A Hall of Fame pitcher will have
- at least 300 wins
- or, at least 250 wins and an ERA+ of 120 or higher. (Go here and scroll down for the definition of ERA+.)
- or, at least 200 wins and a W-L average of .600 or better and an ERA+ of 120 or higher.
- or, for relief pitchers, an ERA+ of 120 or higher.
The following pitchers therefore belong in my Anti-Hall of Fame:
With the removal of those 31 names, 35 pitchers would remain in the Hall of Fame.
The selection of batters for my Anti-Hall of Fame is a somewhat trickier business. Consider Johnny Bench: a lifetime .267 hitter but a great catcher and a leader on the field. Should I place a Bench in my Anti-Hall of Fame? What about Luis Aparicio, a fine shortstop who stole a lot of bases relative to his peers? The list could go on and on. So I decided to construct an anti-Hall of Fame that applies only to batting. Some players in this Anti-Hall of Fame might belong in the Hall of Fame for their other exploits, but they do not belong there for their batting skills. My batting criteria:
- an OPS+ of at least 150 (Go here and scroll down for the definition of OPS+, which is a measure of offensive prowess that adjusts for a player's ballpark and the era in which he played.)
- or, at least 2,800 lifetime hits and a lifetime batting average of at least .300
- or, an OPS+ of at least 120 and at least 2,000 lifetime base hits or a lifetime batting average of at least .300
My Anti-Hall of Fame for batters:
The deletion of those 50 names would leave 91 batters in the Hall of Fame, including . . . Johnny Bench.
But which of the 35 pitchers and 91 batters who qualify for my Hall of Fame are true baseball "immortals" who belong in a select inner circle? My criteria for "immortality" are somewhat more stringent than my criteria for membership in the Hall of Fame. An "immortal" pitcher will have at least 250 wins, a winning average of at least .600, and an ERA+ of at least 120. (A reliever qualifies with an ERA+ of at least 120.) An "immortal" batter will have an OPS+ of at least 150 or at least 2,800 hits and a lifetime batting average of at least .300.
Herewith the "immortal" pitchers:
And the "immortal" batters:
Thus my Hall of Fame would have an inner circle of "immortals": 16 of 35 pitchers (vice the present number of 66) and 39 of batters 91 (vice the present number of 141). La crème de la crème.