deal for Damon’s candidacy:

    1) The 2004 Red Sox are already a beloved team, one of the most beloved teams ever. This team is only going to get more beloved over the next 5-10 years. They made that incredible comeback against the evil empire. They will also, in my opinion, represent, in the minds of voters, “better days.” The financial crisis had not yet occurred in 2004. The housing market had not yet collapsed. The country had not yet gone broke. Don’t forget that, right about the time that Damon becomes eligible for the Hall, China will be surpassing the U.S. as the world’s #1 economy. There is a lot of emotion and sentimentality here. Voters’ irrationality is their defining characteristic.

    2) The 2004 Red Sox only have two guys who look like sure-fire HOFers: Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling. [Some will argue that Schilling isn’t a sure-fire HOFer; rubbish, I say!] Is that enough representation for the voters? I don’t think so.

    3) There are three other every day players on that 2004 roster who aren’t quite HOF material: Nomar Garciaparra, David Ortiz, and Manny Ramirez. Nomar’s seemingly HOF-bound career was cut short due to injuries. Ortiz was a late bloomer (thus, he lacks the counting stats) and also ended up with the taint of PEDs. Ramirez’s PED taint has, over the past year, gotten almost as big as Barry Bonds’, which I did not think was possible. Voters strongly dislike Ramirez for a variety of reasons and will be happy to punish him by leaving him out of the Hall. Which is a shame, because Ramirez was one of the greatest right-handed hitters ever, and he loved to play the game of baseball.

    4) Damon, meanwhile, is seen as the antithesis of Ramirez. Is this justified? Who cares? It’s perception, and perception sometimes trumps reality.

    5) Here is the biggie: NOBODY thinks that Johnny Damon ever even THOUGHT about using PEDs. Let’s say that he DID use PEDs. What would his numbers look like? They’d obviously be better! Yet he took “the high road.” Again, sentimentality is important. [By the way: has Andruw Jones ever been linked to PEDs? Not to my knowledge. What would HIS numbers look like if he had been using PEDs?]

    6) Thus, by voting in Damon, voters will be simultaneously celebrating the ’04 Red Sox, rewarding Damon for joining the 3000 hit club, rewarding Damon for being a “clutch” player, rewarding Damon for being a great interview, rewarding Damon for playing the game “the right way” and for refusing to use PEDs during an era when most of his peers seemed to be doing so, AND PUNISHING Ramirez for all of the reasons why they want to punish Ramirez. Furthermore, voters are, by voting in Damon, punishing lots of dudes who used PEDs.

    Comment by Robbie G. — April 27, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

  24. Alan Trammell? 18 shortstops in the HOF…Trammell is 9th in WAR at the position.

    Lou Whitaker? 17 2B’s in the HOF…Whitaker is 7th in WAR at the position.

    Detroit fans are confident that the Tigers get the short-end of the voting stick fairly often. Freehan, Morris & Parrish also have HOF cases IMO (though I’d only back Freehan).

    Comment by Ian — April 27, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

  25. 3,000 hits seems to be getting less substantial faster than the other “HOF standards.”

    Another great case for this is Omar Vizquel. The guy has 2800+ hits and is a many time gold glover who is universally considered one of the best defenders of our era. That sounds like a great case at first glance, but then you look at his .313 career wOBA. How did that happen? Oh, right, he’s collected those hits over twenty-three seasons. He’s actually been good for 158 batting runs BELOW replacement over his career, leaving him at 48.1 WAR.

    On another note: Interestingly enough, Ozzie Smith has a nearly identical .311 wOBA over 19 seasons, with only 2400 hits and actually LESS power (28 homers to Omar’s 80) and he was a surefire HOF’er at only 58 batting runs below replacement, good for 70.3 WAR. That’s an incredible difference in era for a two guys that entered the league less than ten years apart, no?

