Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Lee Smith

Hall-of-Famers as Seen Through Player Won-Lost Records: Lee Smith

Lee Smith was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Today's Game Era Committee in 2019.

Five highlights of Lee Smith's career: The first two tables below present Lee Smith's career as measured by Player won-lost records, in and out of context.

Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWORL pWOPA
1980CHN22
18
0.60.7-0.0-0.1
1981CHN23
40
3.14.3-0.6-1.2
1982CHN24
72
6.15.61.50.6
1983CHN25
66
8.65.24.43.2
1984CHN26
69
9.65.55.23.8
1985CHN27
65
10.16.15.23.7
1986CHN28
66
8.77.02.91.5
1987CHN29
62
7.45.72.61.4
1988BOS30
64
7.75.43.22.0
1989BOS31
64
5.13.72.01.2
32
64
8.84.25.44.3
1991SLN33
67
8.55.34.22.9
1992SLN34
70
7.14.73.32.2
35
62
5.94.62.11.2
1994BAL36
41
4.73.22.01.3
1995CAL37
52
5.43.82.31.5
38
54
2.42.50.3-0.2
1997MON39
25
0.81.2-0.3-0.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,021
110.578.845.628.8
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
4
0.30.9-0.5-0.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,025
110.879.845.128.2


Expected Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games eWins eLosses eWORL eWOPA
1980CHN22
18
0.70.60.30.2
1981CHN23
40
3.63.80.4-0.2
1982CHN24
72
6.25.51.70.8
1983CHN25
66
8.15.73.52.2
1984CHN26
69
7.87.31.90.6
1985CHN27
65
8.77.52.61.1
1986CHN28
66
8.37.32.31.0
1987CHN29
62
7.25.92.21.0
1988BOS30
64
7.06.11.80.7
1989BOS31
64
4.84.01.40.6
32
64
7.25.82.61.4
1991SLN33
67
7.46.42.00.8
1992SLN34
70
6.25.61.40.4
35
62
5.25.40.8-0.2
1994BAL36
41
4.23.71.30.5
1995CAL37
52
5.14.21.60.8
38
54
2.52.40.50.0
1997MON39
25
0.91.10.0-0.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,021
101.188.228.311.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
4
0.50.8-0.2-0.3
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,025
101.689.028.111.2


Lee Smith's strongest Hall-of-Fame credential was the fact that he held the major-league record for saves at the time of his retirement (and for almost nine full seasons thereafter).

The next two tables show the top 10 relief pitchers, through 1997 (Lee Smith's last season), ranked by pWins over positional average (pWOPA) and pWins over replacement level (pWORL). The numbers here reflect a player's total pWins across all positions; players are included in this table if the majority of their wins were accumulated as a relief pitcher.

Top 10 Relief Pitchers, through 1997
(ranked by career pWOPA)
Player pWins pLosses pWORL pWOPA
1Lee Smith110.578.845.628.8
2Rich Gossage130.4102.245.325.5
3Dan Quisenberry71.144.434.824.6
4Bruce Sutter87.762.736.122.9
5Tom Henke67.042.432.522.6
6Hoyt Wilhelm137.7116.644.022.5
7John Franco80.356.334.221.8
8Rollie Fingers120.497.839.921.4
9Doug Jones71.048.331.520.8
10Dave Righetti99.078.933.218.9


Top 10 Relief Pitchers, through 1997
(ranked by career pWORL)
Player pWins pLosses pWORL pWOPA
1Lee Smith110.578.845.628.8
2Rich Gossage130.4102.245.325.5
3Hoyt Wilhelm137.7116.644.022.5
4Rollie Fingers120.497.839.921.4
5Bruce Sutter87.762.736.122.9
6Lindy McDaniel121.2106.034.916.1
7Dan Quisenberry71.144.434.824.6
8John Franco80.356.334.221.8
9Dave Righetti99.078.933.218.9
10Tom Henke67.042.432.522.6


That's a nice showing by Lee Smith.

There are five pitchers in the National Baseball Hall of Fame whose careers ended in or before 1997 and were primarily relief pitchers (Dennis Eckersley technically fails on both counts: he pitched in 1998 and he earned more player wins as a starting pitcher than as a relief pitcher). They are the first five players listed in the second table.

If you accept the number of relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame from that time period, Player won-lost records suggest that the voters have chosen the right ones.

Article last updated: August 19, 2019



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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