Does Every World Series Champion Have a Hall of Famer?

Last weekend, I saw an interesting article in colleague Mike Petriello’s Twitter timeline. It was from retired Detroit News sportswriter/columnist Jerry Green, who was — for the 15th and final time — advocating for Jack Morris‘ Hall of Fame candidacy. Without getting into a line-by-line critique of the article, there were several things in the article that I did not agree with, but one thing did catch my attention:

I think it is quite sad that Morris will be left out. That the best baseball team I ever covered —the 1984 Tigers — will have not a single player in the Cooperstown Hall of Fame. Only Sparky Anderson, the manager, has been elected to the Hall of Fame. And forced to choose, Sparky opted to go into the Hall as the once-manager of the Cincinnati Reds.

Now, Green didn’t out and out declare that every World Series winner should have a member of its team in the Hall of Fame, but that was certainly the tangent that I led myself on in thinking about that passage. So, I decided to investigate — does every team have a Hall of Famer on it?

I started with just players that were voted in by the Baseball Writers Association of America. But I wanted to be a little more nuanced than just “yes” or “no.” As Petriello pointed out to me in subsequent conversation, some teams — like the 1988 Dodgers, technically had a Hall of Famer (in this case, Don Sutton) — but that doesn’t mean they were big contributors to the team. So, I broke things down into seasonal WAR groups — negative WAR, 0.0 to 1.9, 2.0 to 3.9, 4.0 to 5.9 and 6-plus. Here is what I came up with:

FG - HOF - BBWAA

As you can see, the ’84 Tigers are not the only team that has gone unrepresented in the writer’s voting. And while the ’88 Dodgers only had Sutton, and he really shouldn’t count, this simply wasn’t the case for most teams. Looking at specific teams without a Hall of Famer, we have another Dodgers team, from 1981. In addition, the 1940 Reds, 1931 Cardinals, 1919 Reds, 1907-08 Cubs and 1906 White Sox all were shut out by the writers. To be fair, there are a couple of weird years in there. Perhaps the playoff format of 1981 wouldn’t look odd to children of this current generation, but at the time, the way that postseason was (necessarily, you might say) structured, it likely threw things off a little bit. For instance, the Expos beat the defending champion Phillies, who had two Hall of Famers. And then the Dodgers beat those Expos, who had two Hall of Famers, and may end up with a third. And it’s not too surprising, I suppose, that no one from the 1919 Reds was voted in, since they were likely seen as having benefited from the White Sox throwing the Fall Classic.

A couple of those teams did stand out as funny to me though. For instance, those Cubs teams. Any ardent Simpsons fan will clearly remember Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, and most baseball fans have heard the phrase Tinker to Evers to Chance. So I decided to go one step further, and include Major League Baseball players that were elected by the Old Timers and Veterans Committees as well. To wit:

FG - HOF - BBWAA and OT-Veterans2

As you can see, things filled up a lot. Those 1907-08 Cubs went from having zero Hall of Famers to having four. Same goes for those ’31 Cardinals. Even the two Reds teams squeaked through one Hall of Famer, and both were at least average contributors to the cause. Still, there’s that ’81 Dodgers team joining the ’84 Tigers sans Hall of Famers. Probably the best case you could make for someone on that squad is Reggie Smith.

Smith tallied 64.6 WAR in his career, which was certainly better than anyone else on that season’s team. And that total is comparable to other Hall of Fame outfielders. But Smith didn’t have a very defined peak — he only had three consecutive seasons with 5+ WAR — and he only tallied three votes in his first and only time on the ballot. Furthermore, he wasn’t a big contributor to that ’81 Dodgers team — he only came to the plate six times that postseason.

As we move forward, there may be more teams that join this club. Take the 2002 Angels, for example. Who is going to be the Hall of Famer from that squad? I can’t make a good case for anyone on it. Kevin Appier only notched one vote in 2010. I suppose Francisco Rodriguez will get a couple votes when he retires, but I can’t see a legitimate case for his candidacy. Maybe if John Lackey pitches well for another decade…probably not.

Perhaps there will be others. The best candidate from the 2010 and 2012 Giants appears to be Buster Posey, and certainly he is on track. Since 1901, Posey ranks 12th in WAR through his age-26 season. But not all of the players in front of him ended up being Hall of Famers, and he is well behind the pace of semi-contemporaries Joe Mauer and Brian McCann. If Posey remains this productive as a catcher for another decade or so, he’ll have good odds. But at this point, it’s hard to see him as a slam dunk, and there really isn’t anyone else on the team that fits the bill. Maybe Madison Bumgarner.

The 2013 Red Sox might have similar issues. Momentum is building for David Ortiz‘s case, and the eyes of Red Sox Nation certainly will turn to Xander Bogaerts. Dustin Pedroia may make for another interesting case. Through age 29, since 1901, he ranks 17th among second basemen in terms of WAR, but again, some of the players ahead of him didn’t reach the Hall. One of them is Lou Whitaker.

Which brings us back to our original point. Not every team is going to end up with a Hall of Famer, though as this exercise shows, nearly all of them have. In that sense, it is a little sad that the ’84 Tigers don’t have a Hall of Famer. At least, right now. I think eventually Morris and Alan Trammell will get in, and perhaps Whitaker will be enshrined some day as well. The book may be closed on the ’81 Dodgers though, and I’ll be pretty surprised if anyone from that ’02 Angels team makes it. Perhaps teams without a Hall of Famer will become more common, especially now that fewer players are being inducted. And that isn’t a crime. We tend to like everything to fall into nice, organized patterns in this game, but much of the beauty of baseball is that it often fails to cooperate to our preconceived notions. It makes intuitive sense that every World Series champion should have a Hall of Famer, but there will be exceptions. And that’s OK.




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Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for the Boston Globe. He has also written extensively for ESPN MLB Insider. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.


213 Responses to “Does Every World Series Champion Have a Hall of Famer?”

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  1. willystarr says:

    Actually, he’s right that the ’84 Tigers have an unrecognized Hall of Famer. Two even! He just can’t judge talent.

    Alan Stuart Trammell
    Louis Rodman Whitaker, Jr.

    +42 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jimmer says:

      he wrote: ‘At least, right now. I think eventually Morris and Alan Trammell will get in, and perhaps Whitaker will be enshrined some day as well.’

      +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • willystarr says:

        Fair, I didn’t RTFA. Still, he’s hitched his horse to Morris this year, and his logic is poor.

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        • Sprac says:

          Who hitched his wagon to Morris this year?

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        • Paul says:

          I believe Jimmer is talking about the author of this article, and Willystarr is talking about the author of the article that inspired this one. Although, that author did say he’s voting for Trammell, and Whitaker isn’t on the ballot anymore, so I don’t know what your issue is (aside from the Morris vote).

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    • Eric Lutz says:

      This is ridiculous. My childhood was spent in Michigan and those are some of my greatest memories, the Tigers teams of the 80′s (’84 and ’87), listening to the smooth tones of Ernie Harwell voice Tiger games, George Kell, Al Kaline, Mitch Albom, Sparky Anderson, Kirk Gibson, Alan Trammel, Sweet Lou Whitaker, Darrell Evans, Chet Lemon, Tom Brookens, Dan Petry, Jack Morris, Willie Hernandez, Milt Wilcox, Lance Parrish, etc. The 1984 season started out of the gate, 35 Wins – 3 Losses and never looked back! They were awesome. Their was no better team from start to finish. I went to Game 5 of the World Series. The fact there was not a single player in the Hall from that team is a travesty, sick, sick sick. And to the people that are using WAR to judge the individuals on this team, they are dead wrong! You are applying a stat and a standard that was not around in 1977-1984 (many of the players on this team were rookies in the 70′s), and judging them now, with a modern sabermetric stat, when it wasn’t a concern then. Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker, might as well have been 2 of the 3, in the Tinker to Evers to Chance trilogy, and those three players are in the hall. And while we are at it, Jack Morris belongs in the Hall. A winner no matter where he went. To all the 80′s Detroit Tigers I say thank you for all the great memories.

