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, for all games for which I have calculated Player won-lost records. The players are sorted here by pWins over replacement level (pWORL).

Hall of Fame Players

Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Willie Mays
2,992
461.1333.450.9
83.7
438.1329.641.773.4
Hank Aaron
3,298
496.1373.143.4
79.8
479.0364.839.574.9
Mickey Mantle
2,400
354.5232.450.5
74.7
341.4235.042.966.6
Greg Maddux
759
330.9273.145.2
74.1
323.6263.246.074.1
Joe L. Morgan
2,648
364.6281.847.0
73.1
356.4285.141.267.1
Warren Spahn
780
360.6299.744.0
72.8
345.8295.338.466.4
Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson
619
281.7222.238.2
64.1
268.0219.332.557.6
Tom Seaver
677
313.4260.538.5
63.0
303.2266.030.554.9
Stan Musial
2,765
379.3284.734.0
61.6
374.7282.632.960.2
Rickey Henderson
3,080
428.0352.929.5
60.2
421.1347.828.759.0
Steve Carlton
745
344.7309.532.5
60.1
330.9315.322.549.7
Frank Robinson
2,807
398.0307.629.7
59.9
387.1295.630.759.9
Ted Williams
1,972
315.4216.637.5
59.8
319.1213.241.063.3
Eddie Mathews
2,389
319.5238.634.7
57.5
309.6239.529.351.9
Joe DiMaggio
1,646
272.0184.837.4
56.9
252.1187.026.545.3
Mike Schmidt
2,403
336.3256.933.2
56.2
332.0247.835.758.2
Bob Gibson
597
268.7222.434.5
56.0
257.9225.427.448.6
Pee Wee Reese
2,166
288.2228.834.0
55.8
283.6251.620.443.0
Cal Ripken
3,001
380.3350.127.1
55.2
372.8344.226.153.7
Reggie Jackson
2,820
369.2298.826.0
55.1
352.0290.721.749.7
Nolan Ryan
807
359.9333.123.5
54.9
335.1306.123.852.9
Tom Glavine
709
281.1250.729.3
54.9
281.2260.824.650.8
Al Kaline
2,833
380.4302.225.6
54.3
378.3303.124.152.8
Jim Palmer
573
246.4190.233.3
53.3
239.6205.022.542.9
Gaylord Perry
787
326.3297.024.2
52.4
327.6291.127.655.6
Carl Yastrzemski
3,308
425.4360.718.3
51.7
441.2367.122.556.8
Don Sutton
785
324.8300.024.3
51.5
321.8300.422.449.6
John Smoltz
735
240.0201.329.0
51.1
220.2188.625.345.5
Pedro J. Martinez
476
194.0138.633.4
51.0
182.2132.930.246.9
Juan Marichal
475
235.7190.932.3
50.9
225.6201.022.240.8
Yogi Berra
2,119
245.3181.932.9
50.6
219.6185.418.235.0
Fergie Jenkins
665
290.9255.726.4
50.6
278.7262.316.940.9
Robin Roberts
688
301.6274.824.6
50.0
302.9281.622.047.8
Whitey Ford
500
217.6168.632.5
49.8
208.5180.622.139.4
Mel Ott
1,638
255.9181.929.3
48.6
247.3174.928.747.3
George Brett
2,706
328.1273.623.5
48.5
325.4277.120.445.4
Bert Blyleven
699
295.7264.022.3
48.3
301.2270.222.148.6
Lefty Grove
414
186.3127.733.2
48.0
162.4132.818.432.4
Paul Molitor
2,683
316.3271.120.0
47.5
308.5273.115.242.3
Barry Larkin
2,180
289.9246.926.6
47.5
278.2244.122.042.3
Phil Niekro
866
337.0326.218.2
47.3
330.0342.36.936.3
Frank E. Thomas
2,322
254.2190.823.7
46.7
249.0186.123.646.1
Duke Snider
2,138
270.1200.926.6
46.2
276.8210.225.145.3
Robin Yount
2,856
360.0337.918.8
45.9
354.3332.118.845.5
Eddie Murray
3,026
347.0285.219.2
45.7
319.7275.810.935.9
Early Wynn
705
278.1254.422.3
45.6
266.4250.118.340.9
Willie McCovey
2,584
297.8221.124.1
45.6
274.6207.920.140.1
Lou Gehrig
1,407
202.6120.731.3
45.2
190.8123.524.337.8
Dave Winfield
2,971
395.2344.715.0
45.1
379.0334.112.641.6
Ozzie Smith
2,573
329.8305.320.4
44.7
322.9313.113.137.4
Harmon Killebrew
2,435
301.4235.421.4
44.1
293.4226.622.144.1
Craig Biggio
2,850
353.9319.418.0
44.1
347.7319.314.940.8
Bob Feller
529
239.9207.423.1
43.9
226.0208.415.435.6
Roberto Alomar
2,377
309.6275.921.0
43.8
298.3274.116.138.5
Johnny Bench
2,158
246.5196.025.4
43.3
234.9190.522.539.7
Dennis Eckersley
1,073
218.6176.122.2
42.2
187.2168.411.228.7
Ken Griffey Jr.
2,671
339.1300.616.3
41.7
345.5293.123.348.5
Brooks Robinson
2,895
346.8308.214.0
40.8
321.2301.94.730.1
Bob Lemon
607
204.2170.224.1
40.8
192.8174.216.232.6
Willie Stargell
2,356
294.1232.218.9
40.6
286.1222.120.441.3
Jimmie Foxx
1,579
204.3135.925.1
40.2
195.1133.122.336.8
Jim Bunning
600
242.5222.319.5
40.1
241.8233.014.035.1
Roberto Clemente
2,433
354.2300.813.0
40.0
346.1298.010.637.2
Carlton Fisk
2,498
249.4219.421.1
39.9
244.8212.422.140.4
Jackie Robinson
1,382
192.1136.526.0
39.5
188.5146.219.333.1
Wade Boggs
2,439
292.2256.517.6
39.0
299.8260.519.541.3
Rod Carew
2,468
288.6253.516.8
38.9
294.0257.017.740.2
Luis Aparicio
2,601
317.7312.112.7
38.6
315.3320.77.333.4
Mike Piazza
1,911
213.3174.122.5
38.3
199.4164.320.235.1
Tony Perez
2,773
305.3253.615.0
38.1
292.3250.310.533.0
Nellie Fox
2,367
283.5265.514.8
37.3
271.0276.82.925.3
Ernie Banks
2,525
304.4270.713.0
36.7
302.3255.919.642.6
Billy Williams
2,485
329.2281.610.6
36.6
337.5278.616.142.3
Red Ruffing
589
202.3177.119.2
36.5
201.9178.018.535.8
Ryne Sandberg
2,164
282.3251.116.0
36.3
291.5250.920.741.3
Don Drysdale
547
223.8208.917.1
36.1
228.3212.717.737.1
Joe Gordon
1,445
194.7154.820.6
35.7
184.8158.014.128.9
Ron Santo
2,243
290.9256.812.3
35.0
291.3242.719.641.8
Babe Ruth
899
154.996.224.2
34.9
148.294.521.932.3
Larry Doby
1,530
215.1165.118.9
34.7
201.7162.813.728.7
Sandy Koufax
397
159.8129.020.9
34.1
149.3139.010.623.8
Andre Dawson
2,627
350.3315.97.6
33.9
341.9302.210.636.0
Jim Rice
