Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Player Won-Lost Records and the Hall of Fame
The table below presents career Player won-lost records for players who have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame who played at least part of their career during the Retrosheet Era (1947 - 2013). The players are sorted here by pWORL.

Hall of Fame Players
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Willie Mays
2,992
460.4328.352.9
87.0
436.7323.244.176.9
Mickey Mantle
2,400
366.9232.755.9
81.8
354.4233.749.374.7
Hank Aaron
3,298
493.0368.943.0
80.9
475.9360.339.376.0
Joe L. Morgan
2,648
367.2281.949.9
77.3
360.5284.045.572.7
Greg Maddux
759
339.8280.645.9
75.3
332.2270.746.675.2
Warren Spahn
735
352.0290.543.6
72.9
337.3284.538.967.3
Tom Seaver
677
315.3261.438.9
64.5
303.4267.529.755.1
Frank Robinson
2,807
400.5303.832.1
63.8
389.5291.633.263.7
Reggie Jackson
2,820
376.2292.131.9
62.3
356.4284.026.455.5
Mike Schmidt
2,403
339.2249.937.6
61.4
334.2241.339.662.8
Steve Carlton
745
345.2310.132.1
60.8
328.8318.119.748.1
Rickey Henderson
3,080
428.2355.928.1
59.7
423.1350.228.559.7
Eddie Mathews
2,389
313.8232.934.7
58.2
303.9232.730.053.1
Bob Gibson
597
271.6222.635.7
58.0
258.6225.127.749.6
Tom Glavine
709
288.8257.429.9
56.0
288.8267.725.051.6
Cal Ripken
3,001
373.7345.626.8
55.1
366.6339.726.053.8
Gaylord Perry
787
327.8295.225.5
54.9
327.6287.029.458.3
Jim Palmer
573
244.9187.433.7
54.3
236.2202.521.942.8
Al Kaline
2,833
379.8303.024.2
54.3
377.3302.523.353.3
Carl Yastrzemski
3,308
426.5359.118.5
53.5
447.5363.426.362.4
Don Sutton
785
326.1299.325.0
53.3
321.5300.422.150.2
Robin Roberts
683
306.6276.226.2
53.1
306.7283.023.050.3
Nolan Ryan
807
358.4337.120.5
52.9
328.1318.314.044.2
Yogi Berra
2,075
243.8178.034.4
52.8
216.1181.218.836.2
Juan Marichal
475
237.8192.032.6
52.0
227.8200.223.442.7
Harmon Killebrew
2,435
310.9231.227.2
51.4
301.7222.227.550.8
Bert Blyleven
699
297.8263.523.5
50.2
301.4271.321.548.8
Whitey Ford
500
217.0169.031.9
49.8
208.0184.419.838.0
Willie McCovey
2,584
304.8220.226.8
49.6
278.6206.521.742.8
Fergie Jenkins
665
288.4257.823.9
49.1
275.3268.112.137.2
Phil Niekro
866
339.1326.818.7
49.0
331.0343.36.737.3
Stan Musial
2,288
303.6232.225.0
48.2
300.2229.125.047.9
George Brett
2,706
326.1273.322.4
48.0
324.1277.219.545.2
Duke Snider
2,138
272.2202.426.6
47.4
280.1213.025.046.6
Frank E. Thomas
2,322
253.6190.123.6
46.7
248.1184.823.746.3
Eddie Murray
3,026
348.8285.419.4
46.7
320.0274.411.336.9
Barry Larkin
2,180
282.6241.225.9
46.5
272.3238.422.142.2
Paul Molitor
2,683
312.7270.818.5
46.3
305.3272.614.041.5
Johnny Bench
2,158
249.6195.626.9
45.7
237.4190.523.541.6
Robin Yount
2,856
361.0345.516.9
45.4
357.0338.118.646.6
Dave Winfield
2,971
393.3343.214.4
45.4
375.8333.311.140.9
Ted Williams
1,497
235.9161.727.4
44.7
239.6156.831.749.0
Ozzie Smith
2,573
324.4304.019.6
44.3
318.8311.713.037.8
Willie Stargell
2,356
298.9230.921.2
44.0
288.6220.521.843.7
Early Wynn
636
254.6231.721.1
43.2
242.1227.516.537.9
Roberto Alomar
2,377
300.8267.920.7
43.2
289.9266.116.138.1
Pee Wee Reese
1,627
208.7161.826.9
42.9
209.9180.718.235.2
Dennis Eckersley
1,073
218.9176.522.0
42.5
185.2170.69.027.0
Bob Lemon
549
197.8160.025.8
42.5
