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1988, RIP, Obituaries of Players We're No Longer Considering, Uncategorized

RIP, Players Falling Off the 1988 Ballot

RIP Bobby

RIP Bobby

Either you die, or you’re immortal. The Hall of Miller and Eric is the place for immortals. This post is the place others go when they die. Since we need to separate the Zach Wheats from the Daniel Chaffardets (you prefer from the Benny Kauffs?) we remove these players from intellectual HoME consideration and offer obituaries to honor their careers. Please read more about the dead below and by looking over our RIP category.

There are 744 players who have been or will be up for consideration, and there have been 28 elections through 1988. In that time, 124 have been elected, and another 351 have been put to rest in these virtual pages. We now have 269 players to consider for our 88 remaining spots in the HoME. So we can still elect nearly 33% of our remaining candidates.

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
1988      44         7          51          2           4           45   
1987      44         3          47          0           3           44
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 1988

With apologies to Ozzie Smith, Mark Belanger may well be the best defensive shortstop to ever play the game. Though he was sharing Gold Gloves early in his career with an inferior, at that point, Luis Aparicio, Belanger still took home eight of them. By my numbers, his defense was enough to give him one All-Star level season and four others at 4+ WAR. But the guy couldn’t hit, homering less than once every 100 games. Only five times did he even top 100 hits in a season, and he never posted more than 25 extra base hits in a campaign.

Sparky LyleInfamously shipped from the Red Sox to the Yankees for all of 14 homers from Danny Cater, Sparky Lyle pitched at a time when men were men and closers were relief aces throwing multiple innings per outing. He twice led the AL in saves and six times threw at least 100 innings out of the pen. In what might have been his best season, 1977, he won the AL Cy Young Award while putting up 13 wins and 26 saves. He added another win that year in the first game of the World Series with 3.2 innings of scoreless relief. And when Lyle was done in New York, he just kept giving, netting the Yankees longtime closer Dave Righetti in a deal with Texas.

Bobby Murcer was mainly a CF and RF whose best seasons were spent with the Yankees where the Oklahoman was once thought of, foolishly, as the next Mickey Mantle. Then again, the popular lefty swinger did post consecutive seasons of 8 offensive WAR in 1971 and 1972. Of course, even then Murcer couldn’t field like Mantle. He was likely miscast in center and perhaps in the outfield at all. Although he wasn’t the next Mantle, he did smack over 250 homers and drive in over 1000 runs in a fine career that lasted for parts of 17 seasons.

Rick WiseIt’s debatable, but I’ve always thought that Rick Wise had the greatest single game in baseball history. On June 23, 1971, Wise threw a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in a game during which he also homered twice. Nobody in the game’s storied history has accomplished the same. But there was more to Wise, trivially, than just that one game. For one, the Phillies flipped him to the Cardinals in 1972 for Steve Carlton in one of the worst trades ever. And he was the winning pitcher for the Red Sox in the game in which Carlton Fisk hit his dramatic walk-off homer in 1975. All that and 181 wins in 3000+ innings made for a fine career.

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 1989 election for more obituaries.

Miller

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