Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hall of Fame Hopefuls... (Class of 1964, Sort of)

As printed by the Associated Press...Joe Torre, Ron Santo and Gil Hodges are among 10 players on the latest Hall of Fame ballot for Veterans Committee voters.

Richie Allen, Jim Kaat and Luis Tiant also are on the list... Tony Oliva, Al Oliver, Vada Pinson and Maury Wills also were among the candidates announced.

Richie Allen and Tony Oliva won the Rookie of the Year award for 1964.

Luis Tiant made his major league debut on July 19, 1964 with the Cleveland Indians vs. the New York Yankees. Innings pitched-9, hits allowed-4, runs-0, strikeouts-11 and 4-bases on balls.

His 1964 season: W-10 L-4 in 19 games. 16-games started, 9 complete games, 3-Shutouts.
127-innings, 105-K's, 2.83-ERA

Al Oliver was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an amateur in 1964.

Ron Santo debuted on 6/26/1960. His bests were: AB-608 (1965), R-107 (1967), H-187 (1963), 2B-33 (1964), 3B-13 (1964), HR-33 (1965), RBI-123 (1969), AVG.-.313 (1964). The year he achieved career highs the most was 1964.

Maurice Morning Wills born October 2, 1932 in Washington, DC was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 1951. In 1956 he was drafted by the Cincinnati Redlegs in the minor league draft. Before the 1958 season he was sent from the Redlegs back to the Dodgers. It is listed as an unknown transaction.

He made his debut in the major leagues on June 6, 1959 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 1962, the year he was the National League MVP, he played in 165-Games, had 208-hits, scored 130 runs, hit 6-HR, with 48-RBI. Stole 104 bases being caught 13 times and batted .299.

James Lee Kaat (Kitty) attended Hope College of Holland, Michigan. The team was known as the Flying Dutchmen. Kaat was signed by the Washington Senators as an amateur free agent in 1957 and made his debut on 8/2/1959 vs. the White Sox.

He would go on to win 20-games 3 times (1966, 1974 and 1975). Best season: (1966) W-25 L-13 ERA: 2.75 Career wins: 283 L: 237 ERA: 3.45. He played back in the day before and then during the designated hitter, so he hit a few homers. 16, to be exact.

Vada Edward Pinson, Jr. was signed by the Cincinnati Redlegs in the 1956 amateur free agent draft. He made his debut on 4/15/1958 vs. the Philadelphia Phillies. His career totals: R-1366, H-2757, HR-256, SB-305, AVG.-.286.

In the 1961 World Series between the Redlegs and the NY Yankees he batted 22 times and got only 2 hits. Any sports fan is well aware of the New York press and how they have all the say, all of the time, but this horrific performance was 2 years after Vada Pinson's rookie year.

Please review the numbers of Willie McCovey and Vada Pinson. Because it was Willie McCovey, NOT Vada Pinson, who won the Rookie of the Year for 1959.

You be the judge as to who had the better season. And know this, neither was on the World Series winning team that year.

  1. Mc Covey AB-192 R-32 H-68 HR-13 RBI-38 AVG.-.354
  2. Pinson AB-649, R-131, H-205, HR-20, RBI-84, AVG.-.316

Later, in the world of major league baseball, Rafael Palmiero would win a Gold Glove for first-basemen in the American League and play in less than 75 games.

In the words of Desi Arnaz (a.k.a. Ricky Ricardo) "Somebody has some 'splaining to do."

Let's hope those best qualified enter the Hallowed grounds of Cooperstown, NY. Those being Ron Santo, Vada Pinson, Jim Kaat and Luis Tiant. And if Joe Torre gets the nod because of his managerial record, vote Gil Hodges in for his miracle Met season. Heck, a player referred to as Broadway Joe, pretty much got in for one stellar game under the brightest of lights and Gil's Mets had to win 4 games.

(Thanks to Baseball-Reference)

Kevin Marquez