100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 8 – Chuck Klein

 

Chuck Klein
Outfielder
1928-1933, 1936-1939, 1940-1944

Career w/Phillies: .326 AVG / 243 HR / 983 RBI / 71 SB

Born in Indianapolis in 1904, Chuck Klein earned the nickname “The Hoosier Hammer.” And boy, was he a ballplayer.

The Phillies luckily received Klein. Bashing the ball in 1928 for the Cardinals’ Fort Wayne, Ind., farm team, Klein was about to reach Saint Louis. But Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis ordered the Cards to relinquish the Fort Wayne team because they had two teams in the same minor league; Klein was out for bidding. Somehow, someway, the Phillies actually outbid the Yankees for Klein; instead of joining Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in the Bronx, Klein would become a Phillie legend.

Klein finished 1928 by hitting 11 home runs for the Phillies, and in 1929 he broke out. He slammed 43 homers, drove in 145 and hit .356. In 1930 he hit .386 with 40 bombs and 170 RBI. Consistently among top performers hitting the ball, Klein came down to Earth a little in 1931, merely hitting 31 homers and driving in 121, but both totals led the National League. His .337 average wasn’t good enough to win a Triple Crown. He came close again in a spectacular 1932 season, hitting .348 (3rd), homering 38 times (1st) and driving in 137 runs (2nd), but it would all come together in 1933. (Still, he led the league in steals that year with 20, earning himself a NL MVP award).

In 1933 Klein hit .368 with 28 home runs and 120 runs batted in, all leading the league and earning himself a Triple Crown (but not the MVP award). It would show that Klein benefited greatly from the Baker Bowl’s short right field, as Klein’s numbers decreased considerably upon arrival in Chicago in 1934.

Klein would return to the Phils twice. Between 1936 and ’39 he had a few nice seasons (104 RBI in ’36, .325 in ’37) but nothing near his totals of his glory years. The Phils would release Klein in ’39, but he’d return again in 1940 as a sporadic pinch hitter and platoon player. After a seven-home run campaign in ’40, Klein dwindled to a shell of his former self. He remained in Philadelphia after retiring, running a bar but drinking heavily. He died in 1958 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1980.

And for all the offense Klein exhibited, he was also a strong defensive player, regularly achieving more than 20 assists per season in left field. As far as all-around ballplayers are concerned, Klein was one of the best early ones.

Comment: I wrestled with the ordering of Klein and No. 7 on the list, so they could go either way. I took points off Klein for evaporating so quickly upon his first return to Philadelphia; he truly got help from his ballpark. Still, he was a prodigious player and deserves a top 10 ranking.

68 Comments

68 Comments

  1. Michael Stubel

    March 19, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Pat Burrell is better than Chuck Klein?

    No matter the ballpark, that’s just not right

  2. Rob Cowie

    March 19, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Your kidding me right? Burrell > Klien? Right.

  3. Josh

    March 19, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Wasn’t Pat Burrell already on the list a while ago?

  4. Albert

    March 19, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Burrell wasn’t on this list already? I think he was??? If he is higher then Klein shame on you. No, that can’t be right, Burrell was definitely already mentioned.

  5. Justin

    March 19, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Let’s weigh this option Chuck Klein? HOFer!!!!! Pat Burrell? MEDIOCRE AT BEST!!!! His career average is nowhere near the same ballpark as Kleins. I don’t know how Klein falls so far since he’s one of only a few Phillies actually in the Hall he has to be higher than this.

  6. Josh

    March 19, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Pat was #22. Chill out guys.

  7. Justin

    March 19, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Yea I apologize I just looked it up after the fact, sorry Tim. Still don’t know who’s better on this list that isn’t a hall of famer, cuz there aren’t very many of them.

  8. Albert

    March 19, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Ugh thank God. I got really scared for a second!

  9. Michael Stubel

    March 19, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    SORRY! I have been so devoted to this list, but made a mistake this time! Sorry Tim!

  10. Jim

    March 19, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Guys, Kleins induction to the hall of fame has long been argued about. He He was elected in 1980, over 30 years after he retired, its not like he was a shoe-in or anything. If you look at his numbers and compare them to other hall of famers, youll see he cant really stack up. He hit well in the time in the league when hitting came easy to most batters.

    Hes good, i DONT have a hard time believeing there are 7 players better than him.

  11. Ed R.

    March 19, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Don’t forget, he holds the modern record for assists with 44 in 1930.

