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The Top 2%: An Oakland A’s Hall of Fame

December 20, 2013

I love Dave Cameron as even if I don’t agree with him his posts make you think. Yesterday he had a great post about the underrepresentation of 1960’s born baseball players in the Hall of Fame in Fangraphs. This is my generation of ballplayers so I took particular disdain with it. In the article he highlighted that basically one to two percent of MLB players are elected writing,

“I have no problem with the Hall of Fame being reserved for the top 1-2%, as that makes it an exclusive club and a legitimate honor to be chosen. This seems like the kind of standard that is worth upholding, and gives us a reasonable range of what a “big hall” or “small hall” might look like. At the minimum, we should accept the top 1%, and at the maximum, the top 2%.”

Yesterday, I talked about how I liked what the Brewers were doing to honor their history with their Wall of Fame, which honored players who made significant contributions to the Brew Crew over the years but did so largely by sticking around, not necessarily accumulating amazing numbers. Guys who would be important to a given franchise, but may (or more likely, will) be forgotten by history in the greater scheme of the game of baseball. What if instead of a Wall of Fame, we look at a Hall of Fame. Who are Oakland’s best players of all time? Who would be enshrined, in this franchise, one of the more successful in the American League? Here is who and I divide it into “small Hall” and “big Hall”, with of course the former all being members of the latter. For the purposes of determining who is best, I used Fangraphs’ WAR calculation.

Small Hall: Sal Bando, Vida Blue, Bert Campaneris, Eric ChavezJason GiambiRickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Mark McGwire and Dwayne Murphy.

Big Hall: Jose Canseco, Mark Ellis, Dave Henderson, Tim HudsonCarney Lansford, Joe Rudi, Terry Steinbach, Dave Stewart, Gene Tenace and Barry Zito.

Interesting group of guys. On the outside looking in is Dennis Eckersley who gets burned likely because WAR is so derived from counting stats, his WAR of 18.6 being accumulated in just 525 appearances, while Dave Henderson had 695 games to get up to 18.8. Surprising really just how few pitchers there are for a team known so much for developing starting pitching.

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