    Comment by Mike H — April 27, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

  26. Okay, most are talking about will he… lets talk about should he.

    I think the sum of all WAR is not a good stat. It should be sum of WAG, or wins above a good player. These are supposed to be great players. I’d set the good player bar around 2 WAR, this is about where you are likely to be a free agent every fall and not a fan favorite, but they are going to get a contract reliably. These players are more like a commodity for putting together a division leading team when there is a hole in one spot.

    If a player played for 25 years, each a 2 WAR season, there is no way they would ever, ever be considered. This is a ho-hum player who lasted really well.

    I would also remove the negative values from WAG. These are the years you are forgiven where you are carted out for the fans to see a few more times. A player should be judged by the heights they can reach…

    On this basis, he is a no way! Far to many low WAR (just positive WAG) years.

    Comment by Barkey Walker — April 27, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

  27. But is there another player on the 3000 hit list that is so undecorated? only 2 ASG appearances, so-so power combined with a sub 0.300 batting average count against him. The closest in these departments are Rickey Henderson, but was also a base stealer and won an MVP and Robin Yount, but he played difficult positions and won two MVPs.

    Comment by Barkey Walker — April 27, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

  28. He was a CFer during his prime-perhaps not a stellar one defensively, but he’s only been in the corner for 4-5 years now.

    Comment by John DiFool — April 27, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

  29. Points 1-4 and part of 6 are unrelated to this post or any honest discussion of HOF worth. The HOF has momentos and the like from important events in baseball, and surely certain artifacts from the ’04 Red Sox are rightfully included. Picking an arbitrary number of players that must represent a WS team (or just this WS team) is dumb, and making that number at least 3 is really dumb. If you had to have 3 HOFers for every WS team, that would basically be all of the people selected for the HOF.

    Point 5 and part of 6 that reference roids is a valid point, but seems to not be helping, but rather hurting the chances of players and will continue to do so as long as a large chunk of players on the ballot are linked to roids and have better numbers. The HOF limit of 10 votes per voter will keep guys out because certain voters will use several of their votes each year on roiders because they don’t think they should be excluded. This creates more 5% or more guys and because the wealth of votes is spread so much, guys like Alomar, Bagwell, and Larkin don’t get in on their first try, and a so-called anti-roider, Fred McGriff, who had 493 supposedly clean home runs, is left out right along side McGwire and Palmiero. The voters don’t like roiders, but they also don’t like the guys who were statistically far inferior to the roiders, which leaves a very small group of potential HOFers for the next 15-20 years.

    Comment by TK — April 27, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

  30. Is Edgar Renteria destined for the HoF too? He has a realistic chance as well.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — April 27, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

  31. Is Damon even remotely the candidate that Bobby Abreu is? And I’m assuming he’s not getting in. (And bringing up Tim Raines would be too easy, right?)

    Comment by rageon — April 27, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

  32. Speaking of automatic baselines, the one thing I wanted more than anything else was for Jamie Moyer to get 300 wins before he retired. I guess there’s still a shot if anyone employs him after elbow surgery.

    Comment by HRB — April 27, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

  33. No, and good point.

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — April 27, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

  34. Note: I am not talking about what should happen, I’m talking about what I think will happen. Again, if HOF voters can be counted on for one thing, it’s unreasonableness. If Johnny Damon gets to 3,000 hits, then all of these other factors that I rattled off, all or most of which have nothing much to do with Johnny Damon’s actual performance as a player relative to his peers (or to current HOF OFs), will easily provide HOF voters with the rationale they need, however questionable that rationale might be. That was the point I was trying to make in my post.

    Comment by Robbie G. — April 27, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

  35. How about Lou Brock? Brock is in the 3,000 hit club and he is unquestionably less accomplished than Johnny Damon. There are nearly 300 position players with more career WAR than Brock, including the following dudes:

    Doug DeCinces
    Carney Lansford
    David Justice
    Julio Franco
    Chuck Knoblauch
    Devon White
    Andy Van Slyke
    Carlos Delgado

    Devon White!