2,089
281.5248.611.3
33.7
276.9247.89.431.7
Billy Herman
1,538
210.3180.315.8
33.0
205.3189.68.726.0
Catfish Hunter
515
212.9196.614.6
32.9
213.3203.611.429.9
Joe Torre
2,209
243.7208.213.7
32.5
236.4200.114.332.3
Gary Carter
2,293
240.4214.714.3
31.8
235.9205.316.733.7
Bill Dickey
1,380
144.4108.320.1
31.3
137.5113.913.825.0
Enos Slaughter
2,031
251.5214.910.8
30.6
241.6211.97.526.9
Bobby Doerr
1,281
173.1141.317.1
30.3
165.5144.811.524.5
Arky Vaughan
1,286
175.2147.515.5
29.7
172.5144.915.529.4
Orlando Cepeda
2,124
249.2206.59.9
29.5
239.2201.37.926.8
Lou Boudreau
1,271
167.9141.015.7
29.0
162.5140.513.126.2
Tony Gwynn Sr.
2,440
321.0289.54.6
28.2
318.3283.66.429.6
Hal Newhouser
333
143.8121.315.6
27.7
136.0118.712.924.5
Lefty Gomez
305
144.2121.415.2
27.5
131.8121.28.920.7
Ted Lyons
388
149.8128.814.5
27.2
144.1129.111.523.9
Johnny Mize
1,392
156.9114.915.3
27.0
153.7111.215.727.1
Luke Appling
1,689
215.4202.98.8
26.7
216.5202.49.627.5
Phil Rizzuto
1,630
187.1168.611.8
26.7
181.9181.72.718.0
Roy Campanella
1,215
126.994.617.5
26.7
126.1102.013.522.9
Red Schoendienst
2,178
244.7237.96.6
26.7
241.9243.92.222.5
Carl Hubbell
318
137.0114.414.9
26.4
129.4112.212.023.1
Rich Gossage
1,003
133.0102.912.1
26.2
88.679.62.612.5
Hoyt Wilhelm
1,070
141.1119.010.1
26.0
111.7102.04.217.2
Al Simmons
1,265
185.1152.111.4
26.0
179.9148.710.724.9
Mickey Cochrane
938
107.875.517.6
25.5
102.078.713.120.9
Earl Averill Sr.
1,329
191.1164.010.0
25.4
186.8157.911.026.0
Gabby Hartnett
1,199
119.892.615.2
24.4
117.396.112.221.5
Paul Waner
1,514
211.6182.87.0
24.4
211.6185.25.723.2
Joe Cronin
1,076
145.1125.611.9
23.9
144.3123.012.824.6
Charlie Gehringer
974
131.2106.713.2
23.6
134.4110.113.223.9
Kirby Puckett
1,783
235.9219.95.6
23.2
233.8215.07.124.4
Frankie Frisch
1,068
146.6124.412.0
23.2
144.1130.07.919.3
Rollie Fingers
945
122.999.59.6
23.0
85.473.34.814.3
Bill Mazeroski
2,163
234.7241.12.8
22.3
230.7243.2-0.319.1
Tony Lazzeri
1,099
136.9117.910.7
21.9
134.0121.97.318.5
George Kell
1,671
201.8182.65.7
21.7
197.0175.96.822.3
Joe Medwick
1,413
194.1171.85.3
21.6
187.7165.85.321.1
Bill Terry
996
125.089.311.8
21.1
116.791.56.715.7
Bruce Sutter
661
90.263.711.2
20.7
51.747.40.97.0
Ralph Kiner
1,472
208.6184.83.7
19.9
213.2171.413.028.8
Dizzy Dean
189
76.654.013.4
19.4
68.856.18.414.2
Pie Traynor
1,037
133.3117.78.8
19.4
127.6117.66.016.3
Ernie Lombardi
1,655
142.9134.66.7
19.2
141.1128.28.921.1
Dazzy Vance
231
98.980.611.1
19.2
90.476.38.816.4
Rogers Hornsby
631
89.664.612.4
18.8
90.565.712.418.8
Kiki Cuyler
1,161
164.1143.15.5
18.8
166.1144.65.819.2
Lou Brock
2,614
342.0331.9-8.9
18.7
349.6325.2-1.825.7
Hank Greenberg
854
113.682.69.9
18.2
110.579.510.118.2
Travis Jackson
782
101.788.98.0
16.2
93.289.93.211.0
Richie Ashburn
2,188
278.5276.5-7.7
15.0
285.3275.3-3.719.2
Goose Goslin
941
134.7118.73.9
14.9
133.0114.95.115.8
Waite Hoyt
307
93.285.95.6
14.2
91.187.14.012.4
Chuck Klein
1,056
147.5134.21.5
13.9
160.2129.210.122.8
Joe Sewell
862
106.6101.64.5
13.2
105.4103.23.111.8
Eppa Rixey
219
84.576.55.8
13.0
82.974.65.912.9
Herb Pennock
182
65.353.67.2
12.6
64.155.75.611.0
Monte Irvin
764
96.179.45.1
12.4
91.376.54.311.3
Hack Wilson
723
99.386.34.1
12.3
99.384.05.313.4
Burleigh Grimes
242
96.894.73.3
11.8
93.496.30.89.2
Jesse Haines
230
73.967.94.5
11.1
70.670.21.78.3
Lloyd Waner
1,238
145.5143.7-2.0
10.7
148.1147.6-2.710.3
Chick Hafey
788
104.895.51.8
10.5
104.389.84.412.8
Dave Bancroft
465
64.055.55.9
10.5
64.957.05.610.3
Pete Alexander
122
55.846.36.0
10.4
53.644.75.79.9
Freddie Lindstrom
787
100.094.11.8
10.1
99.395.10.99.3
Earle Combs
832
106.898.81.2
10.1
109.9100.32.011.1
Rabbit Maranville
794
96.198.21.0
8.9
93.298.0-0.37.4
Max Carey
540
82.571.92.9
8.8
81.870.03.69.4
Heinie Manush
839
106.4101.9-1.0
8.0
102.7100.0-1.97.0
Rick Ferrell
1,039
86.888.80.2
7.9
90.386.33.311.0
Jim Bottomley
1,021
108.9101.4-1.8
7.2
105.796.1-0.58.2
George Kelly
595
67.759.12.2
7.2
64.958.11.36.2
Red Faber
200
58.457.31.6
7.0
58.655.82.57.8
Ross Youngs
372
53.245.62.3
6.0
51.446.60.94.6
Ty Cobb
247
37.328.93.0
5.7
37.330.52.25.0
Harry Heilmann
357
50.944.01.6
5.6
49.141.91.85.6
Walter Johnson
58
24.318.23.6
5.5
22.219.81.73.6
Eddie Collins Sr.
325
38.032.92.6
5.4
38.834.72.05.0
Tris Speaker
332
47.341.01.8
5.3
48.340.62.46.0
Stan Coveleski
51
24.919.23.3
5.3
22.920.51.73.6
Sam Rice
588
67.865.1-1.1
4.6
65.764.5-1.83.9
Edd Roush
443
59.456.8-0.4
4.2
58.256.6-0.83.7
Satchel Paige
179
30.329.70.5
4.0
24.022.90.73.4
Zack Wheat
499
64.561.7-1.1
3.7
65.358.70.95.6
George Sisler
396
43.941.2-0.5
3.0
44.341.2-0.33.2
Ray Schalk
239
20.718.51.2
2.7
19.319.30.11.6
Rube Marquard
75
23.024.1-0.0
2.2
20.722.5-0.41.6
Harry Hooper
239
30.630.6-1.0
1.4
32.029.90.02.4
Frank 'Home Run' Baker
59
6.56.40.2
0.7
6.26.30.10.6
Johnny Evers
1
0.10.1-0.0
0.0
0.10.1-0.0-0.0
Chief Bender
1
0.00.2-0.1
-0.1
0.00.1-0.1-0.0
Willard Brown
21
1.92.5-0.3
-0.2
1.72.3-0.4-0.2
Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Average*
1,845.1
285.1241.821.1
43.5
276.7239.318.240.2

