The New Mays Hall of Fame

OK, here’s a little game to play in the comments – a few years ago, you might remember, I jokingly wrote about the Willie Mays Hall of Fame. At that time, numerous people asked me what a REAL Willie Mays Hall of Fame might look like.

So I tried something here. I have created a Willie Mays type Hall of Fame using a system you can probably figure out. There are 80* players in this Willie Mays Hall of Fame – with two more active players (Albert Pujols and Adrian Beltre) already locked in.

*It was supposed to be 75 but as a couple of early adopters noticed that a few slipped through the cracks because they played multiple positions. There might be more to add ...

I’ll write a second part about this later, but for now, ask yourself some questions: Do you like these Hall of Fame standards more or less than the current Hall standards? (Note: steroid players are eligible here so you might not like that part … but let’s try to leave that aside for this experiment). Would you prefer a Hall of Fame with these standards? Would you like standards somewhat in between these and the real Hall? Who are the biggest snubs in this version of the Hall? Who are the worst inclusions?

Oh, and just so you know – I avoided 19th Century players and Negro Leagues players. They are a different category.

Have fun.

* * *

At catcher (8): Johnny Bench, Gary Carter, Mike Piazza, Carlton Fisk, Yogi Berra, Ivan Rodriguez, Bill Dickey and Roy Campanella.

(This would leave out six Twentieth Century players: Gabby Hartnett, Mickey Cochrane, Ernie Lombardi, Roger Bresnahan, Rick Ferrell, and Ray Schalk)

* * *

At first base (6): Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Jeff Bagwell, Frank Thomas, Johnny Mize and Hank Greenberg. (Albert Pujols would enter this when he retired).

(This would leave out ten players: Bill Terry, Willie McCovey, Frank Chance, Harmon Killebrew, Eddie Murray, George Sisler, Orlando Cepeda, Tony Perez, Jim Bottomley and George Kelly).

* * *

At second base (6): Rogers Hornsby, Eddie Collins, Joe Morgan, Nap Lajoie, Rod Carew and Jackie Robinson.

(This would leave out 13 players: Charlie Gehringer, Frankie Frisch, Ryan Sandberg, Joe Gordon, Robbie Alomar, Craig Biggio, Bobby Doerr, Billy Herman, Johnny Evers, Tony Lazzeri, Nellie Fox, Red Schoendienst and Bill Mazeroski).

* * *

At shortstop (10): Honus Wagner, Alex Rodriguez, Cal Ripken, Arky Vaughan, Barry Larkin, Lou Boudreau, Ozzie Smith, Luke Appling, Ernie Banks and Alan Trammell.

(This would leave out 11 players: Robin Yount, Joe Cronin, Pee Wee Reese, Joe Tinker, Bobby Wallace, Joe Sewell, Dave Bancroft, George Davis, Phil Rizzuto, Luis Aparicio and Rabbit Maranville Also, upcoming, Derek Jeter).

* * *

At third base (7): Mike Schmidt, Eddie Matthews, Wade Boggs, Chipper Jones, George Brett, Brooks Robinson and Paul Molitor. (Adrian Beltre would enter when he retired).

(This would leave out six players: Home Run Baker, Ron Santo, George Kell, Jimmy Collins, Pie Traynor and Freddy Lindstrom).

* * *

In leftfield (5): Ted Williams, Barry Bonds, Stan Musial, Rickey Henderson, Carl Yastrzemski.

(This would leave out 13 players: Al Simmons, Goose Goslin, Zack Wheat, Joe Medwick, Billy Williams, Willie Stargell, Ralph Kiner, Fred Clarke, Jim Rice, Heinie Manush, Chick Hafey, Lou Brock and, yes, Tim Raines).

* * *

In centerfield (6): Willie Mays, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Ken Griffey.

(This would leave out 11 players: Duke Snider, Larry Doby, Andre Dawson, Richie Ashburn, Kirby Puckett, Earl Averill, Hack Wilson, Max Carey, Edd Roush, Earle Combs and Lloyd Waner).

* * *

In rightfield (7): Babe Ruth, Henry Aaron, Frank Robinson, Mel Ott, Roberto Clemente, Al Kaline, Larry Walker.

(This would leave out 12 players: Paul Waner, Harry Heilmann, Tony Gwynn, Reggie Jackson, Sam Crawford, Dave Winfield, Enos Slaughter, Elmer Flick, Chuck Klein, Ross Youngs, Sam Rice and Harry Hooper).

* * *

Right-handed starters (13): Walter Johnson, Roger Clemens, Pete Alexander, Tom Seaver, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, Christy Mathewson, Bob Feller, Bob Gibson, Cy Young, Curt Schilling, Bert Blyleven and Phil Niekro.

(This would leave out 28 pitchers: Gaylord Perry, Fergie Jenkins, Dazzy Vance, Robin Roberts, John Smoltz, Ed Walsh, Stan Coveleski, Nolan Ryan, Jim Palmer, Mordecai Brown, Juan Marichal, Red Faber, Don Drysdale, Jim Bunning, Ted Lyons, Dizzy Dean, Vic Willis, Addie Joss, Don Sutton, Joe McGinnity, Waite Hoyt, Chief Bender, Early Wynn, Bob Lemon, Red Ruffing, Burleigh Grimes, Jesse Haines and Catfish Hunter).

* * *

Left-handed starters (8): Lefty Grove, Randy Johnson, Eddie Plank, Warren Spahn, Sandy Koufax, Steve Carlton, Tom Glavine, Carl Hubbell.

(This would leave out seven pitchers: Hal Newhouser, Rube Waddell, Whitey Ford, Eppa Rixey, Lefty Gomez, Herb Pennock, Rube Marquard).

* * *

Relief pitchers (4): Mariano Rivera, Hoyt Wilhelm, Billy Wagner, Goose Gossage.

(This would leave out three pitchers: Dennis Eckersley, Bruce Sutter and Rollie Fingers).