Friend of this blog and editor of the fine Verdun2’s Blog, the enigmatic V, had a post recently talking about his trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and a discussion he had with his son, on which Hall of Famers were the worst of the best. The Hall of Fame Bottom Feeders that got plenty of respect from the writers and the Veteran’s Committee, but don’t get the respect of the average baseball fan, because of a lack of what is perceived to be worthy Hall of Fame stats. He wondered how this team of miscreants would fare if they were an actual team. V believes they would perform pretty well, possibly even winning a World Series. I tend to agree, but I thought it might be interesting if I put it to the test.
So I put together the Cooperstown Bottom Feeders team, and matched them up against the 1978 NY Yankees.
I picked the 1978 NY Yankees because I already had this team put together in the Diamond Mind software, and they’re the NY Yankees. Plus my all-time favorite Yankee pitcher Ron Guidry, has one of the best seasons ever for a pitcher going 25-3, with a 1.74 ERA.
The Bottom Feeders will consist of the players mentioned in V’s post, plus an additional 10 players picked by me, giving each team a roster of 22 players. This will be a best of 7 series, and will utilize the DH.
The Cooperstown Bottom Feeders: (V’s picks in bold)
Jesse Haines- A 3x 20 game winner, but not much else. Just 210 wins. His dominant performance in the 1926 World Series against the Yankees is the main reason for his HOF selection.
Rube Marquard- Won 73 games over a 3 year stretch for the NY Giants. Put together a 128-149 record for the rest of his career.
Ted Lyons-Won 20 games 3x, just 1 All Star selection, more walks than strikeouts. 21 seasons all with Chicago White Sox.
Waite Hoyt-Won 45 games with the 1927- 1928 Yankees. I could have won 40 with them. Except for 1934, was basically a below average pitcher his last 10 seasons.
Herb Pennock-His 241 career wins is nice, but pitching for the Yankees in the 1920’s really helped. 5-0 with a 1.95 ERA in the World Series probably got him in the Hall.
Candy Cummings-Probably didn’t invent the curve. Pitched just 6 years in the NA/NL.
High-Pockets Kelly-Played just 9 seasons where he had more than 400 plate appearances. Had some power, but struck out a lot for that Era.
Jim Bottomley- Not too many bad 1st baseman in the Hall. His .310 average and over 2300 hits isn’t that bad. Throw in a home run title, and the 1928 MVP, and he actually looks like a borderline HOFer.
Johnny Evers-I waffle on Evers as a HOFer. I think he was one of the smartest players of his time, he was a very good 2nd baseman defensively, and one intense SOB on the field. I don’t really have that much of a problem with his HOF status.
Bill Mazeroski- Beat the Yankees in the 1960 World Series. For that he deserves his Bottom Feeder designation.
Dave Bancroft- Beauty Bancroft hit .279 for his career. Not too shabby. But he never led the league in any offensive category, and led the league in errors at SS 3 x.
Rabbit Maranville- a .258 average, with a .318 OBP does not a HOFer make.
Fred Lindstrom-Yes he hit .311 for his career, but he played just 13 seasons, only 7 of which he had over 400abs. Just 895 runs scored in his career.
George Kell- Not a lot of 3rd baseman in the Hall. A .306 average and a 10x All Star aint too shabby, but I needed another 3rd baseman..
Rick Ferrell-Takes a lot of shit for being a poor HOF selection. But he hit .281, and was a 7x All Star.
Ray Schalk- Takes a lot of shit for being a poor HOF selection. Deservedly so. He hit just .253, with a .316 SLG%. He scored and drove in less than 600 runs over 18 seasons. That kind of sucks.
Chick Hafey- His .317 lifetime average is nice, and he played in the very 1st All Star game, but he didn’t even get to 1500 hits.
Lloyd Waner-.316 lifetime average, no power whatsoever, drove in just 598 runs, and was essentially done at 33 years old.
Harry Hooper-Had a nice career, but not a HOF career.
Tommy McCarthy-Stole a lot of bases, and scored a lot of runs in a very short career.
Ross Youngs-Tragic death at 30 derailed a very nice 8 seasons in baseball.
Hack Wilson- 5 straight HOF type seasons and not much else from Hack.
The 1978 NY Yankees had Ron Guidry(25-3, 1.74), Ed Figueroa(20-9, 2.99), Jim Hunter(12-6, 3.58), Sparky Lyle(9-3, 3.47), Goose Gossage, (10-11, 2.01) Thurman Munson(.297), Chris Chambliss(.274, 12HR), Willie Randolph(.279), Graig Nettles(.276, 27HR), Bucky Dent(.243) Lou Piniella(.314), Reggie Jackson(.274, 27HR ), Mickey Rivers(.265)
The stats used for the Bottom Feeders are for a randomly picked season. I used a random number generator to decide which season to use for a particular player. I figured that it would be more fair, rather than using their best seasons or their career averages.
I’m not sure how this series is going to shake out. The Bottom Feeders do not have a lot of power, and their pitching is questionable. I don’t know how the DMB software will treat them on a neutral setting. Their batting averages are consistently higher across the board. The Yankees have Guidry, and a distinct advantage with the long ball. They have no depth on their bench, while the Bottom Feeders have several worthy pinch hitters. I think this could go 7 with the Bottom Feeders winning it all.