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Revisionist History

Robert Lipsyte thinks that Roger Maris should be in the Hall of Fame. Allen Barra does not agree.

I just don’t see a strong case for Maris, do you?


1 TheGreenMan   ~  May 9, 2011 3:19 pm

A short career, including injuries in 1963 and 1965, really hurt his chances. The guy was basically done as an exceptional player by the time he was 30. Shame, but no...he falls well short of Hall standards.

2 Alex Belth   ~  May 9, 2011 3:22 pm

1) No shame in that, really. He was a fine player but I think there a bunch of "close" guys who get the nod before him.

3 rbj   ~  May 9, 2011 3:24 pm

Put me down as a no. Not a long enough career, and simply topping Ruth's single season record by one isn't enough. Fine enough player, but the hall needs more than that. Same way I feel about Mattingly. And I really like Donnie.

4 TheGreenMan   ~  May 9, 2011 3:28 pm

2) I just meant it was a shame that injuries shortened his career. Because he was, by all accounts I've read, a really decent guy.

5 Alex Belth   ~  May 9, 2011 3:32 pm

3) Same with Munson.

6 rbj   ~  May 9, 2011 3:36 pm

[5] Or Guidry.

7 Shaun P.   ~  May 9, 2011 3:56 pm

I agree with you guys - close, but no.

That said, and luckily for him, the HoF includes both the room with all the inductees' plaques in it (the literal "Hall") and the Museum. Mementos of Maris, especially Maris in '61, are all over the Museum. Is a plaque on the wall in the Hall really necessary for him? I say no on that one too.

8 RIYank   ~  May 9, 2011 4:09 pm

Okay, so what about Javier Vazquez?
No, seriously. I just game by to report that Jorrible Javy is up to his old tricks this year. In 31 IP his has a WHIP of 1.8 and an ERA of 6.39. He walks more than 6 per 9 this year, too.

Mmmm, Freddy Garcia!

9 williamnyy23   ~  May 9, 2011 4:26 pm

Maris was a very good player who was great in his prime, but unfortunately he justy didn't play enough. He wouldn't be the worst player inducted, but he'd probably be near the bottom of those elected on merit (i.e., Veteran committee cronies excluded).

I am not sure how weriously Lipsyte expected to be taken because his argument is very weak. It seems like he was more interested in glorifying his youth than actually making a convincing case for Maris.

Regardless, I wish people would stop suggesting that Frick came up with the asterisk as a way to protect his buddy Ruth. In reality, concern over the impact the new 162 game sched would have on the record book was widespread, and the possibility of two sets of records was considered before the season started. In other words, Maris may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time in history, but he was not a specifically targeted victim.

If anyone is interested, there's some more background here: http://t.co/9ANgbJ8

10 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 9, 2011 6:59 pm

So regarding Costas' point about "historical impact," is this a legitimate criterion?

What, in fact, *are* the official criteria for induction? Or are there any?

11 Bruce Markusen   ~  May 9, 2011 7:05 pm

There are criteria, but they are broad-based and very much open to interpretation. There is a clause, however, that says players should not be elected based on a single achievement or a single season. Given that, it's hard for me to conjure up a good argument for Maris being elected. He was a very fine player, underrated in some ways, especially for his defensive play, but his career lacks the longevity of your "average" Hall of Famer.

When talking about players who truly deserve election, I think the list really should be topped by people like Santo, Dick Allen, Ted Simmons, and Bobby Grich. I think you could make stronger arguments for all of them in comparison to Maris.

12 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 10, 2011 12:05 am

Ah, thanks, Bruce, that's really helpful. So if a guy has a hundred game hitting streak but his career is otherwise merely very good, that can't be a decisive factor.

13 Bruce Markusen   ~  May 10, 2011 1:12 am

You got it, weeping.

14 OldYanksFan   ~  May 10, 2011 12:23 pm

Player A: .260 .345 .476 .822, 127 OPS+. 275 HR, RF
Player B: .297 .381 .477 .858, 125 OPS+, 287 HR, CF
Player C: .292 .378 .534 .912, 156 OPS+, 351 HR, LF

Maris, Bernie and Dick Allen

15 TheGreenMan   ~  May 10, 2011 12:46 pm

14) Dick Allen, in my opinion, should be in the Hall. From 1964-1974, he was as dangerous a hitter as there was in the game. Great stats, especially for his era. He is 54th all-time in oWAR (Baseball-Reference). The only guys ahead of him not in the Hall are either still playing, going to be elected soon or named Rose, Bonds or Ramirez.

Bernie, of course, lasted much longer than either Allen or Maris. I think he comes up just short of Hall standards, but I wouldn't have a problem if he was elected. Hell...I'd be overjoyed.

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