Bullet Points for Bobby Grich

May 20, 2015 by Adam Darowski

One of my favorite parts of being a SABR member is all the great baseball talk over email. Today, I was emailing with a SABR member who recently interviewed John Thorn, the official historian of Major League Baseball. He asked Thorn for some 20th century players who belong in the Hall of Fame. Thorn mentioned Bobby Grich, among others. This SABR member couldn’t see it.

I said:

Yep, Hall Rating has Grich as one of the very best outside the Hall.

  • 139 Hall Rating (100 is Hall cutoff)
  • Ranks 87th all time (among hitters and pitchers)
  • Ranks 7th among 2B (with one non-HOFer ahead of him—Lou Whitaker—and THIRTEEN HOF 2Bs behind him)

Totally agree with him on that one.

He replied with the dreaded “WAR doesn’t match my impression of how good a player was, so WAR is therefore flawed” argument, so I did what I had to do. After rattling off some bullet points, I realized this is a pretty good look at how I dig into a (perhaps) questionable WAR figure and see where it comes from (like I did with Rick Reuschel). I figured I’d share it here.

I kept it as is, so the passion in feverishly jotting down bullet points remains.

My Case for Bobby Grich

I guess what I want to know is where this falls apart. A relatively simple assessment of the numbers means that if Grich isn’t a Hall of Famer, then Joe Gordon, Billy Herman, Bid McPhee, Bobby Doerr, Tony Lazzeri, Nellie Fox, Johnny Evers, Red Schoendienst, and Bill Mazeroski have no chance. I quibble with some of those choices, but I’d vastly prefer an inclusive Hall of Fame (since it already is one).

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