Would he have made the Hall?

mjm3773

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In the same vein as Tony C., Dickie Thon. I have him as the best player in the NL in 1983, and 5 games into the 1984 season gets beaned in the head by Mike Torrez. He ends up playing another 9 seasons after that, but he was never the same player.
 

charlieoscar

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That, and the corked bat incident.
Well, Belle used corked bats but the incident involved one of his teammates breaking into the room to steal it after the umpires impounded it. However, there was an earlier incident when Belle picked up a foul ball and threw it at a fan who was heckling him, hitting him in the chest from about 15 feet away. The fan told the umpiring crew hew was kidding Belle about a keg party and Belle had spent 10 week in alcohol rehab the previous summer. He was suspended for seven days with his lost salary going to the charity of his choice. "Belle was suspended from the LSU team for charging a fan who had insulted him. He has been benched, suspended or both at every minor league level and ejected from the Puerto Rican League."
 

Saints Rest

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That's a great point. I wish I'd thought of that. The problem is that guys who put it all together like Evans are the rarity of the streaky guys. I'm not sure why but I don't have any hope of JBJ putting it all together. I think I can't get it out of my head how bad he flails at bad pitches sometimes.
Wasn't the key change in Dewey's career pegged to the change in his approach by Walt Hriniak???
 

maufman

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Sounds like this thread would also like be a home for Bo Jackson.... both the stats and just watching the guy play suggested he would have had a monster career - put up better numbers year after year, until the fateful hip injury. Damn you football for stealing Bo's HOF baseball career....
Late to the party on this one, but you should be cursing baseball for stealing Bo’s football HOF career.

It seemed like Bo’s greatest regret in baseball was that there was nothing to swing at before the first pitch. He was a transcendent football player, though, and if he hadn’t signed with the Royals, he probably would’ve had a HOF resume by the time his hip went.
 

Marciano490

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Late to the party on this one, but you should be cursing baseball for stealing Bo’s football HOF career.

It seemed like Bo’s greatest regret in baseball was that there was nothing to swing at before the first pitch. He was a transcendent football player, though, and if he hadn’t signed with the Royals, he probably would’ve had a HOF resume by the time his hip went.
Really? One time All Star. Best years were his age 26 and 27 seasons when his OPS was .805 and .866 respectively with 26/9 and 15/9 SB:CS ratios. That's HOF-worthy?
 

Marciano490

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Pretty sure he means Bo would've been a likely football HoFer had he eschewed baseball.
Ah, I see. He was a helluva running back, but durability counts, and who knows if he would've had that YPC average playing full seasons or just gotten injured earlier. One of the ultimate sports what ifs.
 

maufman

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Ah, I see. He was a helluva running back, but durability counts, and who knows if he would've had that YPC average playing full seasons or just gotten injured earlier. One of the ultimate sports what ifs.
Yeah, but football HOF voters recognize that it’s a brutal sport, and that careers are often short. Also, iirc Bo’s injury was the result of an acute trauma, as opposed to being the cumulative result of lots of hits. Obviously, we can never know what would’ve happened if he stuck to football, but I think the most reasonable assumption is that he would’ve been OK until the hit that ended his career.

That said, I didn’t realize that even if that had been the case, Bo would only have played 5 seasons — I thought it would have been a season or two longer than that. Gale Sayers made the HOF with a career of similar length, but I can’t think of a more recent parallel.
 

garlan5

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Yeah, but football HOF voters recognize that it’s a brutal sport, and that careers are often short. Also, iirc Bo’s injury was the result of an acute trauma, as opposed to being the cumulative result of lots of hits. Obviously, we can never know what would’ve happened if he stuck to football, but I think the most reasonable assumption is that he would’ve been OK until the hit that ended his career.

That said, I didn’t realize that even if that had been the case, Bo would only have played 5 seasons — I thought it would have been a season or two longer than that. Gale Sayers made the HOF with a career of similar length, but I can’t think of a more recent parallel.
Didn't Terrell Davis have a short career but made hof. I'll look up his stats and years

Edit: Didn't realize bo's yards were so low. TD had >7k yards on 6 seasons. Bo was 4 seasons with and 2700 yards and zero 1k year totals

Edit 2: Sayers had 5yds/ game average, Bo 5.4/ game, sand TD 4.6 yards/ game.
 
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maufman

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Didn't Terrell Davis have a short career but made hof. I'll look up his stats and years
Good catch. 78 games over 7 seasons — but only 17 GP over his last 3 seasons, so basically a 4-year career, with 1500+ rushing yards in 3 of those 4 seasons. But Davis had 2 rings, which Bo presumably wouldn’t have had.

Similarly, Earl Campbell had only 1,100 rushing yards after his 6th season — but led the league in 3 of those first 6 seasons and also logged in 1300+ rushing yards in the 2 other non-strike-shortened seasons during that span. And EC never played in a Super Bowl, making him a better comp for our hypothetical Bo Jackson football-only career.
 

garlan5

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Didn't Terrell Davis have a short career but made hof. I'll look up his stats and years

Edit: Didn't realize bo's yards were so low. TD had >7k yards on 6 seasons. Bo was 4 seasons with and 2700 yards and zero 1k year totals

Edit 2: Sayers had 5yds/ game average, Bo 5.4/ game, sand TD 4.6 yards/ game.
Bumping to show my edit on yards per game. Bo and Sayers had higher yrds per game that Davis. For what it's worth. Not arguing for or against anything, just noticing the stats
Edit.. yards per carry..duh
 
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8slim

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That's a great point. I wish I'd thought of that. The problem is that guys who put it all together like Evans are the rarity of the streaky guys. I'm not sure why but I don't have any hope of JBJ putting it all together. I think I can't get it out of my head how bad he flails at bad pitches sometimes.
I spent a lot of time last summer pouring over Baseball Reference and comparing the similarities between Dewey’s early years and JBJ. Not sure the switch is ever going to get flipped for Jackie the way it did for Dewey though.
 

charlieoscar

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Wasn't the key change in Dewey's career pegged to the change in his approach by Walt Hriniak???
I'd forgotten about Hriniak and Evans.

The Red Sox did not have a formal batting coach until Johnny Pesky was appointed in 1980. At that time, Hriniak was their bullpen coach and pitched a lot of batting practice until he hurt his arm; however, a number of players began talking to him about hitting and he was named batting coach when Pesky retired after the 1984 season...Yaz, Boggs, Gedman and Evans were among his followers. [paraphrasing Wiki]
 

Rough Carrigan

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I spent a lot of time last summer pouring over Baseball Reference and comparing the similarities between Dewey’s early years and JBJ. Not sure the switch is ever going to get flipped for Jackie the way it did for Dewey though.
Yeah, I doubt it. Evans was like Cal Ripken Jr. in compulsively changing his stance. I don't think that's JBJ's issue. He just swings at a lot of shitty pitches.
 

lexrageorge

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Don Mattingly is the first one I thought of after reading the OP. He and Wade Boggs were the one and two guys in the AL for a few years in the 80's until Mattingly's back gave way. If he had been able to sustain his career into the 90's, I would have thought him to be a shoo-in.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/mattido01.shtml
Ron Guidry was another former Yankee that I thought was a sure bet at one point. While he never reclaimed that 1978 peak, he was arguably a top of the rotation starter for 5 of the next 7 seasons. But then he was essentially finished at age 35, which was a problem given that he was a relatively late bloomer (age 27 in 1978).