December 21, 2014

The 2010 HOF Ballot – The Case for Roberto Alomar

December 18, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

Roberto Alomar appears on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this year. Given his career achievements, he has the credentials to be a first round pick for the Hall.

In seventeen big league seasons, Robbie had 2724 hits in 2379 games, a .300 batting average and an on-base-percentage of .371. He scored 1508 runs while knocking in 1134. But numbers like these do not always mean a lot to fans of the game. The real question when assessing a player’s career achievements is how did he stack up against the other great second basemen and, more broadly, against the other great players of his time?

This is precisely what the CAWS Career Gauge attempts to do. It demonstrates whether a player has obvious Hall of Fame numbers by comparing his career with that of the other great players at his position as well as the greatest players of the period. And Roberto Alomar clearly has Hall of Fame numbers.

In the modern era (since 1920), only ninety-six (96) position players have accumulated HOF numbers on the playing field during the regular season. Of these, only twelve were second basemen. Here are those players. The first number is career win shares, the second is core value (the win shares for the ten best seasons) and the third is the CAWS score. Bold print means they are in the Hall of Fame.

The Second Basemen with Obvious HOF Numbers

Player Years CWS CV CAWS
1. Rogers Hornsby
1915-1937 502
381
411
2. Joe Morgan 1963-1984 512 341 384
3. Craig Biggio 1988-2007 428 294 328
4. Charlie Gehringer
1924-1942 383 280 306
5. Roberto Alomar 1988-2004 375 278 302
6. Ryne Sandberg
1954-1975 346 278 295
7. Rod Carew
1967-1985 384 257 289
8. Frankie Frisch
1919-1937 366 256 284
9. Jeff Kent 1992-2008 331 252 272
10. Bobby Grich 1970-1986 329 253 272
11. Lou Whitaker 1977-1995 351 232 262
12. Jackie Robinson
1947-1956 257 257 257

As you can see, Robbie Alomar had the fifth best career enjoyed by a second baseman in the modern era. That statement alone should establish his place in the Hall of Fame. It could be argued that the top ten players at each position probably deserve induction into the shrine at Cooperstown.

You may be surprised by Craig Biggio’s place among these players. I know I was. And note that three of these second basemen have played during the 21st century. A ”rule of thumb” regarding the CAWS Gauge is that any position player with a core value of 250 or greater deserves a very serious look for the Hall of Fame.

An obvious question that arises here is: Why are Bobby Grich and Lou Whitaker not in the Hall of Fame?

Here are a few second basemen who are in the Hall of Fame but whose careers rank below those of the players above.

Player CWS CV CAWS
Nellie Fox
304 242 258
Billy Herman 298 243 257
Bobby Doerr
281 223 238
Johnny Evers
268 226 237
Joe Gordon 242 233 235
Tony Lazzeri 252 215 224
Red Schoendienst 262 204 219
Bill Mazeroski
219 173 185

Note that none of these players has a CV of 250 or better.

Finally, in judging whether Roberto Alomar is truly worthy of induction into the Hall, let’s take a look at where he ranks overall among the best position players of the modern era.

I mentioned above that according to the CAWS Gauge, there are only ninety-six (96) position players who have accumulated obvious HOF numbers since 1920. From that list, here are those players who are just above and just below Roberto Alomar.

Player POS. CWS CV CAWS
43. Harmon Killebrew 1B 374 279 303
44. Billy Williams LF 374 279 303
45. Roberto Alomar 2B 375 278 302
46. Luke Appling SS 378 275 301
47. Yogi Berra C 375 276 301
48. Al Simmons LF 375 276 301
49. Mark McGwire 1B 342 283 298
50. Dave Winfield RF 415 259 298
51. Johnny Bench C 356 277 297
52. Roberto Clemente RF 377 269 296
53. Ryne Sandberg 2B 346 278 295
54. Tony Gwynn RF 398 269 294

You can see that among these 96 outstanding players, Robbie is #45. That’s right – he is among the top half of this list of the best position players from the last ninety years. So, we are not talking here about someone who has marginal numbers. We are talking about a true super star and obvious Hall of Fame player.

If anyone would like to receive a free e-copy of Michael Hoban’s 100-page monograph: A HOF HANDBOOK: Who Belongs and Who Does Not, on the right sidebar click on Hoban’s HALL OF FAME HANDBOOK.

Comments

2 Responses to “The 2010 HOF Ballot – The Case for Roberto Alomar”
  1. Devon Young says:

    Agreed. Now, where does Larkin fit in? His numbers on the surface look a lot like Alomar’s

  2. Mike Hoban says:

    Devon,

    In a couple of days, I will do a similar piece on Barry Larkin. One comment here. His numbers are not quite as good as Alomar. Robbie is the #45 position player of the era while Larkin is #84. He also has obvious HOF numbers.

    Mike

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