e-c (EVANCURB, or Bruce Nava) had an interesting point in his Keltner List of Edgar Martinez about our lack of knowledge about how many all-star appearances is typical for a HOFer. Well, that ‘s something I can look up.
It was harder than I thought. First, all players prior to the first all-star game in 1933 have a big fat goose egg in their appearances column. So they are not really germaine to the question. The generation of players in the ’30’s and ’40s make you deal with WWII. The next generation you have to deal with the period when there were two all-star games a year. There were a few players who played in all eight of those games. Should I count that as 8 games or 4 years? Plus, what do you do with those guys who played in only one of those games? Do I count it as 1 appearance or a half appearance? I decided to punt and ignore that generation too. What I ended up deciding was to count apearances for those players born after 1938. I figured if you were born in 1939, you were 30 years old and in mid-career when baseball expanded to 24 teams. I realized it would be a lot easier to rack up appearances when there were 16 teams than it is now, and in essence were immaterial when discussing all-star appearances and the current generation under review. So, I ended up focusing on the fact that the BBWAA has elected 37 players to the Hall, who were born after 1938. So far, the Veterans Committee has not selected anybody born after Orlando Cepeda, born in ’37. I assume and hope Santo will be the first born in the ’40s that the VetCom selects.
Anyway, here are the HOFers and their number of appearances:
19 – Cal Ripken
18 – Rod Carew, Carl Yastrzemski
15 – Ozzie Smith, Tony Gwynn
14 – Reggie Jackson, Johnny Bench
12 – Mike Schmidt, George Brett, Dave Winfield, Tom Seaver, Wade Boggs
11 – Carlton Fisk, Gary Carter
10 – Joe Morgan, Kirby Puckett, Steve Carlton, Rickey Henderson, Ryne Sandberg
9 – Goose Gossage
8 – Eddie Murray, Jim Hunter, Nolan Ryan, Jim Rice, Andre Dawson
7 – Tony Perez, Willie Stargell, Rollie Fingers, Paul Moliro
6 – Lou Brock, Dennis Eckersley, Jim Palmer, Bruce Sutter
5 – Phil Niekro
4 – Don Sutton
3 – Robin Yount, Fergie Jenkins
The mean of these 37 is 9.7 appearances, broken down to 11.0 for hitters and 7.0 for pitchers. The median is 10.
I don’t have any conclusions to make really. It seems like you get in ten games, you’re going to make the Hall; except all these guys have the stats to get in without the all-star boost. If you play in fewer than 10, you better have some nice markers, like 300 wins or 3000 hits or play on some championship teams or win some awards. Based on this I’d assume that Barry Larkin and Roberto Alomar with their 12 appearances are going to get in shortly. And even tho McGwire and Bonds played in more than 10, they have other issues (altho I don’t remember what they are) to deal and contend with that All-Star appearances won’t be able to help them with.
I decided to look up all-star appearances for guys not in the Hall, born between 1930 and 1956. You can probably guess why I stopped at 1956. I went back to 1930, instead of 1939 like I started with, because these are guys from my childhood, and I was curious.
11 – Bill Freehan
10 – Steve Garvey
9 – Ron Santo, Joe Torre, Dave Concepcion, Fred Lynn
8 – Tony Oliva, Ted Simmons
7 – Dick Allen, Reggie Smith, Al Oliver, Dave Parker, Dale Murphy, Ken Boyer
6 – Bert Campaneris, Jim Fregosi, Rusty Staub, Graig Nettles, Bobby Grich, Willie Randolph
5 – Amos Otis, Buddy Bell, Keith Hernandez, Maury Wills, Jack Morris
4 – Boog Powell, Jack Clark, Norm Cash, Roger Maris, Frank Howard, Dennis Martinez, Tommy John
3 – Jim Wynn, Bobby Bonds, Dwight Evans, Ken Singleton, Jim Kaat, Frank Tanana, Luis Tiant
2 – Willie Davis, Roy White, Jose Cruz, Darrell Evans, Vada Pinson, Bert Blyleven