Friday, February 10, 2012

Season 23 Hall of Fame preview: Part 3

The Pitchers

Morgan World was dominated by offense for the first 15 or so years of its existence. As a result, only Earl Wilkerson and Vitas Sobkowiak have made the Hall thus far. Those two were standout stars for strong Vancouver teams, which helped them put up the kind of numbers and awards that made them complete locks for induction.

In part because Banjo Melhuse hasn't expressed much interest in retiring, and many of the best arms in league history still have some years ahead of them, there haven't been a whole lot of serious candidates for voters to consider.

Closing In
There's one pitcher who should walk right into the Hall. Jerome Patrick is a 6-time Fireman of the Year, closed for 3 World Series champs...the guy is our Mariano Rivera. 630 saves--he should be a lock [Note: I had to re-write most of this article when the internet ate it, so I figured listing out all of Patrick's accomplishments were unnecessary. Though, note that I think this guy went to a record twelve All-Star Games!]

What Else Is Left?
I think this is the year to throw votes behind Jerome Turner. I know, his totals aren't super-impressive, and that no one could really decide whether he was a starter or a closer. Still, let's start building his case by comparing Turner's six years as a dedicated starter to the six best years (by WHIP) of Virgil Quinn, the wins leader among retirees and Morgan's version of Jack Morris--a very good pitcher who won games but doesn't have the kind of impressive rate stats to make a case for anything more than borderline HOF consideration:

Turner: avg. W-L = 13.5-7 (.659 W%), 3.78 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 7.93 K/9
Quinn: avg. W-L = 15.5-8.3 (.651 W%), 4.21 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 6.10 K/9

So, even cherry-picking Quinn's best years as a starter, Turner comes out ahead. And while Turner was never a closer on the same level as Patrick, he was successful in 83.8% of his save opportunities, which is pretty solid. The guy went to 7 All-Star games and won a Cy Young, a Fireman of the Year, a Gold Glove and a World Series ring. And his strikeout rate, FIP, ERA, and WHIP are all near the top all-time.

I'll admit to a soft spot for Turner. The guy just always seemed to beat me when we faced off, his teams won a lot of games and he excelled in every role his teams plugged him into. With the emergence of a lot of excellent pitchers in Morgan, maybe Turner's accomplishments just don't measure up, but I think my 5th vote probably goes to him.

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