Hall of Fame Population, By Position


The Hall of Fame elections have come and gone. So, no more from me on the subject, right?

Wrong, of course!

Hof-pos_medium

Click through to the interactive version—hover over a circle to see who it is and see their WAR-related stats.

What I did:

  • Took each Hall of Famer position player and grouped them by the position where they played the most.
  • I used wWAR—a version of Wins Above Replacement that applies extra credit for single-season excellence—because I love wWAR. wWAR is based on the WAR numbers at Baseball-Reference.

Observations:

  • Catcher and third base are, as we know, grossly underpopulated (I'm not saying every position should be equal… just that these two lag way behind).
  • The third basemen in the Hall are very top-heavy. Third base has a very large middle tier, from which only Robinson, Baker, and Collins are selected. Robinson is even on the very high-end of that tier while Collins is on the low-end. Who else is in that tier but not enshrined? That's where you see Ron Santo, Graig Nettles, Buddy Bell, Sal Bando, Ken Boyer, Darrell Evans, Robin Ventura, Stan Hack, etc. There are a couple problems. First, none of these guys (except for Santo) really stands out over the rest—and you can't put 'em all in. Second, we've already got guys in the Hall considerably worse than this group of non-inductees. Third base is kind of a mess.
  • Catchers, again, just don't accumulate WAR like other positions. That's why we need to look closer at guys like Joe Torre and Ted Simmons for certain, and perhaps also Gene Tenace, Bill Freehan, Wally Schang, and Thurman Munson. Heck, Jorge Posada just might be a Hall of Famer. His wWAR of 59.7 (46.0 + 13.6 + 0.1) seems a bit low at first glance, but it puts him in that group after Torre and Simmons. And if you believe catchers are under-represented, you have to start thinking about him.
  • There are more shortstops than I would have guessed—but there's also five sub-60 wWAR guys at the end (ranging from Luis Aparicio to Rabbit Maranville).
  • You know those light-colored circles at the end of each row? Ruling out the catchers (they're a special case), the only one that I see that I'd say belongs in the Hall of Fame is John Ward (and perhaps I'd add Aparicio—there aren't all that many shortstop snubs compared to other positions). Everyone else, I'd love to see gone to make room for the ludicrous snubs.
  • Wait! How did a DH get into the Hall of Fame!?!? They snuck that by us! The Hall of Fame can't have a DH!!!!

Anything to add?

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