Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hall of Fame Preview with Lars the Greek

Lars the Greek - Cobb Times Herald

Normally known for his playoff and season predictions, Lars the Greek is eagerly anticipating the upcoming Hall of Fame update to HBD, and has turned his considerable prognostication prowess towards determining who is in and out of the Hall of Fame.  Using the criteria laid down from admin on high, here is the list that Lars has to work with, and predictions to follow. 

Position Players
--There have been quite a few great position players through the years in Cobb World, none greater than Jose Barrios, who owns nearly every single offensive category record and has yet to retire, and is one of the few threats in league history to top the 3,000 hit plateau.  After him though the books show a league strong in slugging hitters, with a few very dominant players, and a whole bevy of very good ones.  

Automatic Nomination Categories

7+ Silver Sluggers
  1. Jose Barrios - 8
  2. Dallas Kline - 7
10+ Gold Gloves

--No players meet this criteria

7+ All Star Appearances
  1. Jose Barrios - 10
  2. Ernie Jenkins - 9
  3. Dallas Kline - 8
  4. Vernon Jones - 8
  5. Hades Booker - 7
3+ MVPs
  1. Jose Barrios - 6
  2. Kory Arnold - 4
  3. Chipper Harper - 3
500+ Home Runs
  1. Jose Barrios - 740
  2. Kip Zeile - 665
  3. Jose Cervantes - 628
  4. Domingo Montana - 539
  5. Dallas Kline - 534
  6. Vernon Jones - 529
  7. Orber Olivo - 519
  8. Kenny Blair - 510
3000+ Hits

--No players meet this criteria

20 Players retired or near retirement who were/are great but meet none of those requirements
  1. Marino Sierra
  2. Rico Estrada
  3. Ernest McConnell
  4. Joseph Pan
  5. Thomas Hill
  6. Bob Sears
  7. Terrance Warden
  8. Rob Quinn
  9. Patrick Stanton
  10. Pat Barber
  11. Vitas Newman
  12. Fred McConnell
  13. Corey Green
  14. Ken Puffer
  15. Richard Davis
  16. Alan Peterson
  17. Mendy Strong
  18. Rico Romero
  19. Ryan Saberhagen
  20. Roosevelt Lowell
Lars Top 10 Picks for the Hall of Fame

--Obviously Jose Barrios gets the nod, as does Dallas Kline, after that the definition of greatness becomes limited to fewer categories, as only Barrios and Kline were able to achieve more than 3 of the criteria needed for automatic nomination.  Here is Lars's list:
  1. Jose Barrios - The example of greatness from day one of Cobb World, Barrios is the greatest player in the history of the league, hands down, no questions asked.  Anyone who thinks otherwise needs their head examined.
  2. Dallas Kline - For the first 10 seasons in Cobb World there was a legitimate debate as to who was greater, Kline or Barrios.  Then Kline started his decline, but his records of early Cobb dominance remain, truly an all time great.
  3. Ernie Jenkins - While he may not have reached 500 HR's, Jenkins has more all star appearances than anyone in Cobb History save Barrios, and has two MVP's, which is nothing to sneeze at.  He was an elite hitter and one of the most feared bats of his time.
  4. Marino Sierra - While Sierra didn't crack any of the criteria, he did come close with 6 All Star appearances.  What is more impressive is how complete his game was, there probably wasn't a more effective leadoff hitter in the game for the first 12 years of Cobb, and Sierra currently is a top 5 all time player in runs, stolen bases, walks, and runs created, plus he belted nearly 300 HR's with a career average around .300.  That's Hall of Fame worthy.
  5. Kip Zeile - The #2 all time home run hitter in Cobb World is a lock for the hall, and was probably the most underrated player of his era.  He did finally earn his elusive MVP, but along with Orber Olivo was shut out of the All Star game far to often, perhaps because of his shining personality.
  6. Vernon Jones - A 500 home run hitter at the catcher position is a rare thing, and Jones is the most decorated player at that position in Cobb history.  A fan favorite, Jones was also a very good defensive catcher as well as being a monster at the plate, only Patrick Stanton and Vitas Newman are close historically for catchers.
  7. Kory Arnold - Four MVP's is the most impressive stat in Arnolds career, second only to Jose Barrios' six awards.  No other player has dominated the American League like the stretch Arnold put together from seasons 8-11, although young Pedro Franco is making a run.  Arnold may possibly reach 500 home runs, but even if he doesn't he deserves a spot in the hall.
  8. Rico Estrada - Six time All Star Rico Estrada was the standard for shortstops for a decade in the first years of Cobb World.  An all time top five player in hits and runs, as well as coolness, Estrada was the first major impact international free agent to hit Cobb World, and his influence has been felt in the league ever since.
  9. Fred McConnell - McConnell gets a veteran's committee vote from Lars, as his first five seasons in the league were so completely dominating that it is hard to leave him out, imagining what he could have been if all of his prime were spent playing in recorded seasons.  A good fielder at CF as well, McConnell deserves a spot in the Hall.
  10. Jose Cervantes - Hard to imagine how a player who has hit over 600 home runs has only been an All Star twice, but Cervantes has very quietly put up some of the most ridiculous power numbers in Cobb history.  Still a very effective power hitter, it isn't unreasonable to think that he could top 700 home runs before his career is over.  That is most certainly a Hall of Fame number by any stretch of the imagination.

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