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Thread: HOF Discussion - Automatic Milestones?

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    Senior Member MansGame's Avatar
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    Question HOF Discussion - Automatic Milestones?

    We've all be in thread after thread after thread about is ___________ a HOF'er or should ___________ be in the HOF?

    Here is my question, in your opinion, are there milestones a player can reach which would give them an automatic entry into the HOF? If so, what are they? I'm assuming 3,000 hits, 500 HR, 300 wins for a pitcher, 3,000 strikeouts for a pitcher, etc.?

    Also, what else should be considered? Gold gloves, all-star appearances, batting titles, MVPs, etc.?

    Last, do you think each player should ONLY be looked at in perspective to their position and who else played their position and how their numbers stack up that way? Or do you think if you're a HOF'er, then your numbers should speak for themselves?

    _____

    Here are my thoughts... I think some of the milestones I mentioned above get you into the HOF. I also believe you don't have to have a milestone to get in but you better have other attributes like a MVP or defensive game, all-star appearances, etc. I think another thing to consider is how dominate was that player in their era? I mean, just because you played 20+ seasons and got high career numbers doesn't mean you're a HOF'er.

    Last, it really irritates me when people have to compare a player to those who have played their position in the history of the game in order to make an argument for the HOF. Part of me just doesn't like that but I'm not sure why.

    At the end of the day, I'm in the camp of it's the Hall of Fame and not Hall of Really Good. If you have to make a case and argue for a player to be considered, then he probably isn't suppose to be in there. Just my two cents.

    What do y'all think?
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    I like to start with the milestone to think about players for HOF consideration, but really I like to think about them vs. their peers - i.e. if they were among the best players in MLB at their position over a decade or more of time.

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    Senior Member MansGame's Avatar
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    [MENTION=2726]rsmath[/MENTION] - So you give a lot of weight to not how good they were in their era but how good they were versus others at their single position? Just curious.
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    Senior Member predatorkj's Avatar
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    Well these milestones for pitchers are going to have to change or we might never see another pitcher get in ever!

    I think it's a combo of their stats and accolades mixed with how good they were versus others at their position. The only bad thing is sometimes you get multiple guys at a single position(like first base) that are heavy on stats and accolades and tear it up year after year. So who's better than who at that point? Or do they all go in?
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    Senior Member MansGame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by predatorkj View Post
    Well these milestones for pitchers are going to have to change or we might never see another pitcher get in ever!

    I think it's a combo of their stats and accolades mixed with how good they were versus others at their position. The only bad thing is sometimes you get multiple guys at a single position(like first base) that are heavy on stats and accolades and tear it up year after year. So who's better than who at that point? Or do they all go in?
    Unless someone is a gold glove winning machine or someone who would get invited to the all-star game on their defense alone, I don't care about comparing players to others at their single position. Not unless you're comparing defensive stats? I just don't get it... who cares if someone had ____ offensive stats but played 3B versus how those stats would stack up if he played 2B. What is the difference? Playing 3B vs 2B changes the dynamic of how a player hits the damn ball? Doesn't make sense to me honestly.
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    Senior Member predatorkj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MansGame View Post
    Unless someone is a gold glove winning machine or someone who would get invited to the all-star game on their defense alone, I don't care about comparing players to others at their single position. Not unless you're comparing defensive stats? I just don't get it... who cares if someone had ____ offensive stats but played 3B versus how those stats would stack up if he played 2B. What is the difference? Playing 3B vs 2B changes the dynamic of how a player hits the damn ball? Doesn't make sense to me honestly.
    Because a position like first base or a corner outfield spot does require athletic prowess but not like center field, second, or short stop. So you'll have some lumbering beast at first, and the corner outfield spots...maybe even at third. You can have some rangy bean pole at second or short or center who hits for a lot of power. But it's not the norm. I'll admit, the game is changing. You've got some normal power spots producing skinnier sleeker players. Some don't even hit for power. And some players playing the non power spots have power( Cano, Jeter and Kinsler to a degree, etc.).

    All I'm saying is if I see a second baseman hitting 25-30 homers a year, it means the same to me as a first baseman hitting 40-45. I don't expect the prototypical players at those positions to hit equal numbers.
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    I love these discussions!

    In your opinion, are there milestones a player can reach which would give them an automatic entry into the HOF? If so, what are they? I'm assuming 3,000 hits, 500 HR, 300 wins for a pitcher, 3,000 strikeouts for a pitcher, etc.?


    While nice, milestone markers should NOT be grounds for automatic entry into the HOF. A lot of times, they're indicators that a player has merely been around forever. Think about this: if Harold Baines- who was not a superstar and was only a minor star- were to hang around a few more years to collect 3,000 hits and 400 HRs (both milestones that he was close to), would he be a valid HOFer? I wouldn't think so, not in the least. As it stood, he was off the ballot after year 3. Is he REALLY a HOFer if he collects 20-something more HRs and 200 more hits? Also, Adam Dunn is NOT a HOFer with 500 HRs. Hell, I wouldn't even vote for him if he got 600 or 650, because he is so poor at other aspects of his game and is the very definition of a one-dimensional player.

    Also, what else should be considered? Gold gloves, all-star appearances, batting titles, MVPs, etc.?


    Everything should be looked at collectively- including WAR. But none of those things should be the end-all, be-all.

    Last, do you think each player should ONLY be looked at in perspective to their position and who else played their position and how their numbers stack up that way? Or do you think if you're a HOF'er, then your numbers should speak for themselves?

