Our 32nd election, that of 1992, brings us to a very interesting trio of players getting into the Hall of Miller and Eric on their first ballots. Tom Seaver is an obvious choice as one of the very best pitchers in history. Pete Rose is also an obvious choice, a player who wasn’t quite as great as proponents say, and a person who opponents trash more than he likely deserves, but still an obvious choice. The final choice is obvious to us, and as you read on Wednesday, he’s Miller’s current favorite case to right a wrong and get him into that building in upstate New York now. Ours is a small accolade, we know, but welcome HoME Bobby Grich.
We have now elected 137 of the greatest players in the game’s history in the HoME, and we have 75 more to elect going forward. That means we’re going to induct an average of over three players each election to catch up to the total number of players in the Hall. Should be exciting!
Per our rules, players have to be named on both ballots for induction. Let’s look at our somewhat predictable 1992 ballots.
Miller Eric 1 Tom Seaver Tom Seaver 2 Pete Rose Bobby Grich 3 Bobby Grich Pete Rose 4 Red Faber 5 Whitey Ford
The Class of 1992
Tom Seaver: The accolades began for Tom Terrific with the 1967 NL Rookie of the Year trophy. He won 311 games, including 20+ five times and win titles three times. Five strikeout titles and three ERA titles helped lead to three Cy Young Awards and five other finished in the top-5. He finished in the top-5 in WAR among pitchers eleven times and he’s sixth all-time in pitcher WAR. Seaver was a 12-time All-Star, and he pitched like it with a dozen 5-WAR seasons. His playoff highlight came in 1969 when he pitched 10 innings to lead the Amazin’ Mets to a 2-1 victory and a 3-1 lead over the Orioles. Five years after retirement, he set the standard for the Hall of fame with 98.84% of the total vote. We are very proud to induct Tom Seaver, baseball’s best pitcher between Lefty Grove and Roger Clemens, into the Hall of Miller and Eric.
Bobby Grich: A hidden Hall of Famer is there ever was one, Grich was crushed by the BBWAA, receiving votes from only eleven writers in 1992, his one and only year on the ballot. While he fell nine votes short of that total in his first HoME election, he was also unanimous. Depending on whether you prefer peak or career, Grich is either the game’s sixth or seventh best 2B ever. He was a fabulous defender for the Orioles, and he was still quite good when he got to the Angels in 1977. Four Gold Gloves undersell his excellence at the position. Grich could also hit with some power. When he retired, only Rogers Hornsby, Joe Morgan, and Joe Gordon had hit more homers at the position. And Grich knew how to get on base too. When he retired, only four 2B had drawn more walks. The only 2Bs now topping him in both today are Morgan, Lou Whitaker, and Craig Biggio. The six-time All-Star isn’t in the Hall today because he wasn’t sexy, only leading the league in HR and SLG during the strike-shortened 1981 seasons, HBP in 1974, and G in 1973. But he was in the top-six in WAR among position players every year from 1972-1976. During that time, he might have been the game’s best non-pitcher other than Morgan. Extend that to a decade through 1981, and he trails only Mike Schmidt, Morgan, and Rod Carew. Grich is a very, very easy call. We hope the Hall of Fame gets it right soon.
Pete Rose: He earned his nickname Charlie Hustle from Whitey Ford in a spring game and cemented that reputation nearly every day he took the field. The most prolific hit man in baseball history, Rose was the 1963 NL Rookie of the Year, the 1973 NL MVP, and a man with nine years playing like an All-Star. Incredibly popular because of his on-field aggressiveness, Rose made 17 All-Star teams. His All-Star highlight was also his All-Star lowlight. It came in the 1970 game at Rose’s home, Riverfront Stadium. It effectively ruined Ray Fosse’s career and underlined Rose’s all-in reputation. He’s the all-time leader in games, at-bats, plate appearances, and hits, with 4256. He’s tied with Ichiro with a record 10 200-hit seasons, and he won seven hits titles. He also won five 2B titles, 4 R titles, 3 BA titles, and 2 OBP titles. Whatever he did after his playing days ended is ignored at the HoME. It’s very clear he was a HoME-quality player.
It still takes votes from both of us to elect a candidate. When only one of us votes for a player, we explain those votes here.
Red Faber: I’ve now voted for Urban “Red” Faber 23 times. One of the good things about working with Eric is that I don’t think he’s being even remotely stubborn by keeping Faber out. One of the bad things about our process is that we have only 23 more elections before we’re forced to agree one way or the other.
Whitey Ford: This is only the seventh time I’ve voted for Ford. Pud Galvin got 19 votes from me before I reconsidered. Eric voted for Dave Bancroft five times, Jim McCormick four times, and he’s also voted for Roger Bresnahan, Billy Herman, Roy White, and Wilbur Cooper. Like I say, we have 23 more elections to figure it all out.
That’s all for our 1992 election. Please visit our Honorees page to see the plaques of those elected and to see plenty more information about the HoME.