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HOF Profile: Goose Gossage

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Could it finally be, someone who I'd actually vote for on my imaginary ballot?

 

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Rich "Goose" Gossage - Closer

 

Chicago White Sox 1972-1976

Pittsburgh Pirates 1977

New York Yankees 1978-1983, 1989

San Diego Padres 1984-1987

Chicago Cubs 1988

San Francisco Giants 1989

Texas Rangers 1991

Oakland Athletics 1992-1993

Seattle Mariners 1994

 

8th year on the ballot

 

Past HOF Voting Results

2000: 33.27%

2001: 44.27%

2002: 43.01%

2003: 42.14%

2004: 40.74%

2005: 55.23%

2006: 64.61%

 

Awards

1978 AL Rolaids Relief Award

 

All-Star Selections: 9 (1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985)

 

League Leader

1975: Saves

1978: Saves

1980: Saves

 

Career Ranks

Saves: 17th

Games: 10th

K/9: 40th

ERA+: 55th

 

Hall of Fame Stats

 

Black Ink: Pitching - 9 (248) (Average HOFer ≈ 40)

Gray Ink: Pitching - 41 (580) (Average HOFer ≈ 185)

HOF Standards: Pitching - 19.0 (312) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)

HOF Monitor: Pitching - 126.0 (61) (Likely HOFer > 100)

 

Similar Pitchers in HOF: 2 (Rollie Fingers, Hoyt Wilhelm)

Other Similar Pitchers: Lindy McDaniel, Stu Miller, Gene Garber, Kent Tekulve, Tug McGraw, Sparky Lyle, Roy Face, Mike Marshall

 

Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)

 

1972: 3/0.2

1973: 0/-0.5

1974: 4/1.9

1975: 23/10.5

1976: 10/4.7

1977: 26/10.5

1978: 20/7.8

1979: 11/4.0

1980: 18/6.2

1981: 12/5.9

1982: 17/7.4

1983: 16/7.1

1984: 15/5.1

1985: 15/4.4

1986: 5/1.5

1987: 7/3.3

1988: 4/1.3

1989: 5/1.4

1991: 3/1.8

1992: 2/1.1

1993: 3/1.8

1994: 4/2.0

 

Career Win Shares: 223

Career WARP3: 89.5

 

Would he get my vote?

 

...No. Like I said in the Lee Smith entry I just have a hard time viewing someone who spent their career primarily as a reliever as being a true Hall of Famer. I absolutely agree that Gossage is much more deserving of enshrinement than that of Bruce Sutter. What's funny is that if Gossage had retired at 35 like Sutter did he probably would already be in the HOF as his greatness as a closer would have been remembered better by the short attention span of the writers. Gossage retired nine years after his last good season as a closer after bouncing around several teams as a moderately effective, situational reliever and he gets unfairly penalized for it. I will not argue with anyone who says Gossage deserves to get in and I will have no problem if he ever gets in, which I think will happen eventually after the big jump in support he's received the last couple of years. But on my imaginary ballot I just can't put him down.

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What hurts Gossage is that he gave up two big home runs. In Game 3 of the 1980 ALCS, Gossage gave up a three run home run to George Brett that gave the Royals the lead, the game and the series. In game five of the 1984 World Series with the Tigers leading 5-4, Gossage insisted on pitching to Kirk Gibson with first base open and again surrendered a three run home run that iced the game.

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