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1986, RIP, Obituaries of Players We're No Longer Considering

RIP, Players Falling Off the 1986 Ballot

It’s that time of the election cycle again, the time when we know certain players won’t ever be HoMErs. So to make our future work easier, we remove them from intellectual consideration and offer these obituaries to honor their careers.

There are 744 players who have been or will be up for consideration, and there have been 26 elections through 1986. In that time, 122 have been elected, and another 344 have been put to rest. We now have 278 players to consider for our 90 remaining spots in the HoME. So we can still elect a little over 32% of our remaining candidates. Please read more about the dead below and by looking over our RIP category.

Interested in seeing how we got here? 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
1986      44         4          48          1           3           44
1985      47        10          57          1          12           44
1984      50         5          55          2           6           47
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 1986

 

Paul BlairMotormouth Paul Blair was the star defender in center field on one of the greatest defensive teams ever, the late 60s and early 70s Baltimore Orioles who featured Brooks Robinson, Mark Belanger, Bobby Grich, and others. Blair more than held his own on the field. In addition to eight Gold Gloves, Michael Humphreys in Wizardry ranks him as the fifth best center fielder ever. Blair didn’t hit a ton, though he did lead the AL in triples in 1967 and made two All-Star teams. But he was a passable hitter, and that plus his defense suggests that he probably deserved to be an All-Star four or five times.

Despite missing his age-28 season after suffering a heart attack, Detroit Tiger lifer and relief ace John Hiller went on to a fine career with a couple of the most amazing seasons ever in the pen. In 1973, he put up an astounding 8 WAR in relief. For a quick comparison, Mariano Rivera never topped 5 WAR. Hiller set a saves record with 38 that season, one that would last for a decade. That year set the stage for a 1974 season in which he made his only All-Star team and won 17 games in relief while losing 14.

J.R. RichardFlame throwing Astro righty J.R. Richard won 74 games from 1976-1979. He led the NL in strikeouts twice, in ERA once, and made his first All-Star team in 1980. He started the game, didn’t allow a run over two innings, and whiffed three, including Reggie Jackson. Later that month, he suffered a stroke while playing catch before a game. He did pitch again, in the minors in 1982 and 1983, but he never made it back to the big club.

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 1987 election for more obituaries.

Miller

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