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Japanese Players and the Hall of Fame


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#1 JakeRae


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 09:00 AM

It may be too early to be asking this question, but in thinking about the recent trend of star Japanese ballplayers coming to MLB, I started to wonder how these players might be looked upon by HoF voters (and also how they should be looked at).

It seems obvious that if baseball stopped today, no Japanese player would have a career worthy of the HoF. But, if we project 5-10 years down the line, both Matsui and Ichiro will be looking like possible HoF candidates. I'm going to use a modified version of Jay Jaffe's JAWS where I just look at peak score for a moment. Both Ichiro and Matsui measure as incompletes even on this scale so far.

However, over 6 seasons, Ichiro has compiled 55.2 WARP3. The JAWS baseline for peak score for RF is 65.4 WARP3. Thus, if Ichiro has another season in line with his previous 6 he'll be slightly short of the JAWS peak baseline.

Matsui only has 4 seasons so far, but at only averaging slightly over 5 WARP3 per season he really isn't close. Even his 2004-2005 lines are not at the standard for HoF LF's peak, although they aren't too far short.

I'm going to assume that Matsui just is not good enough to warrant serious consideration for the HoF, although he might be a Hall of Very Good type guy when all's said and done, and focus on Ichiro. If he has a few more seasons on par with his first 6 and then fades as he reaches his late 30's, will he be a HoFer? His MLB peak will be at about the right level, although his total career value will be depressed because he did not join MLB until he was 27.

This is where the really tricky part of analyzing Japanese careers is going to come in. What do we do about the missing 3-5 years of these players careers? Do we use translated NPB numbers to guess at their value during those years? Do we discount them entirely as not being in MLB? If we do the latter, we will end up almost certainly rejecting HoF worthy players. The former gets very tricky, including at what age you start counting NPB seasons as MLB seasons, as these players would likely make their pro debut later if they were in the US.

To bring this back into focus a little, since Ichiro started in MLB at age 27, he has little chance to reach the 120 career WARP3 of an average HoF RF. He does have a legitimate shot at having an average HoF peak and, counting NPB, the career longevity of a typical HoFer (depending on how sharp his decline is and how quickly it comes). What would he have to do the rest of his career to make the HoF? I'd assume at least one more 10 WARP3 season and 3-4 more 7-8 WARP3 seasons.

And, in a more general sense, what kind of credit should NPB players who come to MLB get from a HoF perspective. What would it take from Matsuzaka to eventually be considered for the HoF? How much credit would he get for his NPB dominance?

It is almost certainly years too early to be seriously having this discussion since no Japanese player has had a long enough or strong enough career to merit consideration at this point. But, it is still an interesting hypothetical and I don't think the pertinent question of how to weight NPB years will be substantially easier to answer when there finally is a test case (probably Ichiro).

Anyway, this is my first attempt at starting a thread so please go easy on me. And, I'm sorry if this belongs in MLB discussion rather than on the main board.

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#2 Philip Jeff Frye


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 09:20 AM

I can't see Matsui getting a sniff at the HOF. He's a decent player, but in his four seasons so far, he's never been one of the best players in the league. He's not finished higher than 14th in an MVP vote (two years, he received no votes at all). He's not even close to being the best player on his own team. He's already 32, his best years are presumably behind him.

Ichiro on the other hand has clearly been one of the best players in baseball for most of his tenure, with one MVP award, another top ten finish and six All Star Games in six seasons. He has two batting titles and has led the league in hits three times. Add in his historical status as the first major Japanese hitter in MLB, and you've got a pretty strong case that he could get to Cooperstown.

Edited by Kevin Mortons Ghost, 28 February 2007 - 09:20 AM.


#3 flymrfreakjar

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 10:07 AM

Ichiro on the other hand has clearly been one of the best players in baseball for most of his tenure, with one MVP award, another top ten finish and six All Star Games in six seasons. He has two batting titles and has led the league in hits three times. Add in his historical status as the first major Japanese hitter in MLB, and you've got a pretty strong case that he could get to Cooperstown.


Dont forget the gold gloves, and the fact that he holds the record for most hits in a single season. That's a big one right there.

#4 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 11:21 AM

However, over 6 seasons, Ichiro has compiled 55.2 WARP3. The JAWS baseline for peak score for RF is 65.4 WARP3. Thus, if Ichiro has another season in line with his previous 6 he'll be slightly short of the JAWS peak baseline.

[...snip...]