    Comment by Robbie G. — April 27, 2011 @ 4:18 pm

  36. It’s NOT the Hall of War.

    I don;t think people here really get that. It’s not WAR-based, post-season stuff matters, etc.

    Brock also retired as the all-time and single season recorder holder for stolen bases. So basically he had 3K hits and 2 major stat records.

    To even bring it up as being a Doug DeCinces situation is ridiculous.

    Brock was also a key member of a team that went to 3 World Series in 4 years (winning 2).

    I love WAR as a value stat. But the Hall of Fame is NOT the Hall of War, and we really need to stop acting like it is or treat each player’s career as if it is entirely encapsulated in WAR.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — April 27, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

  37. All I can say to this is, why the hell are we supposed to celebrate to 2004 Red Sox? Do we need to induct Carlos Guillen because he was on the White Sox championship team? Does half of their team need to be inducted just because it’s Boston? The guy had a long an excellent career, but is simply not hall worthy, and it’s not terribly close.

    Comment by CheeseWhiz — April 27, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

  38. Setting the zero point a little higher, here 2, would also be a good way to properly value peak performance as well. Of course you could always back calculate from the career number, but then you’d need to know service time. I’d rather just place a higher cut off and maybe a non-linear weighting for extremes, starting at WARs above ~8, then go through all the math post hoc.

    Now regarding Damon, he has been a decent player, but for 10 years out of a 17 year career he’s been at roughly 2 WAR or less. When it comes to the HOF, those kind of seasons are basically worthless, maybe unless you’re ~40. But players who’s average WAR through their “peak” ages was around 3, do not belong in the HOF.

    Comment by Wally — April 27, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

  39. He’s also a winner. Something tells me WAR doesn’t factor that in.

    Comment by Jim — April 27, 2011 @ 5:26 pm

  40. 3,000 hits AND 500 HRs are definite shoo-in statistics.

    Comment by Rafael Palmeiro — April 27, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

  41. Bad example. PEDs appear to trump all, so far. Palmeiro would have been a first balloter if not for the PED thing.

    Comment by Mike H — April 27, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

  42. Players won’t get in simply because they’re better than Rice or Dawson, they need an MVP and high marks in stats that don’t matter like RBI and SB. Most voters don’t care about WAR and some never will, unfortunately.

    Comment by west — April 27, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

  43. And for the record I don’t think Damon is a hall over famer, he might be better than a few in the hall, but there are more players who have never made it that are better than him.

    Comment by west — April 27, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

  44. Dear Conrad and the rest of the Committee.

    Thanks so much for asking my opinion. I’m sure you weremn’t being the least bit snarky so I’ll give you a few of his teammates.

    From the 2000 Royals (Damon’s WAR peak) Jermaine Dye and Mike Sweeney.

    From the 2005 Red Sox (his highest finish in the MVP voting) David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez.

    From the 2008 Yankees (his best offensive season by wRC+) Alex Rodriguez.

    I know all these guys have their problems and none of them are even eligible yet but my point is that even in his best years he was only maybe the third best player on those teams. He never really had a stretch of real dominance.

    The guys who get in seem to have both a huge peak and a long run of above-averageness. Damon kind of has the second but his peak wasn’t all that impressive.



    PS: can you score me tix to the inductgion ceremony since we’re so tight now?

    Comment by MikeS — April 27, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

  45. WAR is exactly the same as “WAG”. You just add, like, 2.5.

    Comment by Oscar — April 27, 2011 @ 8:06 pm

  46. If my boy Mark Grace (who did more with less IMO) didn’t even get a sniff of the HoF, than Damon shouldn’t even be close to “considered.”

    Comment by Brent — April 27, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

  47. For any given year, but there is a difference between being a 8 WAR/year player for 8 years and being a 3 WAR/year player for 22 years.


    So by the current FG convention, they are about the same. But I’d bet the first player makes the HoF and the second doesn’t get 5% on his first ballot–and I’m saying that is a correct assessment.

