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1983, RIP, Obituaries of Players We're No Longer Considering

RIP, Players Falling Off the 1983 Ballot

Rest in peace, Husk.

Rest in peace, Husk.

Woody Allen once said of death that he didn’t fear it, but he didn’t want to be there when it happened. Well, these obituaries become increasingly difficult as more and more of the players we “kill” are still alive. You know, in real life. But we have a job to do here at the HoME, so we have to off a guy here and there to make the process of sifting through candidates easier, even if we must creepily, albeit metaphorically, kill living people.

Of the 744 players who have been or will be up for consideration, we’ve held 23 votes, elected 118 and put to rest 323 others. We now have 303 players to consider for our 94 remaining spots in the HoME. In other words, we can now elect barely over 31% of our remaining players. Please read more about the dead below and by looking over our RIP category.

And after each election, I’ll offer the following chart to keep you apprised of our progress.

Year   Carried     New      Considered   Elected   Obituaries  Continuing to
         Over    Nominees  this Election                       Next Election
1983      52         8          60          5           5           50
1982      51         8          59          3           4           52
1981      59         8          67          1          15           51
1980      59         8          67          3           5           59
1979      67         6          73          6           8           59
1978      78         6          84          5          12           67
1977      86         6          92          2          11           79
1976      82        26         108          6          16           86
1971      87        21         108          6          20           82
1966      94        26         120          7          26           87
1961      91        24         115          6          15           94
1956      92        32         124          7          26           91
1951      93        27         120          9          19           92
1946      94        26         120          8          19           93
1941      82        29         111          5          12           94
1936      75        29         104          8          14           82
1931      69        17          86          2           9           75
1926      71        25          96          9          18           69
1921      66        27          93          4          18           71
1916      53        31          84          5          13           66
1911      47        20          67          5           9           53
1906      33        28          61          3          11           47
1901       0        54          54          3          18           33

Dead in 1983

While Frank Chance may have been peerless when it comes to leadership, he has both plenty of peers and superiors in terms of greatness at first base. Chance was a fine hitter, though no standout at the position. And while he was a very good defender, there have been many better whose bats were also great. Chance played most of his career with the Cubs and famously anchored their infield defense. Overall he lacked Black Ink, with just two SB titles to go with one time each leading in R and OBP. He did perform well in the World Series twice, once when the Cubs won and once when they lost. He also performed poorly twice. Again, one win and one loss. Perhaps his career highlight was driving in the deciding run in the deciding game of the 1908 World Series, the last won by the Cubs.

Larry DierkerChild star Larry Dierker went the way of so many child stars before him. Dierker made his MLB debut, for the Houston Astros, the team for which he played nearly his entire career, on the day he turned 18. He made 26 starts the next year and 29 the year after that. In his age-22 season, he became a star. He won 20 games and retired Reggie Smith in the All-Star Game. He didn’t do much else, ending his career at age 30. But his 139 wins were enough for the Astros to retire his #49.

Ken McMullen was a 3B who played for six teams, mostly Washington, from 1962-1977. He twice cranked 20 homers, but it was mostly through strong defense that he carved out a successful Major League career. At his 1967-1969 peak, it could be argued that he was the game’s third best third sacker, behind Ron Santo and Brooks Robinson. He never made the All-Star team, nor did he have any playoff success, whiffing against Bruce Kison in his only trip to the plate.

Boog PowellKnown today more for his Camden Yards BBQ than for his playing career, Boog Powell was a four-time All-Star whose highlight season was 1970. That year he won the AL MVP with 35 HR and 114 RBI. And he helped the O’s to a World Series title over the Reds. His homers in games one and two provided the difference and gave Baltimore a Series lead they’d never relinquish. Trivially, he’s one of three hitters (Norm Cash and Andres Galarraga being the other two) to win The Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award twice, in 1966 and 1975.

Bill Singer was a fine pitcher, finding fame on the west coast winning 20 games and making the All-Star team for the Dodgers in 1969 and the Angels in 1973. He has a no-hitter to his credit too. And if we’re looking for trivia, the man who won 118 games in his career also recorded the first official save in history by supporting Don Drysdale with three innings of shutout relief.

That’s it for this election. Please visit our Honorees page to see the plaques of those who have made it into the HoME, and check back here after the 1984 election for more obituaries.

Miller

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