30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Saturday Night Five: Hall of Very Good Members

1978 Topps Burger King #8 and #15

When the Modern Era committee elected Jack Morris and Alan Trammell into the National Baseball Hall of Fame last weekend, baseball enthusiasts around the country celebrated and rightfully so.

Both of their names have consistently been brought up in Hall of Fame debates over the past few years.

I was happy for both of these guys and their fans.  However there was a part of me that was bummed that Baseball's Hall of Very Good lost two of their prominent members.  So tonight, I thought I'd dig through my collection and choose five of my favorite Hall of Very Good members.

2001 Topps Gallery Autographs #GABB
1985 Topps/Renata Galasso #1
1995 Upper Deck Autographs #AC4

Now before I begin... I want to clarify that guys like Barry Bonds, Pete Rose, and Roger Clemens were excluded from this list, because they're being kept out of the Hall of Fame for reasons outside of player performance.

Tonight I'm just listing guys whose career numbers have been debated for years... and up until now... they've fallen short of Cooperstown.

#1:  Dave Parker

1976 Topps #185

The 1978 NL MVP is a two-time batting champion who hit .290 and 339 home runs over 19 seasons.  He was a 7x all-star, 3x Gold Glove Award winner, and a 3x Silver Slugger Award winner.  If that weren't enough... he had a cannon for an arm.

I've heard that Parker has been kept out of Cooperstown because of his struggles with cocaine.  Well... Raines got the nod.  Maybe one day The Cobra will too.

#2: Ted Simmons

Leaf Certified Autographed Baseball

I've gotta admit something.  I don't remember seeing Simmons play during his years in St. Louis, but I do remember him having a few good years in Milwaukee.

I also read a really good writeup about Simmons a while back and was blown away.  I couldn't understand why for years his name was buried among other semistars in our hobby.  He has a .285 career batting average, hit 248 home runs, and drove in 1,389 runs.  He was also an 8x all-star during his twenty-one year career.  That's pretty impressive.

#3:  Thurman Munson

1971 Topps #5

Okay.  The Walrus may not have the career numbers for Cooperstown, but this guy had one helluva career.  I'm gonna guess that there are plenty of baseball fans who feel that he was well on his way to punching his ticket had he not passed away at such a young age.

#4:  Steve Garvey

1985 O-Pee-Chee #177
1987 Topps #100

How many guys can say that they're a 10x NL all-star who won an MVP Award and four Gold Gloves?  I honestly have no idea, but I'm guessing that most are enshrined in Cooperstown.  I know of one guy who fits the description who isn't:  Garvey.

#5:  Tony Oliva

2004 Sweet Spot Signatures #63

A few years ago, I read an interesting article in Baseball Digest about Tony Oliva and his amazing rookie season.  By the time I was finished reading it, I was bummed that I never got a chance to actually see him play.  

He was an AL all-star from 1964 to 1971.  During that time he led the AL in hits five times, won three batting titles, and won the 1964 AL ROY Award.  Over the course of 15 seasons, he had a career .304 batting average and collected 1,917 hits.  That's definitely Hall of Very Good worthy.

Okay.  There's my list of my favorite players who had really good careers, but not quite "Cooperstown" good.

Who are some of your favorites?

And do you think any of my five will eventually get elected?

Only time will tell.  Until then, they're proud members of Baseball's Hall of Very Good.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!


  1. Simmons belongs in the Hall. Morris is garbage and he’s getting in because of two Postseason runs. I also find it troubling that there is a moral standard applied to steroid era players, regardless of guilt or innocence, that is not being applied to Morris who had some troubling missteps off the field.

  2. Simmons played at the same time as Bench-so Bench got the limelight. I can't believe he and Tony Oliva aren't in the HOF. How do you win three batting titles and not get in? Hall of Shame

  3. I just know that if Garvey ever gets elected, he sure ain't wearing a Padres hat on his plaque.

  4. All but Simmons are PC guys of mine.

  5. Guys who aren't in the Hall, but should be: Luis Tiant, Mike Mussina, Lou Whitaker, and, much as I hate his politics, Curt Schilling. Also, Joe Jackson, who is more similar to Rose.

    Favorite players who aren't really Hall worthy: Dwight Gooden, Amos Otis, Willie Wilson, Edgardo Alfonzo.

  6. Great picks, Fuji. Dick Allen and Bill Madlock are probably my favorite cusp guys.

    1. Madlock was the first person to come to mind for me not mentioned here. 4x Batting Titles is incredibly tough to do.

  7. Solid choices.
    My Top 3 would be Ted Simmons, Dwight Evans, Bill Freehan.

  8. Snorting Bull - I read a great article about Morris and why he shouldn't have been elected. The guy made some very interesting points and brought up the Jennifer Frey story.

    B Man - I think Simmons gets in eventually. Well... I hope he does, b/c I'd love it if Topps would recognize his existence and finally give him a Topps Archives Fan Favorites autograph.

    night owl - I'm sure he'll go the Maddux and Hunter route and choose the logoless hat to honor both teams ;)

    John Miller - 4 out of 5 isn't bad :)

    Brett Alan - I think Schilling might eventually get the call. That guy was too dominant not to.

    defgav - nice call. i dropped the ball on both of those guys.

    Johngy - I loved watching Dewey back in the day playing alongside Rice and Lynn. And I didn't know much about Freehan until someone left a comment on one of my posts about him. I had no idea that guy was an 11x all-star.

  9. Dale Murphy deserves to be in. 2 MVPs and 7 All-Star appearances should cinch it. Of eligible players, only Murph, Maris, and Bonds have multiple MVPs without getting the nod. Bonds would be in hands down without the steroids issue, but I've never understood how Murphy never got much consideration.

  10. A lot of my favorites would be guys I think should be in the hall but have to admit that they aren't. Like Dave Stieb (he should be in) and Roger Maris (not as sure as Stieb but he's got a decent case I think).

  11. Trevor P - I witnessed Murphy's domination during his prime and it was awesome! He's the perfect debate guy, because he was so good for a solid 6 or 7 seasons. I think the usual argument against him was the last 6 or 7 years of his career.

    Zippy Zappy - Dude. I'm a big fan of Stieb. Only know about Maris because of videos and articles. I guess time will tell.

  12. Better late than never comment-- I've always felt that Lee Smith was deserving.