      -15 Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Chris M. says:

    What about the ’97 marlins? Good chance Sheffield won’t get in via BWAA and Brown looks to be a list cause.

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    • Matt says:

      Was thinking the same thing. Maybe Kevin Brown (73.5 career WAR), but probably not.

      His stretch from 1996-2000 where he had at least 230 IP, and an ERA of 3.00 or lower, and 6+ WAR in five straight seasons is impressive. That’s 34.4 WAR. Here’s how his 5-year peak compares to some of the top recent pitchers.

      Roy Halladay – 33.8 WAR (2007-2011)
      Justin Verlander – 33.6 WAR (2009-2013)
      Cliff Lee – 32.0 WAR (2008-2012)
      Johan Santana – 31.6 WAR (2004-2008)
      CC Sabathia – 31.5 WAR (2007-2011)
      Felix Hernandez – 28.4 WAR (2009-2013)
      Clayton Kershaw – 27.1 WAR (2009-2013)
      Zack Greinke – 27.1 WAR (2008-2012)

      Compared to Roy Halladay, in roughly 500 more innings, he accumulated 8 more wins, 6 more WAR, 280 more strikeouts, and has a very similar ERA- and FIP- (78/79 for Brown, 76/78 for Halladay).

      +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ian R. says:

      Sheffield was at least a Hall of Fame caliber player (even with his horrible, horrible defense), though he didn’t have an especially great year in 1997. Same goes for Kevin Brown, who did have an All-Star caliber year.

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    • Charlotte says:

      If you don’t think the ’97 Marlins have a slam dunk Hall of Famer, you sir are Liván dangerously.

      +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Professor Ross Eforp says:

    The chart is somewhat confusing. It took me a read or two to realize that the players are color coded by their WAR, and that the column they are in does not represent their WAR. I understand it was made this way in case you had multiple players in one band, so just an FYI to the other readers like me who apparently are not that smart.

    +50 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Pirates Hurdles says:

      Took me a while to decipher it too when I saw Clemente apparently listed with negative WAR in 1960. Not much brain power left on a Friday afternoon.

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      • Mark Abraham says:

        I don’t understand why he only used people voted in by the writers. That’s why Maz isn’t on there. A hall of famer is a hall of famer. I wonder if any of the teams without a player actually do have one via Veterans Committee or some other vote.

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    • attgig says:

      yup, looking at spreadsheets and pivot tables all day, the chart totally threw me in for a loop, until I realized the top row was actually a legend, not a column header…

      I’m used to seeing legends on the bottom and column headers at the top.

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    • Paul Swydan says:

      Sorry, guys. Will do better next time.

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    • vivalajeter says:

      Agreed. Having grown up in NY, I didn’t understand how Gary Carter had negative WAR for the ’86 Mets.

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    • crapshoot says:

      I was flabbergasted until I saw Ruth had negative WAR for the ’27 Yankees and then I finally put two and two together.

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    • Jason B says:

      To the professor–

      Thank you for offering feedback in a respectful way; it is possible to offer constructive criticism and not be a raging d-bag.

      Faith in humanity: restored.

      (For now.)

      (Still precarious.)

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  4. Mike D says:

    I think it is quite appropriate that Morris will be left out

    +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Max says:

    Great article, thanks. As a Detroiter, I have to point out the following — 1984 Tigers and career fWAR:

    60+ WAR:
    Whitaker 68.1
    Trammell 63.7
    Evans 61.1

    50+ WAR
    Morris 52.5
    Lemon 52.0

    40+ WAR

    Parrish 43.4

    30+ WAR
    Gibson 35.9

    20+ WAR
    Johnson 23.5

    Most teams with a collection of talent like that get a few Hall of Famers. I realize that the Hall of Famers should be Whitaker and Trammell with Honorable Mentions for Evans, Morris and Lemon, but many of us Detroit fans can’t help feeling ripped off (of course I personally can’t support Morris for the Hall until Sweet Lou is in).

    A moment of Detroit bitterness: If Kirk Gibson played his whole career for Yankees or Red Sox, he’d be in the Hall of Fame (as would any of these other guys, other than Evans).

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    • Los says:

      I like how you bring up the Red Sox when they couldn’t even get their own Evans in. Dewey for the Hall!

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      • Max says:

        I knew that was coming and it is totally correct… It was a Jim Rice slam, but I knew that Dewey was out there (and deserving).

        I will briefly defend my claim by saying that Gibson was an exemplar of the sort of dramatic play and hard-driving player that becomes a local media legend and gets additional support, a process that would be exaggerated in the New York/Boston media markets.

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        • JimNYC says:

          How’s Don Mattingly’s case going?

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        • wally says:

          somehow, I feel like if Don was on a team that won the WS he’d be in the HOF.

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        • DNA+ says:

          Lot’s of very good Yankees have won WS over the years but have not been inducted into the HOF: Willie Randolph, Thurman Munson, Bernie WIlliams, Graig Nettles. Do marginal HOF candidate Yankees players ever actually get voted into the HOF in the modern era?

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    • Bip says:

      As you can see though, none of those candidates stand out as spectacular. 60 WAR is commonly used as a cutoff at which Hall of Fame discussions start, meaning a player with 60 WAR may be good enough for induction, but he is not a sure thing. Obviously Whitaker and Trammel have good arguments for induction, but no one on that team looks like a slam-dunk to me.

      What strikes about that list there is how consistently good they must have been. I bet if you added up the career of all the regular contributors, it would probably exceed that same calculation if performed for many of the other world series teams.

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      • Max says:

        For middle infielders, the discussion often starts a lot lower… I would say Tram and Lou should have been slam dunks. Note that Whitaker has more fWAR than Ozzie Smith, Ernie Banks, Barry Larkin, Robin Yount, Roberto Alomar, Paul Molitor or Ryne Sandberg.

        Instead, Lou was knocked off the ballot on the first year…

        Either the fWAR formula doesn’t work for Whitaker, or he is an absolute no-brainer Hall of Famer that only the no-brain voters could dump on the first ballot.

        Trammell is also right in the middle of that pack of the best middle infielders not named Wagner, Morgan or Ripken…

        +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Bip says:

          That’s true. I remember Joe Posnanski did a summary of the hall of famers inducted at each position, to get idea of the standards at each position. 2B had one of the lowest WAR standards, if I remember. It just seemed like there weren’t that many really great second basemen, which should lower the threshold for entry for other middle infielders.

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    • DNA+ says:

      Don Mattingly, despite being one of the most beloved Yankees, has gotten very little HOF support. Personally, I don’t think Mattingly is a HOFer, but if he had played for the Twins, and been the face of their franchise, he would have, apparently, been a first ballot HOFer. I suspect that anti-Yankee sentiment is actually a stronger force and works against Yankees players. Take Jeter for example; despite being an all time great, he is considered overrated by both SABR and more traditional folks (easily making him the most underrated player in baseball). Jeter will get into the HOF of course, but when the time comes, there will be a ton of articles written about how overrated he was his entire career. That is just part of being the face of the Yankees.

