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2013, RIP, Obituaries of Players We're No Longer Considering

RIP, Players Falling Off the 2013 Ballot

David WellsWhile last season’s ballot saw 52-timer Pud Galvin walk in by himself and saw the entire backlog get cleared out, this years was crowded with seven elections and seven more obituaries. All seven were pretty easy calls, even though there are some great stories about many of this year’s deceased.

With fifty-three elections down and two elections to go, we have now penned 527 obituaries while electing 206 players in the Hall of Miller and Eric. And we’re certain who our final nine will be now.

In our last two elections, we have 19 more players to review from our original 752. That means we’re still going to elect nearly 50% of the remaining population into the HoME.

If you look ahead at our last two elections, you won’t be surprised at all by the results. But why spoil the fun. Be patient. Wait it out with us. We think it’ll be fun.

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
2013       0        15          15          7           8            0
2012       5         5          10          1           9            0
2011       6         9          15          4           6            5
2010       8         9          17          3           8            6
2009      10         8          18          4           6            8
2008      11         7          18          2           6           10 
2007      12        15          27          5          11           11
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 2013

Jeff CirilloAt his 1996-2001 best, Jeff Cirillo was baseball’s best position player who’s not at least a borderline HoMEr. In 14 big league seasons he played for six teams, mostly the Brewers, and made a pair of All-Star squads. Overall, Cirillo is pretty similar to another Brewer 3B, Don Money. He drove in 100 runs in 2000 and even pitched in a game in 2007, whiffing Craig Counsell, the first batter he faced.

Steve FinleyA mediocre player for about a year and a half with the Orioles, center fielder Steve Finley was shipped to the Astros before the 1991 season in the insane Glenn Davis trade. Finley was immediately an All-Star level player. And though he’d later begin hitting homers (304 in his career), winning Gold Gloves (5), and making All-Star teams, the first two seasons as an Astro were his best back-to-back campaigns in his 19 seasons in the majors. Finely was a decent amount like Clyde Milan, Andy Van Slyke, or Hall member Earle Combs. And overall, four knuckleheads voted for him for the Hall of Fame in 2013. That’s a shame.

Julio FrancoJulio Franco was known for being old. And we’ll get to that in a second. Franco finished with 2586 hits, but it really could have been 3000. He couldn’t get a contract in the majors in 1995, so he went to Japan and put up 145 hits. Then he came back to the states for two seasons before being shut out again. Back to Japan and another 141 knocks in 1998. Then he took the next two years off. Well, not really off. He played in South Korea and Mexico. Then he came back in 2001 and played semi-regularly and semi-well for another seven seasons. As a shortstop, the position he played most in the majors, he has a career shape that looks a lot like Rabbit Maranville, a Hall of Famer. Now to the old stuff. He’s the oldest to homer, oldest to hit a grand slam, second oldest to steal a base. We probably shouldn’t write his obituary. I’m not convinced he’s not going to make a comeback.

Reggie SandersIf one could play a quiet 17 seasons in the majors, Reggie Sanders did. Despite 304 homers, he made just one All-Star team. And despite making the playoff six times, he made few waves with a .195/.283/.326 line. Maybe he’d have escaped my mind less if he were healthier. The Red, Padre, Brave, Diamondback, Giant, Pirate, Cardinal, and Royal never played in over 140 games in a season. In terms of value, think Harold Baines or Magglio Ordonez.

Jason SchmidtFrom 2003-2004, only Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez were more valuable on the mound than Jason Schmidt. In sixteen seasons with the Braves, Pirates, Giants, and Dodgers, the big righty won 130 games and made three All-Star teams, and he led the NL in ERA in 2003 when he finished second to Eric Gagne in the Cy Young voting.

Jose ValentinAn excellent defensive shortstop with a powerful bat, Jose Valentin put up seven 3-win seasons in the late 90s and early 2000s. Among SS, he trails just Ripken, Tejada, Jeter, and Yount in HR, and only Ripken, debatably, was his equal defensively among that group. Wikipedia is often funny. Valentin’s entry includes the line, “His veteran leadership, mustache, and consistent hitting played a big part in helping the Mets to the 2006 National League Eastern Division title.”

The owner of the fifteenth perfect game in baseball history, David Wells was a better pitcher than you think. If he had been eligible 20 elections or so ago, he might have been part of the backlog for some time. It’s only because we’re so far along in the process that we feel comfortable writing his obituary as soon as he’s eligible. He’s about at the level of Hippo Vaughn or Wilbur Wood or Eppa Rixey. Someone, somewhere could confuse him for a Hall of Famer. He won 239 games for nine teams over more than two decades in the majors. He pitched in the playoffs for six teams, kind of helping the Blue Jays to the 1992 World Series title and helping lead the 1998 Yankees to their title as the ALCS as MVP. And he has a cool love for baseball memorabilia.

Our 2013 election is now completely over. Check out our Honorees page to see the plaques of our new members and all of the HoMErs. And check back here after the 2014 election for more obituaries.

Miller

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “RIP, Players Falling Off the 2013 Ballot

  1. I know I’m getting lost in the minutiae of posting my quibble on Jose Valentin, but it seems unlikely he hit more HR as a shortstop than Alex Roriguez or Ernie Banks. While both Banks and A-Rod have played other positions, their HR totals in seasons when they almost exclusively played SS outpace Valentin’s career HR totals.

    I also question whether he hit more homers as a shortstop than Nomar but I am much less sure on this topic from a quick perusal of BBRef. Nomar has fewer career HR but played in a higher percentage of games as a SS than Valentin, and it appears his home run years (except for 2004) were spent primarily as a SS.

    Posted by mike teller | July 20, 2015, 9:48 pm
    • I should have been a lot more precise. Among those who played at least 50% of their games at SS, Valentin trails only Ripken, Tejada, Jeter, and Yount. Sorry for the lack of clarity.

      Posted by Miller | July 20, 2015, 11:00 pm

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