    Comment by Barkey Walker — April 27, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

  48. You said what I’m trying to say very well, ” for 10 years … he’s been at roughly 2 WAR or less. When it comes to the HOF, those kind of seasons are basically worthless.”

    The idea is to basically “drop” the sub 2 WAR years.

    Comment by Barkey Walker — April 27, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

  49. Mark Grace = 2,445 career hits

    Johnny Damon = 2,590 career hits (and counting)

    Take a look at the all-time hits leaders:

    The only players with 3,000 career hits who aren’t in either are not yet eligible (Craig Biggio), ineligible (Pete Rose), or is getting the PED punishment treatment by voters (Rafael Palmeiro).

    In fact, everyone with at least 2,867 hits is in except members of one of these three categories (namely, Derek Jeter and Barry Bonds). The highest person on this list who is both a) eligible and b) not getting the PED punishment treatment is Harold Baines, who wound up with 2,866 hits.

    My point, once again, is that, like it or not, 3,000 hits is a benchmark that gets you in every single time unless you’re either Pete Rose or a steroids user, and Johnny Damon is not Pete Rose and is presumably not a steroids user.

    Does Damon have another 410 hits left in him? Well, he’s 37, so maybe not, but he is durable, and he loves to play the game of baseball, so I think he’s going to stick around long enough to get to 3,000. Might not be until 2014, though.

    Comment by Robbie G. — April 27, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

  50. Robbie G:

    Please, do not ‘dis Devo!

    Comment by EdwardM — April 27, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

  51. WAR does not mean Word Of God.

    And even if it did, Dawson’s has stopped.

    In 3 more years, even a declining Damon will have…

    More hits, more doubles, more walks

    and he will STILL have more Runs, More walks, more triples, Fewer Double plays, more steals AND fewer caught stealing

    …than Dawson.

    And this argument will seem even stupider than not voting for Bagwell.

    (None of this should be considered an endorsement of any argument that Dawson does not belong in the HoF, however. Just that Damon does too.)

    Comment by shthar — April 28, 2011 @ 1:02 am

  52. Carlos Guillen was not on the 2005 White Sox. He has only been on the Mariners (’98-’03) and Tigers (’04-…).

    Comment by ObsidianXIII — April 28, 2011 @ 1:55 am

  53. Maybe he meant Ozzie Guillen.

    Comment by Steven Ellingson — April 28, 2011 @ 2:33 am

  54. I’m a Dodgers fan and think Jones deserves a hard look at the HOF. You know that Bourjos guy we talk about now? Andruw Jones was probably better, and could destroy the baseball.

    Comment by AA — April 28, 2011 @ 5:00 am

  55. And Paul O’Neill had a good, deserved defensive reputation.

    Comment by AA — April 28, 2011 @ 5:04 am

  56. The issue is whether he gets to 3,000 or not (maybe deservedley, maybe underservedley). If he does, & doesn’t have any PED taint, then he will get in, If not, then no chance).

    There are not many that get to 3,000, and i can’t see that many current players who will (Jeter, ARod, IRod?, Ichiro) and looking ahead Pujols, Beltre, Crawford, Miggy have started well on the road.

    If he plays for the next 3 years and gets to 3,000, then he’ll end up with slightly worse totals to Biggio – who is surely getting in? Add to that the WS wins etc… and you have a reasonable case for Damon

    Comment by Paul — April 28, 2011 @ 5:44 am

  57. Manny Ramirez’s taint has gotten bigger? What an image.

    Comment by Christian — April 28, 2011 @ 8:11 am

  58. For the HoF voters, this argument might hold some weight. For anyone who recognizes that the run environments for these players eliminates a great deal of the small advantages Damon has, it will not.

    Comment by Kris — April 28, 2011 @ 8:34 am

  59. Johnny is going to the HOF. Look at his runs scored, hits, doubles, stolen bases, check his all time numbers on the career lists, and on top of that, he is clutch. The Red Sox and the Yankees do not win the world series without him on the team. Beyond this, he is a class act, never used performance enhancing drugs, and he’s always appreciative of the fans. Johnny is a positive role model for kids; we should not support juicers and egomaniacs because their numbers might be better.