*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. Retrosheet has complete play-by-play data (including some deduced games) since 1946, and data for most games since 1930. The average figures shown above only include players whose major-league career began in 1946 or later and appeared in at least 100 major-league games.

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 Richie Ashburn. Ashburn looks somewhat better when evaluated using (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) eWins, although he still ranks quite low even there.

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 285.1 - 241.8, with 21.1 pWOPA (pWins over Positional Average), and 43.5 pWORL (pWins over Replacement Level). Looking at the above table, the closest player to the average Hall-of-Famer is perhaps 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, Jim Rice ranks a few places above Sandy Koufax.

Sandy Koufax is sometimes put into the conversation for the greatest pitcher ever. Jim Rice is 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 rank among the 20 highest single-season pWORLs of any seasons for which I have calculated Player won-lost records. Sandy Koufax also has one of the best World Series records in major-league history.

In contrast, Jim Rice has just one season that is among the top 75 in pWORL. 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.

Even considering only the regular season, 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 20.9 which is close to the average value for all Hall of Famers (21.1). In contrast to Koufax, Jim Rice's career pWOPA, 11.3, 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. 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
462.0316.859.3
89.7
452.5309.558.588.2
Willie Mays
2,992
461.1333.450.9
83.7
438.1329.641.773.4
Roger Clemens
709
318.9228.451.3
79.9
311.9228.247.976.0
Hank Aaron
3,298
496.1373.143.4
79.8
479.0364.839.574.9
Mickey Mantle
2,400
354.5232.450.5
74.7
341.4235.042.966.6
Greg Maddux
759
330.9273.145.2
74.1
323.6263.246.074.1
Joe L. Morgan
2,648
364.6281.847.0
73.1
356.4285.141.267.1
Warren Spahn
780
360.6299.744.0
72.8
345.8295.338.466.4
Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson
619
281.7222.238.2
64.1
268.0219.332.557.6
Tom Seaver
677
313.4260.538.5
63.0
303.2266.030.554.9
Stan Musial
2,765
379.3284.734.0
61.6
374.7282.632.960.2
Rickey Henderson
3,080
428.0352.929.5
60.2
421.1347.828.759.0
Steve Carlton
745
344.7309.532.5
60.1
330.9315.322.549.7
Frank Robinson
2,807
398.0307.629.7
59.9
387.1295.630.759.9
Ted Williams
1,972
315.4216.637.5
59.8
319.1213.241.063.3
Eddie Mathews
2,389
319.5238.634.7
57.5
309.6239.529.351.9
Joe DiMaggio
1,646
272.0184.837.4
56.9
252.1187.026.545.3
Mike Schmidt
2,403
336.3256.933.2
56.2
332.0247.835.758.2
Bob Gibson
597
268.7222.434.5
56.0
257.9225.427.448.6
Pee Wee Reese
2,166
288.2228.834.0
55.8
283.6251.620.443.0
Cal Ripken
3,001
380.3350.127.1
55.2
372.8344.226.153.7
Reggie Jackson
2,820
369.2298.826.0
55.1
352.0290.721.749.7
Nolan Ryan
807
359.9333.123.5
54.9
335.1306.123.852.9
Tom Glavine
709
281.1250.729.3
54.9
281.2260.824.650.8
Al Kaline
2,833
380.4302.225.6
54.3
378.3303.124.152.8
Jim Palmer
573
246.4190.233.3
53.3
239.6205.022.542.9
Gaylord Perry
787
326.3297.024.2
52.4
327.6291.127.655.6
Carl Yastrzemski
3,308
425.4360.718.3
51.7
441.2367.122.556.8
Don Sutton
785
324.8300.024.3
51.5
321.8300.422.449.6
John Smoltz
735
240.0201.329.0
51.1
220.2188.625.345.5
Mike Mussina
537
224.2173.529.3
51.1
221.7171.129.350.7
Pedro J. Martinez
476
194.0138.633.4
51.0
182.2132.930.246.9
Juan Marichal
475
235.7190.932.3
50.9
225.6201.022.240.8
Yogi Berra
2,119
245.3181.932.9
50.6
219.6185.418.235.0
Fergie Jenkins
665
290.9255.726.4
50.6
278.7262.316.940.9
Robin Roberts
688
301.6274.824.6
50.0
302.9281.622.047.8
Lou Whitaker
