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.
Wes Ferrell, like Carl Mays, is a player whose name comes up every year when the Veterans' Committee when they vote on the Old Timers ballot. Ferrell's brother Rick is in the Hall of Fame as a catcher for the Red Sox. The brothers actually played together with the Red Sox and Senators.
Ferrell was a workhorse who lead the American League in games started twice, and complete games and innings pitched three years in a row. Ferrell won 20 games in six seasons and won 170 games in the 1930's, fourth behind Lefty Grove, Carl Hubbell, and Red Ruffing. Ferrell though typically pitched for mediocre teams, spending his most productive years with the Browns, Red Sox, and Senators.
The major argument against Ferrell is his ERA. His career ERA was 4.04, which is similar to the argument against Jack Morris, whose career ERA was 3.90. Ferrell's ERA+ though is 116 so relatively speaking, it was not that bad of a number. Still most voters these days seem to have some difficulty with context, in particular those on the Veterans' Committee.
Ferrell is probably a pretty borderline candidate, but his numbers seem to warrant more consideration.