Baseball's HOF vs. Hockey's HOF: Which standard do you prefer

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Big Phil, Aug 9, 2011.

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  1. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    We have just witnessed Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar get inducted into Cooperstown. Baseball is a ridiculously hard sport to be elected into the Hall of Fame. Some observers say it's TOO hard. Hockey on the other hand is often criticized for being too soft. I agree with both of these analogies. But which one do you prefer? One to be too soft or too strict?

    Baseball has more great players waiting to get in than Hockey and has less questionable selections than Hockey. Translate Jack Morris' career into a hockey player and I believe he's in the HHOF for example. There are other names but let's just discuss each institution.
     
  2. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    NFL Football

    Throw in the NFL HOF and you may have better comparables with different procedures, larger group elected every year, with greater transparency and appreciation of past eras.
     
  3. RabbinsDuck

    RabbinsDuck Registered User

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    Oh, easily MLB, I would love to lob off a third of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

    ** Though I do agree the MLB is a little too strict.
     
  4. Mayor Bee

    Mayor Bee Registered User

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    Wait, MLB is too strict? There's about 100 guys who could be tossed out tomorrow, which would go a long way toward improving the Hall's prestige.

    I will say that the biggest problems with MLB have been as follows:
    1) The Veterans Committee (and its predecessors). It's a group of old guys who sit around and tell stories, then vote their old teammates and friends in.
    2) The backlash against information. "Moneyball" was the first mainstream salvo between sabermetrics and "the establishment"; I'm not a fan of Michael Lewis, and his outright antagonism has had the expected result. No one who's been doing something for 30 or 40 years likes to be told by someone much younger than them how they know nothing. Instead of seeing a continued improvement in the BBHOF selections, we get the absolutely baffling selections of Jim Rice and Andre Dawson.

    Of course, the HHOF's problem has been that selection has been done by #1 that I referred to. It's not a transparent process, and a good number of selections absolutely defy logic. The HHOF committee seems hell-bent on making exactly the same stupid decisions that the BBHOF did in the 40s and 70s with the Veterans Committee, but that's just how the HHOF has always done it.

    Both have suffered because of wildly inconsistent decisions. If both Halls placed everyone better than their weakest member in, there'd be about 900 enshrinees in each.
     
  5. shazariahl

    shazariahl Registered User

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    Agreed. The NFL HoF definitely seems to be the best of the major NA sports, at least IMO. As you mentioned, the NFL has a particular love of their history and past eras, where as hockey seems almost embarassed by its past sometimes. You watch things on TSN where they ask if Crosby is the best Pen ever; I even saw someone there speculate he could be the greatest player to ever play the game. I wanted to throw something at the TV. When I watch the NFL network, they have their top 10 and top 50 and top 100 lists, all of which are littered with great names from the past.

    Here we have regular debates whether or not Gretzky would even be able to break 100 pts in today's game. I find that attitude reflected in the media as well. That doesn't happen in the NFL.
     
  6. Hardyvan123

    Hardyvan123 [email protected]

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    Fully agree here, especailly with the last part, and was puzzled by the poll options but it is true that recently the baseball hall has become too strict and I'm still undecided and prefer neither as both have huge problems in how they work.
     
  7. Czech Your Math

    Czech Your Math Registered User

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    Good post, agree that some BBHOF selections have been baffling, especially outfielders. Gwynn deserves to be there based on his batting titles, but aside from Henderson, don't see much difference in value between the OF's elected and those who weren't. I don't think they even look at on-base %. It seems to be mostly about compiling hits and HRs.

    Were these five:

    Dawson
    Gwynn
    Puckett
    Rice
    Winfield

    really better than these five?:

    Evans
    Murphy
    Lynn
    Parker
    Raines
     
  8. MS

    MS 1%er

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    As long as baseball continues to induct relief pitchers – backup players who are the equivalent of platoon position players who get 200 ABs/season – the HHOF can’t hold a candle to the BHOF when it comes to weak inductions.

    Bruce Sutter is a worse induction than anyone the HHOF has ever put in and would be the equivalent of Bunny Laraque going into the HHOF for being a great backup goalie.

    The only relief pitcher in the history of baseball who merits induction is Mariano Rivera when he’s eligible. The rest are a joke.

    And the BHOF inducts compilers in the exact same way the HHOF does. Don Sutton and Eddie Murray, meet Mike Garter.
     