To bring this back into focus a little, since Ichiro started in MLB at age 27, he has little chance to reach the 120 career WARP3 of an average HoF RF. He does have a legitimate shot at having an average HoF peak and, counting NPB, the career longevity of a typical HoFer (depending on how sharp his decline is and how quickly it comes). What would he have to do the rest of his career to make the HoF? I'd assume at least one more 10 WARP3 season and 3-4 more 7-8 WARP3 seasons.


This is one reason that I hope Ichiro! sticks at CF for the next several years. It certainly seems that it would help his HoF chances if he's considered a plus defender in an up-the-middle position as opposed to being measured against power-hitting corner OF's. The Gold Gloves, All-Star appearances, and especially the hit record all could make for a very strong case. Here's hoping he stays healthy long enough to make up for the 3-4 years lost to MLB.

#5 Lefty on the Mound


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 11:23 AM

Longevity seems to play a key role in HOF selection. So often you hear the argument about a player that while he put up good numbers, he did not do so for a long enough time. The fact that Japanese players don't get over here until the latter part of their third decade makes it difficult for any Japanese player to put 20 years of service time in MLB. Fifteen years may be enough with Ichiro's numbers but he's got nine more years to go. Right now six years of service time won't get him in unless he suffers a Puckett-esque tragedy. Whether he continues to perform well enough over the remainder of his career to merit selection to the HOF definitely remains to be seen.

OTOH I would love to see him playing RF for the Red Sox next year.

#6 Tokyo Sox


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 12:08 PM

This is where the really tricky part of analyzing Japanese careers is going to come in. What do we do about the missing 3-5 years of these players careers? Do we use translated NPB numbers to guess at their value during those years? Do we discount them entirely as not being in MLB? If we do the latter, we will end up almost certainly rejecting HoF worthy players. The former gets very tricky, including at what age you start counting NPB seasons as MLB seasons, as these players would likely make their pro debut later if they were in the US.

And, in a more general sense, what kind of credit should NPB players who come to MLB get from a HoF perspective. What would it take from Matsuzaka to eventually be considered for the HoF? How much credit would he get for his NPB dominance?

It's not the MLB HoF. It's the baseball HoF, and I think in the end because of that, some version of an MLE will have to get applied to the NPB portion of Japanese ballplayers' careers. It was believed by many, as recently as 5-7 years ago (let's call it the pre-Ichiro era), that NPB on the whole was somewhere around AAA level, maybe a tad below. I think most appreciate now that that's not the case, and now that we have more of a sample size, that it's probably somewhere north of 90%.

Ichiro doesn't have 1300+ hits for his career, he has more than 2500. And even if you conservatively say that NPB while he was there was operating at a 90% MLE, he could easily finish his adjusted composite career with 3000+ hits, 500 steals, the single season MLB hit record, double digit all-star appearances, and a crapload of gold gloves. I think if he continues doing what he's doing for another 3-5 years, he has a very real shot at Cooperstown.

#7 JakeRae


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 12:39 PM

Longevity seems to play a key role in HOF selection. So often you hear the argument about a player that while he put up good numbers, he did not do so for a long enough time. The fact that Japanese players don't get over here until the latter part of their third decade makes it difficult for any Japanese player to put 20 years of service time in MLB. Fifteen years may be enough with Ichiro's numbers but he's got nine more years to go. Right now six years of service time won't get him in unless he suffers a Puckett-esque tragedy. Whether he continues to perform well enough over the remainder of his career to merit selection to the HOF definitely remains to be seen.

This is precisely the issue I am getting at. Ichiro has 6 years in MLB but another 6ish (I don't know the exact number off the top of my head) seasons in NPB. And, as Tokyo Sox points out,

It's not the MLB HoF. It's the baseball HoF

Because of this, we really will need to account for NPB years on some level. Ichiro still need several more good seasons, but 9 (to get him up to 15 in MLB) seems an insurmountable obstacle. I'd assume he needs another 5 or so years, but not all of those have to be at peak performance level.

And, as another note, this is the issue I really want to get at. It is easy for this to just become a discussion of "Is Ichiro going to be a HoFer?" But, in the end, it's really too early to answer that. What I was hoping to get some discussion on is "What would a Japanese player have to do to get into the HoF?" As more players continue to come from Japan and arrive sometime between age 26 and 30, it would be ridiculous to hold these players to identical HoF standards in terms of MLB career as players coming up through the minor league system. Given that, what should the standard be for these players? Does it involve using equalized stats? Can NPB years be counted towards "peak performance" or only from a compiling perspective? Could a player who spends his entire career in NPB get into the HoF?

