#37- Ed Walsh, SP2

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Year Inducted: 1946 (Veterans Committee)

Score: 33857

The Dead Ball Era has seen its fair share of great pitchers.  Christy Mathewson, Pete Alexander, Walter Johnson are the most famous, but there are many other great pitchers of that time as well.  Guys like Chief Bender, Eddie Plank and Mordecai Brown were also tremendous pitchers as well.  Before that period, the game was dominated by pitchers like Cy Young and Tim Keefe.  Still, none of them have the record for the lowest ERA of all-time.  That record belongs to White Sox ace Ed Walsh.

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#40- George Davis, SS

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Year Inducted: 1998 (Veterans Committee)

Score: 33286

When Curt Flood challenged the Reserve Clause in the late 1960’s, it was far from the first time that a player had attempted to challenge it.  Attempts go all the way back to the late 1890’s with Monte Ward, who in addition to being a player and manager was also a full-fledged lawyer, who actually had a player he used twice to try to overrule the Reserve Clause.  When the Giants’ shortstop had worn out his welcome with his team, he signed a two year deal with the White Sox.  After the first year there, he tried to return to the Giants, but Charlie Comiskey went all the way to the US Court of Appeals to block him from playing a game for anyone other than the White Sox.  That player was George Davis.

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#41- Cap Anson, 1B

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Year Inducted: 1939 (Veterans Committee)

Score: 33138

Record keeping has always been the lifeblood of baseball statistics.  This was, of course, insanely difficult in the era before computers and electronic databases.  In the pre-1900’s era, every team had their own scorekeeper, and there weren’t any overseers from the league.  As such, many errors were made that for a long time were passed down from generation to generation.  Along with that, with baseball in its infancy, rules and stats were constantly in a state of flux.  For example, there was at least one season where walks were counted as hits.  Many historians have gone back and modified the stats for those old time players, but controversy remains.  Some sites will use the old totals, some will use some of the corrections, some use all of the corrections and it can get confusing for studies such as this.  The player that suffers the most from this is Cap Anson.

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#65- Eddie Plank, SP2

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Year Inducted: 1946 (Veterans Committee)

Score: 28970

It’s tough to be a big league player, that’s why the Minors exist.  Unlike football or basketball, where college is a good prep for a pro-career, the talent gap between MLB and College Baseball is way too wide for most players to make a complete transition.  However, that never stopped people from trying.  Connie Mack and the A’s signed a pitcher out of Gettysburg College who had yet to play in the Minor Leagues but had attended an academy with instructors like Ty Cobb to a contract and tryout in Spring Training, and the legend of Eddie Plank was born.

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#70- Jesse Burkett, LF

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Year Inducted: 1946 (Veterans Committee)

Score: 28451

Say what you will about the talent pool being better today, and the revenue coming in higher than ever before, but one thing the earliest years of baseball had that they no longer really do was personality.  Granted, a lot of that came from drunken tirades and gambling allegations, but still there was a lot more extra entertainment to games back in the early 1900’s.  But, for the most part, the players left a lot on the field and were very approchable and kind off the field, especially to teammates and fans.  Not everyone however.  There was a reason that Jesse Burkett was nicknamed “Crab”-and it didn’t have to do with how he walked either.

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#71- Rube Waddell, SP1

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Year Inducted: 1946 (Veterans Committee)

Score: 28395

There aren’t many first generation starters remaining in the Hall of Fame to cover.  And, up to this point, a lot of them have been similar.  They threw a ton of innings, didn’t strike many out, and had really low ERA’s.  They mostly had short careers, but there were a few that pitched longer than 15 years like Pud Galvin and Cy Young.  But, only one of the first generation of starting pitchers could rack up strikeouts like some current pitchers.  That would be Philadelphia Athletics lefty, Rube Waddell.

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#73- Dan Brouthers, 1B

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Year Inducted: 1945 (Veterans Committee)

Score: 28264

The value of the walk is something that is continuously debated even to this day.  Is it more valuable that a player try to expand his zone and try for a hit while running the risk of hitting into an out, or is it more valuable for him to just take the walk while not making an out and adding an additional baserunner?  Those that adhere more to traditional stats lie on the side of the possible hit being more valuable, while those that adhere to analytics believe the walk is fine.  There are merits to both schools of thought, and the true answer is that it probably depends upon the situation.  Back in the early years, stats like OBP weren’t really tracked that much, so some players that were good at drawing walks ended up being overlooked over the ones that would get the hits.  That is why a player like Dan Brouthers is so special; he could do both.

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