More Love for Murph

Frank Stephenson at Division of Labour pointed me to Kyle Wingfield’s column in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. It’s a pay site, but I’ll post a brief quote.

…if voting patterns for the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s are any indication. In each of those decades, an average of 22 Hall of Famers played the most significant part of their careers — meaning a majority or near-majority of their statistical production came in that decade. …

So far, the corresponding number for the ’80s is only 13. Three more players — Tony Gwynn, Rickey Henderson and Cal Ripken Jr. — are sure to enter Cooperstown in the coming years. But that still leaves the ’80s six Hall of Famers short of the three previous, and largely comparable, decades.

Wingfield attributes the current “Steroid Era” as the cause of 80s players getting less respect. While I think the growing offensive numbers may be part of the reason, I don’t see much evidence that steroids is the cause of the rise in those numbers.

One Response “More Love for Murph”

  1. Actually, I think it is just a statistical anomaly. For me, the 80’s seems marked by the fact that so many of the best players fizzled for one reason or another. Gooden, Strawberry, Will Clark, Murphy, Eric Davis etc, etc. Many of these guys were well on their ways to epic careers that ended up just short of HOF level for various reasons. Without any data to back it up, it seems there were less of these players in the previous decades (though I didn’t spend my formative years in the 50’s-70’s, so maybe my “memory” is off).