186.3163.218.234.6
Carlton Fisk
2,498
252.6219.122.6
42.2
248.4212.123.842.9
Jackie Robinson
1,382
188.2131.926.5
40.4
186.8141.421.035.3
Jim Bunning
600
242.2222.818.8
40.2
240.7234.412.534.3
Billy Williams
2,485
333.5282.011.7
39.1
342.2279.417.344.9
Larry Doby
1,530
221.8166.021.7
38.5
206.2166.114.130.3
Tony Perez
2,773
305.2254.013.7
37.9
292.6249.710.033.5
Wade Boggs
2,439
282.3248.616.5
37.7
291.5253.218.940.5
Roberto Clemente
2,433
342.4294.69.8
37.3
333.1290.17.734.6
Brooks Robinson
2,895
340.1311.79.2
37.1
314.2302.71.027.4
Luis Aparicio
2,601
314.3317.19.6
36.8
313.7326.24.932.5
Ron Santo
2,243
287.0251.513.2
36.5
290.6236.722.445.3
Don Drysdale
547
226.5213.116.2
36.2
230.9219.615.436.0
Ernie Banks
2,525
302.3272.011.3
36.1
300.6256.318.542.5
Jim Rice
2,089
281.3245.212.5
35.8
277.0243.811.134.2
Ryne Sandberg
2,164
274.1245.415.1
35.3
283.7245.220.040.5
Rod Carew
2,468
284.2259.112.1
35.2
290.9260.914.537.9
Andre Dawson
2,627
350.9317.57.3
34.4
342.4306.28.935.3
Gary Carter
2,293
243.3214.315.5
33.9
237.6205.217.235.0
Sandy Koufax
397
161.5132.320.0
33.9
150.4145.18.022.0
Catfish Hunter
515
212.3195.714.5
33.4
209.7205.58.527.7
Nellie Fox
2,364
276.9270.89.9
33.4
265.3282.6-1.821.7
Joe Torre
2,209
242.7210.811.5
31.1
235.0202.012.231.1
Orlando Cepeda
2,124
250.0206.49.7
30.3
239.1200.47.727.6
Roy Campanella
1,215
127.093.518.4
28.0
127.8101.914.624.6
Tony Gwynn Sr.
2,440
319.3289.53.8
27.7
316.1284.25.128.6
Hoyt Wilhelm
1,070
142.1119.310.6
27.1
112.4101.94.718.1
Rich Gossage
1,003
131.4103.011.4
25.9
87.780.71.611.9
Rollie Fingers
945
122.899.39.8
23.7
84.772.84.714.5
Kirby Puckett
1,783
234.5219.75.1
23.0
232.1214.86.424.0
Bill Mazeroski
2,163
227.8237.02.3
22.3
223.5239.2-1.019.0
Red Schoendienst
1,821
194.2192.84.4
21.4
194.2195.53.220.2
Bruce Sutter
661
90.865.010.9
20.9
52.148.50.57.0
Lou Brock
2,614
339.2326.2-7.8
20.6
343.4322.2-3.824.7
Ralph Kiner
1,240
177.0153.94.3
18.7
183.0142.013.327.5
Joe DiMaggio
570
91.863.911.9
18.6
83.665.76.913.4
Enos Slaughter
1,441
161.6141.95.0
18.6
155.4138.93.616.8
Phil Rizzuto
1,207
135.4124.67.3
18.6
135.0134.82.113.8
Bob Feller
308
121.7115.17.0
18.3
120.2115.46.117.4
Richie Ashburn
2,157
274.3272.2-7.7
15.9
281.2271.1-3.820.1
Bobby Doerr
623
85.669.39.1
15.9
82.671.76.413.1
Joe Gordon
566
77.060.99.0
15.1
72.961.76.512.5
George Kell
1,286
150.4141.90.8
13.6
147.3134.63.015.3
Monte Irvin
764
95.479.34.6
12.2
90.676.63.711.0
Hal Newhouser
197
74.468.65.2
12.0
73.265.26.312.7
Lou Boudreau
603
77.167.55.1
11.4
76.066.74.911.2
Johnny Mize
696
66.852.05.7
11.1
63.349.15.510.6
Luke Appling
368
44.142.50.7
4.6
47.142.22.46.3
Satchel Paige
179
29.829.30.5
4.1
23.422.60.63.3
Arky Vaughan
129
10.48.01.0
1.9
9.98.10.71.6
Hank Greenberg
103
12.19.50.6
1.6
12.49.11.02.0
Joe Medwick
57
3.32.90.1
0.5
3.02.70.20.5
Ernie Lombardi
34
1.81.90.0
0.2
1.71.9-0.10.1
Dizzy Dean
0
0.00.00.0
0.0
0.00.00.00.0
Willard Brown
9
0.70.9-0.1
-0.0
0.71.0-0.2-0.1
Mel Ott
3
0.00.1-0.1
-0.0
0.00.1-0.0-0.0
Billy Herman
11
0.71.1-0.2
-0.1
0.70.9-0.1-0.0
Rick Ferrell
27
1.72.3-0.3
-0.1
1.71.80.00.2
Red Ruffing
7
2.13.6-0.7
-0.4
2.02.4-0.10.1
Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Average*
1,869.3
287.5243.920.8
44.2
279.0242.017.740.5