I tend to think that using straight equalized stats is not the answer since we don't give guys who come up through the minors credit for equalized AAA and AA stats. At the same time, we cannot ignore a player's age ~22-26 seasons just because they were not played in North America. Although I'm jumping the gun by a lot, I do think that this is going to be a really interesting and potentially divisive discussion in baseball 10-20 years from now and that discussing it now could make for a nice break from trying to assess how much shirt fat various players are carrying into ST.

#8 Carroll Hardy


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 01:18 PM

It's not the MLB HoF. It's the baseball HoF, and I think in the end because of that, some version of an MLE will have to get applied to the NPB portion of Japanese ballplayers' careers. It was believed by many, as recently as 5-7 years ago (let's call it the pre-Ichiro era), that NPB on the whole was somewhere around AAA level, maybe a tad below. I think most appreciate now that that's not the case, and now that we have more of a sample size, that it's probably somewhere north of 90%.

Ichiro doesn't have 1300+ hits for his career, he has more than 2500. And even if you conservatively say that NPB while he was there was operating at a 90% MLE, he could easily finish his adjusted composite career with 3000+ hits, 500 steals, the single season MLB hit record, double digit all-star appearances, and a crapload of gold gloves. I think if he continues doing what he's doing for another 3-5 years, he has a very real shot at Cooperstown.

Actually, it's The National Baseball Hall of Fame. To be eligible, Candidates must meet the following requirements:

1. A baseball player must have been active as a player in the Major Leagues at some time during a period beginning twenty (20) years before and ending five (5) years prior to election.
2. A player must have played in each of ten (10) Major League championship seasons, some part of which must have been within the period described in statement (1).
3. A player shall have ceased to be an active player in the Major Leagues at least five (5) calendar years preceding the election but may be otherwise connected with baseball.
4. In case of the death of an active player or a player who has been retired for less than five (5) full years, a candidate who is otherwise eligible shall be eligible in the next regular election held at least six (6) months after the date of death or after the end of the five (5) year period, whichever occurs first.
5. Any player on Baseball's ineligible list shall not be an eligible candidate.

In all likelihood, we will be seeing Japanese players inducted in the relatively near future. That does not mean we will be seeing Sadaharu Oh's induction anytime soon.

#9 smastroyin


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 01:23 PM

It's not the MLB HoF. It's the baseball HoF,


Actually, it's the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and does honor all American baseball, not just MLB. However as we know MLB dominates professional play.

Once Japan wants to join the union, your point will be made.

I'm not sure why we should be ready to agree that the Japan League is 90% of MLB, by the way. Japan's best players can play in MLB and do well, sure. MLB's washouts can still go and play really well in Japan, though. We surely don't have the sample size we need, as you purport, to say that Japan is 90%. Unless, of course, 0% is a bunch of guys who can't play baseball, because then even A+ minor league ball is 85% and AAA is like 95%.

edit: CH beat me to the National point.

#10 Philip Jeff Frye


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 01:31 PM

Because of this, we really will need to account for NPB years on some level. Ichiro still need several more good seasons, but 9 (to get him up to 15 in MLB) seems an insurmountable obstacle. I'd assume he needs another 5 or so years, but not all of those have to be at peak performance level.


I think you're making too big of a deal out of this. With a guy like Ichiro, the voters are going to make some mental note of his time in Japan, add it to his American production, and vote him in, assuming he continues to perform reasonably well as he ages from here. If (from my lips to God's ears) Matsuzaka performs at an All Star caliber for the next ten years, he's not going to be held to exactly the same standard as, for example, Felix Hernandez.

You'd have a stronger arguement if you were talking about somebody like Oh coming over here for the last few years of his career, but today, these guys are coming in their 20s (Matsuzaka is 26) and will have plenty of time to produce the peak performances it takes to get on to the radar screen for the HOF.

#11 Buck Showalter


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 01:36 PM

Longevity seems to play a key role in HOF selection. So often you hear the argument about a player that while he put up good numbers, he did not do so for a long enough time. The fact that Japanese players don't get over here until the latter part of their third decade makes it difficult for any Japanese player to put 20 years of service time in MLB. Fifteen years may be enough with Ichiro's numbers but he's got nine more years to go. Right now six years of service time won't get him in unless he suffers a Puckett-esque tragedy. Whether he continues to perform well enough over the remainder of his career to merit selection to the HOF definitely remains to be seen.

