Breaking the 300-point barrier is a milestone in this project. Only two infielders eclipsed this mark: Cal Ripken and Mike Schmidt. In left field, two more join that exclusive group, with Stan Musial (341.07) beating out Ted Williams (305.68) for the top spot. Carl Yastrzemski lands in the #3 spot with an equally impressive 291.24.
The rest of the top ten consists of Rickey Henderson (258.67), Al Simmons (237.28), Jim Rice (215.39), Willie Stargell (213.66), Goose Goslin (212.29), Joe Medwick (212.06), and Billy Williams (208.43). Notice anything about that list? All have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Despite the contention of many that Jim Rice does not belong in Cooperstown, he seems to fit right in with his peers in right field.
The first non-Hall of Famer in my list of left fielders is Bob Johnson (192.02) at #12, slightly ahead of the supposed second-best leadoff hitter of all-time, Tim Raines (#13, 191.61). Perhaps we are overrating Raines’ career a bit, giving him too much credit for being second-best when he truly pales in comparison to his contemporary Henderson?
I have long heard that Lou Brock was a big mistake, that the only reason he ever made the Hall of Fame was his 3000 hits (despite being such a prolific base stealer). When all the statistics are plugged into the spreadsheet, Brock ranks #16 behind Johnson, Raines, and George Foster (#14, 190.99). Now, I’m a huge Reds fan, and would love to see Foster get some more recognition for his career, but I don’t think it was a Hall of Fame career.
Adam Dunn, who has an outside shot at 500 career homers (sitting at 406 as he enters his 13th season), falls dead last on my list of twenty-nine left fielders with a very low score of 131.37. Without a major surge, it is doubtful Dunn will ever have a plaque hanging in Cooperstown.
Eight players have been honored with their #20 retired by nine teams; Robinson gets double the glory from both the Reds and the Orioles.
Monte Irvin, New York Giants
Irvin was a 1973 inductee into the Hall of Fame via the Negro League Committee. He played with Larry Doby on the champion Newark Eagles team of 1946, and continued playing in the Negro Leagues through 1948. In 1949, he got his shot with the New York Giants, debuting July 8 as a pinch hitter against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Irvin batted .293 in his 8-year major league career.
Don Sutton, Los Angeles Dodgers
Frank Robinson, Baltimore Orioles
Frank Robinson, Cincinnati Reds
Frank White, Kansas City Royals
Lou Brock, St. Louis Cardinals
Luis Gonzalez, Arizona Diamondbacks
Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia Phillies
Pie Traynor, Pittsburgh Pirates