Our election last year was a pretty wild one with the somewhat shocking election of Tony Phillips, the controversial election of Mark McGwire, and the possibly surprising election of David Cone to go along with Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn. This year, we’re operating at least a little more in the mainstream. Well, maybe. Tim Raines, long a stats darling, gets into the Hall of Miller and Eric with ease in our 2008 election, our 48th. But we didn’t just end it there. We had to throw a wrench into the works, and we did so with the election of Chuck Finley, the pitching equivalent of Tony Phillips as our most controversial mound selection yet.
In terms of numbers, we now have 187 of the greatest players the game has ever seen in the Hall of Miller and Eric. That means there are just 28 players to elect of our final 72 eligible candidates in our final seven elections. The good news for the remaining candidates is that 38.9% of them will get a vote before we’re through.
Here’s how we voted in 2008.
Miller Eric 1 Tim Raines Tim Raines 2 Chuck Finley Chuck Finley 3 Pud Galvin
The Class of 2008
Tim Raines: Even if the BBWAA isn’t close to getting the call on Tim Rains right, we are. He was a very good hitter, an awesome baserunner, and in his best years an above average defender. Over 23 seasons he compiled more than 2600 hits, over 800 steals, and nearly 1600 runs. He won two SB titles, two H titles, a 2B title and the 1986 NL batting title and OBP title. He was involved in the Pittsburgh drug trials, the collusion case, and had Lupus. The seven-time All-Star never played like an MVP, but he reached the All-Star level six times, and he had eight more seasons averaging 3.5 WAR. He was the best player in the mid-1980s NL, and he ranks somewhere between seventh and fifteenth all-time in left field. His greatest crime, it would seem, is that he wasn’t as good as Rickey Henderson. Few were. Raines is an easy HoMEr.
Chuck Finley: The longtime Angel was an under-appreciated lefty with three big seasons and lots of years well above average. Perhaps he’s under-appreciated because his three big seasons occurred in an eight-year span rather than over three or five seasons. But if we look at the last forty seasons, the only more valuable AL pitchers have been Roger Clemens and Mike Mussina. That’s it for forty seasons. For the last two decades of the 20th century, there were only eight pitchers with more value. The five-time All-Star is one of only twelve pitchers ever with 200 wins, fewer losses, and 2500 strikeouts. Every one of the others is in the HoME or going. There’s nothing super sexy about Finley, just a lot of years of racking up quality innings.
Welcome to your annual Pud Galvin defense…
Pud Galvin: Here’s another Pud titbit. He’s one of 13 pitchers ever with 325 wins, 3250 innings, and 50 shutouts. The other twelve are in the HoME or are going.
That’ll conclude the 2008 vote. Please to visit our Honorees page to see the plaques of those elected and to see plenty more information about the HoME.