      -38 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • ian says:

        Jeter one of the most underrated players in baseball? Ha! Hahahahahahahaha! BWAAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAAH! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

        +37 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bucco says:

        If Mattingly played CF instead of 1B he’d be in.

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        • Bucco says:

          Or SS for that matter

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        • DNA+ says:

          Bernie Williams is evidence that you are wrong. Bernie was better than Puckett, but not as good as Mattingly when Mattingly was healthy. Bernie was also the best player on more World Series champions than Puckett. Bernie properly got no HOF support, however, if he played for the Twins he would have, apparently, been a first ballot HOFer.

          -21 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Stuart says:

          Puckett put up a higher WAR in 12 seasons than Williams did in 16.

          +16 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Bucco says:

          Puckett at time if retirement- .318 career average highest for RH AL hitter since DiMaggio , only Tony Gwynn got to. 2000 hits faster in modern era. Won multiple gold gloves leading league in OF assists & put outs multiple times. Put into context of his eras CF Puckett has a strong case if you give him credit for the early forced retirement (probable. 3000 hits) &World Series exploits.

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        • DNA+ says:

          …Bernie had fewer hits because he walked at 12% for his career. That is why Bernie was better at getting on base than Puckett.

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      • Preston says:

        The better comparison is Puckett and Munson. 40.9 WAR in an 11 year career cut short tragically vs. 44.9 WAR in a 12 year career cut tragically short. Both played a premium position, both won a WS. Why is Puckett in and Munson out? Perhaps the Yankee bias isn’t as strong as some would like to believe.

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        • DNA+ says:

          Bernie’s WAR looks low because of the silly fielding numbers. Bernie was a much better offensive player than Puckett. Even including Bernie’s decline phase, he finished his career with a higher wRC+ than Puckett. So, for the things that we can actually measure and for what the voters care about (offense) Bernie was the better player. Also, Bernie was thought to be a good enough defender to play CF and to win a few GG which at least tells us something about how voters may have considered his defense.

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        • DNA+ says:

          Damnit, didn’t mean to put that reply there. You are correct, Munson is the best comp. I don’t think there is any doubt that there is a Yankees bias. But the bias is the opposite of what the popular FanGraphs and ESPN narrative is. The bias is that Yankees players have to be extra special to get their recognition. As a Yankees fan, I don’t mind this. We don’t have to beg for our Jim Rice’s to get put into the HOF. Mattingly, O’Neill, Munson, et al. get their number in monument park. The truly exceptional players like Jeter and Mo will also get their plaques in Cooperstown.

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      • DNA+ says:

        OK, I spent a little time looking for these supposed undeserving Yankees HOFers. I really can’t find any from the modern era. However, there are at least a few Yankees that probably should be HOFers that aren’t (Willie Randolph, Graig Nettles, and perhaps Thurman Munson). So, if there is a bias for Yankees players, it is that they are held to a higher standard, not that Yankees players are favored in the eyes of the voters.

        The popular FanGraphs and ESPN narrative that there is a pro-Yankees bias is a bit like the common refrain that there is liberal bias in the media. Who are the people that keep telling you about this liberal bias? The media. Who are the people who keep telling you about this pro-Yankees bias? The media. When you actually examine it, you see that, in fact, the opposite is true.

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  6. fungraphs says:

    great article.

    Just for fun I went through the most recent teams to see who will (or could) be in the HOF.

    98,99,00 Yankees – Mo, Jeter (possibly Clemens, Petite)
    01 Diamondbacks – n/a (maybe Gonzo?)
    02 Angels – n/a (K-Rod is a no)
    03 Marlins – Cabrera (maybe Pudge?)
    04 Red Sox – Ortiz, Pedro (maybe Manny, probably Schilling)
    05 White Sox – Maybe the big Hurt
    06 Cardinals – Pujols (maybe Molina?)
    07 Red Sox – Ortiz (maybe Pedroria?)
    08 Phillies – Maybe Utley or Hamels but probably not
    09 Yankees – Mo, Jeter, (maybe Petite, Cano, Sabbathia, A-Rod)
    10 Giants – Maybe Posey
    11 Cardinals – Pujols (maybe Molina, maybe Berkman)
    12 Giants – Maybe Posey
    12 Red Sox – Ortiz (maybe Pedroria)

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    • Mike D says:

      01 D’backs – Schilling, Johnson

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    • Otter says:

      Ortiz is going to have a hard time getting in if Barry Bonds and Clemens aren’t in. Not sure how one justifies voting for Ortiz and not Bonds. And Schilling was on the ’07 Red Sox no?

      ’08 Phillies: Utley is darn close if he walked away from the game today. He’ll probably pass Biggio in career WAR so I think he’ll get in. Still amazes me that the ’08 Phillies won a Series but the ’10 and ’11 teams didn’t.

      Already made my point with the ’05 Sox, but Thomas will get in.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bip says:

        If Ortiz gets in before Edgar, that would be a head-scratcher.

        +14 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • fungraphs says:

        Ortiz had the opportunity to prove himself in the “post steroid” era, which is what I think separates him.

        Yes, Clemens and Bonds were top 10 players all time before steroids, but people remember most recently first…

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        • DNA+ says:

          Steroids or not, Ortiz simply isn’t good enough to be a HOFer. The fact that he is widely regarded as a user means he has almost no chance.

          +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Dreamin says:

          Ortiz is going to be a good litmus test for exactly how much being a great postseason player and an incredibly likable person with a merely OK overall resume will get you with the BWAA.

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        • AB says:

          I’m guessing here, but I think Ortiz gets in. This is based less on a marginal hall career than the fact that writers absolutely love this guy (as do fans in one of the largest baseball markets) and he’s wrongly or rightly already worked himself into the inner circle of “clutch” performers. His induction will likely make Fangraphs explode.

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        • AB says:

          What exactly is the evidence on Ortiz? I’m not saying he didn’t use, I just haven’t been entirely clear on the specifics. Isn’t there something like an unsubstantiated claim here, or was there something more damning?

          In any case, the fact that being labeled proved inconvenient because people love Ortiz is not good for the anti-PED induction crowd.

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        • crapshoot says:

          There’s about as much evidence against Ortiz as there is against Bagwell. Only the writers like Papi so they’ll probably give him a pass.

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        • matt w says:

          In 2009 a report came out that Ortiz had tested positive for something in 2003. It was reported by the New York Times based on a leak of sealed court records. Ortiz says he doesn’t know what he tested positive for.

          There are all sorts of problems with this evidence, but AFAICT it’s more evidence than for Bagwell — about whom there is only innuendo.

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        • NRJyzr says:

          There’s also been a report suggesting the original report of a positive Ortiz test was erroneous.

          Which begs the question, which report is correct?

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        • RC says:

          Both MLB and the MLBPA have gone on record saying that the report was incorrect.

          Ortiz had an inconclusive test (most likely either sample was too small, or not handled properly. This is pretty common in survey testing)

          So I’d go with MLB here.

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      • RC says:

        It’s pretty easy:

        We know Bonds and Clemens did steroids. We don’t know that Ortiz did.

        All we have for Ortiz is someone releasing a statement that Ortiz failed a test, and then MLB and the MLBPA saying that it was untrue.

        If he doesn’t get in, its because the writers are ignorant.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • vivalajeter says:

          I don’t think it’s as easy as you’re making it out to be. If Piazza and Bagwell have lost a lot of votes without knowing what they did, then Ortiz and his ~40 WAR should have an steep uphill battle.

