Friday, July 30, 2010

Why Isn't Steve Garvey In The Hall Of Fame?

This was first posted in May of 2009. Go to Why Isn't Steve Garvey In The Hall Of Fame?. It has generated comments every few months, so if people are interested I thought I would post it again. What I tried to show was that he seems to be the kind of player the writers like to vote in and that you could make a good case for him, that is, write an impressive plaque. But he has not made it. I don't think he was good enough, but the puzzle is why he has not made it.

Here is one slightly new tidbit. Last year I mentioned that Garvey had 6 200+ hit seasons. Through 2009, here are all the players who had 4 or more. Alot of them are in the Hall of Fame or will probably make it, or would have made it without doing something scandalous:

Pete Rose 10
Ty Cobb 9
Ichiro Suzuki 9
Lou Gehrig 8
Willie Keeler 8
Paul Waner 8
Rogers Hornsby 7
Derek Jeter 7
Wade Boggs 7
Charlie Gehringer 7
Steve Garvey 6
Bill Terry 6
Stan Musial 6
Jesse Burkett 6
George Sisler 6
Sam Rice 6
Al Simmons 6
Kirby Puckett 5
Chuck Klein 5
Tony Gwynn 5
Michael Young 5
Harry Heilmann 4
Jack Tobin 4
Roberto Clemente 4
Joe Jackson 4
Tris Speaker 4
Paul Molitor 4
Juan Pierre 4
Jim Rice 4
Joe Medwick 4
Heinie Manush 4
Vada Pinson 4
Lou Brock 4
Vladimir Guerrero 4
Lloyd Waner 4
Nap Lajoie 4
Rod Carew 4


Anonymous said...

Despite his success as a ballpalyer, I feel he is being penalized for his sleazy personal ethics which are in question. He doesn't deserve to be in the Hall of Fame; ditto Pete Rose for gambling. Garvey is such a phony. Read Cynthia Garvey's book and you'll see why. Frances Reyes
Los Angeles 1-14-11

Cyril Morong said...


Thanks for dropping by. It could be that his scandals are what kept him out. What are some of the worst things his ex-wife said?


Anonymous said...

Because the hall is filled only with players of impeckable personal ethics. Well the next few years will surely weigh on that one....what I find stunning is that he is the only player to have more than 200 hits 5 times or more, not in the hall, that isn't banned. At least officially. Maybe he needs to build a hospital or a wing on a local university.

Cyril Morong said...

Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Maybe ethics should be a factor. How would that apply to Ty Cobb or Gaylor Perry or Cap Anson?

Boffo Zoo said...

Ok, this is a long comment, on an old post, so I apologize, but that first 'Anonymous' comment doesn't sit well with me.
Even if ethics are a factor, I don't think they should be a particularly deciding factor, especially if the allegedly 'questionable' ethics were in regards to something other than Baseball itself, and certainly when the majority of these incidents occurred after the completion of his playing career. The fact that Garvey's dirty laundry happened to receive particular public airing doesn't discount his big league career and the accomplishments therein, which should be the larger criteria used to decide whether or not he's inducted. Like you said before, how would we apply these same 'ethical standards' to other folk already in the hall who have had less than stellar personal conduct, and Gaylord Perry particularly, who's misconduct and cheating took place on the field, during play, actually effected the outcome of games, and over-inflated his stats.
If we want to get into philandering, one could write a series of encyclopedias about the number of affairs (be they 'alleged' or 'confirmed') of any number of Hall of Fame players, but even then one could boil it down to two words: Mickey Mantle, who's like, the JFK of baseball. Sure, he's got better stats than Garvey, and he's more well known/loved by the general public, but were his 'ethics' any less 'questionable' and was his whole 'squeaky clean' image any less phony?

Cyril Morong said...

You make some good points. Maybe the writers don't look at ethics as much when you achieve a mile stone like 300 wins or 500 HRs. Although steroids seem to be keeping McGwire and Palmeiro out so far. I peronally am not saying Garvey was especially less ethical than anyone else. It is just a guess as to what the voters were thinking. And if they did take ethics into account, why in Garvey's case and not in other cases? I don't know

Bob Roe said...

It is beyond my reasoning why writers, most of whom have never picked up a bat in their life, have the ability to keep a man such as Garvey out of the HOF. I don't need to get into his stats, as you have already documented them, but Garvey was also the most dominant first baseman of his era. Sure, Keith Hernandez came along but that is just one man. Garvey played in four World Series with the Dodgers and helped the hapless San Diego Padres to the N.L. pennant in 1984. His home run in game four of the NLCS was epic. Garvey was clutch in every way. His off-the-field issues should never have entered into the writers minds.

Cyril Morong said...


Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I am not sure I agree that he was the dominant 1B man in his era. He does not have even one of the top 50 seasons among 1B men in Offenisve Winning Percentage from 1969-1987, the years he played. He had only one top 10 in OWP, a 9th in 1974. His clutch stats were good, but not great. See


Todd Trulli said...

Did you happen to see him play? I'm now 40 so I don't have recognition of watching him much as a kid. But I do agree in the eyeball test -- what did those who saw him play have to say? A good friend and fellow baseball junkie, who also was a Strat-O-Matic addict, said Garvey, and Don Sutton, belong in the hall of good. I grew up on baseball cards and baseball encyclopedia and couldn't wrap my head around Garvey not being in the hall of fame.

Cyril Morong said...

I saw him on TV alot in the 70s and 80s. The writers, who saw him alot, too, must have liked him then since he got 2.46 MVP shares, which ranks 59th all-time. But then the writers did not vote hime in (although it is not exactly the same set of writers).

LastnameKim said...

Interesting comments on Garvey. Although this post was from a few years back, I'm still scratching my head to why he's not being voted in to the HOF. He was as a reliable player as Ripken, day in and day out. Maybe he slept with some of the writers' wives...just brainstorming. =)

Cyril Morong said...

Thanks for dropping by and commenting.