  9. Mayor Bee

    Mayor Bee Registered User

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    Without going too far down the baseball path, the answers is yes and no. Gwynn and Winfield are definitely HOF caliber. Rice and Dawson are absolutely not. Puckett was a mistake in the sense that it opened up that whole "if not for injuries..." sub-category, although one could make the case that Addie Joss' selection did the same. On the other side, I'd have Raines as HOF caliber and the rest as somewhere between marginal and absolutely not a good candidate. I'd put Darrell Evans in there before Dwight Evans.

    What defies logic is that, in the case of Dwight Evans and Jim Rice, park effects is something that's been researched a great deal over the last 35 years. We heard plenty during their primes about Larry Walker, Todd Helton, and Dante Bichette being discounted because of the Coors Field part effects artificially inflating their offensive numbers...but Fenway to a right-handed hitter isn't exactly the same thing?

    I'm of the opinion, and this goes for all sports, that the only HOFers should be among the top 5-10 players at their position in history. The new enshrinees would be those who break into that realm. The problem is that the BBHOF and HHOF were damaged early on by putting in guys who not only didn't fall into that category, but didn't fall into it when they had retired (with a much shorter list of competition to worry about). Heck, look at hockey, where we discuss whether goalies with career losing records or those who were wildly inconsistent from year to year (and especially in the playoffs) were snubbed or hosed once again.
     
  10. Mayor Bee

    Mayor Bee Registered User

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    The issue of relief pitching is a lot more complicated than I'd like to address, so I'll focus on the second part.

    A major difference between baseball and hockey is that, relatively speaking, hockey exists in a vacuum. A forward in hockey may face varying calibers of opponents, but there is nothing inherent to the rink that may act to artificially inflate or deflate his production. He's measured relative to his peers.

    In baseball, the ballpark itself has an enormous influence on the success of a player at the bat. The quality of the pitcher changes, yes, but the end result is enormously impacted by the park. Kansas City used to have lively Astroturf and a huge amount of foul territory; Boston is beneficial for right-handed power hitters and detrimental to left-handed power hitters, but beneficial for left-handed slap hitters and detrimental to right-handed slap hitters; New York (AL) is the opposite of Boston; Houston used to be detrimental to power hitters but beneficial for slap hitters; and so on. There's no rink effects that have anywhere close to that type of impact on output.
     
  11. GuineaPig

    GuineaPig Registered User

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    Easily MLB.
     
  12. jumptheshark

    jumptheshark Rebooting myself Sponsor

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    there is no questioinable players in the MLB hall of fame

    hockey--not so much
     
  13. MS

    MS 1%er

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    Uh, are you serious?
     
  14. Win Jiggys Loft

    Win Jiggys Loft Registered User

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    Trevor Hoffman???
     
  15. Billy Wagner? Goose Gossage?

    Also, when Jeff Bagwell can't get into the HOF, you know somethings up.
     
  16. Phil Rizzuto begs to differ.
     
  17. MS

    MS 1%er

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    Absolutely, would say no to Hoffman, Wagner, and Gossage.

    A guy who throws 70 innings in a season and 1000 in a career just doesn't have that much value. No matter how good at it you are, you're a backup player of limited importance. Somehow the saves stat has completely skewed perspective on how important a guy is who throws 4% of a team's innings over the course of a season.

    Put it this way - guys like Felix Hernandez and Tim Lincecum have thrown more innings after 5 MLB seasons than Hoffman and Wagner threw in their careers. If Lincecum blew out his arm tomorrow and retired, does he go to the BHOF? Not bloody likely.

    Mariano Rivera is a different story because he's thrown 139 postseason innings with a 0.71 ERA. That's absolutely insane.

    As for Jeff Bagwell, he's a guy who was never busted for steroids but whose physique and career arc absolutely scream that he was juicing. His last year in the minors at age 22, he was a little 3B that hit 4 HR in 550 ABs. 4 years later, he was a fire hydrant with biceps like tree trunks hitting homers like Mickey Mantle. Yeah, right. And he's waiting because of it.


    ... and Red Schoendeist, Bruce Sutter, and many others.

    There's absolutely no difference in standards between the BHOF and the HHOF. The question in the original post is based on a flawed premise.
     
  18. ssh

    ssh Registered User

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    nevermind
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  19. HabsByTheBay

    HabsByTheBay Registered User

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  20. MS

    MS 1%er

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    This is getting way OT, but again yeah, right.

    I don't believe for a second that this smallish player who had no power-hitting resume through the minors or his first few MLB seasons all of a sudden at age 26 turned into one of the greatest sluggers in baseball history, out-slugged everyone at a time where everyone was juiced, and did it clean. Oh, and just happened to be maybe the most muscled guy with the biggest arms in baseball but did that clean, too.