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        • John DiFool says:

          Except that he was almost certainly more valuable than the current WAR estimates (which is all they are) say he is.

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        • vivalajeter says:

          Was he 75% more valuable though? And the main point is, if PEDs are held against Piazza/Bagwell, then they can easily be held against Ortiz.

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        • olethros says:

          1. Jose Canseco and Jason Giambi have at least equal, if not better cases forinduction as Ortiz.

          2. How would he have been more valuable than his WAR? Situational hitting? It’s not like DH defense is a black box.

          +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Reade King says:

          Please remember, WAR doesn’t account for the post-season at ALL. David Ortiz has played an entire half-season worth of post-season games, during which he hit .295/.409/.553, with lots of clutchiness. If his post-season had been a regular-season line, it would add a couple of WAR.

          Even with that addition, he’s still pretty marginal for the HOF, though. He’s well-below the numbers for an average 1B, even though his defense is no longer hurting his WAR (he’s only played at most 10 games in the field in any year since 2005). I would think that a player who is primarily a DH will eventually get in, but he might well need at least as much accumulated WAR as an average 1B to do so. Ortiz is penalized rather severely IMO for being a DH with regard to his wAR in the first place, since a hitter with his line who played in the field at a 0 (replacement level) defensive value would have racked up considerably more WAR- Fangraphs puts a def valuation of around -17 runs against a DH, which seems unfair. A DH makes NO contribution to defense, not a negative contribution compared to a replacement level fielder. I assume some portion of that negative defensive runs is deducted from his offensive runs thus docking his WAR total.

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        • RC says:

          ” even though his defense is no longer hurting his WAR (”

          His defense has never really hurt his WAR. He got moved off first base because the guy who replaced him was Doug Mienkevitz.

          He’s not a 1B now because its better for his knees.

          My big issue with the way WAR rates DH is that the wOBA difference should be much larger between 1B and DH if 1B has that much of a premium, and its not.

          There’s an argument that DH may actually be harder to play than 1B.

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      • NEPP says:

        As a massive Chase Utley fan, I have to be honest and say his chances at making the Hall are still pretty slim. He loses out a ton of counting stats from starting late (due to being blocked by the phenomenal David Bell…who was blocking Polanco moving to 3B to make a spot for Utley) and due to missing huge chunks of the last few years due to his knee issues. Even with his huge WAR numbers in his peak years, he’ll get penalized for lack of longevity and a lack of gold gloves (as pathetic as that sounds).

        +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Matt says:

        Ortiz being the face of three World Series winners does a lot in the eyes of ‘traditional’ HOF voters. Guys like Edgar and Bagwell don’t have that, and for better or worse that makes a difference.

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        • Mr Punch says:

          The guy who does have that is Bernie Williams – he’s someone who would have been a Hall of Famer by previous standards, but isn’t because we now weigh career WAR (etc.) so heavily.

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      • Christian Camlin says:

        Ortiz 1 test was a false positive that showed up because of the mitchell report.Point is he never actually tested positive for steroids.As chubby as he is that should not be a surprise.He’d have more of a build if he was using.

        -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • jim says:

        ortiz is beloved by the media in a way few players are. he’s almost surely going into the hall

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    • Paul Swydan says:

      For sake of argument, here is what I had. I probably should have just put it in the post, but oh well:

      95 ATL: Maddux, Glavine, Jones, Smoltz
      97 FLO: Brown, Sheffield
      98 NYY: Jeter, Pettitte, Rivera, Raines
      99 NYY: Jeter, Pettitte, Rivera, Clemens
      00 NYY: Jeter, Pettitte, Rivera
      01 ARI: Johnson, Schilling
      03 FLO: Cabrera, Rodriguez
      04 BOS: Martinez, Schilling, Ramirez, Ortiz
      05 CWS: Thomas
      06 STL: Pujols, Rolen, Edmonds
      07 BOS: Schilling, Ramirez, Ortiz
      08 PHI: Utley
      09 NYY: Jeter, Pettitte, Rivera, Rodriguez, Sabathia, Cano
      10 SF: Posey
      11 STL: Pujols, Berkman
      12 SF: Posey
      13 BOS: Ortiz

      Not saying all of these guys get in, but there is a legit case for everyone here, as well as a few others — 95 McGriff, 97 Alou, 08 Hamels, etc.

      The point about Frank Thomas is fair, though. I probably should have touched on that one more.

      +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • olethros says:

        Molina should be on that list for the ’06 and ’11 Cardinals. He’s far from a lock, especially at this point, but he’s a legit candidate right now.

        +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Ivan Grushenko says:

          I’m not seeing it — 27 bWAR, 13 bWAA. He’d need another 5-6 all-star years to be a candidate IMO

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      • jsolid says:

        yeah, im also trying to forget that the Yankees won the 1996 world series.

        Boggs, Jeter, Pettitte, Raines, Rivera

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      • Frank Wren says:

        1995 Braves – You had one Jones, but forgot the other. Andruw will get in eventually. Are we really going to leave out the best defensive CFer of all time who hit 420 homers?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • 68FC says:

          Jones has under 2000 hits, which will hurt him with voters, only 5 AS games, and a very sudden decline defensively. His homers also came during the steriod era, even if he is clean, it hurts his case. Also, he wasn’t on the ’95 team.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • frug says:

          Andruw Jones didn’t play for the Braves in ’95.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Mr.GJG says:

          It depends on how much we trust def. stats and if the voters become more sophisticated regarding uber-stats.
          His abrupt falling off the cliff gives the appearance that
          he was an underachiever.
          He’s basically the opposite of Dwight Evans. HOF voters seem to prefer typical performance curves.

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      • Christian Camlin says:

        The 2008 Phillies will need a different player to make the Hall of Fame.Utley has the talent but has missed 2-4 seasons to injury and is highly unlikely to be elected to the Hall.Jimmy Rollins has missed less time but is a borderline candidate. He has won many of the Awards but needs to stay long enough to get in through simply accumulating huge overall numbers.Ryan Howard began his career well but has slowed in recent years.Cole Hamels will be the last shot that team has if the infield help is shutout.

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      • Nomahhhhhhh! says:

        Any chance for Nomar from that ’04 Sox team (realizing, of course, that he was traded at the deadline, but he was a contributing teammate that season). I know he only has like ~40 WAR, but just about all of that was put up over an unbelievable peak of 6 years.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Hayves says:

        It’s going to be interesting to see where Cliff Lee sits in 4-5 years. He’ll probably fall off the map at some point but if he has even 2 more years like last year he needs to be discussed. Same deal with Beurhle, if he puts up 2 WAR/y, by the time he’s 40 he’ll have 60 WAR. By rWAR he already has 55 WAR, 3 more years like last year and he’s in the 60s, which absolutely puts him in historical company. He doesn’t have a skillset that will dissipate all of a sudden, either. That will be an interesting discussion for sure if/when it comes.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Mr.GJG says:

          Lee is an interesting candidate. He’s definitely been pitching like a HOFer for six years now with no hint of slowing down.
          The thing is, even with 3 more years at ~08-13 level will get him to about Kevin Brown territory with less wins.
          He’d have more peak years then Brown, but otherwise, he’d be pretty similar.
          If he gets another Cy Young award that would certainly help.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Pipe Dreams says:

          The problem is that Cliff Lee needs to be on a World Series winner. He wasn’t on the 2008 Phillies team.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Pipe Dreams says:

          How about Jamie Moyer?

