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Raines Yes, Dawson No

18 January 2009

I’ve already discussed why I would vote Tim Raines into the Hall of Fame, and why he’s being unfairly ignored. Raines’ contemporary, and another Expo great from my formative baseball years in the 80s was Andre Dawson. I love the Hawk, like most anyone else who ever watched him play in his prime. But I would not vote him into the Hall. He just made too many outs, so many that they overshadow the many other things he did well–his power, speed and center field defense in his younger days, his throwing arm, and sure, even his classy demeanor and all-around good-guyitude.

Just how many outs did Dawson make? Check out the latest from the always insightful Joe Posnanski:

Here, then, are the 15 players in baseball history (9,000 or more PAs) who recorded the HIGHEST percentage of outs:

1. Gary Gaetti, .710
2. Larry Bowa, .709
***3. Joe Carter, .703
4. Dave Concepcion, .702
5. Luis Aparicio*, .701
6. Bert Campaneris, .700
7. Willie Davis, .700
8. Bill Buckner, .698
9. Andre Dawson, .694
10. Steve Garvey, .692
11. Brooks Robinson*, .690
12. Vada Pinson, .690
13. Pudge v.2.0, .689
14. Lou Brock*, .688
15. Ernie Banks*, .685

Only one of the bottom 10 is in the Hall of Fame, and Luis Aparicio has long been acknowledged to be one of the weakest hitters in the Hall of Fame. He’s there for defense and base stealing. Brock is in for his stolen bases and 3,000 hits. Banks is in for his 500 homers and being Mr. Cub. Will Dawson’s speed, outfield defense, power and general classiness make up for him making outs 69.4% of his plate appearances? That’s the question, isn’t it?

I can answer that question, Joe. Yes, the voters will look past Dawson’s out-making and vote him in, because they don’t understand how important getting on base (i.e. not making outs) is, no matter how many times you whack ’em over the head with Moneyball, BP, or any other tome that explains the concept.

Again, love the Hawk. I’ll probably drive to Cooperstown when he does get elected (the only induction ceremony I’ve seen was Ripken and Gwynn, which was a blast, even though neither played for my favorite team), and I’ll certainly cheer like crazy when they call his name. I just wouldn’t vote for him.

(***Joe Carter’s another fave of mine, since he, and more specifically his World Series-winning homer in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series, is partly responsible for me meeting my future wife. But he was a veritable out machine. I wish I could take back a lot of things I’ve written in the past…I have no such qualms about my comparison of Carter to Dave Kingman in “Baseball Between the Numbers”, or for evoking Tony Batista’s name in that chapter in discussing how less-than-stellar players can find ways to rack up lots of RBI if you give ’em a chance.)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. sorekara323 permalink
    18 January 2009 10:06 pm

    I STILL want to argue for the Hawk! Knowing all the .OBP arguments..but in this case are the power, speed and D REALLY not enough? I hate to bring up Adam Dunn again (and btw, I wish the Yankees had signed him) but as good as he is getting on base and bashing dingers..isn’t Dawson still a better baseball player because of his range?? Or am I stuck in the dark ages..(just don’t call me son-of-Murray Chass..)

    100% agree on Rock Raines, of course.

    oh..the Arizona Cardinals??? wtf????

  2. Jonah permalink*
    18 January 2009 10:09 pm

    Adam Dunn is not a Hall of Famer either. Whichever player is better isn’t that important, since they both fall short of my standards. Dawson would have to have absolutely obscene numbers (much higher SLG, 550+ HR, etc.) to make up for his vast outmaking. I just don’t see it.

  3. sorekara323 permalink
    19 January 2009 12:55 am

    Ok, I can see that..Reggie is a good example. Not much D and the career .OBP was only .356, but 563 taters and being Mr. October push him way over the top..

    in any case, it’s a shame as the Hawk was clearly better than Jim Rice! :)

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