FanPost

It won't be long

The HoF ballot came out recently, which means it won't be long before Dave Parker starts his annual campaign to get himself elected.

I've ranted at some length about Dave's self interest before, and I'm not going to do it again. But a book I just finished reading raised an interesting notion.

Here are three lists with the career numbers of the same five Pirates, three of them HoFers and one wannabe

HITS

Roberto Clemente 3,000

Mystery Man 2,743

Dave Parker 2,712

Willie Stargell 2,232

Ralph Kiner 1,451

RBIs

Willie Stargell 1,540

Dave Parker 1,493

Mystery Man 1,326

Roberto Clemente 1,305

Ralph Kiner 1,015

BATTING AVERAGE

Roberto Clemente .317

Mystery Man .303

Dave Parker .290

Willie Stargell .282

Ralph Kiner .279

The author admits, "Yes, I've carefully chosen to omit home runs from this analysis ... [because] home run totals do not favor [Mystery Man] in any way .. " But for the record, Mystery Man hit 219.

The author isn't making a case for MM being as GOOD as Clemente or Stargell or Parker, just trying to make the case that MM was a pretty damn good hitter that nobody talks about much anymore. MM was on the HoF ballot for one year, drew <5% and was gone.

Which brings me back to Parker. What would make me more of a fan of Dave's case (and I'm a fan of Dave, but not his HoF case, and this is totally arbitrary, I know, but ...) is if he ever tried to make a case for someone other than himself, such as this former teammate of his, and for whom bb-ref lists, of all people, Dave Parker as the No. 5 most similar hitter. "Hey," Dave never says, "ignore me if you like, but I played with a real good hitter who never got much consideration. I wish the Vets would take a look at [MM]."

But of course Dave never does that, because, just as it's always been, it's all about Dave.

Mystery Man wasn't especially fast (his stolen base rate is pretty pedestrian, one year he was 13/29). He didn't walk much. He had good OBPs but they were largely BA driven. I see no evidence that he was an exceptional defensive player. He never led the league in anything (except games played, once) until he was 35, when he had his career year. It wasn't for the Pirates.

But Lord, that man could hit a baseball, and damn if he wasn't in the top 10 a lot. A LOT.

Al Oliver, people.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the managing editor (Charlie) or SB Nation. FanPosts are written by Bucs Dugout readers.

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