It’s been more than a year since we’ve updated you on how your favorite team has fared in the HoME standings. David Neft’s election catches us all the way up to the Hall in each of the three categories we’ve voted for: players, managers, and pioneer/executives.
In a moment, we’ll show you the agate type to find out which teams are the most HoMErific. First quick notes on what the table shows you.
- Franchises that moved include players from before and after the move (e.g.: The Orioles’s HoMEr count includes players from the St. Louis Browns)
- We calculate the number of HoMErs for each team by finding the percentage of each honoree’s career was spent with a given club, then summing it for all who appeared for them
- Hitters are calculated based on plate appearances, pitchers by batters faced, managers by games managed, and execs by years of service as applicable
- HoMErs per year is (b) above divided by the number of years the franchise has been in existence.
To begin with, and to pay them their due while getting them out of the way, here are the results for all defunct franchises who played for five or more seasons:
TEAM YEARS HoMERS /YEAR ================================================== Cleveland Spiders 1887–1899 1.60 0.12 Providence Grays 1878–1885 1.51 0.19 Boston Red Stockings 1871–1875 1.44 0.29 Buffalo Bisons 1878–1885 1.32 0.19 Detroit Wolverines 1881–1888 1.06 0.13 Louisville Colonels 1882–1899 1.01 0.06 Baltimore Orioles 1882–1899 0.99 0.05 Cincinnati Reds 1876–1880 0.34 0.07 Cleveland Blues 1879–1884 0.27 0.05 New York Metropolitans 1883–1887 0.21 0.04 Washington Senators 1891–1899 0.12 0.01 Philadelphia Athletics 1871–1875 0.10 0.02
More on the Spiders, Grays, Red Stockings, and Bisons later. Speaking of the latter, I’m not sure if it’s Bisons or Bison, but we ain’t speaking no Queens English neither. Not surprisingly most of these are well known among Nineteenth Century squads for one reason or another.
The period of stability ushered in by the contraction of the NL and the rise of the AL gives the rest of the standings more comprehensibility. We’ll knock out the thirty franchises in descending tiers of ten. I’ll give a quick write up for each team, listing their current HoMErs with the percentage of career spent with the team; all retired, unenshrined players with at least 95 CHEWS+; and active players who we might reasonably project as strong candidates (with CHEWS+ figures through the end of 2016).
Today, we’ll cover the bottom ten, and we’ll follow on with two more articles this week to cap things off.
TEAM YEARS HoMERS /YEAR ================================================ 30 Tampa Bay Rays 1998–2017 0.08 0.01 29 Miami Marlins 1993–2017 0.45 0.03 28 Colorado Rockies 1993–2017 0.62 0.03 27 Arizona Diamondbacks 1998–2017 0.63 0.05 26 Seattle Mariners 1977–2017 2.48 0.07 25 Toronto Blue Jays 1977-2017 2.55 0.07 24 Milwaukee Brewers 1969–2017 2.62 0.06 23 Texas Rangers 1961–2017 2.94 0.06 22 Washington Nationals 1969–2017 3.03 0.07 21 San Diego Padres 1969–2017 3.13 0.07
As you surely would have guessed, the four most recent expansion franchises finish in the ultimate, penultimate, antepenultimate, and anteantepenultimate slots. And the rest of the 20s are occupied by the three previous rounds of expansion.
Tampa Bay Rays
- HoMErs: Wade Boggs (8%), Manny Ramirez (0.2%)
- Retired: Dwight Gooden (99)
- Active:Evan Longoria (102), Ben Zobrist (90), David Price (75), Joe Maddon
Chuck Lamar, eat your heart out. Sixteen defunct franchises stand between the Rays and the Marlins, most of which clubs only existed a year or two. Longo’s a good bet to deliver at least 80% of a career, Zobrist could give them another 60%, and Price 40% more. Maddon could give them another 50% depending how long he stays in the dugout and how many more titles he wins. So at a max, we’re looking at 2.3 more HoMErs within the next 20 years, but after Longo, there’s a lot of ifs. Still, even Longo’s contribution will at least get the team in the vicinity of the famous old NL Baltimore Orioles. Overall, Mantamen fans, it’s going to be a long wait.
- HoMErs: Gary Sheffield (22%), Kevin Brown (14%), Ivan Rodriguez (6%), Andre Dawson (3%), Tim Raines (1%), Mike Piazza (5 amazing games)
- Retired: Mark Buehrle (98)
- Active: Miguel Cabrera (115), Ichiro (102), Hanley Ramirez (77), Giancarlo Stanton (69), Dave Dombrowski
The Fish aren’t swimming in would-be honorees, but a few members of their school have a decent near-term shot to make a HoME splash. Cabrera is a lock, and he’s a third of a career. Ichiro is similarly locked in and would deliver at least 17% of a career. Buehrle is a borderline candidate and would give them 6% of a career should we find him worthy. So the team’s sitting on about 60% a career, give or take. At the big-league level, if Giancarlo Stanton stays healthy and productive, he should provide at least 50% of a career. After that, however, the cupboard is being restocked, but who knows who will be doing the shopping. Christian Yelich or Marcel Ozuna could go nuts for a few years and help out. This is a place where the team misses Jose Fernandez. En toto, the Marlins could see be passed by their Sunshine State rivals somewhat soon and have relatively little opportunity to climb the ladder where they swim now.