*Average only includes players for whom their entire career is covered by Retrosheet play-by-play data.

Most of the players at the bottom of this list played the bulk of their careers before Retrosheet has play-by-play data (starting in 1947). The average figures shown above only include players whose major-league career began in 1947 or later.

Excluding players for whom I only have partial Player won-lost records and Monte Irvin and Satchel Paige, whose careers in the white major leagues didn't begin until fairly late (ages 30 and 42, respectively), and who made the Hall of Fame in large part because of their earlier Negro League careers, the Hall of Famer with the lowest career pWORL is Bruce Sutter. Player won-lost records are generally not kind to relief pitchers relative to other positions and the four relief pitchers here - Hoyt Wilhelm, Goose Gossage, Rollie Fingers, and Bruce Sutter - are among the top 10 relief pitchers in pWORL of the Retrosheet Era.

Setting aside relief pitchers, the lowest career pWORL for any Hall-of-Famer whose career started in 1947 or later was Richie Ashburn, although Retrosheet is missing several Phillies games from early in Ashburn's career, which amount to approximately 1.5% of Ashburn's career games. Excluding relief pitchers, the Hall-of-Fame player for whom Retrosheet has play-by-play data for every game of his career with the lowest career pWORL is Kirby Puckett with 23.0.

Looking only at Hall of Famers for whom Retrosheet play-by-play data covers their entire career, the average Hall of Famer has an average Player won-lost record of 287.5 - 243.9, with 20.8 pWOPA (pWins over Positional Average), and 44.2 pWORL (pWins over Replacement Level). Looking at the above table, the closest player to the average Hall-of-Famer was probably Willie Stargell.

Of course, Hall of Famers are not elected based on Player won-lost records, and even if they were, one would certainly want to consider more than simply career pWORL. For example, in the above table, ranking Hall of Famers by career pWORL, Sandy Koufax ends up just above Jim Rice.

Sandy Koufax is sometimes put into the conversation for the greatest pitcher ever. Jim Rice is sometimes sometimes put into the conversation for the biggest mistake in the Hall of Fame.

Of course, Sandy Koufax is not in the Hall of Fame because of his career counting statistics. He's in the Hall of Fame because of an incredible four-year peak from 1963 - 1966. And Sandy Koufax's Player won-lost record reflects this. His pWORLs in 1963 and 1965 both led the major leagues and, in fact, rank among the 6 highest single-season pWORLs since 1947. His 1966 pWORL, while only second in the major leagues that season (behind Juan Marichal) is also among the top 50 seasons since 1947 (as measured by pWORL). Sandy Koufax also has one of the best World Series records in major-league history. Even considering only the regular season, however, the short but brilliant nature of Koufax's career is apparent in the above table of Hall of Famers, in his pWins over Positional Average (pWOPA) of 20.0 which is above the average value for all Hall of Famers of 20.8.

In contrast, Jim Rice has just one season that is among the top 50 since 1947 in pWORL and Rice's pWORL that season (6.3) is lower than any of Koufax's top 3 seasons. Beyond that season, Rice was mostly a good, but not really great, player who stuck around long enough to accumulate a respectable career level of pWORL. In contrast to Koufax, Jim Rice's career pWOPA, 12.5, is well below average for a Hall of Famer.

Hall of Merit

At Baseball Think Factory, they have created an alternative to the Hall of Fame, called the Hall of Merit. The idea behind the Hall of Merit was to enshrine the same number of players as are enshrined in the Hall of Fame, but to attempt to do so more systematically, eliminating the mistakes (of both omission and commission) in the Hall of Fame.

The inductees of the Hall of Merit are listed in the Hall of Merit's Plaque Room.

The table below presents career Player won-lost records for players who have been elected to the Hall of Merit who played at least part of their career during the Retrosheet Era (1947 - 2013). As in the table of Hall-of-Famers above, the players are sorted here by pWORL.