2,387
298.5253.228.7
50.0
287.0255.022.042.8
Whitey Ford
500
217.6168.632.5
49.8
208.5180.622.139.4
Mel Ott
1,638
255.9181.929.3
48.6
247.3174.928.747.3
George Brett
2,706
328.1273.623.5
48.5
325.4277.120.445.4
Bert Blyleven
699
295.7264.022.3
48.3
301.2270.222.148.6
Lefty Grove
414
186.3127.733.2
48.0
162.4132.818.432.4
Paul Molitor
2,683
316.3271.120.0
47.5
308.5273.115.242.3
Barry Larkin
2,180
289.9246.926.6
47.5
278.2244.122.042.3
Phil Niekro
866
337.0326.218.2
47.3
330.0342.36.936.3
Frank E. Thomas
2,322
254.2190.823.7
46.7
249.0186.123.646.1
Duke Snider
2,138
270.1200.926.6
46.2
276.8210.225.145.3
Robin Yount
2,856
360.0337.918.8
45.9
354.3332.118.845.5
Eddie Murray
3,026
347.0285.219.2
45.7
319.7275.810.935.9
Early Wynn
705
278.1254.422.3
45.6
266.4250.118.340.9
Willie McCovey
2,584
297.8221.124.1
45.6
274.6207.920.140.1
Pete Rose Sr.
3,562
436.6391.411.9
45.2
446.5410.66.841.3
Lou Gehrig
1,407
202.6120.731.3
45.2
190.8123.524.337.8
Dave Winfield
2,971
395.2344.715.0
45.1
379.0334.112.641.6
J. Kevin Brown
490
205.5166.425.9
45.0
206.9159.629.848.7
Curt Schilling
571
207.1172.425.4
44.8
205.1173.223.943.3
Ozzie Smith
2,573
329.8305.320.4
44.7
322.9313.113.137.4
Dwight Evans
2,602
328.9275.820.2
44.5
330.6277.520.144.5
Alan Trammell
2,292
277.2251.823.7
44.2
274.7254.421.241.7
Harmon Killebrew
2,435
301.4235.421.4
44.1
293.4226.622.144.1
Craig Biggio
2,850
353.9319.418.0
44.1
347.7319.314.940.8
Bob Feller
529
239.9207.423.1
43.9
226.0208.415.435.6
Gary Sheffield
2,575
344.1291.017.9
43.8
336.3282.618.543.8
Roberto Alomar
2,377
309.6275.921.0
43.8
298.3274.116.138.5
Johnny Bench
2,158
246.5196.025.4
43.3
234.9190.522.539.7
Dennis Eckersley
1,073
218.6176.122.2
42.2
187.2168.411.228.7
Ken Griffey Jr.
2,671
339.1300.616.3
41.7
345.5293.123.348.5
Bobby Grich
2,006
245.5210.723.2
41.1
242.9209.722.440.1
Jeff Bagwell
2,150
275.8203.221.9
40.9
268.2200.919.538.1
Billy Pierce
613
222.9193.722.5
40.8
211.5195.715.633.6
Brooks Robinson
2,895
346.8308.214.0
40.8
321.2301.94.730.1
Bob Lemon
607
204.2170.224.1
40.8
192.8174.216.232.6
Willie Stargell
2,356
294.1232.218.9
40.6
286.1222.120.441.3
Jimmie Foxx
1,579
204.3135.925.1
40.2
195.1133.122.336.8
Jim Bunning
600
242.5222.319.5
40.1
241.8233.014.035.1
Roberto Clemente
2,433
354.2300.813.0
40.0
346.1298.010.637.2
Carlton Fisk
2,498
249.4219.421.1
39.9
244.8212.422.140.4
Jackie Robinson
1,382
192.1136.526.0
39.5
188.5146.219.333.1
Edgar Martinez
2,055
213.0169.718.2
39.4
211.2166.918.739.6
Wade Boggs
2,439
292.2256.517.6
39.0
299.8260.519.541.3
Rod Carew
2,468
288.6253.516.8
38.9
294.0257.017.740.2
Mike Piazza
1,911
213.3174.122.5
38.3
199.4164.320.235.1
Darrell Evans
2,683
302.9258.215.2
38.1
300.8256.515.137.8
Graig Nettles
2,691
304.7269.014.9
37.8
293.7268.09.932.4
Willie Randolph
2,202
267.0241.918.2
37.6
259.3247.711.430.8
David Cone
451
184.5154.520.3
37.5
182.2162.515.332.7
Nellie Fox
2,367
283.5265.514.8
37.3
271.0276.82.925.3
Mark McGwire
1,874
220.2158.422.1
36.9
214.4154.621.235.6
Ernie Banks
2,525
304.4270.713.0
36.7
302.3255.919.642.6
Billy Williams
2,485
329.2281.610.6
36.6
337.5278.616.142.3
Red Ruffing
589
202.3177.119.2
36.5
201.9178.018.535.8
Dick Allen
1,748
235.5179.919.2
36.3
228.1176.817.333.9
Ryne Sandberg
2,164
282.3251.116.0
36.3
291.5250.920.741.3
Don Drysdale
547
223.8208.917.1
36.1
228.3212.717.737.1
Larry Walker
1,984
269.7218.616.6
35.9
276.7214.622.041.4
Joe Gordon
1,445
194.7154.820.6
35.7
184.8158.014.128.9
Rick Reuschel
579
223.3209.616.7
35.2
219.3214.312.430.9
Ron Santo
2,243
290.9256.812.3
35.0
291.3242.719.641.8
Babe Ruth
899
154.996.224.2
34.9
148.294.521.932.3
Minnie Minoso
1,835
262.5213.015.2
34.9
250.9213.99.328.5
Larry Doby
1,530
215.1165.118.9
34.7
201.7162.813.728.7
Bret Saberhagen
403
155.6121.220.3
34.2
157.4122.121.035.0
Tim Raines Sr.
2,500
312.9274.811.0
