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EVIL~! alkeiper

The Keltner List

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1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?


Parker was among the best players in baseball in the late 70s. For two years, he was quite possibly the best player, although he never led baseball in Win Shares in any given year. He did lead the NL in 1977-78.


2. Was he the best player on his team?


From 1975-79, Parker was the best player on the Pittsburgh Pirates. The '79 Pirates won the World Series.


3. Was he the best player in baseball at his position? Was he the best player in the league at his position?


Parker was easily the best right fielder in the National League in his prime. He was actually better than Reggie Jackson most years, but Ken Singleton was a better player.


4. Did he have an impact on a number of pennant races?


In 1979, Parker hit 365/451/538 in September as the Pirates edged the Montreal Expos by two games. In 1985, Parker hit 386/435/667 in September and 375/423/875 in 24 October at bats, but the Reds lost out to the LA Dodgers. Over the course of Parker's career, he hit .310 in October.


5. Was he good enough that he could play regularly after passing his prime?


Yes. Parker played until he was 40, and DH'ed for the 1989 Oakland Athletics, who won the World Series.


6. Is he the very best baseball player in history who is not in the Hall of Fame?


He's got an argument, but I think Ron Santo and Ryne Sandberg are more deserving.


7. Are most players who have comparable statistics in the Hall of Fame?


Parker's two most similar players, Tony Perez and Billy Williams, are in the Hall.


8. Do the player's numbers meet Hall of Fame standards?


Yes. Parker scores 26 on the Black Ink test (HOF average is 27), 145 on the Gray Ink test (average is 144), and he meets 41.1% of HOF standards.


9. Is there any evidence to suggest that the player was significantly better or worse than is suggested by his statistics?


Parker won three gold gloves, and had the pre-eminent arm of his day. Parker's throw home in the 1979 All Star game to nail Brian Downing at home plate is one of the greatest plays in baseball history.


10. Is he the best player at his position who is eligible for the Hall of Fame?




11. How many MVP-type seasons did he have? Did he ever win an MVP award? If not, how many times was he close?


Parker won the MVP award in 1978, and finished in the top ten six times. He finished second once and third twice.


12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the players who played in this many All-Star games go into the Hall of Fame?


Parker played in seven All-Star games.


13. If this man were the best player on his team, would it be likely that the team could win the pennant?


Yes. The Pirates won the World Series when Parker was their best player.


14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?


None apparent.


15. Did the player uphold the standards of sportsmanship and character that the Hall of Fame, in its written guidelines, instructs us to consider?


Parker was named in the cocaine scandal of 1985.


Conclusion: Dave Parker was not a popular player. He feuded with teammates, fans, and the press. However, on the basis of his performance, he is a worthy HOF candidate. Ultimately though, I don't think he belongs. He was a great player, but he declined significantly after the 1979 season. He does not rank among the top 100 hitters in Win Shares, and does not rank even among the top 300 in Pete Palmer's Total Player Wins. I think there are other players who deserve consideration before Parker.

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The cocaine scandal pretty much keeps Parker out of consideration, I think, despite having surprising career numbers.


Speaking of players with potential sportsmanship issues, I'd love to see the Keltner list on Roberto Alomar, if you haven't already done him yet.

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Alomar is a lock if he retired today. The numbers are among the best ever for a 2nd basemen. He was also a great defensive player, and the best at his postion in the 90's.

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I'd love to see one of these for Albert Belle who is probably the most controversial HOF candidate coming up in the next few years. Great player, great numbers, HUGE amount of controversy off the field.

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