50 Best Baseball Players not in the Hall of Fame

By Chas

A blog called Baseball Past and Present is asking its readers and other baseball writers to vote on the 50 best players not enshrined in Cooperstown, not including those who haven’t been retired long enough to be eligible. The latter condition means this includes all players who haven’t played since 2005.

Ballots are due by December 1, and I just learned about this a few days ago, so I’ve got my work cut out for me. As a result, I’m not going to do an in-depth analysis, but instead I’m going to come up with a list of the 50 players who jump out at me as deserving of the Hall of Fame or of serious consideration for the honor, and I’m asking for your help.

Through discussion here on the Pine, help me decide on my top 50. If you need a little help narrowing the seemingly infinite list of names down, check out this Super Ballot of 300 candidates, or feel free to name anyone not on this list. Share your top 5, top 10, top 20 or just a few names that you think are glaring omissions.

Keep in mind, these don’t have to be all guys you think deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. You might think the Hall has done an excellent job of including everyone who belongs, but maybe there are a few guys you think are oh so close. Please, share your thoughts on them as well.

To get this started, I’m going to reveal my first ten. That is, the players who, in my opinion, should already be in the Hall of Fame. Actually, since they’re asking for players who haven’t played since 2005—rather than 2004—this means players who are eligible for the first time this year are included. So, technically there’s one player on the following alphabetical list whose Hall of Fame candidacy hasn’t yet been voted on.

Dick Allen
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Joe Jackson
Barry Larkin
Dan Quisenberry
Tim Raines
Pete Rose
Ron Santo

Who do you think are among the best players to play the game who are not (yet) enshrined in Cooperstown? Please share your thoughts with the Pine.

13 Responses to "50 Best Baseball Players not in the Hall of Fame"

  1. Graham Womack   November 27, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Thanks so much for writing this! Great idea for a post, and I look forward to seeing your other 40.

  2. Wally   November 27, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I’m gonna throw in an old White Sox pitcher named Billy Pierce. He was 211-169 with a 3.27 ERA and a 7 time All-Star, 2 time AL Pitcher of Year (Sporting News). Played 1945-64. Jersey number retired by the WhiteSox.

  3. Wally   November 27, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I’d also add 2-time MVP and 5-time Gold Glover Dale Murphy of the Atlanta Braves.

    By the way, Chas, I like your intitial list of 10. Pleased to see you have one of my boyhood heros, Dick Allen, on the list. That guy was a STUD! Broke my heart when he quit suddenly while seemingly at the peak of his career.

  4. Casey   November 27, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Chas

    Great list. Great post. I just high-fived my better two-thirds (the biggest Barry Larkin fan I know).

    First guys that come to mind: Don Mattingly (and as you all know I am Sox fan).
    Mark Belanger (Chas-can you please explain defense WAR?).
    Will Clark
    Ron Guidry
    Dwight Evans

    Wally must be doing handsprings seeing Santo on the list. 🙂

  5. Matt Bilofsky   November 27, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Dan quisenberry in over Donny baseball? Tragic. 1985 MVP. If it wasn’t for his back he would have had 5 seasons like that. And he never spit in an umpires face either

  6. Wally   November 27, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I’d be doing handsprings if Santo actually made it into the HoF. It’s really a no-brainer … what a shame.

  7. Crash   November 27, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    Casey,
    How do add a thumbnail picture to my profile ? Please advise…Thanks…

  8. Chas   November 27, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Graham: The great idea was all yours, thanks.

    Wally: Hadn’t really considered Billy Pierce, but I’ll take a closer look at him. Dale Murphy is one of those guys I’ve thought long and hard about, enough that he’s most likely in my 50.

    Casey: Mattingly, Clark, Guidry and Evans are good ones too. I don’t know about Belanger. WAR is wins above replacement, another stat (similar to Win Shares) that attempts to quantify a player’s overall value. The idea is to measure how many wins a player produced compared to the player who would have replaced him (i.e. bench player or minor leaguer). Defensive WAR would be the fielding component of that rating.

    Matt: See above about Mattingly. Regarding your other comparisons, I don’t think there’s much value in comparing Mattingly to Quisenberry. There are several first basemen not in the Hall of Fame who I think rate higher than Mattingly, but no relief pitchers who rate higher than Quiz…in my opinion. The “if it wasn’t for his back…” statement is irrelevant. You can’t rate a player’s career based on what you thought he would have been had it not been for an injury. Lastly, I’m not going to devalue a player’s entire career based on one mistake, but since you feel that’s a relevant argument, why did you choose to go after Alomar rather than Rose or Jackson?

  9. Rey   November 27, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Great idea for some off-season discussion. Again – reason #1 why I love The Pine is because I see a lot of names on here I don’t know and probably should. Here’s 5 that came to my mind, not necessarily the first 5 I think that deserve in:

    -Pete Rose
    -Joe Jackson
    -Jack Morris (I know many will say Blyleven over Morris)
    -Dale Murphy
    -Lee Smith

    I realize those picks are limited to modern day (except for Shoeless Joe, which, less face it, is in the baseball lexicon for a lot of leisurely baseball fans because of Kevin Costner); there will probably be some names that pop up that I THOUGHT were already enshrined.

  10. Crossword Pete   November 28, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Crash, what thumbnail you looking to use? Picture of your license plate? GO IRISH!

  11. Gino   November 29, 2010 at 3:56 am

    how about:
    tommy john
    Jim Kaat

  12. Rey   December 1, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Just read that Bobby Valentine is on the new Sunday Night Baseball crew. So I guess not knowing the first names of players is a requirement. I seem to recall him mentioning “Jose Ortiz” during the all-star game telecast.

  13. Wally   December 1, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    How you can boot John Miller as the PBP guy is astounding to me … i thought he was terrific on those ESPN SNB telecasts. Who’s the new PBP guy??

    I never liked Joe Morgan, probably because he already loves himself so much. Good riddance on that move.

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