Batting Average Defining Quality for Hall?

     I thought that baseball fans were evolving and accepting the realization that "On Base Percentage" is more important than "Batting Average."  And if the fans understood this, then the "Hall of Fame" voters surely would also. 

     Buster Olney was on baseball tonight sometime recently talking about whether or not 500 home runs is an automatic entry anymore.  He doesn’t think it should be automatic induction anymore, as it seemed to be this way before.  I agree.  But when Jim Thome came up as the candidate,  he wasn’t quite sure that Thome had accomplished enough to get in yet.  I am not certain if this was Olney’s view, or his view of what the "Hall" voters think in their entirety.  But Olney’s main argument was that Thome’s BA was .282 and that may not be good enough.  Thome may have to tack on 50 or a 100 more homers to make it in according to what Olney thinks.  Now regardless of it is Olney or the rest of the voters who think the .282 average should matter, it is ludicrous. 

     Judge Jim Thome by his .410 OBP, which falls in at 35th all time.  Or judge him by his "Adjusted OPS,"  which is tied for the 34th best figure of all time.  Just do not allow that .282 batting average to overshadow what he has actually done in his career. 

     And do not be fooled by his current "DH" status.  He has played 339 games as a DH, but 1101 as a 1B, and has actually played more at 3B (492), then he has at the dreaded DH position in the Hall voters’ eyes. 

     I have not decided whether I think he deserves the votes to get in.  But that .282 average should have little to do with it, comparatively speaking.  It shouldn’t be irrelevant, but how many statistics should be looked at before "Batting Average?"  That is my point. 


  1. Coral

    I think that HOF voters determine if someone gets in based on thier perception of how a person influenced the game as a whole… sort of. I don’t know that that statement makes sense, think of your Mantles, your DiMaggio’s, your Walter Johnsons, you Sparky Andersons, those guys changed the game, it wasn’t just numbers it was thier presence (even Ripkin and Gwynn had it). So that could be why.

    As for that Bill James book I should really pick it up. Who was the most interesting player you’ve read about so far? Cobb? I’m also a big fan of Michael Kelly (he was probably in that chapter about the 1800’s).

  2. joseph

    The book is worth the purchase, I will give you more details once i get into it a little more. It has a brief synopsis of each decade and is pretty cool. The rankings are the best part, for me anyway.

  3. Coral

    I think Jeter is probably the closest thing we have to a Mattingly, but it is more than numbers that make those guys, its on and off the field persona. I wish we still had DiMaggio’s- private guys who left us wanting to know more about their lives, but such is life. And in that interview Mattingly said he wished he had played longer. Escobar got a taste of what Beckett suffered last week last night…

    and I’m really looking forward to hearing more about this book.


    I went back and re-read your post on July 16th.

    I can’t believe Boston just traded Greg Maddux for Gagne.

  5. joseph

    Yea, I don’t really like it. If the rotation stays healthy, then the team will be fine. But if not then Gabbard will be missed.

  6. Julian

    Good point on OBP. Quite frankly, anybody who has about a .400 career OBP and has decent longevity should be considered almost a lock for the Hall, though they can be left out for steroid use. Thome’s .410 career OBP is over 100 points higher than his .282 career batting average; that, combined with zero steroid suspicion, should not only make him a Hall-of-Famer, but a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s