    I've never been much of a fan for comparing players of certain positions to each other and basing most of their HOF argument on that. I don't consider Jeff Kent a HOFer; IMO he was merely above average as a player. But by comparing him to only other second basemen, all of a sudden people feel that he should be first-ballot. Same with Scott Rolen. Not a HOFer in my opinion. Also, I don't know where the notion began that a first baseman should be judged by his power, but players of other positions are exempt from this. Why are first basemen held to a higher standard? What if there's a first baseman whose numbers resembled those of someone like Rickey Henderson? Lots of hits and stolen bases but only a small amount of homers? Is he not a HOFer at that point?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MansGame View Post
    @rsmath - So you give a lot of weight to not how good they were in their era but how good they were versus others at their single position? Just curious.
    If you compare to an era, I don't think it's fair to compare a 2B to a OF since 2B has usually been a weak position compared to OF.

    It's much fairer to consider a top 2B who has been in the game a decade or longer to the rest of his 2B peers who have decent decade plus service time and determine which 2B with a long career was the best and sometimes even position-defining to deserve a HOF plaque.

    I even would take it a step further when it comes to first ballot vote. If the player was among the best at his position in the history of baseball, it would deserve my first ballot vote. Otherwise, if the player was the best at his position among his positional peer but not among the best of all-time, it's just a second year vote in my book.

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    jrosales, great post! You wrote exactly how I feel about milestones and comparing position players.
    I was even going to mention Adam Dunn.
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    3,000 500 300 Good character and clean

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    Sandy Koufax never reached any of the big milestones, but he was so dominant that it would be stupid to leave him out of the HOF. Also, I've never heard anyone clamor for his exclusion.

    Lou Gehrig played for 17 years and didn't reach 500 or 3,000. Should he be excluded?

    My point is that having milestone cutoffs can only get someone so far. There are plenty of players who haven't reached any of the big milestones who deserve to be enshrined. Meanwhile, there are those who reached milestone markers whose candidacy has been questioned (Biggio has his detractors who say he wasn't dominant; Palmeiro, assuming he racked up his numbers while clean, would have been met with a similar debate, as he wasn't really dominant or a league leader in anything; and let's not forget Don Sutton who, despite over 300 wins and 3,500 Ks, still isn't considered a valid HOFer by many because most of his stats were due to longevity and not dominance.

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    Senior Member Juan Gris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrosales View Post
    Also, Adam Dunn is NOT a HOFer with 500 HRs. Hell, I wouldn't even vote for him if he got 600 or 650, because he is so poor at other aspects of his game and is the very definition of a one-dimensional player.
    He doesn't just hit home runs. He strikeouts, walks or hits home runs.

    Say what you will, but he has a good eye to draw-out pitch counts (and walks) and the power to positively affect those batting in front of him. Over the 8 seasons where he hit 38 or more home runs (6 of those being 40+) he was voted an All-Star just 1 time (people sometimes equate All-Star selections to performance when it seems to be a mixture of performance and popularity). Add in all the ineffective teams he's played on that collectively have not made the playoffs a single time and he has been largely frowned upon outside of his team's fan base.

    Among active players he ranks:
    BB - 3rd (behind Abreu and Giambi)
    HR - 3rd (behind ARod and Pujols)
    K -1st

    Among all players active and retired:
    BB - 44th (I wouldn't be surprised to see him crack the top 10 before he retires)
    HR - 35th (who knows where he will end)
    K - 4th (behind Reggie Jackson, Jim Thome and Sammy Sosa)
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    3000 hits should still be revered, but it's taking it in the butt with Biggio being denied because he doesn't pass some east coast eye test. Many players have played till age 40 and never made it to 3000 hits. If I have to worry about baseball players being HOFers because they made headlines for the highlight reels or got interviewed alot because the media thought they were stars, then the HOF is already broken. There is some tweeners like Andre Dawson already let in, so let Biggio in darn it. I don't care if fans in other parts of the country don't think he ever stood out or seemed like a great player.

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    Senior Member Nate Colbert 17's Avatar
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    Some players do not need the milestones mentioned in this thread. (Kouax, Gehrig, et al.)

    They can, however, be used to bolster the claim of "second tier" HOFers. (Don Sutton, et al.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nate Colbert 17 View Post
    Some players do not need the milestones mentioned in this thread. (Kouax, Gehrig, et al.)

    They can, however, be used to bolster the claim of "second tier" HOFers. (Don Sutton, et al.)
    I agree with this, emphasis being on "they CAN be used to bolster..."

    Just because Sutton got 300 wins and 3,000K, it should NOT mean that he's an automatic HOFer. However, voters SHOULD take these 2 milestones into account when weighing his candidacy. IMO, he's a very borderline HOFer, but I'd barely put him in. He had a long career and was very good, but he's someone who NEEDS at least one big milestone to make it, as his dominance was low and many of his metrics aren't really becoming of a HOFer. Now Blyleven...I don't know why he took so long to get in. He missed 300 wins because he played for crappy teams, but he was one of the 5 most successful strikeout pitchers at the time of his retirement, and he had the metrics indicating that he was dominant. Unfortunately, it seems that the voters were just concerned about 300 wins and the fact that he 'didn't seem like a HOFer while he was pitching'. He was a MUCH better candidate than Jack Morris, whose backers I just can't understand (I consider Tim Hudson and Mark Buehrle - neither of whom are HOFers IMO - to be better than Morris).

    And then there are players like Koufax and Addie Joss (short dominant peak), or Gehrig (long career but missed the milestones) who were so great and dominant that they don't need any further justification for induction. Pedro is another one- he barely got 200 wins but he should be a shoo-in, first-ballot, no-doubt-about-it HOFer.
    Last edited by jrosales; 06-26-2014 at 11:02 AM.

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