Part I of a two part series to inform and educate around a couple potential HOF candidates. Feel free to comment for either case! (Especially mine!)
First on the block: Marino Sierra
FW - For all you young Turks out there who may not have been around the league during the good old days of seasons 1 through 10, you might not be familiar with Marino Sierra, who along with Fred McConnell was perhaps the most feared leadoff man in the early days of Cobb. At the time of his retirement he had nearly 2500 hits, hit for high average and got on base at an impressive clip, scored over 1,600 runs, was the all time leader in doubles at 578, hit nearly 300 HR's, and had over 500 SB's. When you take into consideration that he did this playing over half of his games in the pitchers parks in Omaha and Sioux Falls, those numbers have more meaning. Furthermore, his 529 stolen bases are even more impressive because before season 8, the SIM engine hideously lowered the amount of stolen bases by players in HBD. If Sierra had played in modern times, he would have been a 80+ base swiper every season. He may have never won an MVP, but when you are in your prime and play the same position in the same league as the legendary Jose Barrios, MVP's just aren't going to go your way. Despite this, Sierra still managed 6 AS appearances and 2 Silver Slugger LF's at the same time Barrios was manning that position! Don't hold it against Sierra that he was in his prime when the SIM engine and Jose Barrios were trying to keep him down, he's one of the all time greats of the early days of Cobb and deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Furthermore, and on a serious note, there isn't a single leadoff man in the Cobb Hall of Fame currently, and that is a trend that needs to change. Just because a player hasn't hit 500 home runs doesn't mean he doesn't deserve a spot. Players like Sierra and McConnell have earned their place.
dwool - Oh, Nate. You lovable hayseed. Sure Sierra was good, but this is the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Very Good. At the end of the day we need to ask ourselves, was this player elite? A champion? In his era, was he a dominant force at his position? And here my friend, we have to acknowledge a couple key points, first NO RINGS. As good as he was, he didn’t pick his team up, put them on his broad, manly shoulders and carry them to the promised land. Second, there are a couple gentlemen by the names of Jose Cervantes and Hades Booker who also patrolled the outfield in the early days of Cobb, who are patiently waiting for the call – and both are flashing World Series rings and similar or better OPS. Once those guys are in, let me know and I’ll give Sierra another look.