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • jim says:

        surprised cain isn’t showing up as even a “maybe”

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • MikeS says:

      Frank Thomas is not a “maybe” but perhaps you meant maybe he shouldn’t count since he only had about 100 PA? Other than him, the next best shot is Mark Buehrle having a Moyer-esque late career arc and getting to a magic number like 300 wins.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Paul Swydan says:

        Yeah, with Thomas, just as it relates to that season. He is not only a shoo-in for the Baseball Hall of Fame, but also a shoo-in for the “Largest Human Heads I’ve Seen In Person” Hall of Fame. That is one large man.

        +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Careless says:

          Thomas wore a 7 1/8″ helmet as a rookie. That’s a pretty small head. Not Juan Pierre small, but small on a big guy.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Careless says:

          The largest hat size I’m aware of a player wearing is Mench’s 8″ (same size I wear) which is almost 1/3 larger than a 7 1/8″

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        • Mike says:

          Bruce Bochy wears an 8 3/4. As a player, he had his helmet custom made. The company told him that if he got traded, he’d just have to paint it.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bad Bill says:

      Nice list. I’d add a few more:

      98, 99, 00 Yankees – Posada has a surprisingly good case, although he’s probably realistically a long shot
      01 D’Backs – uh, didn’t Schilling and Johnson pitch for those guys?…
      05 White Sox – Thomas didn’t play in the Series, although of course he belongs in the Hall
      06 Cardinals – Edmonds (maybe), Rolen (very likely)
      07 Red Sox – Manny and Schilling again
      09 Yankees – Posada again as a long shot
      11 Cardinals – Holliday (one of the most underrated HoF candidates of our time, IMO)

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bip says:

        You consider Rolen likely? I definitely think he is deserving, but mark my words, those bastards are going to 5% him. Edmonds has a chance I think.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Preston says:

          Rolen is the 9th best 3rd baseman of all time according to WAR. I think he should be a slam dunk. Edmonds is the 12th among CF and Posada is 16th among catchers. I think both of them deserve serious consideration as well.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • 68FC says:

          Rolen won’t be elected by the BBWAA because he doesn’t have the counting stats or hardware.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Pipe Dreams says:

          WAR! What is i! good for, Absolutely nothing. It’s the most subjective stat out there.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • A lot of people have disagreed with it, there have also been articles written on fangraphs about the possibility too, but Mark Beuhrle from the 05 White Sox could have a chance.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Jason B says:

          “Mark Beuhrle from the 05 White Sox could have a chance.”

          Likely underappreciated player and career, but zero shot at getting in the HOF. May be a one-and-done.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mr.GJG says:

        I agree, very unlikely that Rolen gets in. He’s similar to Beltre right now who himself is just now starting to be recognized as a future HOFer but Beltre is still adding value.
        Also, by the time Rolen is eligible, we’ll have guys like Wright, Longoria, maybe Zimmerman and even Ramirez with similar or better counting stats.
        There’s also guys like Robin Ventura and Matt Williams who were his contemporaries and have similar counting stats.

        I think he just gets thrown in with all those guys and unless voters start taking the new metrics more seriously, I don’t see how he stands out from the pack.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Ian says:

    I’ve always been a little surprised that no stathead at fangraphs has (to my knowledge) advocated for Morris. The usual argument against him is his really low WAR but by fWAR, it’s borderline. Higher than some HOFers including Palmer. He led the league once in WAR. I’m not saying that all statheads should support him but I’m a bit surprised that none seem to or all the articles spent trying to convince people he shouldn’t be.

    I guess my view is if the HOF is supposed to be for the best players, keep him out. If it’s supposed to be a museum of baseball history, I’d probably push him in. Guess it depends on how you look at it.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Andrew says:

      I think Palmer’s case is helped by his 68 bWAR, he consistently outperformed his FIP. fWAR actually likes Morris more than bWAR, he drops down to 43.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bip says:

      I think that people here correctly recognize that when looking back at a player’s entire career, it makes sense to weight actual run prevention more heavily than when we’re projecting future performance for active players. Some players may appear to have a lucky BABIP, but if they pitch 4000 innings in their career and that BABIP never comes down, then we give them the benefit of the doubt and give them some credit for it.

      However, if a player consistently got good defensive support, we should account for that too. Morris had a good BABIP, and bad LOB%. B-ref attributes some of the BABIP to a good defense, but there’s no one else to blame for his LOB%. It’s possible he just wasn’t that good at stranding runners, and it looks like he may have benefitted from good defense as well.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Anon says:

    Brock on the ’67 Cardinals

    +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Otter says:

    2005 White Sox should get an asterisk. Frank Thomas will probably get in this year or next, but he only played in 34 games and they were all in the first half of the season iirc. So sure, he was on the team, but they pretty much won the Series without him playing much. Buehrle may have an outside chance, but his best days appear to be behind him so even if he pitches another five years at 2 WAR, he’s still below 60 career WAR and only one season with a +5 WAR.

    Shocking that no one from the ’84 Tigers is going to make considering how good Whitaker and Trammell were.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Nick says:

      Yep, you recall correctly there. The 05′ White Sox might be the best collection of slightly above average role players ever (I’m a fan of the team).

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • MikeS says:

      I said the same thing up above before I saw yours. Buehrle would need to hang on a long time and accumulate a bunch of wins and IP as counting stats to get any consideration.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mr.GJG says:

        I don’t see how Buehrle gets in if Pettitte doesn’t If he adds three more years of ~ 200 IP 120 ERA he’s basically Andy Pettitte without the narrative and substantially less wins.
        He also never really had any Cy Young type seasons where at least Pettitte had two such seasons.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Mike says:

      But remember that you need to play well in the summer to play in the fall. Thomas was a key part of the Sox’s hottest run of the season, where they picked up all of that daylight ahead of the Tribe. They needed almost all of it.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Baltar says:

    I felt a great deal of aghast when I saw the first table and the 1908 Cubs, the best team ever, had nobody in the Hall.
    Thanks for adding the second table.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Preston says:

      It was very hard to get in on those early ballots. They had over 40 years of play before they started the hall. The first class was Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson and Honus Wagner. I mean imagine not being able to elect Cy Young, Rogers Hornsby or Tris Speaker into the HOF on the first ballot.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jason B says:

      What units are aghast (aghasts? aghastii?) measured in? Is there a scale to rate them, like the Scoville heat scale for peppers?

      I need to know how much aghast you had.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Belloc says:

    One of the things that struck me about the 1981 Dodgers and 2002 Angels is that both teams won in expanded playoff formats.

    The ridiculous expanded format in response to the 1981 strike cased the Reds and the Cardinals, who had the best winning percentages in their divisions, to stay home. Both teams had Hall of Famers who contributed (the Cardinals had Bruce Sutter and the Reds had Johnny Bench and Tom Seaver). It also enabled the Kansas City Royals, who had a losing record, to qualify for the playoffs.

    Of course the Angels won after MLB added the wild card format and expanded the number of divisions. And the Angels were the wild card team that year.

    All of these are just observations and probably amount to little or nothing.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Andre the Angels Fan says:

      Hey. Be nice.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Erik says:

      If they had stuck with the two division format for the 2002 season it is possible the Angels still win the world series (albeit much less likely). Once Oakland and Anaheim were locked in to the playoffs there wasn’t so much to play for down the stretch. If that amazing Oakland team had won that year I’m not sure there is a HoFer on that squad either.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Ryan says:

        They had a lot to play for down the stretch. Angels and A’s didn’t clinch until late in the season because you also had the 91 win Seattle Mariners in the division that year

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Erik says:

          Seattle actually won 93 games that year, finishing 6 games behind the Angels. The Angels really choked down the stretch, losing 6 out of 7 games when their magic number was somewhere around 4 with almost two weeks left.