    Believe it or not, Johnny is going to the HOF. You haters and babies need to look at the reality of the situation. Just because JD beat your team, or never played for it, does not mean his numbers don’t tell the truth. He didn’t have the media playing him up for years, so you sheep don’t understand where he came from, but he snuck in on you. Go Johnny Go!

    Comment by Johnny is going to the HOF, you babies can cry later. — April 28, 2011 @ 10:36 am

  60. I think he’s going to get to 3,000 hits, and then he’ll get in, and he’ll be one of the worst picks ever.

    He’s good and all, but to see his value visually so far below Andre Dawson’s, who was himself a marginal pick (how funny it is to see all the “non-steroid era” guys benefiting undeservedly from the reverse backlash), shows how far from consideration he should be, regardless of the counting stats.

    Comment by Drew — April 28, 2011 @ 11:23 am

  61. Hey, how about Ichiro – should he go in?

    Much better fielder, so his overall value is a bit higher, but they have similar batting stats.

    Comment by Drew — April 28, 2011 @ 11:31 am

  62. Agree descender. Just wondering how the voters would treat him.

    Comment by Steve — April 28, 2011 @ 11:47 am

  63. I would definitely vote for Trammel, but is it really a matter of not being famous enough?

    You list WAR as the reason why he should get in (which I agree with), but the voters aren’t looking at WAR. Isn’t that the issue? His traditional counting stats might not scream HOF, you might need better stats to realize he is worthy.

    I am not unsympathetic to your position, since I can’t speak from a Detroit fan’s experience. You may have a point.

    I guess I was more taking the opposite side of the coin (even though I mentioned both sides): I don’t see any unworthy Yankees getting voted into the HoF by the BBWAA, so Damon’s time in pinstripes prob isn’t going to carry him in.

    Comment by Steve — April 28, 2011 @ 11:55 am

  64. I happen to think Vizquel will be voted in.

    Everyone here will gasp at this, and I agree that he does not deserve it, but I have read a LOT of articles by sportswriters who say they will vote for him.

    They are basically using the working assumption that his defense was as good as Ozzie’s and he’s hit more (not better, more).

    Comment by Steve — April 28, 2011 @ 11:58 am

  65. I would say that Ichiro is basically a lock at this point. So yes.

    Comment by Steve — April 28, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

  66. I don’t think the writers are dumb enought to fall for 3000… I don’t know if he’s ever been one of the best players at his position for more than one or two seasons, let alone one of the best players in MLB. Would definitely be one of the less deserving inductees. How could they possibly justify Damon and not Santo?

    Comment by James — April 28, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

  67. Put me in the 3000+hits he is in, but if not, probably not.

    I am fine with the Hall of Fame recognizing different kinds of careers including relatively short-term excellence or the long-term above-averageness that gets you to the major milestones like 3000+ hits.

    I agree with Robbie G’s points about the 2004 World Series. That is the kind of thing could separate him from a bunch of players that have similar value stats. Johnny Damon is a winner and there is no doubt in my mind that his personality was the missing piece for the Red Sox to finally win a WS. Then he did it again in 2009 with a Yankee team that was in a bit of a post-season funk by its own high standards, itself (losing an ALCS after being ahead 3-0, no WS in 8 years and 1.3 billion in salary).

    Johnny may not have been one of the most valuable players of his era, but he is certainly one of the most famous and most worth remembering. And he will be regardless of what the HoF voters do.

    Comment by dangnewt — April 28, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

  68. Ichiro is a sure-fire first ballot HOFer. He has gotten at least 206 hits in every single one of his ten seasons as a major leaguer. He has finished first in the AL in hits in seven of those ten seasons and in second place in the other three seasons. He has a reputation as one of the best defensive OFs in MLB and has won a Gold Glove in every single one of his ten seasons (!). He is 37 this season and he continues to play at a very high level, so he is aging well. Hell, if this guy can keep this up for a few more years, then he has a legitimate shot at reaching 3,000 career hits and he didn’t get started in the majors until he was, what, 27 years old? He also has finished no lower than fifth in the AL in stolen bases during all ten seasons and he is in second place in the AL in steals at the moment. He also has won two batting titles and has hit at least .350 during four of his ten seasons. His career batting average is .331. He won the MVP award during his very first season in the bigs.

