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2006, RIP, Obituaries of Players We're No Longer Considering

RIP, Players Falling Off the 2006 Ballot

Will Clark

The Thrill is gone.

Our 2006 election was a milestone of sorts. With the five obituaries today, we now have fewer than 100 players to review in order to reach our HoME size of 215. Orel Hershiser was elected on Friday, making him the 180th player to reach the Hall of Miller and Eric in our 46 elections. And our death toll has now reached 475. There are no backlog obituaries this election, but four of our dead today would likely be HoME members if we expanded to 300. And a few of them might even make it at 250. As of today, we have only 96 of our 752 nominees to review for our 35 remaining HoME spots. Thus, we can elect over 36% 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
2006      13         5          18          1           5           12
2005      12         8          20          2           5           13
2004      13         8          21          4           5           12
2003      14         7          21          2           6           13
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 2006

Albert Belle, JoeyOne thing Dick Allen never did was hit a trick-or-treater with his car, sort of on purpose. Albert Belle did. He also never sent a teammate through ceiling panels to retrieve a corked bat of his. Albert Belle did. Belle also hit 381 home runs in only twelve seasons. He led the AL in HR and 2B in 1995 – hitting 50 of both and becoming the only player ever to reach those heights. He led the league in SLG, R and RBI that year too, one of three times he led the AL in RBIs. Overall, his profile looks a ton like Ralph Kiner’s, which means a HoME obit. Trivially, when Cal Ripken’s consecutive game streak ended, it was Belle who took over the active lead.

Though he receives an obituary on his first ballot, there was serious consideration that went into voting for Will Clark, a guy who homered on the first pitch he saw in the majors, against Nolan Ryan no less. Clark may have had only three All-Star type seasons, but he put up 4.3+ WAR five additional times. Willie McCovey and George Sisler failed to reach that level. More traditionally, he made six All-Star teams, won a Gold Glove, and once led the NL in R, RBI, BB, and SLG.

Dwight GoodenVery few players reached the heights Dwight Gooden did in 1986 when he put of over 13 WAR. In fact, since the formation of the American League, it’s Dr. K, the Big Train, and the Bambino. That’s it. Some think of Gooden as a one-year wonder, and that’s not entirely wrong. But it’s not like he was useless otherwise. He did post another 5-win season and seven beyond that of at least 3.2. Though drugs helped to keep his career from being what it could have been, he still has a Cy Young, pitching triple crown, Rookie of the Year, no-hitter, and three World Series rings to his credit. Not bad.

Bruce Hurst, 1983The 1986 World Series MVP, at least before the comeback by the Mets, was Bruce Hurst. And eerily, Dan Shaughnessy tells us that the letters in his name are an anangram for B Ruth Curse. Oooh! Overall, the lefty-throwing Hurst who worked to keep hitters off balance won 145 games, including double figures every year for a decade. Hurst was roughly equivalent to Mort Cooper, a fine pitcher but nothing more.

Mark LangstonMake no mistake, Mark Langston was an excellent pitcher. He’s pretty close to the HoME level. He made four All-Star teams, won three strikeout titles, seven Gold Gloves, and may have been the game’s best pitcher other than Roger Clemens from 1987-1993. Winning only 179 games during his career kept him under the radar. An 8-WAR season, a 7-WAR season, and three others above 5.6 tell a better story. Langston’s career petered out a bit too early, but the guy who combined with Mike Witt on a 1990 no-hitter really only needed another 4-WAR season or two to get a lot of HoME support.

Our 2006 election is now complete. Please check out our Honorees page to see the plaques of our new members and all of the HoMErs. And check back here after the 2007 election for more obituaries.

Miller

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “RIP, Players Falling Off the 2006 Ballot

  1. While only around for one election, Señor Langston was from the backlog. Was the comment about “2006 being a milestone of sorts . . .” a commentary on the use of round numbers in baseball or a literary sigh of relief? Does my last place ranking in PR act to color my tone? So many questions. Nice obits!

    Posted by mike teller | April 13, 2015, 8:47 am
  2. Might it be both?

    Posted by Miller | April 13, 2015, 9:03 pm

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