    The pictures above don't do it justice. The transformation in Bagwell's physique from his first couple seasons to the middle portion of his career is near-identical to that of Sammy Sosa.

    Do I have any actual evidence? Nope, nobody does. But I'm not stupid, either.

    And the BHOF seems to agree with what I'm saying because on raw statistics he should clearly already have been in.
     
  21. Dhockey16

    Dhockey16 Registered User

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    Yeah, I think the NFL has it pretty down pat. Baseball is a bit too strict in regards to longevity, I think it's 10 years played or you aren't eligible. I do like how stringent they have been with suspected juicers, though.
     
  22. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    First I've ever heard anyone complain about Kirby Puckett being in the HOF. Does anyone actually remember his career? No doubt I'd have inducted him even if it was shorter than you'd like to see. As for Winfield over guys like Parker and Raines I have no problem with that although it wouldn't hurt if Raines got in someday too.

    I think the only complain with Puckett is that prior to his death and prior to him being inducted there were terrible stories of him that his ex-wife and his ex-mistress brought to the table. When your mistress seeks consolation with your wife then you know you've ticked them both off something awful. I remember the mistress mentioning how Puckett detested doing charity work and so on and it really made him look like a monster. But BHOF didn't have a problem with that or else they wouldn't have inducted him. And honestly, having seen Puckett's career the moral code would be the only reason I could ever see them omitting him and since barely anyone remembers stuff like this about him - if they knew at all - then it's safe to say that there is no reason to have a problem with him in there
     
  23. HabsByTheBay

    HabsByTheBay Registered User

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    [​IMG]

    Oh yeah, he's totally unnaturally ripped. It's like he lifts weights!

    Your evidence is thus: you don't know anything about park effects, Jeff Bagwell hit a lot of home runs when a lot of other people who actually have some evidence of doing steroids hit home runs, therefore he did steroids.

    And appealing to authority is lame. The BBHOF elected Jim Rice, who wasn't half the player Jeff Bagwell was, and hasn't elected Tim Raines, the greatest leadoff man in history not named Rickey Henderson. They're morons.
     
  24. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    I wish the HHOF had a larger selection committee. I've long maintained that I prefer the composition of hockey's selection committee - coaches, executives, players, officials, media - than baseball's committee, which is just beat writers with a certain amount of experience. The HHOF committee is going to look at the attributes of a professional hockey player first, and stats second. They get that you play to win the game. The media tends to look at stats first. If it was hockey writers who voted on the HHOF, Adam Oates is probably in now. But with a committee of his peers and decision-makers, Oates is on the outside looking in.

    My qualm with the HHOF committee is that it has 18 members. That's a pretty small sample size. And while you need a greater percentage of support from the HHOF committee (78 per cent) than the baseball committee (75 per cent) to be inducted, for the most part, it's harder to get 75 per cent in baseball, because there are hundreds of voters, than it is to get 78 per cent in hockey, with 18 voters.

    I don't think you could get a really large committee for hockey, and make it work with its current composition. But if it was 40 or 50, I think that would be wonderful. 39 of 50 votes gets you in the HHOF. Granted, it goes both ways. I think it would make it easier for Lindros, Bure or Kariya to get into the HHOF with a 50-man committee than an 18-man committee. It's going to be hard for those three guys to get in, because if there are five people out of 18 in the game who don't think that those three guys belong, then they won't get in.

    There are a lot of reasons why baseball's HOF is the best in sports. It's the toughest to get in. There are a lot of reasons for that. Baseball does a far better job of celebrating its past than any other sport. And the baseball HOF is in small-town New York, not in a big city. Toronto's an awesome hockey market, but I think it would be better served in a small town or a small city. If someone tells you they went to Toronto, there could be a litany of reasons. If someone tells you they went to Cooperstown, New York, you know why: for the best HOF in sports.
     
  25. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    I'm going to be brief on this, since a) it's not about a hockey player; and b) Kirby Puckett is one of my all-time favourite players. But I believe baseball was everything to Kirby Puckett, and without baseball, and without the ability to be involved in the game at the highest level, or the ability to be in the clubhouse with the boys, his life fell apart. Baseball was everything to him. He was maybe the most beloved player, and person, in the game for most of his career. But all of these things happened after he retired, after baseball was taken away from him. And he was a mess. He really put on a lot of weight after he was forced to retire. He was a major health problem waiting to happen.

    I don't defend what he did off the field once his playing career ended, but everything just seemed to be one of the worst cases I've ever seen of a guy having trouble letting the game go.
     

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