    If Ichiro had gotten started in the majors 4-5 years earlier, he’d have a very good shot at winding up in the top five, TOP FIVE, all-time in career hits. Here is your leaderboard:

    1 Pete Rose 4,256 hits
    2 Ty Cobb 4,189 hits
    3 Hank Aaron 3,771 hits
    4 Stan Musial 3,630 hits
    5 Tris Speaker 3,514 hits

    All this from a guy who has never been suspected of using steroids during an era when many of his peers were using steroids.

    So yeah, Ichiro, he’s a lock.

    Comment by Robbie G. — April 28, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

  69. The most publicly ‘roided out team in history need to be celebrated? hahaha

    Comment by descender — April 28, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

  70. Bobby Abreu should be legitimately be in the discussion. Damon shouldn’t.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — April 28, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

  71. I ran the chart above with Mike Cameron thrown in. He’s less pesky than Beltran but very close in overall value. and better than Damon. and not going in.

    The trouble with Damon in the HOF isn’t Damon per se, of course, but all the better players who are on the outside looking in, from Dwight Evans to Ken Singleton to Dave Parker to a bunch of folks who actually deserve induction.

    That said, Damon at 3,100 hits probably goes.

    Comment by Bookbook — April 28, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

  72. Omar Vizquel probably will not make it to 3,000 hits. He is at 2,807 at the moment. I believe he’s 44 years old. The White Sox may well be the only team in MLB willing to give him a roster spot, and even the White Sox are limiting his playing time this year. He only has 31 plate appearances so far this year and eight hits (only one of which went for extra bases). During the past three seasons (’08-’10), he has averaged 67 hits/season. Even at that rate, he’d need to play three more years. I don’t think it’s going to happen. However, if it does, again, 3,000 has gotten every single player in who either a) isn’t Pete Rose or b) didn’t use PEDs. I will say that I strongly suspect that the White Sox will be willing to keep Vizquel on the roster as long as Vizquel wants to keep playing so long as the Kenny Williams-Ozzie Guillen regime is in place.

    Vizquel IS #3 all-time among SSs in career hits, behind Honus Wagner and Derek Jeter. He also had a reputation as a tremendous fielder, winning multiple Gold Gloves. I have made this point already in this discussion but I will make it again: voters are going to wind up giving bonus points to dudes who are perceived to have never used PEDs. We haven’t seen this happen yet but I am convinced that we will. Vizquel will be presented by his supporters as the antithesis of folks like Barry Bonds and Manny Ramirez.

    Bottom line: Vizquel has his contingent who will give him votes but I do not see this contingent growing unless he gets to 3,000.

    Obviously, Alan Trammell belongs in the Hall. I’d like to think that Trammell eventually gets in.

    Comment by Robbie G. — April 28, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

  73. Agreed. Dale Murphy comes to mind…

    Comment by Steve — April 28, 2011 @ 4:33 pm

  74. Mike H – you seem to be misreading the data. Omar Vizquel was 159.5 batting runs below AVERAGE. To compare him to replacement you need to subtract those batting runs from his 390 replacement runs, meaning he was 230.5 batting runs ABOVE REPLACEMENT.

    You made the same mistake with Ozzie Smith who was only 60 runs below average and significantly above replacement at batting.

    Comment by Toffer Peak — April 28, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

  75. Screw WAR and other sabremetrics when you are considering the Hall.
    Cooperstown is about career totals.
    Damon gets 3,000 ==> HOF here the idiot comes.
    And 3,000 is entirely possible.

