you're reading...
2002, RIP, Obituaries of Players We're No Longer Considering

RIP, Players Falling Off the 2002 Ballot

Frank Tanana, TSNThe blood continues to spill at the HoME, not like the eleven obituaries of the last two elections, but today we narrow our field nonetheless. Just by a little. With six guys elected on Friday and only five obituaries today, this marks the first election ever with fewer obits than plaques. And when there aren’t many obits, there aren’t many backloggers who face the firing squad, only one this year.

Our only backlogger to bid us farewell this election is former Angel, Red Sox, Ranger, Tiger, Met, and Yankee, Frank Tanana. The lefty was awesome for a short period of time (three years) and mediocre just about forever (basically from 1979 through 1993). Ultimately we decided we preferred Don Sutton and Tommy John as hurlers in the era. That meant there just couldn’t be room for the man who went 240-236 in his career.

The elections of Alan Trammell, Andre Dawson, Ozzie Smith, Dave Bancroft, Don Sutton, and Whitey Ford in 2002 mean we’re up to 171 of the game’s greats in our 42 elections. And and our death toll has now reached 454 obituaries. In all, we have only 128 of our 752 nominees to review for our 44 remaining Hall of Miller and Eric plaques. Right now we can elect a little over 34% of the remaining population.

Below is the tally from each election since our first in 1901.

Year   Carried     New      Considered   Elected   Obituaries  Continuing to
         Over    Nominees  this Election                       Next Election
2002      18         7          25          6           5           14
2001      23         8          31          2          11           18
2000      26         9          35          1          11           23
1999      30         9          39          4           9           26
1998      33         9          42          4           8           30
1997      40         3          43          3           7           33
1996      42         7          49          4           5           40
1995      41        11          52          4           6           42
1994      38       8+1          47          3           3           41
1993      41         9          50          3           9           38
1992      40        10          50          3           6           41
1991      40         9          49          1           8           40
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 2002

Lenny Dykstra, 1991Lenny Dykstra wasn’t always in trouble. It’s just seemed that way since his career ended. Some people just really need the game. Before he retired in 1996, the often injured 3-time All-Star was occasionally spectacular. He was a legitimate MVP candidate in both 1990 and 1993 – except that he played in a league with Barry Bonds. The highlight of his career, arguably, was the walk-off against Dave Smith and the Astros in Game 3 of the 1986 NLCS. Here’s hoping Dykstra can turn things around and the only obit he sees for decades is this one.

Mark GubiczaAs a key member of my inaugural year Warwick Rotisserie League championship club in 1988, Mark Gubicza will always hold a special place in my heart. The long-time Royal won 20 games and posted a 2.70 ERA that year on the way to the first of his two All-Star teams. He placed third in the Cy voting too, though had his Royals been better, he could very easily have been first. In all he won 132 games in the majors and put up more value than a few Hall of Fame pitchers. Not bad.

Scott SandersonWell-travelled righty Scott Sanderson won 163 games in his career and really didn’t need our review to get a HoME obituary. He never posted a 4-WAR season, though he had ten of at least 2-WAR. In fact, it’s pretty clear to me that he’s among the least valuable pitchers ever to have ten seasons at that level. Consistency is nice thought. His career highlight might have been making the 1991 AL All-Star team, though he didn’t get a chance to pitch.

At his peak, Frank Tanana was a beast. He could easily have been called baseball’s best pitcher from 1975-1977. He was also quite good in 1978, but he hurt his shoulder in 1979 and the one-time flame thrower became a junk baller. During his heyday he made three straight All-Star teams, and he won an ERA title and a K title. Post-injury, he was just another guy, averaging well below 2 wins per season for his final 15 years in the bigs. Of note, he did surrender home runs to both Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds (as well as 271 other guys). And he also faced Minnie Minoso in both of the ageless Chicagoan’s comebacks in 1976 and 1980. Ultimately Tanana doesn’t cut it for us because the peak wasn’t long enough, while the mediocrity seemed endless.Tim Wallach

Tim Wallach was a fine player. The five-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glover, and two-time NL doubles champ smacked 260 career home runs, mostly playing 3B for the Montreal Expos. On a career basis, Wallach is comparable to Doug DeCinces, Al Rosen, or Hall of Famer Pie Traynor. By the time the current crop of 3B retires, Wallach will still be about #40 ever. Another feather in his cap is that Bill James once called the 1994 NL Comeback Player of the Year a poor man’s Brooks Robinson. Pretty impressive.

Our 2002 election is now complete. Please take a look at our Honorees page to see the plaques of our new members and all of the HoMErs. And check back here after the 2003 election for more obituaries.

Miller

Advertisements

Discussion

No comments yet.

Tell us what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Institutional History

%d bloggers like this: