Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Tony La Russa, Joe Torre and Bobby Cox will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, pushing membership to 306. There are 74 pitchers, 17 catchers, 21 first basemen, 20 second basemen, 15 third basemen, 24 shortstops, 21 left fielders, 23 center fielders, 24 right fielders, one designated hitter, 23 managers, 10 umpires and 33 executives — a large group.
All kinds of companies and organizations are downsizing, and the Hall could stand to be a little more lean, even if that seems kind of mean. A 30% rollback in membership would take the total back to 214, so we'll aim for that.
And just to show some good faith, we'll disband the entire writers' wing of the Hall and not include it in the 30%, because really, shouldn't reporters just get together and have their own Hall of Fame? Has any child rushed into the Hall and said "Dad, look, there's the plaque for Gordon Cobbledick!"
So here are 94 people who should have their Hall passes revoked, listed by position. As part of their severance package, they can have their plaque, and they can visit the Hall whenever they want — provided they have money for a ticket.
Ray Schalk: A very good defensive catcher with only 1,345 hits. Perhaps the worst player in the Hall of Fame, Schalk does bolster the chances of Jeff Mathis one day making it.
(Transcendental Graphics / Getty Images)
Eliminated: 1. Catchers remaining: 16. Total remaining in Hall: 305
Cap Anson: He did more to prevent black players from playing in the major leagues than almost any player in history. So he's out.
Keith Hernandez was the best defensive first baseman in history, so if you weren't better than he was offensively, you have no business being in the Hall, and that eliminates the following: Jim Bottomley, George Sisler, Jake Beckley, Tony Perez and "High Pockets" Kelly.
Left to right: Cap Anson, Jim Bottomley, George Sisler, Jake Beckley, Tony Perez, High Pockets Kelly
(Associated Press / Transcendental Graphics / Getty Images)
Eliminated: 6. First basemen remaining: 15. Total remaining in Hall: 299
Bill Mazeroski: Great defensively, but if he hadn't hit the World Series-clinching homer in 1960, he would not be in the Hall. When Kirk Gibson gets in, we can consider readmitting him.
Red Schoendienst: He's in the Hall only because he had a lot of friends on the Veterans Committee.
Bid McPhee: His career ended before 1900, and he wasn't that great overall. He's out.
Left to right: Bill Mazeroski, Red Schoendienst, Bid McPhee
(Associated Press / Diamond Images / Getty Images / National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)
Eliminated: 3. Second basemen remaining: 17. Total remaining in Hall: 296
Freddie Lindstrom: Fewer than 1,800 hits, out of baseball at age 30.
George Kell: Never received more than 36% of the vote on the regular ballot before being elected by friends on the Veterans Committee. Had only two truly great seasons.
Left to right: Freddie Lindstrom, George Kell
(Transcendental Graphics / Getty Images / Associated Press)
Eliminated: 2. Third basemen remaining: 13. Total remaining in Hall: 294.
Rabbit Maranville: A true showman, but made it only because he died while still on the ballot in 1954 and the sympathy vote put him in.
Luis Aparicio: Woefully overrated, with a .311 on-base percentage.
Phil Rizzuto: Got in only because several former New York Yankees campaigned for him incessantly; he wasn't in the same class as a player as Pee Wee Reese.
Joe Tinker: Want to make the Hall of Fame as a good but not great player? Have someone include you in a poem the way he was in "Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance."
Dave Bancroft: Another guy in because he had friends on the Veterans Committee.
John Montgomery Ward: Used to love his stores.
Left to right: Rabbit Maranville, Luis Aparicio, Phil Rizzuto, Joe Tinker, Dave Bancroft, John Montgomery Ward
(Transcendental Graphics / Getty Images / The Sporting News / Kidwiler Collection / Diamond Images)
Eliminated: 6. Shortstops remaining: 18. Total remaining in Hall: 288.