          Not to imply they weren’t trying, but the wildcard was pretty much locked up.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. smallflowers says:

    Aye, but the ’02 Angels will be in the Hall of Grit, sir.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • willystarr says:

      Is the only possible case for the ’02 Angels Tim Salmon? How bad is his candidacy?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Andre the Angels Fan says:

        Considering he never made an All Star game, not great.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • fromthemachine says:

        Not that relievers have an easy road to the Hall of Fame, but Troy Percival ranks in the top 10 for saves. His 358 came in just 708.2 innings, or about 1 save every 2 innings. That’s the same clip as Mariano Rivera.

        A deeper dive into his career stats shows a K/9 rate close to 10 and a BABIP of .230, the latter being a league record for pitchers with 500+ innings.

        A much darker horse on the ’02 roster is Scot Shields, who was arguably the best setup man of his generation.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • willystarr says:

          Shields is a very interesting name, but I imagine it’s a little like hoping a great holder makes the football HoF. Crucial role, no fanfare.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Jason B says:

          You’re right, Shields is a “deep cut” – little attention or fanfare but in a role that tends to be overlooked. If he makes the ballot, he will be a one-and-done.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Ian R. says:

        Kevin Appier has a borderline Hall of Fame case – of course, he was also more or less an average player by 2002, so he was hardly pitching at a Hall of Fame level. Still, at 53 fWAR and 55 bWAR, he had a better career than quite a few pitchers in the Hall.

        That team was pretty fantastically well-rounded, though. The only below-average hitters were Darin Erstad (who made up for it with phenomenal defense) and Bengie Molina.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Erik says:

        Not too many long career on that 2002 squad. Salmon, Glaus, Washburn, Shields, Erstad, Percival, all had some elite stretches but had a lot of injuries shorten their careers.

        Even without injuries those guys would’ve had a rough time but you could make an argument for them being the best at their position at some point in their careers.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Chris says:

    I knew R.A. Dickey was old, but I had no idea that he played on the 1928 Yankees. Probably should have signed him to a long term contract.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. KCDaveInLA says:

    It seems as if the teams built for a run at the championship are most interested in what players’ talent levels are like *right now* rather than name recognition. Stating the obvious, of course, but the table supports that.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. stan says:

    You’re missing Frankie Frisch from the ’31 and ’34 Cardinals (also Leo Durocher, though he’s really in as a manager).

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. historian says:

    Easy fix with the spreadsheet confusion. Just re-do the legend at the top in reverse order.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. Matt says:

    Not much to contribute, just wanted to say that this was a fascinating article. Good job, Paul.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. The Humber Games says:

    Re: 2010 and 2012 Giants.You don’t think Lincecum even has a shot at the HOF?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Preston says:

      Have you seen him pitch lately? Two great years, followed by two good years, followed by two bad years. He turns 30 next season, so the odds of his career swinging back in the other direction are slim. Kevin Brown had 73 WAR and didn’t get off the first ballot. Is Tim Lincecum really going to put up 40+ WAR on the wrong side of 30?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TKDC says:

        The CYAs will help him a lot, along with the titles, general fame, likability, etc.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Preston says:

          He’s been below replacement level by bWAR for two seasons and is about to turn 30. I think he’s adjusted to account for his diminished velocity and will bounce back a little next year. But not enough to get back on a HOF track. If he’s a 3 win pitcher for 10 years (an unreasonable expectation given that he’s been below replacement for the last 2) he’s at best bringing his WAR total up to 54, it just seems like too much to expect at this point, I mean voters talk about Curt Schilling as a borderline candidate (he recieved 38.8% of the vote last year) with over 80 WAR, one of the best post-season resumes of all time, three rings and 3 2nd place finishes for the Cy Young. Is the fact that Lincecum won those Cy Youngs really going to bridge that gap in career production? I just can’t even squint my eyes and see it happening.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Ian R. says:

        Not to mention, his great years weren’t even THAT great. Don’t get me wrong, he deserved the CYA both seasons, but if you’re going to build a Hall of Fame case on two years, they’d better be mind-blowingly brilliant, record-setting years.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • frug says:

        Lincecum’s best chance to make the HOF is to pull and Eck and then rack like 300 saves.

        +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ian R. says:

      Lincecum appears to be on the Dwight Gooden/Bret Saberhagen/Fernando Valenzuela career path. Brilliant young pitcher, flamed out too early to build a case for the Hall of Fame.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ruki Motomiya says:

      Maybe if he had another 2-3 years like 2008-2009…

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. MrKnowNothing says:

    Expanded playoffs means there’s a greater chance of this happening as time marches on. Good but not great teams can get into the playoffs and then anything can happen. 83 win teams win the WS now (granted that one had a futur HOFer…). Pre-playoff expansion, teams were pretty much always gonna be loaded with some damn great players.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ian R. says:

      Not to mention a guy who wasn’t so great that year but now looks like a possible Hall of Famer (Yadier Molina) and two guys who are likely to be overlooked but nevertheless Hall-worthy (Rolen and Edmonds).

      Remember, the ’06 Cardinals had the same core as the team that had won 100 or more games in the previous two seasons. That was a super-talented team that underachieved in the regular season due to injuries and poor performance, then put it back together in the playoffs.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. zsigs says:

    Great Article! I loved your spreadsheet.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. Dirck says:

    It seems that every year I care less about the Hall Of Fame and who makes it and who doesn’t and why .The voting is such a flawed process ,in many ways similar to our presidential elections ,with simlar results = many undeserving candidates get in ,and many deserving ones don’t .

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. Hall of FanGraphs says:

    Thank you for writing this! One of the highlights of my day. I am probably one of many non-statisticians who reads these pages regularly, and the comments, and it is the best baseball on the internet.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. JLRC says:

    The 2005 White Sox were wire-to-wire champions and one of just two teams to go 11-1 in the playoffs. They (presumably) had just a lone HOFer on their roster, Frank Thomas. He played in only the first 34 games of that season, in which case I have always felt like that team lacked a a HOF player. That is, unless the Jack Morris standard allows a guy like Buehrle in there.

    IMO that team was one of the best ever and it had few stars, let alone Hall of Famers. Konerko was a star. Jermaine Dye played like one for a few years. Buehrle could probably be called a star, even though there were always these “is he an ace?” arguments throughout Chicago. Who else? Freddy Garcia? Jose Contreras? Carl Everett? Juan Uribe? Juan Uribe.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • James says:

      Team had the 7th best run differential in baseball that year. A deserving champion? I guess so. One of the best ever? No.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • As much as I look fondly back on the 2005 World Series, I do come back to the conclusion that they weren’t even close to being the best team that year. I love that they won, they deserved to win because they did EXACTLY what they needed to do to win, however, they are definitely one of the weaker recent WS champions (past 30 years or less).

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JLRC says:

        I can’t say that your logic is wrong and I wouldn’t expect you to suddenly start proclaiming that team to be the best ever. Statistically speaking, while certainly a team that makes sense as a champion, it has its warts compared to the teams that would populate the “highest WAR ever” list.

        On the other hand, to me, we use these statistics to predict results. The returns on the 2005 White Sox are great, as they had a playoff run that is unsurpassed in its dominance while also being one of very few wire-to-wire champions. Most advanced statistics tend to be based on the notion that runs for and against happen essentially randomly. Given how difficult it is to prove otherwise, this is a good way to think about things.

