Hall of Fame By the Numbers Pt 1: C and 3B

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One time, I had a friend ask me if I thought Jim Edmonds was a Hall of Famer. I really didn’t think so, but I wanted to compare his stats to others in the Hall. As a result, I wanted to know about other players who weren’t in the Hall or seemed questionable.

I had a problem deciding what would be the best way to determine who would be in, so I created a few different ways.

First off, I decided to look at rates rather than most stats. While not all players have over 500 home runs, they could average more home runs per at bat than other players; this was useful for players that had great careers but missed time for various reasons, like being drafted into the military or injured. So, I took various rates and gave a point for being above the average and took a point for being below average.

I also looked at the player versus Hall of Famers at their position and versus Hall hitters/pitchers as a whole. This would give a position specific score and a general score.

The score is in 2 points; first is the position score and the second is the general score and both are based off the point scale listed above.

So, this is the first part – Catchers and Third Basemen.

I found 4 catchers that either I thought deserved to be in or that others had requested.

Steve O’Neill
O’Neill played a majority of his career with the Indians. I found that his career was shorter than most catchers; he also had a shorter career than most major league hitters, but I expected that out of catchers.

Steve O'Neill Stats

So, he didn’t score positive points for position or in general. His Average and Slugging were also below both averages.

Score: -5/-5
Ruling: Not in the Hall.

Mike Piazza
Piazza played with the Mets more than any other team. This was a little easier than O’Neill. Piazza played more than the average catcher in the Hall, but less than general hitters.

Mike Piazza's Stats

Piazza was the opposite of O’Neill; he scored points for all 5 rates/averages for HOF Catchers. He also received 4 points for rates/averages for HOF hitters.

Score: 5/3
Ruling: In the Hall

Benito Santiago
Santiago bounced around, but a majority of his career was with the Padres. I included him since he’ll be on the ballot for the first time next year; he had a decent career where he made some All Star appearances. Going in, I didn’t think he’d qualify. He, like Piazza, played more than the average HOF Catcher, but not the HOF hitters.

Benito Santiago's Stats

As I expected, Santiago didn’t score well. He lost points for everything but HR/AB, where he was the same as HOF Catchers and hitters.

Score: -4/-4
Ruling: Not in the Hall.

Ted Simmons
Simmons spent most of his career as a Cardinal. The fact that he didn’t make it past the first ballot shows everything that is wrong with the HOF voting process. Simmons played more games than HOF Catchers and hitters; he did play a little first base towards the end of his career.

Ted Simmons Stats

Simmons was a case where the rates didn’t work the best; he has more hits, runs, RBIs, and HRs than HOF catchers. He also is just below the batting average. His numbers compared to all hitters was pretty close too; the rates are what did him in.

Score: -3/-2
Ruling: In the Hall – the scores didn’t do him justice, but the basic stats put him in.

I had 3 third basemen that were request for this; one is pretty obvious.

Bob Elliott
Elliott was a member of the Pirates for the majority of his career. Looking at his stats, he seems like a decent enough player. I was curious to see how he stacked up compared to the HOFers.

Bob Elliott's Stats

Elliott played few games than most of the HOFers; both third basemen and hitters in general. His stats were just below the other players at third; he was behind the Hall hitters though.

Score: -2/-3
Ruling: Not in the Hall.

Ron Santo
When you hear of HOF snubs, the Cubs third baseman is one of the first names you hear. He was one of the top third baseman in his time, yet couldn’t get a serious shot with the baseball writers.

Ron Santo's Stats

Santo’s stats are above the HOF third basemen and HOF hitters, for the most part. He’s got a positive rate in HR/AB, RBI/AB, and SLG for both comparisons.

Score: 1/1
Ruling: In the Hall

Cecil Travis
I’ve got Travis with the Senators. I wasn’t really aware of his numbers, but he was requested by readers. Just hearing the Senators though doesn’t ring with confidence for him.

Cecil Travis's Stats

His numbers aren’t horrible, but I don’t think they are good enough. His average is his only assets; is RBIs didn’t hurt him compared to the HOF third basemen.

Score: -2/-3
Ruling: Not in the Hall

Tomorrow we’ll look at the first basemen.

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