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1990, RIP, Obituaries of Players We're No Longer Considering

RIP, Players Falling Off the 1990 Ballot

RIP, Roy

RIP, Roy

Our 1990 election, our 30th, was bloodier than any election since 1985. Eight candidates bit the dust, mostly guys appearing on the ballot for the first time. But there’s also one controversial kill this election, someone who it took us 17 elections to make a decision on, and someone who’s in every Hall we follow. Read on (or just look to the right) to learn who that player is.

As we continue to narrow our search for the 212 greatest players who are eligible for the Hall of Miller and Eric, we elect some, 133 to date, and we write obituaries for others (check out our RIP category to read all of them) to remove them from intellectual consideration and make our work easier going forward. With the players listed below, we have now killed off 366 non-HoMErs. That means there are still 245 players of our original 744 to consider for 79 remaining spots. That’s a bit over 32% of our remaining population who can be elected.

The chart below isn’t getting any shorter, but we continue to want to let you know how we got here, how we’ve progressed since our first election in 1901.

 

Year   Carried     New      Considered   Elected   Obituaries  Continuing to
         Over    Nominees  this Election                       Next Election
1990      42         9          51          3           8           40
1989      45        10          55          6           7           42
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 1990

It’s pretty painful to write an obituary for Roy Campanella, a guy who won the MVP Award in three of the six years he had 400 at-bats. He made it to the All-Star team in all eight of the seasons in which he made 400 plate appearances. At his best, Campy was truly great. However, at the HoME we don’t include his time in the Negro Leagues. And we don’t speculate on what he may have done had a car accident not ended his career. Well, maybe we’ll speculate just a little. After putting up a 137 OPS+ during the first six years of his career, Campanella was only at 101 over the last four – and that includes the tremendous MVP season of 1955. He was also going to be 36 years old, not exactly young for a catcher. I think we’re making the right call here. Campanella probably belongs in the Hall of Fame, but he doesn’t belong in the Hall of Miller and Eric.

Greg LuzinskiI really loved Greg Luzinski when I was a kid. He was one big dude. And as often seems to be the case, big guys are lovable. The Bull won the 1978 Roberto Clemente Award as the player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” He hit 30+ homers four times, won the 1975 NL RBI title, and made it to All-Star games from 1975-1978, even homering off Jim Palmer in the 1977 game.

Rick Monday became the first player ever selected in the MLB player draft with the Kansas City A’s selected him in 1965. And that’s not where the trivia ends. While playing for the Cubs in a 1976 game in LA, two protesters came onto the field and attempted to burn the American flag. Monday ripped it from their hands, thus becoming a hero in a road game. And what do you know, the next season Monday was a Dodger. Still with LA in 1981, playing in the NLCS against the Expos, Monday hit a walk-off two-run homer against Steve Rogers to give the Dodgers a 2-1 win and the series.

Amos OtisKnown as one of the many who the Mets let get away, Amos Otis was infamously shipped out of Queens to Kansas City in late 1969 for the great Joe Foy. As a member of the Royals, A.O. led the AL in doubles twice, steals once, and made five All-Star teams while garnering three Gold Gloves. All in all, he topped both 1000 runs and 1000 runs batted in while swiping 341 bases in his seventeen years.

Ron Reed was a righty starter/reliever type who represented the NL in the 1968 All-Star Game in one of his nineteen seasons in the majors. Trivially, he’s one of eight guys ever to record 100 wins and 100 saves. Throw in 50 complete games, and he joins Ellis Kinder, Firpo Marberry, Dennis Eckersley, and John Smoltz as the only men ever to accomplish that feat.

Ken SingletonAn underrated hitter who was more valuable with the bat than any outfielder other than Reggie Jackson for the decade from 1972-1981, Ken Singleton had excellent plate discipline, drawing 100+ walks four times and 90+ on four other occasions. Not winning a World Series until his career had wound down in 1983, it’s possible his greatest individual accomplishment was his 1981 All-Star home run against Tom Seaver.

Paul Splittorff, a bespectacled lefty who pitched his entire career with the Kansas City Royals won 20 games in 1973 and 166 over the course of his fifteen years in the majors. He posted a pretty average 3.81 career ERA, but he excelled in the playoffs, lowering that number to 2.79 over 38.2 innings despite his teams losing four of his five series. As for trivia, he was the Royal starter in the first game ever at Kauffman Stadium.

Once incorrectly credited with scoring baseball’s one millionth run, Bob Watson played in the majors for nineteen seasons, driving in 100 runs twice and making two All-Star teams. A bit of accurate trivia is that Watson hit for the cycle in both the NL and AL before any other player did. As a Yankee, he homered twice in the 1981 World Series against the Dodgers, though NY lost in six games. Early in the next season he was traded for minor league pitcher Scott Patterson, who later starred in the television show Gilmore Girls.

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 1991 election for more obituaries.

Miller

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  1. Pingback: Roy Campanella Rides Again | the Hall of Miller and Eric - October 8, 2014

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