    Also, in a feat which I doubt will ever be surpassed by a Phillie, he wore six different numbers (1, 3, 8, 26, 29, 36) during his Phillies career.

    Those were some days in Philadelphia. Imagine being able to choose whether to go see Chuck Klein or Jimmie Foxx?

  12. Jim

    March 19, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Ed. R. – alas, seeing jimmie foxx or chuck klein might have been nice but the phils commonly lost 100 games a year and after 1931, the as didnt do much.

  13. Phil

    March 19, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    i think i had klein at 8 on my list. too bad i had schilling at 10 and jroll at 9

  14. Phil

    March 19, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    btw my prediction for the last 7 in this order:
    7. Dick Allen
    6. Robin Roberts
    5. Ed Delahanty
    4. Grover Cleveland Alexander
    3. Richie Ashburn
    2. Steve Carlton
    1. Mike Schmidt

  15. Phil

    March 19, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    My prediction for the last 7 in this order:
    7. Richie Allen(won’t let me write D*ck)
    6. Robin Roberts
    5. Richie Ashburn
    4. Ed Delahanty
    3. Grover Cleveland Alexander
    2. Steve Carlton
    1. Michael Jack Schmidt

  16. Statman

    March 19, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Hey guys, by my count the top 7 contains 6 Hall-of-Famers and another player that many think should be there, so placing Klein here isn’t unreasonable. However, I had him higher, because I tend to place greater weight on short-term brilliance over long-term excellence. Is it kosher to speculate on who’s left?

  17. Phil

    March 19, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    This lost also made me think of an all time Phillies team:

    C: Darren Daulton
    1B: Richie Allen
    2B: Chase Utley
    3B: Mike Schmidt
    SS: Jimmy Rollins
    LF: Ed Delahanty
    CF: Richie Asburn
    RF: Chuck Klein

    Staring Rotation
    1: Grover Cleveland Alexander
    2: Steve Carlton
    3: Robin Roberts
    4: Curt Schilling
    5: Curt Simmons

    Closer: Tug McGraw

  18. Phil

    March 19, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Statman read my post…it may not be that order I was trying to judge by what Tim might do. Those 7 I named are the last 7 remaining without a doubt. My personal order for them would be:

    1. Mike Schmidt
    2. Grover Cleveland Alexander
    3. Ed Delahanty
    4. Steve Carlton
    5. Robin Roberts
    6. Richie Asburn
    7. Richie Allen

  19. Manny

    March 19, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Tim or Amanda: Some of us are following the WBC and it would be cool to see some news clips or mini analysis for Team USA (after or before the two remaining games), J-Roll and Vic are playing key roles… and they are now in the semifinals.

  20. Tim Malcolm

    March 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    I’ll probably do a little on the US in the semis cause of J-Roll and Vic. I’ve alluded to them a little up to this point.

  21. ashmidt

    March 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    chuck klein, what an all american name, would have loved to have seen him play, does anyone know where his bar was ?

  22. ashmidt

    March 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    in the picture, which one is chuck ? and who is the other guy ?

  23. Statman

    March 19, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Phil: your post at 4:58 came in while I was writing mine. I agree with your top 7, would think your predicted order will be closer than your personal order. For someone like me who likes stats, Ed Delahanty was the leader of the truly legendary 1894 Phils, who averaged nearly 9 runs a game behind a team batting avg. of .349 and still only finished 4th.

  24. Mike Cardone

    March 19, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Am I the only long time Phillies’ follower who thinks Schmidt was great, but is still overrated?

    Look at it this way – Steve Rogers or Bruce Sutter is on the mound with the game on the line. Would you rather have Schmidt batting? Or, Bake McBride?

  25. Tim Malcolm

    March 19, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Chuck is on the right. I believe it’s Cy Williams on the left.

  26. Manny

    March 19, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Watching the pregame show of the Korea vs Japan game… they just showed a group of Korean fans, one of them shouted “PHILLIES” —he was wearing a brand new Phillies jersey, he turned around, it said PARK.