- HoMErs:Larry Walker (62%), Bret Saberhagen (2%)
- Retired: Todd Helton (112), Roy Oswalt (101), Jason Giambi (95)
- Active: Troy Tulowitzki (86), Matt Holiday (82), Carlos Gonzalez (64), Nolan Arenado (58)
If we elect Todd Helton, which wouldn’t shock us, an entire career goes into the Rox column, which would push them beyond the Spiders’ Web (more on that in a moment). The Rockies, however, face a structural challenge like no other team. Despite the presence of 2% of Roy Oswalt’s career (and he’s no certainty for election), the Purple Mountain Majestics have to rely on hitters for virtually all of their representation in the HoME because it’s not like we’ll be seeing a long-tenured Rockies pitcher getting in soon…perhaps ever. Longer term, however, counting on Tulo to stay both healthy and productive is, uh, not a good bet. Let’s say he’s a 40% chance from this point forward to end up with a HoME career, which I think is pretty generous. He’s likely to have spent about 65% of his career as a Rocky. Multiply those odds by that career percentage, and you’ve got about another quarter of a player. Arenado (born on my birthday!) is something of an unsung hero, and I love his chances, but there’s a long way to go.
- HoMErs:Randy Johnson (39%), Curt Schilling (23%), Roberto Alomar (1%)
- Retired: n/a
- Active: Zack Grienke (107), Max Scherzer (98), Paul Goldschmidt (72)
The Snakes are in rougher shape than the three teams behind them. Despite at least three-quarters of a HoME career among Grienke, Scherzer, and Goldschmidt, there’s nothing else brewing. It’s enough to stave off the Fish, at least. You know maybe if Taijuan Walker and Archie Bradley develop quickly, the team could add to this list. And maybe if Densby Swanson…oh, never mind.
The Spiders’ Web!!! Now those four recent expansion teams are miles behind all other active franchises. In fact, they each fall under within The Spiders’ Web. That is, the total for the Cleveland Spiders, who have the highest number of HoMErs among all defunct franchises (1.60). The Rockies have a way out of that one, the other teams, well, it might take them some time…and some don’t have a clear path out yet.
As we move into the mid-20s in our rankings, with the Spiders’ Web behind them, how much can teams expect to move upward in the standings? And how quickly? At this position among the teams, there’s not much hope of catching the leaders, let alone leaping into the top-ten. But no expansion team has gotten past the Ring of 16 (which we’ll talk about in our next post), the teams of the original AL/NL setup. Do they have a path to make that leap and maybe draw a bead on the bottom of the top tier?
- HoMErs:Edgar Martinez (100%), Ken Griffey, Jr. (64%), Randy Johnson (45%), Pat Gillick (15%), Dick Williams (12%), Gaylord Perry (6%), Rickey Henderson (3%), Goose Gossage (3%)
- Retired: Alex Rodriguez (172), John Olerud (99), Cliff Lee (95), Mark Langston (95)
- Active:Robinson Cano (120), Adrian Beltre (115), Ichiro (102), Felix Hernandez (98), Kyle Seager (73)
The Mariners are within a half a career of four other teams. Among their retirees, only A-Rod (29%) has an undeniable shot at our Hall. But Beltre (about 30%) and Ichiro (about 70%) will soon follow, so that the Boatsmen might have more than 1.3 careers to tack on by 2025. That would get them to about 4.0 full careers’ worth of HoME players, a figure that would currently place #19. But the winds are in their favor over the longer haul too. Cano will bring at least a quarter of a career if not a half, Felix (minimum 70% if he sails away soon), and maybe half of Seager will help them ride the crest of the tide. That’s another possible career and a half. The Seattleites, then could push upwards of 5.0 to 5.5 careers. Still outside the Ring of Sixteen but ready to fire the proverbial shot across the bow.
Toronto Blue Jays
- HoMErs:Dave Stieb (99%), Pat Gillick (63%), Roberto Alomar (30%), Paul Molitor (15%), Bobby Cox (14%), Roger Clemens (10%), Frank Thomas (7%), David Cone (6%), Dave Winfield (5%), Jeff Kent (2%), Rickey Henderson (2%), Tony Phillips (1%), Phil Niekro (+0%)
- Retired: Roy Halladay (122), Scott Rolen (115), John Olerud (99), Mark Buehrle (98)
- Active: Russell Martin (93), Troy Tulowitzki (86), Josh Donaldson (85), Jose Bautista (82), David Price (75)
Halladay (75% a Jay) and Rolen (10%) should be HoMErs quickly. Buehrle has a shot. But all of the active players have a question mark or two. Martin appears to be losing his bat and might not make it across the finish line. Tulo’s body (as mentioned above) is reliably unreliable, and he still has a lot of HoMEwork to do entering his 30s. Josh Donaldson’s remarkable career path guarantees nothing going forward. Jose Bautista looks cooked. Even David Price has a scary injury this year. The Jays could really cash in and leap forward or they could end up with only Halladay and Rolen likely to contribute. That’s about 1 player’s worth, which isn’t enough to keep the Mariners at bay, but is enough to fly by two of the teams directly ahead.