OTOH I would love to see him playing RF for the Red Sox next year.


If Monte Irvin can enter the HOF (largely based on his Negro League performance) despite his lack of longevity in the majors.......then Ichiro's candidacy should not be compromised.

Now don't get me wrong.....I'm not equating or suggesting a comparison between the 'plight' of Negro Players (pre-Jackie) and Japanese Players (at any point in human history). All I'm saying is that each individual should be judged on a case-by-case basis based on their contribution to baseball as a 'macro concept'.

#12 Let it Flo

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 01:46 PM

It's not the MLB HoF. It's the baseball HoF


Interesting (and in-depth) discussion here and here, culled in part from an old SABR listserv topic, about whether Sadaharu Oh should be in Cooperstown.

#13 Talon


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 02:34 PM

Will it be a shame with Ichiro does not make the HOF, sure it will.

I know it's the National Baseball Hall of Fame and this would be the first real test of whether a foreign player makes it. Ichiro will probably fall short, however this will open up a whole slew of discussion when Daisuke Matsuzaka's career comes to an end SHOULD he produce on a very high level for 15 years (which would bring him to the age of 40).

I say this because figure this. Should Daisuke average about 15 wins a season age 26-40 that would put him at 333 wins between MLB & NPB. Even if Daisuke averages 10 wins that'd put him at 258. If Daisuke also averages 150K a season through these same 15 that'd put him at 3,605.

So I do believe Ichiro will not make the hall but make a serious case and will become the marking point for all future candidates.

#14 Devizier


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 02:48 PM

If the Hall of Fame is inducting players from the Negro Leagues, then I think several japanese league standouts will be admitted as well. Not only do I think Ichiro is a virtual lock for the Hall of Fame, there may be serious consideration - down the line - for guys like Sadaharu Oh.

I'm going to preempt someone before they make one of those infamous semantic arguments: The impact that Japanese players have had on national baseball will force the Hall to reconsider their predecessors in Japan, although this will take a number of years to take effect. I'm presuming any induction of a player like Oh will occur well into his elderly years (if he lives so long).

Edited by Devizier, 28 February 2007 - 02:51 PM.


#15 E5 Yaz


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 03:00 PM

With a guy like Ichiro, the voters are going to make some mental note of his time in Japan, add it to his American production, and vote him in, assuming he continues to perform reasonably well as he ages from here.


i agree with this. A comparison could be made to Warren Moon, whose NFL numbers land him between above average and nearly great but when added "subconscioiusly" to his CFL career make it obvious that he's a hall of famer.

The key for those with substantial Japenese league experience will be whether they make a significant impact in their MLB careers. ichiro has clearly done so and, should he play 4 more seasons and hit the 10-year mark in the majors, I'd say his "combined" careers make him a HoF lock.

#16 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 03:01 PM

Is Tuffy Rhodes a Hall of Famer?

I think that Ichiro is a HOF, Kirby Puckett was. In a sense, he will get extra credit for what he did in Japan. But someone like Matsui clearly has a long way to go.

The Negro Leagues are quite a different situation; if Japanese players were banned from playing in the majors, we'd have to reconsider.

Edited by Rudy Pemberton, 28 February 2007 - 03:03 PM.


#17 bakahump

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 03:26 PM

I agree. Ichiro has a 2-3 year "age" head start on Matsui. Plus Ichiro has been one of the best RFer for the last 5 years.....even if he is a "Non Traditional" RF.

While Ichiro has been hitting .330+ with 220 hits Matsui has been a very "above avg" simply Average player.....if that makes sense.

I think Ichiro makes it quite easily....(second ballot ...maybe even first) cause I think that 12-15 years from now when he is eligible the "NPB Bump" will be added without so much as a whimper. It might be a "minor bump" but a bump none the less. Ichiro with another 5 years of his present production wont really need much of a bump and I forsee his NPB numbers as "icing on the cake". Where as Matsuis would need to be the "Main ingredients" to the cake to get him in.

Dice K will (if as successful in pitching as Ichiro has been hitting) will also use his NPB numbers as Icing as opposed to "main ingredients" for his HOF arguement. (of course asking him to be that successful is pretty high expectations....)

Edited by bakahump, 28 February 2007 - 03:26 PM.