  27. Phil

    March 19, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    mike cardone…there is nothing overrated about mike schmidt at all. he has a career ops+ of 147 which is the best of his gene

  28. Phil

    March 19, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    generation* sorry bout that. cell phones suck

  29. Jim

    March 19, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Mike, if its less than 2 outs, id take schmidt, cause he can atleast hit the ball far enough to sacrifice

    548 home runs, 1500 rbis, 150 ops + (50 % better than anyone he ever played with). Not to mention 11 gold gloves and 12 all star selections

    In face schmidt is the only position player ever to be considered the best all around player evver, he was solid offensivly and also had stellar defense. brooks robinson may have been a better defensive player but he had nary the offense to back it up.

    anyways, well get to schmidt more later when he comes

  30. Jim

    March 19, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    i shoudl ahve said the best all around player AT HIS POSITION (3B)

  31. James Kay

    March 19, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    That haunting photo of Steel Mill Chuck Klein in his classy Old English P Phillies uniform is timeless. His power and average numbers during his prime Philadelphia years are stellar. He helped define the depression era Phillies offense in much the same fashion as Dick Allen did for the mid-60’s Phillies and Mike Schmidt for the early 80’s teams. No ifs, ands, or buts, Klein is a top 10 Phillie. Even with his bad years factored in, he still finished with a lifetime OPS+ of 137. He was also the first NL player in the 20th century to hit four homers in one game at Pittsburgh’s spacious Forbes Field (not the Bowl). I think he should have finished ahead of the singles hitter Ashburn.

    I would love to obtain one of those Old English P Phillies shirts from Klein’s era.

    Mike Cardone & Phil, With the game on the line, Shake and Bake McBride or even Downtown Ollie Brown. Not everyone shares Schmidt’s self opinion.

  32. Phil

    March 19, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Jim, he is the best 3B of all time, but he isn’t the only person to be looked at as the best at his position of all time. Honus Wagner is looked at as the best SS, Ted Williams best LF, Babe Ruth best RF, Lou Gehrig best 1B, and Rogers Hornsby best 2B. Only C and CF ever have multiple people considered best of all time. C you can’t go wrong with Johnny Bench or Yogi Berra and CF you have Mays, Tris Speaker, Mickey Mantle, etc. to choose from.

  33. James Kay

    March 19, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    That haunting photo of Steel Mill Chuck Klein in his classy Old English P Phillies uniform is timeless. His power and average numbers during his prime Philadelphia years are stellar. He helped define the depression era Phillies offense in much the same fashion as D. Allen did for the mid-60’s Phillies and Mike Schmidt for the early 80’s teams. No ifs, ands, or buts, Klein is a top 10 Phillie. Even with his bad years factored in, he still finished with a lifetime OPS+ of 137. He was also the first NL player in the 20th century to hit four homers in one game at Pittsburgh’s spacious Forbes Field (not the Bowl). I think he should have finished ahead of the singles hitter Ashburn.

    I would love to obtain one of those Old English P Phillies shirts from Klein’s era.

    Mike Cardone & Phil, With the game on the line, Shake and Bake McBride or even Downtown Ollie Brown. Not everyone shares Schmidt’s self opinion.

  34. Greg B

    March 19, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    hey, I dig this list, but its hard to keep up with who’s been named and in what order (see Burrell better than Chuck Klien controversy above) is there anywhere you can easily access the list without a ton of backsearching?

  35. Tim Malcolm

    March 19, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Click the 100 Greatest Phillies tag on the bottom of this page.

  36. Tim Malcolm

    March 19, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Those uniforms are boss. Easily the best in franchise history. I’d advocate for the Phils to go back to the old-English “P,” but I don’t mind the new alternates at all.

  37. Mike Cardone

    March 19, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    OPS is a nice stat, indeed, especially for Schmidt – and Burrell. Anyone here know what either or both of them hit with men on base? Or, perhaps with men on base and 2 outs? Better still, with men in scoring position? I’ll bet anyone here a cheesesteak that Schmidt is 20 points lower than – say Kurk or Dalton – with men in scoring position and 2 outs. I follow the Phils, but I also played a bit. And I always thought Schmidt was overrated. As I said – a great player. But, not all-time great. Not George Brett great, for instance.

  38. Phil

    March 19, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    hahahahahahahahahahahha Mike Cardone you’re an idiot.

    1st of all I didn’t say OPS I said OPS+. Big difference. 2nd of all George Brett isn’t even close to as good as Schmidt was. Mike Schmidt is the best 3B of all time. He was the best hitter of his generation(same generation as George Brett.) He was a way better defensive 3B than Brett was. Yeah, George Brett had a better batting average, so what?