- HoMErs: Robin Yount (100%), Paul Molitor (69%), Ted Simmons (29%), Sal Bando (27%), Gary Sheffield (11%), Don Sutton (10%), Hank Aaron (6%), Willie Randolph (5%), Jim Edmonds (3%), Jimmy Wynn (2%)
- Retired: Jim Sundberg (96), Harry Dalton
- Active: Zack Grienke (107), Ryan Braun (90)
Sorry, Brewers fans, but your future outlook for the HoME is worse than a flat Milwaukee’s Best from the can. You’ll very soon be the 26th best team as you’re passed by Seattle and Toronto, and you don’t have much ammunition to fire back and catch up. Especially not long term. But we can always drink to the memory of Harvey’s Wallbangers.
- HoMErs:Ivan Rodriguez (60%), Rafael Palmeiro (56%), Kevin Brown (41%), Buddy Bell (40%), Fergie Jenkins (32%), Nolan Ryan (15%), Gaylord Perry (15%), Bert Blyleven (9%), Bobby Bonds (7%), Whitey Herzog (6%), Sammy Sosa (5%), Kenny Lofton (4%), Goose Gossage (2%), Willie Davis (2%)
- Retired: Alex Rodriguez (172), Andruw Jones (115), Vlad Guerrero (101), Will Clark (101), Jim Sundberg (96), Lance Berkman (95), Cliff Lee (95)
- Active: Adrian Beltre (115), Carlos Beltran (115), Cole Hamels (101), Roy Oswalt (101), Ian Kinsler (99), Jon Daniels
The Rangers lassoed the Spiders as the 1990s teams came through the electoral pipeline, and they’ve got some serious opportunities to flash their badges. A-Rod, Andruw, and the Impaler give the Metroplex Marshalls about 40% of a career if they get a plaque. All those active players could add about a career to that. Depending on how things pan out for the teams above them, the team could get into the top 20 within 15 years.
- HoMErs:Gary Carter (67%), Tim Raines (60%), Andre Dawson (57%), Larry Walker (33%), Pedro Martinez (28%), Dick Williams (24%), Davey Johnson (17%), Willie Davis (7%), Ivan Rodriguez (5%), Pete Rose (2%), Randy Johnson (1%), Graig Nettles (1%)
- Retired: Mark Langston (95)
- Active: Max Scherzer (98), Bartolo Colon (86), Bryce Harper (59), Dusty Baker
Like their real-life political counterparts in DC, the Nats appear to have a bumpy road HoME ahead of them. Scherzer is an odds-on favorite for a plaque, and he’d chip in 25% of a career. There simply aren’t a ton of good, projectable options after that. It’s very early in Bryce Harper’s career, and he’s had only one great season. Anyway, he’s likely leaving town as soon as Scott Boras can get that $400 million. I don’t know, maybe Jordan Zimmerman or Stephen Strassburg has an amazing run into his late 30s? The M’s, Jays, and Rangers are all hot on their tail, and this squad could also easily find themselves in 25th place, snuggling uncomfortably close to the Brewers. I don’t think it’ll get that bad for them, however, because our next team is losing ground even more rapidly.
San Diego Padres
- HoMErs: Tony Gwynn (100%), Dave Winfield (37%), Ozzie Smith (24%), Dick Williams (21%), Roberto Alomar (19%), Goose Gossage (16%), Buzzie Bavasi (16%), Graig Nettles (13%), Willie McCovey (12%), Rickey Henderson (11%), Gaylord Perry (9%), Gary Sheffield (8%), Kevin Brown (8%), Greg Maddux (7%), Mike Piazza (6%), Willie Davis (5%), Jim Edmonds (1%)
- Retired: Gene Tenace (102), Mark Langston (95%)
- Active: Adrian Gonzalez (85), Bruce Bochy
We don’t need to see any good players. They can go about their boring losing. Move along. Move along…to a battle with the Nats and Brewers for the 26th spot.
So as you can see, some teams are on the move, while several are drifting. Next time out, we’ll look at the last four expansion franchises and then see how things look inside the Ring of Sixteen.
- Will a Johnny-come-lately expansion squad crash the Sweet 16 HoME soiree?
- Which Ring of Sixteener is in a HoME hole?
- Can anyone stop The Joker’s latest fiendish plot to sow chaos and fear in the hearts and minds of the people of Gotham City?
Tune in next time when you’ll hear Eric say, “Yah know, that’s a heck of a pickle they got themselves into.”