1912 – Bob and Terry on Bob Caruthers

Bob:

I’m about to do some advocacy for someone that I so far haven’t endorsed. What do these 8 teams have incommon?
1883 Boston Beaneaters
1885 St Louis Browns
1886 St Louis Browns
1887 St Louis Browns
1888 St Louis Browns
1889 Brooklyn Bridegrooms
1890 Brooklyn Bridegrooms
1890 Louisville Colonels

None of these pennant winning teams as yet have a GOR recipient on their roster.

And Bob Caruthers played on 5 of them, the first three Browns teams and the two Bridegrooms teams. The highest I’ve ranked Caruthers so far is, I think, ninth. I think I’ll be ranking him much higher in the 1913 election, his last year of eligibility. It seems odd that the 4 consecutive pennants that the Browns won have earned no GOR selections. Especially considering that the 1888-9 New York Giants have 7 of its members (Ward, Connor, Ewing, O’Rourke, Gore, Keefe and Welch) and possibly an eighth (Tiernan) elected by us. Caruthers is the only Brown or Bridegroom that has any real shot at being chosen. This is O’Neill’s last year, and he’s not going in. Cominsky didn’t make it as a player. I doubt he’ll go in as a manager (Selee should win in 1920 and McGraw in 1930, and then the Old Roman is off the ballot). And I’m guessing that with the Black Sox Scandal he’s not going in as a Contributor.

I’m not saying that Caruthers SHOULD go in. It’s just that the 1913 election is the last chance to honor somebody from the Browns. Edit: Well, I guess, technically, Dave Foutz will still be on the ballot and he would take care of six of the teams, but realistically, he’s not going in. If O’Neill and Caruthers aren’t going in, he’s not going in either.

Of course, I still think that Mullane is more deserving, and he’s running out of chances too.

Terry:

I had Caruthers well outside my top 10 when he hit the ballot, skeptical of his historical importance because his team was so dominant (he was only 20 games better than his teams career as a pitcher) and his career was short. I’ve come to believe that his combination of Ron Guidry or Dave Stewart-esque pitching and his contribution as a hitter (133 ops+ in a lot of atbats, he wasn’t just a pitcher) might be overrated by stat geeks, but underrated by historians. I’ve had him as high as second on my ballots.

He was great, and his teams won. What else is there?

Bob:

Longevity.

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