    Batting average is a terrible stat to rate a player considering OBP is so much better. Here you go though.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/bsplit.cgi?n1=schmimi01&year=00

    Might not have had the best batting average but he had a large sample size and a long career. He may not have gotten a single but he would draw a walk and keep the inning going or hit a big hit like a double or home run instead of slapping a single. His high slugging and OBP in clutch situations shows how clutch he really was. Mike Schmidt is the best Phillie and in the top 20 best players of all time. He’s not overrated at all.

  39. Georgie

    March 19, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Phil, for those of us old enough to have watched Schmidt play, it did seem like he hit alot of HRs when the game was already won, not when tied or extra innings. I did check those stats you linked, and admittedly I didn’t digest them all because I would be at it until the wee hours, but it looks to me like his stats in extreme clutch situations were not quite as good. I am not saying he doesn’t deserve to be #1 or 2 on Tim’s list, or that he wasn’t a great player, it’s just that on reflection he was not the MOST clutch guy in the world, and some may feel he is overrated for that reason.

  40. Phil

    March 19, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    There’s no way to measure clutch though, Georgie. I agree players can get empty stats but bottom line at the end of the day stats are stats. The guy was an offensive beast. One of the best of all time.

  41. James Kay

    March 19, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Schmidt is number one on my and probably everyone else’s lists. And deservedly so. But he had his flaws such as the .196 BA in 1973 confirms. And don’t forget his pathetic display of self pity when he announced his retirement. He should of done jail time for that one. View this and cringe.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOPLJQuVm_I

  42. Georgie

    March 19, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Not denying that Phil, and he was awesome playing 3rd base, especially in his younger years. He would throw himself all over the place to snag the ball, I am a big fan of defense and one of the few people, I think, who would rather see a good pitcher’s duel than the football score games we see today. I liked it when a HR was rare and really appreciated, too many longballs these days, imo. That’s what I love about Feliz, Rollins, Utley, those infield plays rock my world!

  43. Mike Cardone

    March 19, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Phil, I may be an idiot – hell, let’s just come out and say it – I AM an idiot. But, I’m not dumb enough about baseball to think that Mike Schmidt was a better hitter than George Brett. As for your usage of OPS +, all that does is demonstrate that you’ve never played or coached the game, let alone done the research. If OPS + is so important to your defense of Schmidt, then why is he only FOURTH all time on his OWN team by that stat? http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/OPSplus_career.shtml ?

    Schmidt’s only 10 points ahead of Brett in that obscure stat, while 38 points behind in career batting average (roughly a hit a week over the fullness of a season, big fella).

    My point is that they were both great players. But, I have always thought that Schmidt’s gift was his grace more than it was his pure performance. To many Phillies’ fans, he’s Mickey Mantle. To me, he’s more David Wright.

  44. Georgie

    March 19, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    James, that clip is definitely cringe-worthy, yikes! The guy hardly ever showed emotion, that’s what makes it so creepy.

  45. Phil

    March 19, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    I played baseball my whole life until I shattered my wrist and couldn’t anymore. OPS+ compares a player to the rest of the league at the time. It’s not an obscure stat and as a matter of fact even the MLB network is recognizing it when they evaluate players now.

    When you compare Mike Schmidt to guys like Ed Delahanty and Richie Allen(I’m not counting Thome or Lajoie because they played a couple of seasons with the Phillies each) you have to take into account that Delahanty died before he could decline and rack up bad seasons towards the end of his career to make his OPS+ plummet and Richie Allen retired before that could happen. You also have to remember that both Allen and Delahanty played weaker defensive positions. 1B and LF are the easiest positions and they are supposed to have the games best sluggers. Thome is in the same boat, and by the time his career is over he’ll slip below Schmidt’s anyway. Nap Lajoie is a freak of nature, and I agree that he is a better player than Schmidt. The other 3 aren’t either.

    George Brett might beat Schmidt in BA but Schmidt destroys him in every other offense statistic. Brett had a higher batting average but Schmidt still got on base 11 points more. Schmidt also outslugged him by 50 points. Schmidt was also a way better defender.

    Comparing Schmidt to Write might be a fair comparison. I don’t know how Wright’s career might end up, but as of right now Schmidt’s is slightly better offensively(for their years of 23-25). I can’t believe you will say Brett is better because of 1 offensive statistic. That is complete lunacy.