    Comment by RiverAce — April 28, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

  76. And, dangnewt, he hit the biggest HR of the 2004 ALCS and one of the biggest ever – the grand slam in game 7 that almost single-handedly broke the Yankees backs, to complete the greatest playoff comeback in sports history.

    Comment by RiverAce — April 28, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

  77. Alright. Fair enough. If Jim Rice and Phil Rizzuto can make the Hall, why not Damon…

    Comment by TK — April 28, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

  78. 400 was supposed to be a magic number for homers until it wasn’t. Then it was 500 but now that is questionable. 3000 hits could be the same, and a weak hitting, noodle arm like Damon would be a good first (aside from roiders).

    Comment by TK — April 28, 2011 @ 9:00 pm

  79. Exactly. Why do you guys keep insisting Carlos Guillen should go to the HOF for playing with the White Sox in 05? He wasn’t even on that team. This is ridiculous!

    Comment by skippyballer486 — April 28, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

  80. Damon in the Hall of Fame is laughable.

    Yes it’s possible that he’ll hang around long enough to get to 3000 hits. And it’s possible that enough voters will just look at hits at vote for him and he gets in. It’s also possible, in fact likely, that people look at him and say “he was never a star” and he’s not one of the top 50 OF of all time and simply don’t vote for him even with 3027 hits.

    Comment by Adam S — April 29, 2011 @ 3:38 am

  81. I really think anybody who doesn’t vote for Tim Raines may as well just never watch baseball again. It baffles me that a guy who had a peak of 6.3, 6.8, 7.3, 6.2, and 6.9 WAR (with another 6 WAR season later on in addition to six 3+ WAR seasons) isn’t treated as a guy who absolutely belongs.

    The problem, I guess, is that those seasons were almost 30 years ago.

    Comment by JD — April 30, 2011 @ 10:12 am

  82. Most of those voters are ancient, and thankfully some of the new blood comes from a much smarter pool of baseball people.

    It’s only a matter of time before the dinosaurs are extinct.

    Comment by JD — April 30, 2011 @ 10:13 am

  83. Let me ask the Damon Naysayers one thing.

    How many of his seasons would he not be on your team?

    Would he not make your team in any of the 98 through 06 seasons where he scored over 100 runs?

    Which team did have 3 better outfielders in one of those seasons?

    How many had 2?

    Comment by shthar — April 30, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

  84. ^ So the HOF is for every major leaguer who ever played? what you wrote makes no sense.

    Comment by Hayves — May 1, 2011 @ 1:01 am

  85. I do believe that the Angels seemed to have productive OF’rs during this timeframe. As did the Mariners, maybe the Rockies, Yankees, and a few others. But, are we putting their outfielders in, just because they “were a good OF group” ? nope. Cant agree with your logic Shthar. According to your logic, we also have to put in the 4th OF, as he is .. an OF on that same team.

    Comment by Cidron — May 1, 2011 @ 1:09 am

  86. Beltran has had 4 MVP-worthy seasons, each of which is better than Cameron’s best year. I’m sure he’ll far surpass Cameron in WAR if he manages to play to age 38 like Cameron has. But yeah, Cameron’s resume certainly beats Damon’s (basically purely on fielding!).

    Comment by psiogen — May 4, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

  87. 3000 hits used to be an automatic for the Hall. Then Rafael Palmeiro happened.

    Different circumstances, obviously, since Damon wasn’t a steroid guy (so far as we know). But you know what? If the writers can keep out a man who had 3000 and 500 home runs, then can probably keep out a hypothetical 3000-hit Johnny Damon.

    Comment by Ian R. — May 4, 2011 @ 11:56 pm

  88. This, by the way, is one of the weirdest things about HOF voting. Right now, Johnny has no shot. If he grinds out a few more decent seasons and gets to 3000 hits, he may well get in, despite the fact that those few extra seasons add very little value to his career. I fully expect the same could’ve happened for Harold Baines.

    Comment by Ian R. — May 5, 2011 @ 12:04 am

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