#18 jtn46


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 03:26 PM

I think as long as the Japanese players have a lot of success in the US, they won't be punished for how long rules keep them in Japan. There's no way Ichiro doesn't make it. Rookie of the Year, MVP, and in 6 seasons here, he's made 6 All Star appearances and he's won 6 Gold Gloves, plus he holds the record for hits in a single season. He's a one-of-a-kind player, and he's the guy most responsible for creating legitimacy for Japanese baseball here in the US. I think with a career like that, voters will look at his years with Orix and will figure he could have done something similar here, and will forgive him not achieving the typical HoF requirements.

Matsui's a good contrast, because he hasn't had a HoF caliber season here even though he's been a pretty good player. If voters ignore the lack of dominance he's had here and look to his Japan numbers to put him into the HoF they open a can of worms and have to induct dozens of Japanese players that never played here.

#19 E5 Yaz


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 03:28 PM

Is Tuffy Rhodes a Hall of Famer?


no one said he was

#20 kazuneko

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 07:36 PM

Matsui's a good contrast, because he hasn't had a HoF caliber season here even though he's been a pretty good player. If voters ignore the lack of dominance he's had here and look to his Japan numbers to put him into the HoF they open a can of worms and have to induct dozens of Japanese players that never played here.

Agreed.
That said, that leaves open the question of how dominant he needs to be in America and for how long he has to maintain it, to make it into the HOF. If he could have one Manny Ramirez-like year (something he did plenty of times in Japan) would that make those dominant years in Japan seem more legit? How about if he did it twice?
Lets face it, if he put up those numbers for the next 5 years he still won't have standard HOF caliber credentials (based on his American numbers alone) but he would almost certainly be admitted to the HOF. This suggests that there is a different standard for Japanese players who were stars in Japan. Of course, what exactly are the paremeters of these standards is still an open question.

One other question. Since the HOF would have plenty of reasons to want as many Japanese as possible (with a population of 130 million, travel-loving citizens) to be admitted, how much does this obvious economic benefit affect this question?

Edited by kazuneko, 28 February 2007 - 07:37 PM.


#21 BigMike


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 08:13 PM

i agree with this. A comparison could be made to Warren Moon, whose NFL numbers land him between above average and nearly great but when added "subconscioiusly" to his CFL career make it obvious that he's a hall of famer.

The key for those with substantial Japenese league experience will be whether they make a significant impact in their MLB careers. ichiro has clearly done so and, should he play 4 more seasons and hit the 10-year mark in the majors, I'd say his "combined" careers make him a HoF lock.


Warren Moon's NFL resume is average to nearly great? He is in the top 5 in NFL history in Pass Attempts, Completions, Passing Yards, and TD passes. If you inducled 50% of his CFL numbers he would shatter every record in existence, but his NFL numbers alone made him an abolute HOF lock


Will it be a shame with Ichiro does not make the HOF, sure it will.


I think if Ichiro has at least 5 more seasons at anywhere close to his current level, then he becomes a virtual Hall of Fame lock, and basically based on his MLB numbers alone. Say he ends up with a 325 average, 2500 hits, 350 stolen bases. 8-10 gold gloves, 10 All Star games, and MVP award, etc

If he breaks down this year, and basically his career is done after 7-8 years, then he isn't a Hall of Famer.


That said, that leaves open the question of how dominant he needs to be in America and for how long he has to maintain it, to make it into the HOF. If he could have one Manny Ramirez-like year (something he did plenty of times in Japan) would that make those dominant years in Japan seem more legit? How about if he did it twice?
Lets face it, if he put up those numbers for the next 5 years he still won't have standard HOF caliber credentials (based on his American numbers alone) but he would almost certainly be admitted to the HOF. This suggests that there is a different standard for Japanese players who were stars in Japan. Of course, what exactly are the paremeters of these standards is still an open question.


Matsui isn't even debatable at the moment, unless the guys suddenly becomes a dramatically better player in his mid 30s. He has had one season where he has been one of the top 30-50 best players in baseball. And he will never have a year in the majors where he was one of the 6 best players on his team (at least until he leaves the Yankees)

Say he hangs on for 6 more years. Has some natural decline in his game. You end up with a mediocre at best (and really below mediocre), defensive OF who finishes with a 300 average and 200 HR (if he is lucky). OK, he had a few years where he dueled Roberto Petagine and Tuffy Rhodes to see who was the best hitter in Japan.

What's next? Do we have to consider El Duque's Cuban years???

