Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hall of Fame Worthy? Pt. 1: Johnny Pesky

The Hall of Fame has inducted many players who were borderline choices, and many players who deserve induction have been on the outside looking in. I want to look at some players to determine if they deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.

Johnny Pesky was one of the key members of the Red Sox during the 1940's. The shortstop and third-baseman was an excellent contact hitter and as at least decent in the field. But, is Pesky worthy of Cooperstown induction?

Pesky had virtually no power, but hit for high averages and got on base at an extremely impressive clip. Pesky also accumulated more than 200 hits in each of his first three seasons which book-ended some WWII service time. Pesky had one of the all-time great rookie seasons for a shortstop, going .331/.375/.416 with 205 hits to lead the league.

He was an All Star for the only time in 1946 and lead the league again in hits and at-bats in 1946 and 1947. Pesky continued to perform at a high level for a couple more years in Boston but then bounced around the league for a few years before calling it a career. Later, he went on to be a manager, broadcaster, and several other positions with the Red Sox.

Pesky's peak was fairly brief and he was basically finished after 1953. The three years of military service could have made this a more difficult decision, but the fact of the matter is that Pesky was not good enough for long enough to be a Hall of Famer.

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