34.1
315.4271.513.937.0
Sandy Koufax
397
159.8129.020.9
34.1
149.3139.010.623.8
Andre Dawson
2,627
350.3315.97.6
33.9
341.9302.210.636.0
Rafael Palmeiro
2,829
307.6266.69.3
33.6
309.3260.913.137.2
Reggie Smith
1,986
263.7220.513.2
33.0
268.6218.916.436.4
Billy Herman
1,538
210.3180.315.8
33.0
205.3189.68.726.0
Jimmy Wynn
1,920
267.4227.112.3
32.7
265.4218.215.935.9
Joe Torre
2,209
243.7208.213.7
32.5
236.4200.114.332.3
Will Clark
1,976
232.9178.916.2
32.2
224.5179.312.027.7
Gary Carter
2,293
240.4214.714.3
31.8
235.9205.316.733.7
Bill Dickey
1,380
144.4108.320.1
31.3
137.5113.913.825.0
Enos Slaughter
2,031
251.5214.910.8
30.6
241.6211.97.526.9
Bobby Doerr
1,281
173.1141.317.1
30.3
165.5144.811.524.5
Arky Vaughan
1,286
175.2147.515.5
29.7
172.5144.915.529.4
Ken Boyer
2,034
253.1224.010.2
29.7
248.2214.812.431.4
Ted Simmons
2,456
249.1231.19.2
29.4
236.4219.98.527.7
Lou Boudreau
1,271
167.9141.015.7
29.0
162.5140.513.126.2
Dave Stieb
454
173.0151.613.4
28.9
170.3148.813.328.6
Tony Gwynn Sr.
2,440
321.0289.54.6
28.2
318.3283.66.429.6
Wes Ferrell
396
139.9114.416.8
28.0
129.4117.49.920.8
Charlie Keller
1,045
147.6104.916.5
27.8
137.7103.612.323.2
Hal Newhouser
333
143.8121.315.6
27.7
136.0118.712.924.5
Ted Lyons
388
149.8128.814.5
27.2
144.1129.111.523.9
Johnny Mize
1,392
156.9114.915.3
27.0
153.7111.215.727.1
Keith Hernandez
2,088
227.9185.611.0
26.9
226.4189.18.424.4
Luke Appling
1,689
215.4202.98.8
26.7
216.5202.49.627.5
Roy Campanella
1,215
126.994.617.5
26.7
126.1102.013.522.9
Carl Hubbell
318
137.0114.414.9
26.4
129.4112.212.023.1
Rich Gossage
1,003
133.0102.912.1
26.2
88.679.62.612.5
Hoyt Wilhelm
1,070
141.1119.010.1
26.0
111.7102.04.217.2
Al Simmons
1,265
185.1152.111.4
26.0
179.9148.710.724.9
Mickey Cochrane
938
107.875.517.6
25.5
102.078.713.120.9
Earl Averill Sr.
1,329
191.1164.010.0
25.4
186.8157.911.026.0
Gabby Hartnett
1,199
119.892.615.2
24.4
117.396.112.221.5
Paul Waner
1,514
211.6182.87.0
24.4
211.6185.25.723.2
Joe Cronin
1,076
145.1125.611.9
23.9
144.3123.012.824.6
Charlie Gehringer
974
131.2106.713.2
23.6
134.4110.113.223.9
Frankie Frisch
1,068
146.6124.412.0
23.2
144.1130.07.919.3
Rollie Fingers
945
122.999.59.6
23.0
85.473.34.814.3
Stan Hack
1,220
147.8125.010.3
22.2
156.0131.411.123.6
Bill Freehan
1,770
166.7153.28.9
22.1
171.2152.011.825.1
Joe Medwick
1,413
194.1171.85.3
21.6
187.7165.85.321.1
Bill Terry
996
125.089.311.8
21.1
116.791.56.715.7
Ralph Kiner
1,472
208.6184.83.7
19.9
213.2171.413.028.8
Dazzy Vance
231
98.980.611.1
19.2
90.476.38.816.4
Rogers Hornsby
631
89.664.612.4
18.8
90.565.712.418.8
Hank Greenberg
854
113.682.69.9
18.2
110.579.510.118.2
Richie Ashburn
2,188
278.5276.5-7.7
15.0
285.3275.3-3.719.2
Goose Goslin
941
134.7118.73.9
14.9
133.0114.95.115.8
Joe Sewell
862
106.6101.64.5
13.2
105.4103.23.111.8
Eppa Rixey
219
84.576.55.8
13.0
82.974.65.912.9
Monte Irvin
764
96.179.45.1
12.4
91.376.54.311.3
Pete Alexander
122
55.846.36.0
10.4
53.644.75.79.9
Max Carey
540
82.571.92.9
8.8
81.870.03.69.4
Red Faber
200
58.457.31.6
7.0
58.655.82.57.8
Ty Cobb
247
37.328.93.0
5.7
37.330.52.25.0
Harry Heilmann
357
50.944.01.6
5.6
49.141.91.85.6
Walter Johnson
58
24.318.23.6
5.5
22.219.81.73.6
Eddie Collins Sr.
325
38.032.92.6
5.4
38.834.72.05.0
Tris Speaker
332
47.341.01.8
5.3
48.340.62.46.0
Stan Coveleski
51
24.919.23.3
5.3
22.920.51.73.6
Edd Roush
443
59.456.8-0.4
4.2
58.256.6-0.83.7
Satchel Paige
179
30.329.70.5
4.0
24.022.90.73.4
Zack Wheat
499
64.561.7-1.1
3.7
65.358.70.95.6
George Sisler
396
43.941.2-0.5
3.0
44.341.2-0.33.2
Heinie Groh
210
24.323.40.7
2.5
22.223.4-0.31.4
Frank 'Home Run' Baker
59
6.56.40.2
0.7
6.26.30.10.6
Quincy Trouppe
6
0.10.3-0.1
-0.1
0.10.3-0.1-0.1
Willard Brown
21
1.92.5-0.3
-0.2
1.72.3-0.4-0.2
Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Average*
1,843.0
281.5236.021.7
43.8
274.6233.819.441.0