#22 _Rerun

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 08:16 PM

It might seem far fetched but there's an outside shot, very outside, that he could finish with 3,000 hits. He's got 1354 through 6 seasons and hasn't really showed any sign of slowing down. I know that it'd be silly to think, or argue, that he'll be able to produce these type of numbers in his late 30's - but it's not entirely unrealistic. There are 9 players in MLB history that have gone on to accumulate an addition 1700 hits throughout their careers from the age of 32 on, and those that are most comperable (Molitor, Rose, Same Rice, and Luke Appling) are similar types of hitters/players. I'm not saying that Ichiro is a lock to do this, but there is a chance that Ichiro could go on to mimic these players and hit get another 1700 hits in his career.

He's had a good history as far as health is concerned, and his offense isn't based around power.

I'd say realistically Ichiro will end up somewhere around 2500 hits, and that would be enough to get him in you take his Japanese stats into consideration.

The Stats

#23 Dummy Hoy


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 08:29 PM

With Ichiro, I'm reminded of Bill James talking about Lefty Grove when he was with Baltimore. James said that he wasn't saying Grove would have been a great pitcher in 1924, he was a great pitcher then, he just didn't have a shot to prove it until he was 26.

If Suzuki meets the 10 year requirement, there is no doubt in my mind he should be in the Hall. He came into this league and was awesome. On top of that, doesn't he seem like he could be a superstar in every era of the game?

Edited by Dummy Hoy, 28 February 2007 - 08:31 PM.


#24 Tokyo Sox


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 08:34 PM

Actually, it's The National Baseball Hall of Fame. To be eligible, Candidates must meet the following requirements:

1. A baseball player must have been active as a player in the Major Leagues at some time during a period beginning twenty (20) years before and ending five (5) years prior to election.
2. A player must have played in each of ten (10) Major League championship seasons, some part of which must have been within the period described in statement (1).
3. A player shall have ceased to be an active player in the Major Leagues at least five (5) calendar years preceding the election but may be otherwise connected with baseball.
4. In case of the death of an active player or a player who has been retired for less than five (5) full years, a candidate who is otherwise eligible shall be eligible in the next regular election held at least six (6) months after the date of death or after the end of the five (5) year period, whichever occurs first.
5. Any player on Baseball's ineligible list shall not be an eligible candidate.

In all likelihood, we will be seeing Japanese players inducted in the relatively near future. That does not mean we will be seeing Sadaharu Oh's induction anytime soon.


Cool - thanks for that. I knew it was the National HOF, but couldn't find these criteria on their website last night. I guess # 2 is really the relevant one for this conversation. Since Ichiro will almost certainly play 10, I agree with some here that if there's no significant drop-off in production he should be a lock.

Does anyone know what the most recent MLE translations for NPB #'s are believed to be?

#25 BigMike


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 08:41 PM

I'd say realistically Ichiro will end up somewhere around 2500 hits, and that would be enough to get him in you take his Japanese stats into consideration.


The point is , I think he gets without even taking a look at his Japanese stats. Assume he plays 5-6 more years to get to 2500, and he keeps that career average up over 320 (which would be a big dropoff), then he is a no brainer, and no one even needs to think about his Japanese years. They are irrelevant

#26 Devizier


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Posted 28 February 2007 - 11:24 PM

Is Tuffy Rhodes a Hall of Famer?

You realize that Sadaharu Oh had almost 500 more career home runs than Rhodes?

#27 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 01 March 2007 - 03:15 AM

What's next? Do we have to consider El Duque's Cuban years???

Why let a cold war get in the way? Vladislav Tretiak is in the hockey hall of fame and he never played a single game in the NHL. I'd say this for the Japanese players - cultural and social barriers prevented them from playing in the major leagues every bit the same as the Negro Leaguers....

#28 Talon


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Posted 01 March 2007 - 09:01 AM

Why let a cold war get in the way? Vladislav Tretiak is in the hockey hall of fame and he never played a single game in the NHL. I'd say this for the Japanese players - cultural and social barriers prevented them from playing in the major leagues every bit the same as the Negro Leaguers....


True but it's not the National Hockey Hall of Fame. If it were every American player would be excluded. Or would every Canadian since NHL offices are in New York City....god damn it the NHL is screwed up.

#29 Fred not Lynn


  • Dick Button Jr.


  • 3,759 posts

Posted 01 March 2007 - 01:26 PM

True but it's not the National Hockey Hall of Fame. If it were every American player would be excluded. Or would every Canadian since NHL offices are in New York City....god damn it the NHL is screwed up.

I guess this means no Dominicans or Blue Jays in Cooperstown then...