What makes a hall of famer?

Is a hall of famer someone who just accumulates stats, or is he something more? Can someone be elected to the hall of fame for both stats and intangibles equally?

Let’s compare two players, one in the hall of fame, one currently active.

Hall of Famer: .260 Career BA, .299 Career .OBP 138 Homeruns, 10 Gold Gloves 36.2 Career WAR
Active Player: .290 Career BA, .339 Career .OBP  94 Homeruns, 6 Gold Gloves 28 Career WAR

The HOF player played 17 seasons, while the active player stands at 11, so it’s very possible that the active player will match or exceed the HOF player in Homeruns, Gold Gloves and Career WAR.

It should be noted that the HOF player wasn’t elected by the writers in a standard election, but rather later on by the veterans committee.

Both of these players are/were considered leaders of their teams, and are/were noted for their intangibles.

The HOF player is Bill Mazeroski, a 2nd baseman for the Pirates who played from 1956 to 1972. The active player is Yadier Molina.

If Molina has 6 more productive/semi-productive seasons, continues his excellent defense and adds more Gold Gloves, and given his leadership reputation, is he a hall of famer?  Right now, his 6 Gold Gloves rank him 4th all time for catchers, tied with Jim Sundberg, a journeyman catcher from the 80’s who played for four teams. He might catch Johnny Bench, who is 2nd with 10, but Ivan Rodriguez’s 13 seem pretty insurmountable. Of the 3 people in front of him on that list, Johnny Bench is in the hall of fame, Rodriguez retired in 2011 so he has 2 more years to wait, and Bob Boone, who retired in 1990, didn’t make it. (Mazeroski is 3rd all-time for 2nd basemen, behind Roberto Alomar, who had 16, and Ryne Sandberg, who had 9, both of whom are in the hall of fame.)

Something to ponder.


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