*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. For these tables, I am only showing players whose career began in 1946 or later, so that their entire careers fall during the time period for which Player won-lost records are calculated for all games.

Players in the Hall of Fame, but not the Hall of Merit

Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Luis Aparicio
2,601
317.7312.112.7
38.6
315.3320.77.333.4
Tony Perez
2,773
305.3253.615.0
38.1
292.3250.310.533.0
Jim Rice
2,089
281.5248.611.3
33.7
276.9247.89.431.7
Catfish Hunter
515
212.9196.614.6
32.9
213.3203.611.429.9
Orlando Cepeda
2,124
249.2206.59.9
29.5
239.2201.37.926.8
Kirby Puckett
1,783
235.9219.95.6
23.2
233.8215.07.124.4
Bill Mazeroski
2,163
234.7241.12.8
22.3
230.7243.2-0.319.1
Bruce Sutter
661
90.263.711.2
20.7
51.747.40.97.0
Lou Brock
2,614
342.0331.9-8.9
18.7
349.6325.2-1.825.7
 
Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Average*
1,924.8
252.2230.48.2
28.6
244.8228.35.825.7


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
462.0316.859.3
89.7
452.5309.558.588.2
Roger Clemens
709
318.9228.451.3
79.9
311.9228.247.976.0
Mike Mussina
537
224.2173.529.3
51.1
221.7171.129.350.7
Lou Whitaker
2,387
298.5253.228.7
50.0
287.0255.022.042.8
Pete Rose Sr.
3,562
436.6391.411.9
45.2
446.5410.66.841.3
J. Kevin Brown
490
205.5166.425.9
45.0
206.9159.629.848.7
Curt Schilling
571
207.1172.425.4
44.8
205.1173.223.943.3
Dwight Evans
2,602
328.9275.820.2
44.5
330.6277.520.144.5
Alan Trammell
2,292
277.2251.823.7
44.2
274.7254.421.241.7
Gary Sheffield
2,575
344.1291.017.9
43.8
336.3282.618.543.8
Bobby Grich
2,006
245.5210.723.2
41.1
242.9209.722.440.1
Jeff Bagwell
2,150
275.8203.221.9
40.9
268.2200.919.538.1
Edgar Martinez
2,055
213.0169.718.2
39.4
211.2166.918.739.6
Darrell Evans
2,683
302.9258.215.2
38.1
300.8256.515.137.8
Graig Nettles
2,691
304.7269.014.9
37.8
293.7268.09.932.4
Willie Randolph
2,202
267.0241.918.2
37.6
259.3247.711.430.8
David Cone
451
184.5154.520.3
37.5
182.2162.515.332.7
Mark McGwire
1,874
220.2158.422.1
36.9
214.4154.621.235.6
Dick Allen
1,748
235.5179.919.2
36.3
228.1176.817.333.9
Larry Walker
1,984
269.7218.616.6
35.9
276.7214.622.041.4
Rick Reuschel
579
223.3209.616.7
35.2
219.3214.312.430.9
Minnie Minoso
1,835
262.5213.015.2
34.9
250.9213.99.328.5
Bret Saberhagen
403
155.6121.220.3
34.2
157.4122.121.035.0
Tim Raines Sr.
2,500
312.9274.811.0
34.1
315.4271.513.937.0
Rafael Palmeiro
2,829
307.6266.69.3
33.6
309.3260.913.137.2
Reggie Smith
1,986
263.7220.513.2
33.0
268.6218.916.436.4
Jimmy Wynn
1,920
267.4227.112.3
32.7
265.4218.215.935.9
Will Clark
1,976
232.9178.916.2
32.2
224.5179.312.027.7
Ken Boyer
2,034
253.1224.010.2
29.7
248.2214.812.431.4
Ted Simmons
2,456
249.1231.19.2
29.4
236.4219.98.527.7
Dave Stieb
454
173.0151.613.4
28.9
170.3148.813.328.6
Keith Hernandez
2,088
227.9185.611.0
26.9
226.4189.18.424.4
Bill Freehan
1,770
166.7153.28.9
22.1
171.2152.011.825.1
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*
1,860.1
264.2219.519.7
40.2
261.0218.318.839.1

*Average excludes Quincy Trouppe.

Hall of Fame
The first table finds nine 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, 34 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, and Lloyd Waner, et al.) with the latter group of players.

A couple of the players on this list were elected to the Hall of Merit based in part on games not included here. In addition to the aforementioned Quincy Trouppe, Minnie Minoso was given some Negro / Cuban league credit at the Hall of Merit.

The remaining 32 players fall into three possible categories.
1. Players not inducted into the Hall of Fame just yet
A few 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 34 players listed above will eventually be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

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, however - especially within the next few years - are the 9 players listed here who are still on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Jeff Bagwell, Edgar Martinez, Larry Walker, and Tim Raines. 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. This difference is probably most clear in one name from the above table: 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. Six players in the Hall of Merit were named in the Mitchell Report: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Kevin Brown, Gary Sheffield, Mark McGwire, and Rafael Palmeiro.