Hall of Merit Players
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Barry Bonds
2,985
462.8317.659.2
90.0
452.8309.658.588.6
Willie Mays
2,992
460.4328.352.9
87.0
436.7323.244.176.9
Mickey Mantle
2,400
366.9232.755.9
81.8
354.4233.749.374.7
Hank Aaron
3,298
493.0368.943.0
80.9
475.9360.339.376.0
Roger Clemens
709
325.7234.651.7
80.5
318.4234.648.076.5
Joe L. Morgan
2,648
367.2281.949.9
77.3
360.5284.045.572.7
Greg Maddux
759
339.8280.645.9
75.3
332.2270.746.675.2
Warren Spahn
735
352.0290.543.6
72.9
337.3284.538.967.3
Tom Seaver
677
315.3261.438.9
64.5
303.4267.529.755.1
Frank Robinson
2,807
400.5303.832.1
63.8
389.5291.633.263.7
Reggie Jackson
2,820
376.2292.131.9
62.3
356.4284.026.455.5
Mike Schmidt
2,403
339.2249.937.6
61.4
334.2241.339.662.8
Steve Carlton
745
345.2310.132.1
60.8
328.8318.119.748.1
Rickey Henderson
3,080
428.2355.928.1
59.7
423.1350.228.559.7
Eddie Mathews
2,389
313.8232.934.7
58.2
303.9232.730.053.1
Bob Gibson
597
271.6222.635.7
58.0
258.6225.127.749.6
Tom Glavine
709
288.8257.429.9
56.0
288.8267.725.051.6
Cal Ripken
3,001
373.7345.626.8
55.1
366.6339.726.053.8
Gaylord Perry
787
327.8295.225.5
54.9
327.6287.029.458.3
Jim Palmer
573
244.9187.433.7
54.3
236.2202.521.942.8
Al Kaline
2,833
379.8303.024.2
54.3
377.3302.523.353.3
Carl Yastrzemski
3,308
426.5359.118.5
53.5
447.5363.426.362.4
Don Sutton
785
326.1299.325.0
53.3
321.5300.422.150.2
Robin Roberts
683
306.6276.226.2
53.1
306.7283.023.050.3
Nolan Ryan
807
358.4337.120.5
52.9
328.1318.314.044.2
Yogi Berra
2,075
243.8178.034.4
52.8
216.1181.218.836.2
Juan Marichal
475
237.8192.032.6
52.0
227.8200.223.442.7
Harmon Killebrew
2,435
310.9231.227.2
51.4
301.7222.227.550.8
Bert Blyleven
699
297.8263.523.5
50.2
301.4271.321.548.8
Whitey Ford
500
217.0169.031.9
49.8
208.0184.419.838.0
Willie McCovey
2,584
304.8220.226.8
49.6
278.6206.521.742.8
Lou Whitaker
2,387
292.8250.927.8
49.3
283.4252.722.143.4
Fergie Jenkins
665
288.4257.823.9
49.1
275.3268.112.137.2
Phil Niekro
866
339.1326.818.7
49.0
331.0343.36.737.3
Stan Musial
2,288
303.6232.225.0
48.2
300.2229.125.047.9
George Brett
2,706
326.1273.322.4
48.0
324.1277.219.545.2
Duke Snider
2,138
272.2202.426.6
47.4
280.1213.025.046.6
Frank E. Thomas
2,322
253.6190.123.6
46.7
248.1184.823.746.3
Eddie Murray
3,026
348.8285.419.4
46.7
320.0274.411.336.9
Barry Larkin
2,180
282.6241.225.9
46.5
272.3238.422.142.2
Paul Molitor
2,683
312.7270.818.5
46.3
305.3272.614.041.5
J. Kevin Brown
490
211.8171.826.4
45.8
212.9165.130.249.3
Dwight Evans
2,602
329.9275.120.5
45.7
334.7277.321.747.2
Johnny Bench
2,158
249.6195.626.9
45.7
237.4190.523.541.6
Robin Yount
2,856
361.0345.516.9
45.4
357.0338.118.646.6
Dave Winfield
2,971
393.3343.214.4
45.4
375.8333.311.140.9
Ted Williams
1,497
235.9161.727.4
44.7
239.6156.831.749.0
Alan Trammell
2,292
274.4252.023.3
44.3
273.3254.921.442.5
Ozzie Smith
2,573
324.4304.019.6
44.3
318.8311.713.037.8
Willie Stargell
2,356
298.9230.921.2
44.0
288.6220.521.843.7
Bobby Grich
2,006
248.9213.224.9
43.8
249.3210.726.245.1
Craig Biggio
2,850
346.0312.217.7
43.5
340.6312.115.140.7
Early Wynn
636
254.6231.721.1
43.2
242.1227.516.537.9
Roberto Alomar
2,377
300.8267.920.7
43.2
289.9266.116.138.1
Pee Wee Reese
1,627
208.7161.826.9
42.9
209.9180.718.235.2
Dennis Eckersley
1,073
218.9176.522.0
42.5
185.2170.69.027.0
Bob Lemon
549
197.8160.025.8
42.5
186.3163.218.234.6
Pete Rose Sr.
3,562
427.6389.58.0
42.3
440.4407.45.040.6
Billy Pierce
604
222.3191.223.2
42.3
208.1192.815.133.6
Carlton Fisk
2,498
252.6219.122.6
42.2
248.4212.123.842.9
Darrell Evans
2,683
303.6252.018.1
41.7
303.0249.918.942.3
Graig Nettles
2,691
305.4263.917.4
41.1
294.5260.313.736.9
Jeff Bagwell
2,150