  46. Jim

    March 19, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Phil you mentioned all those players, like ruth, hornsby, and wagner and williams, who are indeed the best players at there position OFFENSIVELY, but defensivley, even for their time, they were considered poor.

    Schmidt is the only guy who has arguable claim to being the best on offense, and defense and therefore the best overall

  47. Jim

    March 19, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    JAMES- the .196 in 1973… his first “full” year in the majors with 132 games, still managed to slug 18 homers and get 60 rbis. he also hit for an ops + of 92 that year, which is by no means a terrible stat for someone in their first full year, he hit just 8 points below the league average, not terrible at all

    When you consider he never hit below 122 OPS + for the rest of his career until 1988 (the year before he retired) you start to see what a terror at the plate he really was

  48. Phil

    March 19, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Oh, okay…I get that, but Wagner is one of the best defensive SS of all time so I won’t back down from him. I don’t know how good Hornsby was defensively though. The CF I named…Mays is probably the best all around player of all time. Best 5 tool player to ever exist. Lou Gehrig was an amazing defensive 1B and offensively was the best. Johnny Bench and Yogi Berra were also both great with the bat and glove.

  49. Jim

    March 19, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    See again you name guys who are average to even good but not great on both sides of the ball.

    best example, piazza was way better offensivly than berra and a bit better than bench but he was no where near them on defense so none of them can be said to be the best all around catch until someone comes along that is

  50. Phil

    March 19, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    And who did I mention? Wagner? He’s one of the best offensive and defensive SS of all time. Mays…best 5 tool player of all time. Lou Gehrig was great both offensively and defensively as were Bench and Berra.

  51. Phil

    March 19, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Wait, I get it now…okay. So, because Wagner isn’t as good as Ozzie Smith defensively then that doesn’t make him best all around. Willie Mays is the best 5 tool player of all time, how is he not the best CF of all time? There wasn’t a better offensive or defensive CF than him. There were a few that were faster but that’s about it.

  52. Phil

    March 19, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Oh, and btw…Mike Schmidt wasn’t the best all around because Brooks Robinson was better defensively.

  53. Lewisauce

    March 20, 2009 at 4:01 am

    The Schmidt bashers are all on crack. He is widely considered by all analysts, experts, and people who have a freakin’ clue to be the best third-baseman of all time.

    Fun fact: when you eliminate the admitted/caught/obvious steroid users/cheaters (Bonds, Palmiero, Maguire, Sosa-the-corker, A-Rod), Schmidt is still the No. 8 home-run hitter of all-time. How can you argue with that?

  54. From Section 113

    March 20, 2009 at 5:50 am

    People, you do realize when Schmidt retired he was easily in the top 10 in HRs of all time? He won 10 gold gloves! 10!

    I think Schmidt’s clearly better than Brett, but we sill are comparing 2 HOFers, it’s not like anyone is knocking Brett.

    **Also, I cannot decide what to do with ALexander. I think he was the best player ever for the Phills but doesn’t have the longevity as Schmidt and Carlton do. I wish he just played 2 more yrs as a PHilly because then I think he would hands down be #1. Still I think ALexander has a shot at being #1. His 1915 season is unbelievable.

  55. Phil

    March 20, 2009 at 5:50 am

    Schmidt openly said he did amphetamines during his career. Although they aren’t roids it is still a performance enhancer. It is speculated that Aaron did them too and Mays did greenies. Babe Ruth used to eat animal testicles back in the day so that he could get extra testosterone and a lot of players were corking their bats back then too. People cheated throughout every generation, these guys just got caught doing an illegal substance.

  56. rob

    March 20, 2009 at 6:57 am

    “Those uniforms are boss. Easily the best in franchise history. I’d advocate for the Phils to go back to the old-English “P,” but I don’t mind the new alternates at all.”

    Except that same P was retired in honor of Chuck Klein in favor of retiring the half dozen numbers he wore. I’d like having the Old English P back too… except we don’t need another curse on our hands 😉

  57. Justin

    March 20, 2009 at 6:57 am

    Tim, the Phils brought back the old fashioned English P I believe in 94 and not too many people liked it, just because of how plain the uniform and logo were that’s why it never lasted, just like for whatever reason the blue hat and red P didn’t last long even though I think that a little more blue in the uniform would be awesome. Their blue BP jerseys look amazing with the rest of the uniform that i think they could turn that into an alternate jersey or an away jersey.

