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Wade Boggs, Ryne Sandberg Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg for being elected by the writers this week. The mid-80s was when I really got into baseball, and at the time, Wade Boggs was the best hitter out there. I really feel his first ballot election was warranted.

I have mixed feelings about Ryne Sandberg. First off, I want to say I do think he was deserving. But his election points out another travesty. Let’s look at two second basemen.

            Player 1   Player 2

Games       2,164      2,390

Hits        2,386      2,369

HR            282        244

RBIs        1,061      1,084

Runs        1,318      1,386

Avg.         .285       .276

OBP          .344       .363

Slg%         .452       .426

SB            344        143

OPS+          114        117

RC          1,311      1,336

BRAR          513        528

FRAR          533        454

WARP          114.8      108.1

Eqa          .281       .281

Player 2 played in about a season’s worth more games, won three gold gloves and finished in the top 10 of the MVP voting once. Player 2 also played on one championship team. Player 1 won an MVP, finished in the top ten three times, and won nine gold gloves. Player 1 never played on a world championship team.

Many of the statistics are nearly identical. The equivalent averages are identical. Player 1 had a marginally better slugging percentage, while player 2 had a marginally better OBP. Many of their career numbers are very close as well. Player 1 accounted for about six more wins then player 2, but all because he was a slightly better fielder.

Player 1 is Ryne Sandberg, who will get to stand on the podium and give an acceptance speech. Player 2 is Lou Whitaker, who in his first year on the ballot, didn’t even garner the 5% neccesary to remain on the ballot.

So I’m not arguing Sandberg shouldn’t get in, I am saying Lou should be right up there with him. Both should get their moment in the spotlight. Unfortunately for one those players, it will never happen.

As an aside, Bert Blyleven again got the shaft, as did Goose Gossage, possibly the best relief pitcher ever.

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