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Phil Rizzuto...Hall of Famer???

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Phil Rizzuto...Hall of Famer???

Postby Rirruto » Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:58 am

Sorry for posting this thread in this forum but I have no idea where else to put it. I just wanted to know if anyone in this forum knew anything about Phil Rizzuto. I mostly know him as a Yankee announcer who retired before all the championship years in the 90s. When I get bored in the middle of the night I sometimes go to http://www.baseball-reference.com which has statistics for every person who ever played a game of MLB. I always knew Rizzuto was a HoFer but I was shocked to see what his career numbers were. Not even 1600 hits, and only a .273 batting avg. He averaged a pathetic 4 HR and 55 RBI a season. Now I know what some of you might be thinking, maybe he was a defensive genious at SS, so lets see his fielding stats: a .968 fielding percentage with 263 errors in 1647 games. Just for comparison, let's use A-Rod's numbers since he has a couple Gold Gloves. A .977 fielding percentage with 131 errors in 1267 games. As you can see, Rizzuto wasn't actually a defensive specialist either. His one great accomplishment was his MVP award in 1950. Just to clear things up, I am not attacking Rizzuto at all, I'm just wondering how a guy with these kinds of stats made it to the place where baseball enshrines the best of the best. His HoF plaque states:
"OVERCAME DIMINUTIVE SIZE (5'6", 150 LBS) TO ANCHOR SUPERB YANKEE TEAMS WHICH WON 10 PENNANTS AND 8 WORLD SERIES DURING HIS 13 MAJOR LEAGUE SEASONS". Didn't they have Yogi and DiMaggio anchoring the Yanks during those years? Oh well, just something to think about.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/r/rizzuph01.shtml
Last edited by Rirruto on Thu Jul 15, 2004 2:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby pokerplaya » Thu Jul 15, 2004 2:01 am

Interesting post. I know a fair amount about the history of the game, but admittedly very little on Rizzuto. However, I can throw a guess out there and perhaps someone can confirm in or reject it one way or the other.

Rizzuto played from 41-56, yet was voted into the hall in 94. Perhaps it was his accomplishments in the game of baseball in general, and not just his play on the field that got him the nod. He clearly is not a hall of fame calibre player stat wise, regardless of how good those Yankee teams were. Whatever his accomplishments were off the field regarding baseball most likely weighted heavily.
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Postby Rirruto » Thu Jul 15, 2004 2:16 am

Rizzuto is listed as being elected to the Hall by the Veterans committee, which is a committee comprimsed of living HoFers. The conventional way to get into the Hall is by the Writer's Association 5 years after playing your last game. Players elected by the Veterans committee have to be retired at least 21 years. So Rizzuto was voted in by his peers, but why? To answer pokerplaya's question, I highly doubt players can be elected to the Hall because of accomplishments in baseball in general. There are special awards given by the Hall to announcers, executives, and umpires but I am pretty sure that Rizzuto's playing career PLUS his announcing career didn't land him in the Hall. He is not listed as a recipient of the Ford Frick award, presented annually to a broadcaster for "major contributions to baseball."
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Postby George_Foreman » Thu Jul 15, 2004 3:43 am

so evidently he got in because his contemporaries liked him.

maybe he had those "intangibles" that make Jeter such a "great" player.
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Postby LBJackal » Thu Jul 15, 2004 5:16 am

Jeter seems to be Rizzuto Revisited.

Bad defensively, good OBA but not much power, and thriving off the success of his teammates. We all know Jeter will make it into the Hall because he was on a bunch of good teams, but at least his career BA is .317, a lot better than the .273 Rizzuto had. There's no way Scooter could have been worse defensively though, is there?
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Postby Tavish » Thu Jul 15, 2004 5:26 am

Rizzuto was a pretty good defensive player, although not elite and certainly not enough to make him a HoF guy.
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Postby LCBOY » Thu Jul 15, 2004 3:01 pm

Tavish wrote:Rizzuto was a pretty good defensive player, although not elite and certainly not enough to make him a HoF guy.


Rizzuto was a great defensive player and most certainly would have won 6-10 Gold Gloves, at least, if the award had existed during his career. Bill James made Rizzuto one of the main players he examined in his book about the HoF, called Politics of Glory. It's a great book, and I highly recommend it. James basically concluded that Rizzuto doesn't belong in the HoF but he is FAR FROM THE WORST PLAYER in the HoF!!! All of the bad picks have come from the Veteran's Committee. There are probably about 40 players in the HoF that can't really be considered "great" players. But what's done is done. We can't remove these players from the HoF now. What bugs me is that these bad choices become the basis for people complaining that so-and-so is not in the HoF and he was better than so-and-so who is in the HoF. These are bogus arguements of course.
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Postby Rirruto » Thu Jul 15, 2004 3:11 pm

LCBOY wrote:James basically concluded that Rizzuto doesn't belong in the HoF but he is FAR FROM THE WORST PLAYER in the HoF!!! All of the bad picks have come from the Veteran's Committee. There are probably about 40 players in the HoF that can't really be considered "great" players.


How do you think the Vet Committee justifies themeselves for electing these players will less than stellar statistics and accomplishments? I can think of one player who's stats weren't the best of the best but got voted in by the veterans, Larry Doby; the first African American to play in the American League. He had good stats but didn't really warrant a HoF enshrinement, at least as a player. He got voted in more because of all the adversity he went through and the courage that he showed for playing through all the hatred and racism he received through America. I gues the Veteran's Committee is more leniant on the stats side of things when electing people for the Hall.
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Postby ajgnydc722 » Thu Jul 15, 2004 3:14 pm

George_Foreman wrote:so evidently he got in because his contemporaries liked him.

maybe he had those "intangibles" that make Jeter such a "great" player.


that must be it.
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Postby Rirruto » Thu Jul 15, 2004 3:20 pm

As for this whole Jeter talk, let me first say that I hate the Yankees and all that they stand for. Regardless, undermining Jeter's skills is stupid. He has shown that he is great hitter, regardless of patience. His aggresiveness is what gets him his 200 hits a season (when healthy). You can't compare Rizzuto's production and Jeter's, there is simply no contest. As for Jeter making the Hall, he is in no way a shoe-in. He's got a ton of work to do and his rings wont carry him there alone. He would need at least have to get to 3000 hits for that to happen.
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