The ballots for the 2006 Rangers Hall of Fame induction are out and I will describe and analyze each player on the ballot in three different blog entries. This year, fans are allowed to vote for one player from each of three decades. If you think nobody from one decade is deserving but two people from another are, you can still only choose one player per decade.
This week, I will look at the players from the 1970’s decade.
Decade 1 (1970’s) candidates: Jeff Burroughs, Tom Grieve, Mike Hargrove, Toby Harrah, Al Oliver, and Gaylord Perry.
Burroughs played for the Rangers from 1972-1976 and won the AL MVP and all-star starter in ’74. He is tied for the Rangers record for most grand slams in a season with 3 other players at 3 in 1973. Jeff had his career year in 1974 batting .301 but in the rest of his career in a Rangers uniform he never batted .280 or higher. Three of those below .280 batting averages were .185, .226 and .237. Also, he never had an on-base percentage over .400. I don’t think he will make the Rangers Hall of Fame because he only had 1 great year and other than that he wasn’t very good. But I do think he’ll make it within the next 5 years because he’s very popular because he got the AL MVP.
Percentage chance of being voted into the Rangers Hall of Fame 6%
Grieve played for the Rangers from 1972-1977 before moving on to the Mets. He was the Senators’ first pick of the ’66 draft and was the Rangers player of the year in 1976, when he hit .255, slugging 20 home runs and driving in 81. He joined the Rangers’ front office in 1980 and became GM in 1984. He ended his GM career after the 1994 season and since then has been the Rangers’ TV analyst. I think Tom will be inducted this year because of his incredible popularity. Not only did he play for the Rangers but he has been the GM and a broadcaster. For all but two years of their existence, he has been involved with the Rangers. He also is a really great guy and is always willing to talk to the fans.
Hargrove played for the Rangers from 1974-1978. In ’74, he was called up from A ball and was the AL Rookie of the Year when he hit .323. He led the Rangers in hits in 1976 (155) and 1977 (160) and led the team in average from 1975-77. He is 9th on the Rangers all-time batting average list at .292 and 5th on their all-time walks list at 435. Hargrove is 10th on the Rangers all-time slugging percentage list at .409 and 1st on their all-time on-base percentage list with .399. Hargrove was an All-Star in 1975. I think Mike would be one of the most deserving players on the ballot if he had been here more than 5 years. I don’t think that he has enough popularity to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year.
Harrah played for the Rangers from 1972-1978 and 1985-1986. He has the highest on-base percentage for a season at .432 in 1985. He’s 5th on the Rangers all-time list for number of games played. Harrah ranks 9th on the Rangers all-time home run list with 122 and 2nd on their all-time stolen base list with 143. He is 6th on the Rangers all-time RBI list with 546 and is also 6th on their all-time runs list with 582. Toby ranks 2nd on the Rangers all-time walks list with 668 and 7th on their all-time hits at 1086. He also is 4th on the Rangers all-time OBP list at .361. He was an All-Star in 1975 and 1976. Toby has a lot of Rangers records and probably is the most deserving player in the decade but doesn’t have the popularity to have a good chance of being inducted this year because of Tom Grieve and Gaylord Perry.
Oliver played with the Rangers from 1978-1981. He is the Rangers all-time leader in career batting average, hitting .319 as a Ranger. He led the team in batting average in 1978, ’79, and ’81 and finished in the league’s top 8 in hitting all of his 4 years with Texas. He hit .324 in 1978, 2nd in the AL. He was an All-Star in 1980 and 1981. Once again, I don’t think he was here long enough or has the popularity to be inducted in 2006.
Perry played with the Rangers from 1975-1977 and 1980 (1975 and 1980 were not full seasons here). Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry ranks 2nd on the Rangers all-time shutouts list with 12 and 2nd on their all-time ERA list at 3.26. In 1976, 21 of his 32 starts were complete games. I think that he didn’t play enough years here to be a no-brainer for the Rangers Hall of Fame. He had good stats here but was not a pitcher that could mow down every hitter. I think it is between him and Tom Grieve to be inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame this year from the 1970’s decade but only because of their popularity.
Come back next week for my Rangers awards of the month. Soon after that, I’ll continue this Hall of Fame analysis.