In addition, 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, I am left with 18 players for whom Retrosheet has full play-by-play records for their career who have been elected to the Hall of Merit, but not the Hall of Fame. Player won-lost records for these 18 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
298.5253.228.7
50.0
287.0255.022.042.8
Dwight Evans
2,602
328.9275.820.2
44.5
330.6277.520.144.5
Alan Trammell
2,292
277.2251.823.7
44.2
274.7254.421.241.7
Bobby Grich
2,006
245.5210.723.2
41.1
242.9209.722.440.1
Darrell Evans
2,683
302.9258.215.2
38.1
300.8256.515.137.8
Graig Nettles
2,691
304.7269.014.9
37.8
293.7268.09.932.4
David Cone
451
184.5154.520.3
37.5
182.2162.515.332.7
Willie Randolph
2,202
267.0241.918.2
37.6
259.3247.711.430.8
Reggie Smith
1,986
263.7220.513.2
33.0
268.6218.916.436.4
Rick Reuschel
579
223.3209.616.7
35.2
219.3214.312.430.9
Bret Saberhagen
403
155.6121.220.3
34.2
157.4122.121.035.0
Jimmy Wynn
1,920
267.4227.112.3
32.7
265.4218.215.935.9
Will Clark
1,976
232.9178.916.2
32.2
224.5179.312.027.7
Dave Stieb
454
173.0151.613.4
28.9
170.3148.813.328.6
Ted Simmons
2,456
249.1231.19.2
29.4
236.4219.98.527.7
Ken Boyer
2,034
253.1224.010.2
29.7
248.2214.812.431.4
Keith Hernandez
2,088
227.9185.611.0
26.9
226.4189.18.424.4
Bill Freehan
1,770
166.7153.28.9
22.1
171.2152.011.825.1
Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Average
1,832.2
245.7212.116.4
35.3
242.2211.615.033.7


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
252.2230.48.2
28.6
244.8228.35.825.7
Hall of Merit
1,832.2
245.7212.116.4
35.3
242.2211.615.033.7


I think that if one looks closely, there's a great deal to be gleaned from that comparison. On a strict statistical basis, players in the Hall of Merit, but not in the Hall of Fame, had better, more valuable careers than players in the Hall of Fame, but not in the Hall of Merit. This is not a big surprise: the entire point of the Hall of Merit was to remove the least valuable Hall-of-Famers and replace them with "better" players and while the Hall of Merit mostly pre-dates the development of Player won-lost records, the electorate of the Hall of Merit was certainly using the same general "sabermetric" approach to player valuation.

The largest difference between any of the numbers in the preceding table are for eWOPA - (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) eWins over positional average. The average HOM-not-HOF player beats the average HOF-not-HOM player by 9.2 eWOPA. That number narrows to 8.0 when comparison shifts from average to replacement level. And the average HOF-not-HOM player and the average HOM-not-HOF player earned basically the same number of raw eWins, 244.8 vs. 242.2.

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 330 career pWins, but, in fact, he was actually slightly below average over his career as measured by Player won-lost records.
The other thing that emerges in the above table is that while both "average players" rate better in context - pWins - than context-neutral - eWins - the difference between pWins and eWins is fairly trivial for Hall-of-Merit-only players, while Hall-of-Fame-only players gain a more significant 2.9 WORL when player performance is put into the context of team performance. Of the 9 HOF-not-HOM players shown earlier, 7 of them had more career pWORL than career eWORL.

Tony Perez may be the best example of this. Tony Perez may be the only player in the Baseball Hall of Fame based primarily on his career RBI total (1,652, 28th all-time). The first sentence on Perez's page at the Hall of Fame's website reads: "One of the national pastime's great run producers, Atanasio 'Tony' Perez Rigal was among the best when it came to driving in big runs for Cincinnati's 'Big Red Machine' clubs of the 1970s." His Hall-of-Fame plaque reads, "A clutch performer throughout an illustrious 23-year career, he tormented the opposition with his ability to consistently drive in runs...."

Sabermetricians tend to disdain RBI's as a valid statistical measure of "value", arguing that RBI's are merely a function of (a) general hitting ability, which is better measured by other statistics (e.g., Perez's career batting line of .279/.341/.463), and (b) opportunity, which is outside of the control of a player. Perez, for example, batted 4th (and occasionally 5th) in his career, which tend to provide maximum RBI opportunities within a typical major-league lineup, and Perez tended to bat behind Pete Rose and Joe Morgan, who both finished in the top 5 in the major leagues in times on base every season from 1972 through 1977, which gave Tony Perez lots of baserunners to drive in.

There is definitely something to this. And, as can be seen in the above tables, Player won-lost records think that both Morgan and Rose (as well as Reds' teammate Johnny Bench) were more valuable players over their careers than Tony Perez. But there is value in actually driving in runs, and Tony Perez did drive in a lot of runs. Perez also hit better over his career with runners in scoring position - .284/.364/.470 - than with the bases empty - .265/.322/.442. He also hit better in high-leverage situations for his career - .300/.359/.491 - than in either medium- or low-leverage situations (.277/.341/.456 and .269/.331/.456, respectively). In late and close situations, Perez batted .300/.370/.490 for his career. In extra innings, Tony Perez batted .352/.427/.552. Was Tony Perez's "clutch performance" a skill? Maybe. Was Tony Perez's "clutch performance" real? Of course. The runs Perez drove in really scored and those runs contributed to real wins for Perez's teams.
In addition to comparing hypothetical "averages", I thought it would be instructive to compare two actual players: a "typical" HOF-only player, Orlando Cepeda, and a "typical" HOM-only player, say, Reggie Smith. Cepeda and Smith are compared in the next table.