273.6200.522.0
41.0
266.3198.719.538.1
Jackie Robinson
1,382
188.2131.926.5
40.4
186.8141.421.035.3
Jim Bunning
600
242.2222.818.8
40.2
240.7234.412.534.3
Edgar Martinez
2,055
210.5167.318.0
39.2
208.6164.318.739.5
Billy Williams
2,485
333.5282.011.7
39.1
342.2279.417.344.9
Dick Allen
1,748
237.8177.421.1
38.9
230.9173.919.737.1
Mike Piazza
1,911
213.6174.022.7
38.7
199.5164.220.335.4
Larry Doby
1,530
221.8166.021.7
38.5
206.2166.114.130.3
David Cone
451
188.7158.020.7
38.0
186.0166.115.332.9
Wade Boggs
2,439
282.3248.616.5
37.7
291.5253.218.940.5
Roberto Clemente
2,433
342.4294.69.8
37.3
333.1290.17.734.6
Mark McGwire
1,874
218.7155.822.5
37.3
212.6152.321.435.7
Brooks Robinson
2,895
340.1311.79.2
37.1
314.2302.71.027.4
Willie Randolph
2,202
263.4242.816.8
36.9
257.5248.711.031.0
Minnie Minoso
1,835
263.6211.616.0
36.5
247.8212.28.228.0
Ron Santo
2,243
287.0251.513.2
36.5
290.6236.722.445.3
Reggie Smith
1,986
265.3216.915.6
36.2
269.4216.717.738.5
Don Drysdale
547
226.5213.116.2
36.2
230.9219.615.436.0
Ernie Banks
2,525
302.3272.011.3
36.1
300.6256.318.542.5
Larry Walker
1,984
268.5217.816.3
35.7
275.5213.721.841.4
Ryne Sandberg
2,164
274.1245.415.1
35.3
283.7245.220.040.5
Rod Carew
2,468
284.2259.112.1
35.2
290.9260.914.537.9
Rick Reuschel
579
226.6214.815.7
35.2
223.3223.110.029.6
Bret Saberhagen
403
159.6124.320.8
35.0
161.3125.521.235.5
Tim Raines Sr.
2,500
314.2276.510.8
34.6
316.4273.013.737.4
Jimmy Wynn
1,920
270.1228.213.1
34.6
268.8218.917.238.3
Andre Dawson
2,627
350.9317.57.3
34.4
342.4306.28.935.3
Gary Carter
2,293
243.3214.315.5
33.9
237.6205.217.235.0
Sandy Koufax
397
161.5132.320.0
33.9
150.4145.18.022.0
Rafael Palmeiro
2,829
305.9264.49.4
33.7
307.6258.313.437.5
Nellie Fox
2,364
276.9270.89.9
33.4
265.3282.6-1.821.7
Will Clark
1,976
230.4176.316.1
32.1
221.9176.512.027.6
Joe Torre
2,209
242.7210.811.5
31.1
235.0202.012.231.1
Dave Stieb
454
175.2151.914.3
30.3
171.5150.313.128.9
Ted Simmons
2,456
250.1231.79.0
30.2
236.5220.08.028.1
Ken Boyer
2,034
247.1221.78.6
28.8
242.0211.811.230.7
Roy Campanella
1,215
127.093.518.4
28.0
127.8101.914.624.6
Tony Gwynn Sr.
2,440
319.3289.53.8
27.7
316.1284.25.128.6
Hoyt Wilhelm
1,070
142.1119.310.6
27.1
112.4101.94.718.1
Keith Hernandez
2,088
228.2185.710.4
27.0
227.4189.08.325.1
Rich Gossage
1,003
131.4103.011.4
25.9
87.780.71.611.9
Rollie Fingers
945
122.899.39.8
23.7
84.772.84.714.5
Bill Freehan
1,770
167.7153.99.0
22.8
172.7152.712.126.1
Ralph Kiner
1,240
177.0153.94.3
18.7
183.0142.013.327.5
Joe DiMaggio
570
91.863.911.9
18.6
83.665.76.913.4
Enos Slaughter
1,441
161.6141.95.0
18.6
155.4138.93.616.8
Bob Feller
308
121.7115.17.0
18.3
120.2115.46.117.4
Richie Ashburn
2,157
274.3272.2-7.7
15.9
281.2271.1-3.820.1
Bobby Doerr
623
85.669.39.1
15.9
82.671.76.413.1
Joe Gordon
566
77.060.99.0
15.1
72.961.76.512.5
Monte Irvin
764
95.479.34.6
12.2
90.676.63.711.0
Hal Newhouser
197
74.468.65.2
12.0
73.265.26.312.7
Lou Boudreau
603
77.167.55.1
11.4
76.066.74.911.2
Johnny Mize
696
66.852.05.7
11.1
63.349.15.510.6
Luke Appling
368
44.142.50.7
4.6
47.142.22.46.3
Charlie Keller
274
25.019.32.1
4.3
23.117.22.34.2
Satchel Paige
179
29.829.30.5
4.1
23.422.60.63.3
Arky Vaughan
129
10.48.01.0
1.9
9.98.10.71.6
Hank Greenberg
103
12.19.50.6
1.6
12.49.11.02.0
Joe Medwick
57
3.32.90.1
0.5
3.02.70.20.5
Stan Hack
55
5.15.7-0.3
0.2
5.45.40.00.5
Willard Brown
9
0.70.9-0.1
-0.0
0.71.0-0.2-0.1
Mel Ott
3
0.00.1-0.1
-0.0
0.00.1-0.0-0.0
Billy Herman
11
0.71.1-0.2
-0.1
0.70.9-0.1-0.0
Quincy Trouppe
6
0.10.3-0.1
-0.1
0.10.3-0.1-0.1
Red Ruffing
7
2.13.6-0.7
-0.4
2.02.4-0.10.1
Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Average*
1,890.8
283.9238.021.6
44.4
277.1236.319.141.5