The "Worse than Tim Raines, so if he's not in, they're not" group: Lloyd Waner, Tommy McCarthy, Max Carey, Enos Slaughter, Earle Combs, Ross Youngs.
Andre Dawson: Here is your typical Andre Dawson season, averaged over 162 games: .279, .323 OBP, 27 homers, 98 runs batted in. Good, but not Hall-worthy.
Kirby Puckett: Look up Puckett's stats and compare them to Don Mattingly's. Why is one in and the other not?
Left to right (top): Lloyd Waner, Tommy McCarthy, Max Carey, Enos Slaughter, Earle Combs, Ross Youngs.
Bottom: Andre Dawson, Kirby Puckett
(Transcendental Graphics / Getty Images / Associated Press / The Sporting News)
Eliminated: 8. Outfielders remaining: 60. Total remaining in Hall: 280.
Anyone with fewer than 250 wins and a winning percentage worse than .570: Jim Bunning, Vic Willis, Rube Marquard, Waite Hoyt and — here comes the hate mail — Don Drysdale.
Overrated relievers: Hoyt Wilhelm, Rollie Fingers. Yes, Rollie Fingers. Do we really think the Oakland Athletics won three straight titles in the 1970s because of Fingers? Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage were much better closers, as were a host of closers not in the Hall.
Anyone with fewer than 200 wins (who wasn't primarily a reliever or didn't have some other contributing greatness): Dazzy Vance, Rube Waddell, Ed Walsh, Addie Joss.
Anyone whose career was too short or whose earned-run average wasn't really that much better than the league average: Red Ruffing, Jesse Haines, Don Sutton, Burleigh Grimes, Pud Galvin, Early Wynn, Herb Pennock, Catfish Hunter.
Left to right (top): Jim Bunning, Vic Willis, Rube Marquard, Waite Hoyt, Don Drysdale, Hoyt Wilhelm.
Second row: Rollie Fingers, Dazzy Vance, Rube Waddell, Ed Walsh, Addie Joss, Red Ruffing.
Third row: Jessie Haines, Don Sutton, Burleigh Grimes, Pud Galvin, Early Wynn, Herb Pennock.
Bottom: Catfish Hunter.
(Diamond Images / Chicago History Museum / Getty Images / Transcendental Graphics / Los Angeles Times / Associated Press)
Eliminated: 19. Pitchers remaining: 55. Total remaining in Hall: 261.
Anyone with fewer than two World Series titles who doesn't have other contributing attributes gets eliminated, since isn't that the job of the manager, to win? Bobby Cox, Whitey Herzog, Earl Weaver, Leo Durocher, Al Lopez, Wilbert Robinson, Frank Selee, you are all out.
Left to right (top): Bobby Cox, Whitey Herzog, Earl Weaver, Leo Durocher, Al Lopez, Wilbert Robinson.
Bottom: Frank Selee
(Getty Images / Kidwiler Collection / Diamond Images / Transcendental Graphics / Gamma-Keystone / Chicago History Museum)
Eliminated: 7. Managers remaining: 16. Total remaining in Hall: 254.
The best umpires are the ones you don't notice, so if the 10 men were noticed by the Hall enough to be inducted, they weren't that good. So, all you umpires ... you're outta there!
Left to right (top): Albert J. Barlick, Nestor Chylak Jr., John B. "Jocko" Conlan, William G. Evans, H. Douglas "Doug" Harvey, R. Cal Hubbard.
Bottom: William L. Klem, William A. McGowan, Hank O'Day.
Not pictured: Thomas H. Connolly
(The Sporting News / Getty Images / Associated Press / Transcendental Graphics)
Eliminated: 10. Umpires remaining: zero. Total remaining in Hall: 244.
All executives are kicked out except for Branch Rickey, because he helped break the color barrier and because Harrison Ford was so great playing him in "42."
Elimimated: 32. Executives remaining: one. Total remaining in Hall: 212.
There. We beat our limit by two. But we will have our eyes on future classes, so don't feel too comfortable, Jim Rice. You just barely made the cut.