Orlando Cepeda Reggie Smith
Age Games pWins pLoss pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss pWOPA pWORL
20
14815.714.20.1
1.2
21
15119.016.70.5
1.9
60.40.8-0.2-0.2
22
15119.017.9-0.4
1.0
15817.917.6-0.41.2
23
15220.615.91.4
3.0
15520.219.2-0.21.5
24
16218.714.61.1
2.4
14318.415.41.02.5
25
15619.914.71.9
3.3
14720.616.21.63.2
26
14218.113.11.8
3.0
15923.119.01.43.1
27
330.80.9-0.1
0.1
13119.114.31.83.2
28
14215.513.20.4
1.5
11515.512.41.32.5
29
15122.614.33.0
4.6
14320.517.01.12.6
30
15717.614.80.4
1.8
13516.314.50.21.4
31
15418.615.70.3
1.8
11215.612.80.92.0
32
14816.015.3-0.7
0.7
14821.816.21.93.4
33
717.96.70.1
0.7
12819.014.41.52.8
34
312.22.3-0.2
-0.0
688.18.4-0.50.1
35
14214.513.40.5
2.3
9213.210.90.81.7
36
332.52.7-0.1
0.2
411.51.9-0.20.0
37
 
10512.69.51.12.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS
(in context)
2,124249.2206.59.9
29.5
1,986263.7220.513.233.0
(context-neutral)
2,124239.2201.37.9
26.8
1,986268.6218.916.436.4


The Cepeda-Smith comparison highlights the differences between Hall-of-Fame and Hall-of-Merit players discussed above. Smith beats Cepeda across the board - even moreso than perhaps the "average player" discussed above. But the gap between the two players is most striking in eWOPA (16.4 - 7.9) and least striking in pWORL (33.0 - 29.5).

Breaking the comparison down by seasons also reveals some potentially relevant distinctions between the two, I believe. While Smith has better career numbers across the board, Cepeda had the single best season of either of these two, in 1967 (Cepeda's age-29 season), when Cepeda won a (well-deserved) MVP award.

To some extent, the difference between Cepeda's and Smith's Hall-of-Fame case, I think, comes down to "narrative". Cepeda won a Rookie-of-the-Year award, challenged first-ballot Hall-of-Famer Willie McCovey for playing time at first base (and in left field) for several years, changed teams and won an MVP award for a pennant winner. For his career, Cepeda made All-Star teams in 7 seasons and appeared in the postseason in four seasons for three different teams, playing for one World Series winner.

The thing is, Reggie Smith's career comes pretty close to Cepeda's in terms of "narrative" markers. Smith only finished 2nd in Rookie-of-the-Year voting and never higher than 4th in MVP voting. But he was named an All-Star in 7 seasons, same as Cepeda, and matched Cepeda with four postseason appearances (although for only two teams) and one World Series win.

In fact, Cepeda and Smith met in the World Series once, in 1967. The results of that matchup are, perhaps, an appropriate summation of the two players. Cepeda's team won the World Series that year, 4 - 3, but Smith batted .250/.308/.542 with 2 home runs, 3 RBI and 3 runs scored, while Cepeda batted .103/.103/.172 (3-for-29 with 2 doubles) with 1 RBI and 1 run scored. Even tying their performances to team performance, Smith beat Cepeda in the 1967 World Series, as measured by pWins, 0.7 - 0.2.

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

Finally, 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 1946 and 1985, 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 30 career WORL (both pWORL and eWORL).

Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Tommy John
761
286.7253.725.1
49.3
286.4263.020.545.1
Jim Kaat
1,003
278.3262.317.8
42.3
283.1279.911.837.3
Luis Tiant
573
228.6198.820.4
40.0
213.2201.711.130.1
Dwight Gooden
434
184.5156.022.3
38.1
176.0162.614.530.3
Bert Campaneris
2,326
277.9273.414.2
36.7
277.0274.313.235.7
Amos Otis
1,997
263.9223.216.7
36.3
258.6227.611.931.4
Orel Hershiser
519
197.3178.418.0
36.0
194.8175.718.035.7
Dennis Martinez
694
231.7217.613.1
34.8
234.4226.410.232.5
Toby Harrah
2,155
250.4229.215.2
34.0
252.2224.618.437.1
Jose Canseco
1,886
225.8188.114.1
33.6
218.6186.711.330.5
Larry Jackson
599
210.1196.215.0
33.2
205.6194.913.331.3
Dick McAuliffe
1,763
210.4184.816.8
33.1
208.3187.814.230.6
Curt Simmons
609
211.8201.813.0
31.7
213.1204.212.631.5
Jerry Koosman
612
233.6227.910.6
30.9
232.0225.011.231.2
Brian Downing
2,342
235.3211.010.1
30.4
235.5207.512.032.1
Bob Friend
602
224.4220.910.0
30.2
224.5212.913.833.7
Jack Clark
1,992
249.0206.711.5
30.2
247.3198.614.933.2


Additional Writing on the Hall of Fame

I have written several other articles about the Hall of Fame.
Hall-of-Fame Players
My goal is to write an article taking a look at every member of the Hall of Fame through the prism of Player won-lost records. My plan is to start with the most recent electees and try to write about two articles per week.

Prior to starting this project, I have written several articles about Hall-of-Fame players. Several of these are linked below.
Luis Aparicio
Ernie Banks
Roger Clemens vs. Greg Maddux
Joe Morgan
Jim Rice vs. Dale Murphy
Articles in my "Hall-of-Famers" series will be linked here as they are written.
Hall-of-Famers as Seen Through Player Won-Lost Records
Randy Johnson
Pedro Martinez
John Smoltz
Craig Biggio
Greg Maddux
Tom Glavine
Frank Thomas
Barry Larkin
Ron Santo
Roberto Alomar
Bert Blyleven
Andre Dawson
Rickey Henderson
Jim Rice
Joe Gordon
Goose Gossage
Cal Ripken
Tony Gwynn
Bruce Sutter
Wade Boggs
Ryne Sandberg
Paul Molitor
Dennis Eckersley
Eddie Murray
Gary Carter
Ozzie Smith
Hall-of-Fame Elections
Every year, since 2013, when the Hall-of-Fame ballot is announced, I have written an article about the Hall-of-Fame ballot as well as articles about each of the players on the ballot. The articles on the individual players are linked within the above-referenced articles, as are links to additional Hall-of-Fame analysis which I did following the 2014, 2015, and 2016 elections.

2013 Hall-of-Fame Ballot
2014 Hall-of-Fame Ballot
2015 Hall-of-Fame Ballot
2016 Hall-of-Fame Ballot




All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.

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