*Average only includes players for whom their entire career is covered by Retrosheet play-by-play data. The six games shown here represents the entirety of Quincy Trouppe's career in the white major leagues. He was elected to the Hall of Merit, however, on the strength of his Negro and Mexican league records in the 1930s and 1940s. Trouppe's statistics are not included in the average shown above.

Somewhat surprisingly to me, the average Hall-of-Meriter ends up looking very similar to the average Hall-of-Famer. Of course, a large reason for this is because most of the players on these two lists are the same players. The next section focuses on those players who are in one of the two Halls but not the other.

Hall of Fame vs. Hall of Merit

The next two tables show players in the Hall of Fame, but not the Hall of Merit, and players in the Hall of Merit, but not the Hall of Fame.

Players in the Hall of Fame, but not the Hall of Merit
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Tony Perez
2,773
305.2254.013.7
37.9
292.6249.710.033.5
Luis Aparicio
2,601
314.3317.19.6
36.8
313.7326.24.932.5
Jim Rice
2,089
281.3245.212.5
35.8
277.0243.811.134.2
Catfish Hunter
515
212.3195.714.5
33.4
209.7205.58.527.7
Orlando Cepeda
2,124
250.0206.49.7
30.3
239.1200.47.727.6
Kirby Puckett
1,783
234.5219.75.1
23.0
232.1214.86.424.0
Bill Mazeroski
2,163
227.8237.02.3
22.3
223.5239.2-1.019.0
Red Schoendienst
1,821
194.2192.84.4
21.4
194.2195.53.220.2
Bruce Sutter
661
90.865.010.9
20.9
52.148.50.57.0
Lou Brock
2,614
339.2326.2-7.8
20.6
343.4322.2-3.824.7
Phil Rizzuto
1,207
135.4124.67.3
18.6
135.0134.82.113.8
George Kell
1,286
150.4141.90.8
13.6
147.3134.63.015.3
Ernie Lombardi
34
1.81.90.0
0.2
1.71.9-0.10.1
Dizzy Dean
0
0.00.00.0
0.0
0.00.00.00.0
Rick Ferrell
27
1.72.3-0.3
-0.1
1.71.80.00.2
Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Average*
1,924.8
250.6229.67.8
29.0
242.6227.84.925.6

*Average only includes players for whom their entire career is covered by Retrosheet play-by-play data.

Players in the Hall of Merit, but not the Hall of Fame
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Barry Bonds
2,985
462.8317.659.2
90.0
452.8309.658.588.6
Roger Clemens
709
325.7234.651.7
80.5
318.4234.648.076.5
Lou Whitaker
2,387
292.8250.927.8
49.3
283.4252.722.143.4
J. Kevin Brown
490
211.8171.826.4
45.8
212.9165.130.249.3
Dwight Evans
2,602
329.9275.120.5
45.7
334.7277.321.747.2
Alan Trammell
2,292
274.4252.023.3
44.3
273.3254.921.442.5
Bobby Grich
2,006
248.9213.224.9
43.8
249.3210.726.245.1
Craig Biggio
2,850
346.0312.217.7
43.5
340.6312.115.140.7
Pete Rose Sr.
3,562
427.6389.58.0
42.3
440.4407.45.040.6
Billy Pierce
604
222.3191.223.2
42.3
208.1192.815.133.6
Darrell Evans
2,683
303.6252.018.1
41.7
303.0249.918.942.3
Graig Nettles
2,691
305.4263.917.4
41.1
294.5260.313.736.9
Jeff Bagwell
2,150
273.6200.522.0
41.0
266.3198.719.538.1
Edgar Martinez
2,055
210.5167.318.0
39.2
208.6164.318.739.5
Dick Allen
1,748
237.8177.421.1
38.9
230.9173.919.737.1
Mike Piazza
1,911
213.6174.022.7
38.7
199.5164.220.335.4
David Cone
451
188.7158.020.7
38.0
186.0166.115.332.9
Mark McGwire
1,874
218.7155.822.5
37.3
212.6152.321.435.7
Willie Randolph
2,202
263.4242.816.8
36.9
257.5248.711.031.0
Minnie Minoso
1,835
263.6211.616.0
36.5
247.8212.28.228.0
Reggie Smith
1,986
265.3216.915.6
36.2
269.4216.717.738.5
Larry Walker
1,984
268.5217.816.3
35.7
275.5213.721.841.4
Rick Reuschel
579
226.6214.815.7
35.2
223.3223.110.029.6
Bret Saberhagen
403
159.6124.320.8
35.0
161.3125.521.235.5
Tim Raines Sr.
2,500
314.2276.510.8
34.6
316.4273.013.737.4
Jimmy Wynn
1,920
270.1228.213.1
34.6
268.8218.917.238.3
Rafael Palmeiro
2,829
305.9264.49.4
33.7
307.6258.313.437.5
Will Clark
1,976
230.4176.316.1
32.1
221.9176.512.027.6
Dave Stieb
454
175.2151.914.3
30.3
171.5150.313.128.9
Ted Simmons
2,456
250.1231.79.0
30.2
236.5220.08.028.1
Ken Boyer
2,034
247.1221.78.6
28.8
242.0211.811.230.7
Keith Hernandez
2,088
228.2185.710.4
27.0
227.4189.08.325.1
Bill Freehan
1,770
167.7153.99.0
22.8
172.7152.712.126.1
Charlie Keller
274
25.019.32.1
4.3
23.117.22.34.2
Stan Hack
55
5.15.7-0.3
0.2
5.45.40.00.5
Quincy Trouppe
6
0.10.3-0.1
-0.1
0.10.3-0.1-0.1
Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Average*
1,951.9
265.9221.419.5
40.3
262.7220.118.639.2

*Average only includes players for whom their entire career is covered by Retrosheet play-by-play data (excluding Quincy Trouppe).

Hall of Fame
The first table in this section finds 15 players who are in the Hall of Fame but not the Hall of Merit, whose careers ended in 1947 or later. This includes six players whose careers began before 1947 (one of whom, Red Schoendienst, also had a significant managerial career that likely helped his Hall of Fame case).

That leaves 9 players whose full career is covered by Retrosheet who are in the Hall of Fame, but not the Hall of Merit.

Looking at the above table, the average "Hall of Fame, not Hall of Merit" player is probably Orlando Cepeda.