        However, my argument (beyond the dominant playoff run and wire-to-wire accomplishment) would be predicated on the idea that the 2005 White Sox scored their runs better than random. While we know this to be true (I’m sure they outperformed their Pythagorean W-L), I would argue that this was not random. As great teams often seem to do, that one made their runs count and the other teams’ not so much. It was calculated and based on their individual and collective greatness rather than mere chance, as was evidenced by their surge through the playoffs.

        Anyway, you can take that or leave it as I’m making rather unempirical arguments. I like to believe in some of that “magic” sometimes.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Mr Punch says:

          The ’05 Chisox were a pretty good team in a weak division for most of the year, then played really well down the stretch and in the postseason. This happens. The very next year, the World Series went to a team that probably would have finished fifth in the AL East.

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  24. Canard says:

    Honestly, this article proved the writer’s initial point to me. You’re telling me that between 1903 and 1980, every single championship team had a Hall of Famer on it? And that of all those teams, only the 1940 Reds (in wartime, let’s not forget) had that Hall of Famer contribute less than 2 WAR?

    And then, all of a sudden, in the 1980s, we get three championship teams either without a hall of famer, or a hall of famer who didn’t contribute significantly?

    That to me screams in loud, bold letters, that we’re not putting nearly enough Hall of Famers into the Hall from the 1980s.

    If you want to convince the BBWAA that they’re being too stingy with their votes, just forward this chart to every member.

    Meanwhile, who else should we be throwing into the Hall? At this point Whittaker and Trammell stand out as obvious answers. What about the 1981 Dodgers? Ron Cey looks like a decent candidate at 55 fWAR for his career.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. Jon L. says:

    I know the article doesn’t say otherwise, but Mike Petriello doesn’t say that every World Series winner should have a Hall of Famer. The fact is, the vast majority do, and the 1984 Detroit Tigers were much better than your average World Series winner. They had great offense and great defense, both anecdotally and statistically. They took over their division with an historically good start, and never cooled off until the race was apparently well in hand. Finally, they won the playoffs and World Series handily, without ever really being challenged. It’s reasonable to think a team that great must have some Hall of Famers.

    Of course, there’s no reason for reality to work that way. Lots of players have great seasons without having Hall of Fame careers. The Tigers had a lot of excellent players that fall short (or have fallen short so far) of the HOF. In addition to Whitaker and Trammell, Kirk Gibson was a star during his peak, but didn’t add much else; Lance Parrish was an outstanding defensive catcher who hit over 300 home runs; Chet Lemon was an excellent hitter and excellent center fielder who only needed to be a little bit better to have a case for the Hall; and Darrell Evans actually does have a borderline case, as a third baseman with an outstanding batting eye who hit over 400 homers. It probably seemed at the time like half the team was destined for the Hall of Fame – or at least destined to win 85 games in 1985.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. Utah Dave says:

    This was an excellent article. I never thought about the topic until I saw this on here. Thanks for educating me. I am not going to debate who should and shouldn’t be in the HOF (not that it isn’t a valid argument). But I felt the point of the article was to show historically who has made the HOF from WS champs. And by far, the large majority of WS champs had at least 1 person on the squad who eventually made it.

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  27. cs3 says:

    How come in your chart the names dont line up with the appropriate heading? It would be much easier and more intuitive to read if the did.

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  28. Jeffrey says:

    Probably a lot easier for every team to have a hall of famer (WS champion) years ago before the expansion era when there were fewer teams and only great teams even made the playoffs/WS.

    Now, with the wild card format, and 30 teams. I believe there will be more champions with no hall of famers moving forward.

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  29. garrett hawk says:

    In addition to Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling, both of whom will certainly get into Cooperstown, that 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks team probably set the all-time record for having the most players who hail from THE HALL OF VERY GOOD:

    Career WAR
    Big Unit-104.3
    Schilling 80.7
    Gonzo 51.5
    Mark Grace 46.1
    Matt Williams 46.5
    Steve Finley 44.0
    Reggie Sanders 39.6
    Jay Bell 37.0
    Greg Swindell 30.3
    Mike Morgan 28.9
    Craig Counsell 22.4

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    • Preston says:

      Not really, most WS teams have a ton of really good players on them.

      1998 Yankees HOF and Hall of really good
      Derek Jeter 73.7
      Andy Pettitte 68.4
      Tim Raines 66.4
      David Wells 58.1
      David Cone 55.5
      Jorge Posada 44.9
      Bernie Williams 44.3
      Daryl Strawberry 41.5
      Paul Oneill 41
      Mariano Rivera 41.2
      Chuck Knoblauch 39.8
      Chili Davis 37.9
      Tino Martinez 29
      Mike Lowell 26.9

      14 players on that team ended up compiling 25 WAR or better and there are only two sure fire HOFers in the group in Jeter and Rivera. Pettitte, Raines and Posada all obviously have a chance to get their as well, but given current voting trends it seems doubtful.

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      • garrett hawk says:

        Preston, that’s a cool list, but let’s face it, that ’98 Yankee team is on the short-list in any “Greatest team Of All Time” debate. The 2001 D-Backs are considered a one-hit wonder.

        Also, it was Steinbrenner’s way to load up his bench with former superstars; for instance, the ’96 Yanks had most of the above list, plus Ruben Sierra, Wade Boggs, Cecil Fielder, and Dwight Gooden! (not to mention Jimmy Key 49.4 WAR, and Kenny Rogers 51.1)

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        • garrett hawk says:

          Actually, I wonder if that 1996 Yankee team had the most “near-HOF” players of any team of all time? BTW, they also had the Series MVP, John Wetteland on the squad, plus a HOF manager.

          Though they didn’t win the 1928 pennant, the Philly A’s of that year prolly had the most star-studded locker room in history.

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  30. BigHurt35 says:

    Some of you Angels people have got to be kidding, right? Kevin Appier, Tim Salmon, Scot Shields, Troy Percival? If we are talking about legitimate players like Jeff Kent, Mike Piazza, and Jeff Bagwell having trouble getting in, do you really think there is a chance in hell that these guys even pick up a vote?

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    • Mike says:

      Salmon did get a vote. One vote. Probably one of those local beat writer votes that thank him for a good career. Kevin Appier is extremely borderline. Scot Shields was a setup man, read also: Scot Shields has no chance.

      Percival’s case is kind of interesting. He ranks 8th all-time in saves (the save stat sucks, I know. But the writers love that stuff). And his K/9 among those eight pitchers is second.

      Would I vote for Percy? Not a chance. But is it possible that he sticks around for a few years on the ballot because of where he stands among career saves leaders? Yes. And it isn’t really that difficult to make the jump to that conclusion.

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      • vivalajeter says:

        As a frame of reference, John Franco is 4th in career saves (66 more than Percival) and he didn’t get past the first year of voting. Considering how many legit HOFers are on the ballot, I’d be shocked – and disappointed – if more than 5% voted for Percival.

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    • Ian R. says:

      If you like JAWS (and I do), then Appier is no more borderline than Kent.

      Kent’s JAWS score is 45.4. The Hall of Fame average at second base is 57.0. He’s about 80% of the way there.

      Appier’s JAWS score is 49.1. The Hall of Fame average for starting pitchers is 61.4. He’s also about 80% of the way there.

      Put another way, Appier’s career (baseball-reference) WAR ties him with Hall of Famer Mordecai Brown, right between Hall of Famer Red Ruffing and Hall of Famer Whitey Ford. There are also a number of non-Hall of Famers in that WAR range, granted, but those aren’t exactly the Jesse Hainses and Rube Marquards of the world either. They’re widely considered deserving (if below average) Hall of Famers.

