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The One-and-Done All Star Team

He may not have been inducted to the Hall of Fame, but John Franco secured a spot on the "One-and-Done All Star Team".
He may not have been inducted to the Hall of Fame, but John Franco secured a spot on the "One-and-Done All Star Team".

Last year, as the Hall of Fame announcement approached, I built an "All Star Team" of players who dropped off the Hall of Fame ballot after just one attempt. It's the type of list you don't really want to be on—it contains some of the most incredibly overlooked players in history. 

Last year, we had a new addition to the squad. Robin Ventura, a 55.5 rWAR (from Baseball-Reference) third baseman, pulled in just 1.3% of the vote. Sadly, he's remembered more for getting beat up by an old man than for his historic defense.

Today, this "team" (unfortunately) got a whole lot better. Reliever John Franco fared about as well as I thought he would, picking up 4.6% of the vote in his first season. A couple players who finished behind him, however, simply shocked me. Kevin Brown, a 64.8 WAR starting pitcher, received just 2.1% of the vote. This is unfathomable. He ranks 34th all time in pitcher WAR. He was completely overshadowed by the Bert Blyleven Bonanza this year. I think each voter just assumed he'd reach 5% and planned to look closer next year. Alas, there's no shot now.

Brown is joined by John Olerud, a 56.8 WAR first baseman who rates just below the Hall of Fame median. So, basically, he was worth more than almost half of the position players in the Hall of Fame. He picked up four votes for 0.7% of the vote. Yikes.

What's our updated roster look like?

Position Players:

  • 2B Lou Whitaker (69.7)
  • 2B Bobby Grich (67.6)
  • OF Reggie Smith (63.4)
  • 3B Buddy Bell (60.8)
  • 3B Sal Bando (60.6)
  • CF Jimmy Wynn (59.8)
  • 1B Will Clark (57.6)
  • 3B Darrell Evans (57.3)
  • CF Willie Davis (57.2)
  • 1B John Olerud (56.8)
  • 3B Robin Ventura (55.5)
  • RF Jack Clark (55.0)
  • 1B Norm Cash (52.9)
  • LF Jose Cruz (52.2)
  • CF Cesar Cedeno (52.2)
  • 3B Ron Cey (52.0)
  • C Ted Simmons (50.4)
The list is led by two second baseman and also contains five third basemen. Jimmy Wynn, at 59.8 WAR, is the top player to not receive a single Hall of Fame vote.


Starting Pitchers:

  • SP Rick Reuschel (66.3)
  • SP Kevin Brown (64.8)
  • SP David Cone (57.5)
  • SP Frank Tanana (55.1)
  • SP Chuck Finley (55.0)
  • SP Bret Saberhagen (54.7)
  • SP Dave Stieb (53.0)
Brown rates really well here. I recently saw Poz compare Jack Morris to Rick Reuschel. You know? Reuschel came out looking pretty darn good. This guy doesn't get talked about enough. Frank Tanana is the top pitcher to never receive a single Hall of Fame vote.


Relief Pitchers:

  • RP John Hiller (28.2)
  • RP John Franco (25.8)
  • RP Kent Tekulve (24.8)
  • RP Dan Quisenberry (24.3)
  • RP Tom Henke (23.1)
Franco rates really high here. Always surprises me when I see John Hiller's numbers. Nobody talks about him. But gosh was he good.

So, what lineup would you construct from this roster? Who would start on the hill?