Hall of Merit
The list of players in the Hall of Merit but not the Hall of Fame is quite a bit longer than the reverse, 33 players in all. Most of the Hall of Fame's errors of commission - i.e., players in the Hall of Fame who don't really belong - were Veterans' Committee inductees who played in the 1920s and 1930s (or even earlier). Most of the Hall of Fame's errors of omission - i.e., players who are as good or better than most players in the Hall of Fame who have not been inducted - are players from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, who were overlooked by the BBWAA and have not had the opportunity to be inducted by more recent Veterans' Committees. The Hall of Merit has replaced the former group of players (players such as Sunny Jim Bottomley, George 'Highpockets' Kelly, Lloyd Waner, et al.) with the latter group of players.

Several of the players on this list were elected to the Hall of Merit in part based on games not included here. These include Stan Hack, Minnie Minoso (who had some Negro / Cuban league credit), Charlie Keller (whose career started in 1939, and also was given minor-league and World War II credit in HOM voting), and Quincy Trouppe (who was discussed some earlier). Billy Pierce's career also started before 1947, although this amounted to a 5-game cup of coffee in 1945, so I'm inclined to keep him in the analysis here.

The remaining 29 players (including Pierce) fall into three possible categories.
1. Players not inducted into the Hall of Fame just yet
Two years ago, the two best players not in the Hall of Fame might have been Bert Blyleven and Ron Santo. Blyleven was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011 while Santo finally made it (posthumously) in 2012. It is likely that some of the 32 players listed above will eventually be inducted into the Hall of Fame. For example, Jeff Bagwell received 56% of the vote in last year's Hall-of-Fame voting in his second year on the ballot. A vote total that high has historically always led to a player eventually being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Hence, I would guess that there is at least a 90% chance that Jeff Bagwell will eventually be elected into the Hall of Fame (perhaps even as early as in 2013) and thereby be removed from this list.

In theory, every player on this list still has a chance to be elected to the Hall of Fame. The most likely players to do so - especially within the next few years - are the 7 players listed here who are still on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot: Alan Trammell, Jeff Bagwell, Larry Walker, Mark McGwire, Tim Raines, Rafael Palmeiro, and Edgar Martinez. Realistically, some of these players are very unlikely to be elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA. Nevertheless, for now, I'm going to set these players aside in comparing the memberships of the Hall of Fame and the Hall of Merit.

2. Players hurt by character clause
There are some differences between the voting rules for the Hall of Fame and the Hall of Merit. One of these is most evident from the first player on the list of players in the Hall of Merit but not in the Hall of Fame: Pete Rose. Pete Rose was elected to the Hall of Merit in his second year of eligibility. To date, Pete Rose has not yet had a first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame. He's outright banned because of betting on baseball.

Even for players who are technically eligible for the Hall of Fame, the Hall of Fame ballot contains an explicit "character clause": "Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played (emphasis added). Most recently, the character clause has been invoked by a majority of BBWAA voters to exclude players who used (or are strongly suspected of having used) steroids or similar performance-enhancing drugs. Two players who nevertheless remain on the Hall-of-Fame ballot appear to have been most negatively affected by the character clause recently: Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro.

Another player who was named in the Mitchell Report and subsequently dropped off the ballot in his first year of eligibility was Kevin Brown. Realistically, Kevin Brown would not have been elected to the Hall of Fame yet even if he had not been named in the Mitchell Report. He might well, however, have received the 18 additional votes he would have needed to reach the 5% threshold needed to stay on the ballot a second year. From there, it is possible (albeit very unlikely) that he could have gained some momentum and might have eventually been able to build support toward eventual Hall-of-Fame enshrinement. I therefore have chosen to set him aside as a possible "victim" of the character clause.

Finally, one more player from the above table whose Hall of Fame candidacy might have been adversely affected by the character clause is Dick Allen, who had several unfortunate incidents in his career. He might not have been elected even without the character issues, but he might have.

3. Players the Hall of Fame has missed (so far)
Excluding players who remain on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot and players whose Hall of Fame vote totals were negatively affected by character issues leaves a total of 19 players for whom Retrosheet has essentially full play-by-play records for their career. Player won-lost records for these 19 players are repeated below.

Players in the Hall of Merit, but not the Hall of Fame
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Lou Whitaker
2,387
292.8250.927.8
49.3
283.4252.722.143.4
Dwight Evans
2,602
329.9275.120.5
45.7
334.7277.321.747.2
Bobby Grich
2,006
248.9213.224.9
43.8
249.3210.726.245.1
Graig Nettles
2,691
305.4263.917.4
41.1
294.5260.313.736.9
Billy Pierce
622
223.2193.222.7
41.9
209.0194.514.733.4
Willie Randolph
2,202
263.4242.816.8
36.9
257.5248.711.031.0
Darrell Evans
2,683
303.6252.018.1
41.7
303.0249.918.942.3
Jimmy Wynn
1,920
270.1228.213.1
34.6
268.8218.917.238.3
Reggie Smith
1,986
265.3216.915.6
36.2
269.4216.717.738.5
David Cone
451
188.7158.020.7
38.0
186.0166.115.332.9
Joe Torre
2,209
242.7210.811.5
31.1
235.0202.012.231.1
Ken Boyer
2,034
247.1221.78.6
28.8
242.0211.811.230.7
Rick Reuschel
579
226.6214.815.7
35.2
223.3223.110.029.6
Will Clark
1,976
230.4176.316.1
32.1
221.9176.512.027.6
Bret Saberhagen
403
159.6124.320.8
35.0
161.3125.521.235.5
Ted Simmons
2,456
250.1231.79.0
30.2
236.5220.08.028.1
Keith Hernandez
2,088
228.2185.710.4
27.0
227.4189.08.325.1
Dave Stieb
454
175.2151.914.3
30.3
171.5150.313.128.9
Bill Freehan
1,770
167.7153.99.0
22.8
172.7152.712.126.1
Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Average
1,764.2
243.1208.716.5
35.9
239.3207.715.134.3


A comparison of the average HOF, not HOM player and the average HOM, not HOF player are summarized below.

