Saturday, December 14, 2013

Blast from the Past: Should Jeff Kent Be Voted Into the Hall of Fame?

Actually, I'm not sure why this is a question.  Jeff Kent hit more home runs than any second baseman in history, unless you count Alfonso Soriano, but he's played less than half his games at the position while Kent played over 90% of his games at the Keystone Sack.  It's not like Kent just barely hit the most either.  He hit 377 which is 76 more than Rogers Hornsby who hit the second most.  That pretty much settles it for me.  You hit more dingers than anyone else in the entire history of baseball to play your position, you belong in the Hall of Fame, period.

There was a long article in Beyond the Boxscore which used to be linked over to the left, which goes into all kinds of graphs of peak years vs career stats and WAR scores and such.  I like to keep it simple when you can.  Dude hit more dingers than anyone in the history of the position.  End of story for me!  Oh, and he also had the 3'rd most RBI's after Nap Lajoie and Rajah.  Go ahead and make fun of RBI's all you want, but again, 3'rd most in history of the position?  I'm not going to quibble with that!

It's not like he was a slouch in the more sophisticated stats either.  Kent places #17 in alltime WAR for the second base position.  That he is lower than top 5 is mostly because he wasn't a great fielder, but he wasn't in negative territory either.

Now we'll get to one of my big pet peeves.  Should Kent be a FIRST BALLOT Hall of Famer?  If the whole first ballot or not issue is not one of the stupidest in all of sports, I don't know what is.  You are either a Hall of Famer or you are not.  It's not like sitting out another year is going to change your contribution to the game, on iota.  So F@#$ Yeah, as Timmy would say, Jeff Kent should be a FIRST BALLOT Hall of Famer!

Oh, and how ridiculous will it be if Kent is a Hall of Famer and Barry Bonds isn't?  That's a whole other story that has nothing to do with stats and has been hashed and rehashed way too many times.


  1. Honestly, my opinion of the HOF is forever changed. Kent was also an MVP, and definitely is deserving of a spot in the Hall... the fact that there is a limit to how many players make it in each year is a joke. And until Mr. Bonds gets his spot and the ceremony he deserves, I'm not going to have many positive things to say about the whole deal. Very sad, but that's the way it is.

    1. Baseball may need to consider taking the vote away from the BBWAA and giving it to the players, or else add in players for an extra dimension to the vote.

      They could even consider letting fans vote and weighting it 33% or 10% or whatever, not that Barry Bonds would necessarily fare better with the fans, but I just am not sure the BBWAA has done their duty with the HOF vote.

      Also, MLB itself set a very bad precedent by declaring Pete Rose ineligible. Pete Rose probably should not be employed by any entity associated with MLB, but there is absolutely no reason he should not be in the HOF!

  2. *Edit: Alfonso Soriano, not Rafael Soriano :D

  3. Thanks for the informative write up Doc! Pulling out Nap Lajoie & Rogers Hornsby references to boot! I agree - send Kent to Cooperstown (also agree that it doesn't need to get in on first ballot). For this year, I am pulling for Jack Morris to get in. Sabers don't like him, but he was the stopper for three World Series champs (Tigers, Twins, Jays). His Game 7 10 inning shutout vs John Smoltz & los Bravos stands second only to Don Larsen's perfecto and perhaps Christy Mathewson's 1905 3 game shutouts as the greatest in my book. Morris was a gamer. Throwback to the old days of yore - before pitch counts and participation trophies.

    Like many readers, I too am tired of the Bonds bashing and PED hypocrisy. Glaus, Spezio and probably half the 2002 Angels squad was juiced as well. Not to mention East Coast darlings like the Yankees.

    Again, thanks for the article!


    1. Jack Morris's World Series winning game 7 for the Twins is the single gutsiest, most clutch pitching performance I've ever seen. Definitely a HOF'er in my book!

  4. Both Heisman and HOF balloting are jokes now. Power plays by bitter writers.

  5. Home runs are just one way of providing offensive value. Kent is pretty clearly not the best all-around offensive player at his position - that's Hornsby. That, to me, is a stronger argument than just being the all-time HR leader. Mike Piazza, for instance, is a Hall of Famer not merely because he's the all-time homer leader among catchers, but because he's the best offensive catcher ever.

    I do think Kent should go to the Hall of Fame eventually, but he's a fairly borderline guy. There are better second basemen (Lou Whitaker, Bobby Grich, arguably Willie Randolph) who aren't in.