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Monday, August 25, 2008
 
Baseball Veteran's Committee HOF Nominees

Listed here.

Allie Reynolds, Joe Gordon and Vern Stephens are among 10 players whose careers began before 1943 who will be considered by the Hall of Fame's constituted Veterans Committee when it meets on Dec. 7.

Bill Dahlen, Wes Ferrell, Sherry Magee, Carl Mays, Mickey Vernon, Bucky Walters and Deacon White also will be on the ballot, the Hall said Monday. The 10 finalists were selected by a committee of the Baseball Writers' Association of America that considered pre-1943 players. A 12-member committee of Hall of Famers, media and historians will vote.


My thoughts:

Reynolds: Should go; a 7-2 record in World Series starts is good enough for me.

Gordon: Solid player and perennial All Star and MVP candidate; like many of his era he's hurt by missing two years to WWII. Was traded for Reynolds straight up after the 1946 season; it's safe to say the Yankees got the better end of that deal. Marginal pick due to a short career.

Stephens: Great hitter for a shortstop; led the American League in RBI three times and finished second once. Career has more bulk to it than Gordon's but he's not missing the war years, which accounts for much of the difference in their career stats. Not quite a Hall of Fame career to me.

Bill Dahlen: Old-timer. Had a long and productive career, but only once led his league in any statistic (RBI in 1904, with 80). He only appeared in one World Series, and his showing there was pathetic; 0-15 with three walks. Pass.

Wes Ferrell. Five 20-win seasons and a .601 career winning percentage are the good points, but Ferrell was a workhorse, not a showhorse. Most of his league-leading totals were for negative things like his allowed, HRs allowed, earned runs allowed, etc. Only selected to two All-Star games and did not pitch in either of those. Nope.

Magee: Good hitter in the deadball era, borderline candidate.

Mays: Out because of the Chapman beaning and accusations of throwing the World Series (never proven) in 1921. Marginal candidate.

Vernon: Solid, long-term player, borderline candidate. I'd vote for him.

Bucky Walters: Tough case. Walters was as good as anybody in baseball from 1939-1944, and his two best years (1939 and 1940) deserve mention on anybody's short list of the greatest seasons by a pitcher ever. In 1939, Walters led the National League in wins, strikeouts, ERA, innings pitched, and just about everything else you can name. He also contributed in the batter's box, hitting .325 with eight doubles, a triple and a homer. He was named the league's MVP. However, he was disappointing in the World Series, losing two to the Yankees In 1940, he went out and did most of it again, and although he did not perform as well with the wood in his hand, he managed to win two WS games and even contributed a home run to the Reds' first non-tainted World Championship.

But aside from those spectacular seasons, the rest of his career is made up of 15-15, 14-15, and 15-14 type years. He only finished 38 wins above .500, which would be very low for a starting pitcher, and well below the other pitchers on this list.

Deacon White: A player from the 1870s, so his statistical record may not tell us much. Most baseball historians consider him an important early figure in the game.
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