Players in the Hall of Merit, but not the Hall of Fame
Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Hall of Fame
1,924.8
250.6229.67.8
29.0
242.6227.84.925.6
Hall of Merit
1,764.2
243.1208.716.5
35.9
239.3207.715.134.3


Although the average Hall of Merit only player has a higher pWORL (by just under 5 wins), the really dramatic difference is in wins over positional average. In fact, every single player on the Hall of Merit only list has a higher career value of pWOPA (and eWOPA) than the average values of pWOPA and eWOPA for Hall of Fame only players.

Hall of Fame only players, on the other hand, accumulated more career wins, on average, than Hall of Merit only players. Lou Brock is the most extreme example of this. Brock played for 19 seasons, appearing in 2,616 games (35th all-time), and collecting over 3,000 career hits. His career length helped him to amass over 340 career pWins, but, in fact, he was actually slightly below average over his career as measured by Player won-lost record.

Rather than comparing hypothetical "averages", it might be more instructive to compare two actual players: a "typical" Hall of Fame only player, Orlando Cepeda, and a "typical" Hall of Merit only player, Joe Torre (admittedly, Joe Torre is very likely to make the Hall of Fame eventually because of his managerial career). Cepeda and Torre are compared in the next table.

Orlando Cepeda Joe Torre
Games pWins pLosses Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLosses Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
1958
14815.714.60.519-0.1
1.1
1959
15118.816.30.5350.6
2.1
1960
15118.917.80.516-0.4
1.1
20.10.00.8600.00.0
1961
15220.615.90.5641.3
3.0
1139.79.90.4950.01.0
1962
16218.514.60.5591.0
2.3
805.96.20.485-0.10.4
1963
15619.715.10.5671.6
3.0
14215.013.70.5230.51.6
1964
14218.112.80.5861.9
3.2
15418.114.80.5511.52.9
1965
330.81.00.451-0.1
0.0
14816.513.30.5541.73.0
1966
14215.613.10.5440.4
1.6
14818.314.30.5622.03.3
1967
15123.114.40.6173.1
4.8
13514.613.30.5240.92.2
1968
15717.815.00.5420.3
1.7
11513.511.70.5360.92.0
1969
15418.815.50.5490.4
2.0
15918.714.90.5580.92.4
1970
14816.115.20.515-0.6
0.8
16118.317.70.5090.01.7
1971
717.96.70.5400.1
0.7
16125.617.40.5963.55.3
1972
312.22.20.496-0.2
0.0
14917.916.60.5190.21.7
1973
14214.813.60.5210.6
2.5
14115.413.30.5370.31.6
1974
332.52.70.482-0.1
0.2
14715.412.80.5450.61.7
1975
 
11410.411.10.484-0.60.3
1976
 
1148.18.00.503-0.30.3
1977
 
261.01.90.354-0.5-0.3
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS2,124250.0206.40.5489.7
30.3
2,209242.7210.80.53511.531.1


Joe Torre and Orlando Cepeda were actually traded for each other in spring training of 1969. Both players won MVP awards for the St. Louis Cardinals, Cepeda in 1967 and Torre in 1971. Based on pWOPA and pWORL, Orlando Cepeda deserved his 1967 MVP award. Still, Torre's MVP season was worth a full win more than Cepeda's.

Prior to his MVP seasons, Cepeda had a run of four very good seasons from 1961 - 1964. Outside of these five seasons, however, Orlando Cepeda was actually a slightly below average first baseman for the rest of his career.

In contrast, Joe Torre had a sustained 12-year prime from 1963 - 1974 as a solidly above-average catcher (through 1970), third baseman (1970 - 1972), and first baseman (1973 - 1974).

Best Players in Neither the Hall of Fame nor the Hall of Merit

So what players have the best Player won-lost records but are in neither the Hall of Fame nor the Hall of Merit? The table below shows all players whose career began between 1947 and 1980, who are in neither the Hall of Fame nor the Hall of Merit, and have more than 10 career WOPA (both pWOPA and eWOPA) and 35 career WORL (both pWORL and eWORL).

Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Tommy John
761
291.0251.528.1
53.3
290.8257.325.250.7
Jim Kaat
1,003
279.0258.619.9
45.1
285.2271.716.742.8
Bert Campaneris
2,326
277.6280.312.1
35.8
277.6281.211.535.4


The list is pretty short, only seven names, and somewhat eclectic. It includes two pitchers who won over 280 games and hung around the Hall of Fame ballot for 15 years, an outfielder who stayed on the Hall-of-Fame ballot for 11 years, but is more famous for his son, a 3-time World Series champion who only lasted one year on the Hall of Fame ballot, and 3 players who got a combined 4 Hall of Fame votes (3 by Colavito spread over two years).




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