  58. Chuck P

    March 20, 2009 at 7:48 am

    “Schmidt openly said he did amphetamines during his career. Although they aren’t roids it is still a performance enhancer. It is speculated that Aaron did them too and Mays did greenies. Babe Ruth used to eat animal testicles back in the day so that he could get extra testosterone and a lot of players were corking their bats back then too. People cheated throughout every generation, these guys just got caught doing an illegal substance.”

    I’ve been saying that since this witch hunt began… it’s not like PED’s just broke out on the scene. MLB just decided to stop them from being used…

    I took this from something that I wrote about steroids…

    Synthetically-produced testosterone has been around since the 1930s. In the 1940’s, testosterone was hailed as the next “wonder drug,” partially due to a medical publication, The Male Hormone, by Paul de Kruif, and the drug was knowingly used by body builders and weight lifters.

    We didn’t hear a lot about steroids for the next 30 years, but it’s becoming pretty clear that the game was not as pure as many believed it was.

    Former Major League pitcher Tom House, a teammate of Hank Aaron in the late 1960s, has been one of the first to confirm that he and several teammates were taking steroids. In May 2005, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that House said, “I pretty much popped everything cold turkey. We were doing steroids they wouldn’t give to horses. That was the ’60s, when nobody knew. The good thing is, we know now. There’s a lot more research and understanding.”

    More and more players from every sport are coming out: In the NFL, the San Diego Chargers teams of the 1960s have openly admitted that steroids were a regular facet of their training regiment, prescribed and overseen by the team trainers.

    The anti-steroid movement only truly began in the 1970s, as steroids became banned substances by the Olympics and several collegiate and professional sports.

    Baseball, however, was not one of the sports that banned steroids.

    That didn’t happen until 1991… kind of. That was when Fay Vincent sent out a memo telling owners that steroids were banned and that suspected players were to be confronted and tested.

    Zero players were confronted and zero players were tested.

    The “random” and “anonymous” sample of 2003 was the tipping point… Canseco’s allegations undoubtedly stirred the pot and ultimately charged the movement for more rigorous testing. In the end, it’s pretty clear that PED’s have been around for much longer than we were led to believe and it’s almost certain that there are people in the HOF that took PED’s during their careers.

    You can’t blame the players… you can’t keep them out of the hall. Bud Selig has proven himself a coward by turning his back on his players and outing them. If he had any scruples, he would step up, take the blame and protect his players… the worst commissioner in all of sports.

  59. Ed R.

    March 20, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Oh good, the Schmidt arguments are starting already.

    First off, I’m one of those guys who doesn’t really believe in clutch hitting, but let’s pretend it exists; let’s further pretend that there’s some Phillie out there who’s better at it than Schmidt. That may be possible, but you’re going to have to prove it.

    I’m not sure where the Bake McBride comparison comes from, but using the “late and close” stats (career for Bake–I’m lazy today) you get:

    McBride:

    BA .282 OBP .329 SLG .361 OPS .691 BAbip .311 tOPS+ 81

    RISP w/2 outs
    BA .271 OBP .342 SLG .391 OPS .733 BAbip .297 tOPS+ 92

    Schmidt:

    BA .267 OBP .386 SLG .504 OPS .890 BAbip .289 tOPS+ 97

    RISP w/2 outs
    BA .251 OBP .410 SLG .495 OPS .905 BAbip .271 tOPS+ 102

    By the way, BAbip is “batting avg for balls in play”, and more importantly, tOPS+ is a metric that basically measures how close a player is to his overall performance. In other words, in late and close situations Bake is only 81% of his “normal” self, while Schmidt is 97%. Bake’s performance in these situations clearly declines more than Schmidt’s. Schmidt actually “improves” with 2 outs and runners in scoring position. Is it possible to get more than 100? Of course, if you’re outperforming. George Brett, for instance, gets a tOPS+ of 103. Horribly, for a Yankee-hater like me, Mickey Mantle seems to lead with a mind-numbing 122 in late and close situations. One of my heroes, Willie Stargell leads the RISP w/2 outs charts with an eye-popping 125.

    So fine, Schmidt in certain “clutch” situations declines a teeny bit compared to his overall performance. So that means that opposing teams can be comforted by the fact that they’re facing a player at “only” 97% of his normal HOF standard. Of course, he actually gets better with RISP and two outs.