      I’m not saying Kevin Appier has any shot at the Hall of Fame – he fell off the ballot with just one vote a few years ago – but if you look closely, he has a case. Not a great case, but a case.

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  31. Bookbook says:

    Appier has a case on the merits (not that he’ll ever make it) but, yeah, the Scott Shields for HOF campaign is starting deep in the hole.

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  32. metsfaninparadise says:

    Interesting that you included Frankie Frisch, who was elected by the BBWAA in 1947, on the ’21-’22 Giants but not on the ’31 and ’34 Cardinals.

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  33. garrett hawk says:

    Did the 1996 Yankee’s Series-winning team have the most “near-HOF” players (or Hall of Very Good players) of any team of all time?

    Though they didn’t win the 1928 pennant, the Philly A’s of that year prolly had the most star-studded locker room in history.

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  34. John C says:

    The fact that the ’81 Dodgers are shut out isn’t particularly troubling. That team only got in because of the split season. They were a second-place team that beat a fourth-place team in the World Series, in a season where a team with a losing record got in and the team with the best record in baseball didn’t. Somehow, it seems fitting that they are the only “champion” other the the Tigers with no HOF’ers.

    The fact that Trammell and Whitaker were not elected by the BBWAA is just more evidence that they shouldn’t be the sole group deciding who should be in the Hall of Fame–especially seeing as how many people want to put Morris in ahead of them. But then again, these are the same geniuses who put the third-best outfielder on the late-1970s Red Sox into Cooperstown, but wouldn’t even consider the other two.

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    • Pipe Dreams says:

      But it’s a surprise. Those Dodger teams had an All Star infield squad that played together fro more years than ANY infield squad in history.

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  35. Go Nats says:

    I think anyone who was not a jerk and has 60 or more WAR should be in the Hall of Fame. The Jerk cutoff for me is 75 WAR for the hall. And cheaters need 100 WAR. So Bonds (164 WAR!) gets in Palmeiro, McGwire, Sosa do not. And Raines, Sweet Lou, Biggio, Bagwell and Trammel in. While Jeff Kent, Jack Morris are not!

    Its a simple system that anyone can argue with, but it works very well actually once you look closely at it.

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  36. Atom says:

    Small error here. The 1931 Cardinals had Frankie Frisch who was elected by the writers in 1947.

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  37. gump says:

    something to think about for Posey (and other catchers)- pitch framing data being incorporated into WAR in the next few years may give them a boost in hall of fame chance

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  38. Mr Punch says:

    The ’81 Dodgers had a player who was regarded as a future Hall of Famer at the time – Steve Garvey. But Bill James, and Garvey’s own behavior, did him in.

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    • Ivan Grushenko says:

      Reggie Smith has a real case IMO. He’s at least as good as Andre Dawson, Kirby Puckett, Earl Averill, Max Carey, Edd Roush, Earle Combs or Hack Wilson….and significantly better than all but Dawson.

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  39. Jerome Solberg says:

    It’s strange that there’s so little love for the 1981 Dodgers. Yes, they were lucky because of the split playoff format. But it always takes a little luck to win a World Series, especially after the introduction of playoffs. But the 1981 Dodgers were a strong team, just a few different pieces removed from the 1977 Dodgers that lost to the Yankees in the World Series, and battled the Big Red Machine throughout the 1970′s (and the Oakland A’s in the 1974 World Series). Strange that a team that showed such an extended run of good performance gets almost no credit, either in the Hall of Fame or from the analyst community. From the entire run of the Dodger’s success only Don Sutton represents them in the Hall, with some (grudging) support for Tommy John. Ron Cey for the Hall?

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    • John C says:

      Not saying the ’81 Dodgers weren’t good. The Dodgers were a good team for a couple more years after that, even. But they didn’t deserve to be in the playoffs in 1981. When you create a one-off playoff system where a 50-53 team (K.C.) gets in, and a 66-42 team with the best record in baseball gets left out (and let’s not forget the Cardinals were the second-best team in the NL and they got screwed, too), then the whole 1981 postseason lacks any legitimacy. I didn’t even bother watching it.

      What MLB deserved was for George Brett to suddenly get white-hot and drag the ’81 Royals all the way. Fortunately for them, he waited until ’85, when his team actually deserved to be there, to do that.

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      • John DiFool says:

        I never understood why the Reds got hosed. They were half a game behind, with a game in hand, when the season stopped, but never got a chance at winning the makeup and a possible playoff.

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  40. Robert says:

    You messed up Koufax’s numbers – he had almost no WAR in ’55, but huge WARs in ’63 and ’65.

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  41. Tim says:

    As a Dodgers fan, I have to admit there probably won’t be any HOFers from those ’80s teams. But then again baseball is a team sport, not just a collection of stars. The 88 Dodgers had a team with a pitcher who had a career year (Hershiser) and a bunch of other players who had very solid years (Gibson, Leary) and guys who came up big in the clutch in the postseason (Hatcher, Scioscia). No shame in those guys not being Hall of Famers, but if you could induct individual seasons, Hershiser ’88 would definitely be in.

    Also, Trammell and Whitaker should definitely be in.

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  42. Hurtlockertwo says:

    1928 Philadephia A’s had seven HOF’s and finished second.

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  43. Ryan says:

    Red Schoendienst played on the 1946 Cardinals and was a Hall of Famer.

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  44. Bryan Lamb says:

    Tinkers to Evers to Chance are all Hall of famers!

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  45. cooldrive says:

    Didn’t Frankie Frisch play for the ’31 Cardinals? He was certainly a BBWAA enshrinee (I hope that isn’t really a word).

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  46. Sam says:

    Tables give us so interesting conception. Superstar who can get more than 6 on WAR is not essential for WS title , more than we thought.thought… I’m shocked with that many blanks..

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  47. Frankie Frisch was on the 1931 Cardinals. You showed them with no HoF player initially, i.e., not voted by the veteran’s committee. He was elected by the by BBWAA as Player in 1947.

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  48. jefe says:

    Stupid article that is obviously written by some big market city sports nut (yep, just found out he’s from Boston). The Tigers have never gotten the credit they deserve because of sport’s writers affinity for large market squads (Boston, New York, etc.). Even menial players from Red Sox and Yankee’s teams are in and more from the 90′s and 00′s squads are on their way. The 84 Tigers are one of the most dominant teams of all time and one of only 4 wire to wire champions (Red Sox don’t make this list), but it doesn’t end there. The Tigers went on to be one of the most dominant teams of the decade. Morris was even more impressive. He dominated with the Tigers and then with Minnesota and again with the Blue Jays. 3 titles as the ace on 3 teams (how many people have done this in history). While everyone is focused on their beloved stats, the fact is that Morris just won games. If Moneyball proved anything to us, it is that having the most money and best overall stats means diddly squat if you don’t score more runs than the other team. Morris has said that if he was up by a bunch, as was the case in 84, he simply threw strikes and if the other team scored and his stats got a little worse, he didn’t care because he still won. Because of this, he was able to throw less pitches and pitch more innings (most complete games and innings pitched in the 80′s). Fame does not mean perfection. The man did his job amazingly well and better then 99% of the pitchers of his time and possibly ever. He may not have the most strike outs or highest ERA, but he didn’t have to. The fact is that he isn’t in because he was not particularly friendly with sports writers of his time and they are bias in their voting because of it. As these oldies are dying off his ballot numbers increase as the new writers recognize his greatness. Matter of time before he’s in.

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