Considering how hard it is to make Major League Baseball (see Greg Bird), and how hard it is to stick in the Major Leagues (see Greg Bird), and how hard it is to forge a long career in the Major Leagues — especially as a player gets older and any slump they go into causes teams to consider getting rid of them — it can be argued that EVERY player in the top 50 list of All Time Games Played should be in the Hall of Fame. You might even say everyone in the top 100 list of All Time Games Played should be there.
Easy Translation Irregardless of Era
It automatically translates their statistics irregardless of if they played in a dead-ball era (like the 1970’s), or a lively-ball era (like the steroid era or the current lively-ball-literally era).
So even though at first blanch you’d say Harold Baines was never a difference maker or elite All Star that carried his team to a title, or was considered one of the elite players in the game — let’s take a look at the list — and looky there — Harold Baines #20. Of the thousands upon thousands of players to play in the Majors, and the millions who tried to make it — he’s #20 in games played in MLB. It is impressive.
Players in yellow below are in the Hall — and below this list, we’ll examine those not in Yellow.
The only ones not in are:
Gamblers and People Who Fixed the Scores of Baseball Games
‘roiders or suspected ‘roiders
Players who will most certainly be voted in when they become eligible
- Omar Vizquel
- Adrian Beltre
- Ichiro Suzuki
- Luis Gonzalez
- Carlos Beltran, and of course
- Derek Jeter
Players from the DEAD BALL 70’s that the HOF voters are PISSING on
- Rusty Staub (13th ALL TIME in games played !!)
- Graig Nettles (Gold Glove 3rd baseman and All Time Leader in Homers by 3rd Baseman American League!!!)
- Darrell Evans
- Dwight Evans
It is all so clear to me now I don’t know why I didn’t think of this formula (Top 50 players in All Time Games Played should be in Hall) sooner.
And why are HOF voters pissing on Le Grande Orange? Rumors that he was gay?
It gets worse when you see how the above players like Nettles, Staub, and the Evans non-brothers stand out against the field — let’s look at numbers 51 to 72 All Time — features some BIG NAMES (like Babe Ruth)!
There are some guys in the 50-100 list who provide some weakness to the formula — like Ron Fairly specifically. But look who is poetically #100 — Sammy Sosa. I thought Lou Whitaker WAS in the Hall of Fame.
Bill Dahlen played in the 1800’s and when you google search him, Bill Dahlen Hall of Fame automatically pops up meaning it probably has been under discussion.
Agree with the Formula? Disagree? Post a comment below.
OK, so you try to make an argument that controversial inductee Harold Baines does indeed belong in the Hall of Fame… but then don’t even know that Lou Whitaker ISN’T in the Hall of Fame, seem to not know that Omar Vizquel has been on the HOF ballot twice now, and then not only include Luis Gonzalez on your list of “will surely be elected once he’s eligible” players when he was ALREADY on the ballot FIVE YEARS AGO and only received five votes (not the 5% needed to stay on the ballot–five VOTES) and expounding on that mistake by including a list of known or suspected ‘roiders and not including Luis Gonzalez on it [I don’t remember Steve Finley being in that group, but I most certainly remember Luis Gonzalez being in it]. At least with Omar Vizquel you could claim you didn’t mean “on the first ballot”, as Vizquel does look like he might be elected (42.8% on his second ballot is very good; recent inductees Mike Mussina, Edgar Martinez, and Tim Raines were at 24.6, 32.9, and 22.6% respectively on their second ballots).
And then your main argument seems to be “Look! This list happens to have some huge names on it! None of those names are huge because of what they’re on the list for, and the list has players who are clearly nowhere near those huge names in terms of quality, but still!”
And when exactly would you start applying “Top 50 [or 100] all-time games played”? Just pick right now, for no real reason? The reason I ask is because you’re arguing that writers are “pissing on” Rusty Staub, since he should obviously be a HOFer because he’s Top 50 all time in games played (among others).
But the writers haven’t had a say on Rusty Staub since he fell off the ballot in 1997. So should they have elected him because he’d still be Top 50 20 years later? Or because he was Top 50 in 1997? Or Top 50 when he first debuted on the ballot in 1991? Or Top 50 when he retired in 1985? OR Top 50 when he first hit Top 50 in 1978?
The list of players with the most games played has a lot of no-doubt Hall of Famers because–stay with me here–great players are often able to play a long time. But Babe Ruth isn’t the default answer for “best player ever” because he played in 2503 games. If Ruth had retired in 1931, he would only have played 2080 games, which wouldn’t even be Top 200 all time. BUT he’d still have 611 home runs, 1877 RBI, 1866 runs, 2461 hits, 455 doubles, and a career .349/.478/.709 slash line, and THAT is why he’s great. (Wow, he’d still have been No. 1 all time in HR until 1970, not even 4 years before Hank Aaron broke his record in reality. Of course he’d be 9th instead of 3rd now, but still impressive.)
Thanks for the summary!
Which is longer than the article!
Do you have a point or is the summary all we get?
Oh, I’m sorry. I thought my point was clear, but I’ll restate it for clarity:
Saying Harold Baines BELONGS in the Hall of Fame because he’s Top 50 all time in games played, and extending that argument to say that everyone in the Top 50 (maybe even Top 100) in games played is a terrible argument.
I disagree — the point is, if you’re good enough to be top 50 All Time in games played, you have to be great. Or legendarily good.
PS: thank you for posting feedback — you have a good argument — you aren’t the only one saying Baines shouldn’t be in the hall.
The Hall of staying healthy
Omar Vizquel is eligible, he hasn’t been voted in as of this time. Luis Gonzalez was eligible, he fell off the ballot. No way Gonzalez makes the Hall of Fame.
“Luis Gonzalez was eligible, he fell off the ballot.”
Harold Baines fell off the ballot as well. If at some point several of Gonzalez’s friends are on the Veterans’ Committee, he might also make it. Not that I think he or Baines are deserving Hall of Famers. I totally disagree with the author’s premise.