    All in all, Schmidt in clutch situations is still Schmidt, no more and no less. He’s remarkably consistent.

  60. Ed R.

    March 20, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    @ Mike Cardone

    Warm up the cheesesteak! By the way I’m a Jim’s man.

    Daulton, 2 outs w/RISP

    BA .227 OBP .394 SLG .390 OPS .784 BAbip .259 tOPS+ 102

    Schmidt crushes Daulton, as should be expected. Daulton raises his game a little in this situation, but his game’s not that good to begin with, so big deal.

    Kruk is more interesting (career stats, ’cause I’m lazy):

    BA .309 OBP .454 SLG .465 OPS .919 BAbip .359 tOPS+ 119

    Really outstanding numbers for Kruk, and they would be even better if they were just his stats with the Phils. He’s got game, and he raises it significantly in this situation. Kruk’s average is better than Schmidt’s, as you’d expect, but Schmidt outslugs him (by a lot), as I’d expect.

    Still, I’d argue Schmidt is better. His at bat per home run ratio is 16.3, Kruk’s is 34.7, so Schmidt is going yard more than twice as often. His at bat per RBI ratio is also better, 2.7 to Kruk’s 2.5, so a bit more productive there, too. Schmidt’s performance is also spread over a career that encompasses more than twice as many at bats as Kruk. I think it’s pretty unlikely that Kruk could maintain his numbers over a career as long as Schmidt’s, so they’d drop off as his skills eroded, which they would have given his lack of fitness. In the end, Kruk’s more likely to get on base, Schmidt’s more likely to drive a man in. Which do you want in this situation?

    Remember, Jim’s. No onions.

  61. jhs

    March 20, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    On Alex vs. Carlton and longevity:

    Sandy Koufax (165-87, 131 ERA+) pitched 2324.3 innings for the Dodgers; Grover Cleveland Alexander (190-91, 140 ERA+ with Phils) pitched 2513.7 innings for the Phils. I don’t think that Dodgers fans would seriously argue that, say, Don Sutton (233-181, 3816.3 IP), was a greater pitcher than Koufax simply because he won more games/pitched more innings (about 1500 more), etc., than Koufax. Likewise, while Carlton certainly had a great career with the Phils, his numbers simply pale in comparison to Alex’s numbers. Example? In 1915-1917, Alex went 94-35, with an ERA+ around 182 and a win% around .729 – numbers pretty much identical to Carlton’s 1972 season. Except that Alex did it for three consecutive seasons, and 1100+ IP, and Carlton did it once, for about 345 innings (and was basically a league-average pitcher in 1971 and 1973 overall, according to ERA+). Alex AVERAGED 28+ wins per season during his Phils career! Alex threw 36 CG shutouts between in 1915-1917, only 3 fewer than Lefty threw for his entire career with the Phils.

  62. jhs

    March 20, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Couple corrections to my last post: Alex averaged 27+ wins per season, and the Sutton numbers are for his career with the Dodgers only.

  63. James Kay

    March 20, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    @ Ed R.
    Your posts are energetic. You have persuaded me to give more attention to the quantification of “Clutch”.

    @ Fans of the 1964 team
    I posted a story about the base running of Roy Sievers in the Sherry Magee thread. He was thrown out trying for an inside the park home run against the Reds & Joe Nuxhall in Connie Mack in the bottom of the 6th on 5/10/1964. The legend is he collapsed from exhaustion between third and home. Baseball-Reference is wonderful.

  64. Phil

    March 21, 2009 at 6:41 am

    Hey look, people into SABRmetrics. I’m just getting into this stuff and it is fascinating.

  65. J-Mills

    April 5, 2009 at 8:13 am

    I rank Klein’s 1930 season as the 4th best offensive season ever. 250 hits, 158 runs, 59 doubles, 40 homeruns, 170 rbis, .386 ave. and an unbelievable 445 toal bases. I had him no. 6 on my list. There is no way Dick Allen should be ahead of Chuck! I asked Bill Conlin about Klein and why his career when down so fast and he said Klein became an alcoholic while he was playing. Conlin also said the phillies got rid of him because of finances.

  66. Stobbs

    August 23, 2009 at 1:48 am

    great post, thanks for providing so much. Keep up the good posts.! http://www.hoover-f5914900.com

  67. Phil

    September 8, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    How did Bo Diaz not make it

  68. twitter

    July 4, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Cool Site, thanks for the info!!

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