December 16, 2006

End of an era for Houston Baseball: One of the original Killer B's,Jeff Bagwell retires due to his well documented shoulder problem. Is he a future Hall of Fame inductee?

posted by mjkredliner to baseball at 09:10 PM - 23 comments

"For as great a player as he was, he was also one of the most humble people I've ever been around," former Astros general manager Gerry Hunsicker said. "He really let his play do his talking for him." Thanks for the memories, Jeff.

posted by mjkredliner at 09:21 PM on December 16, 2006

I've always liked Bagwell, so I'd like to see him in the Hall of Fame. However, I'm not as knowledgeable on Cooperstown as I am the other major sports. Is there a limit on how many players get in? If so, does anyone know who else will be eligible that ballot?

posted by forrestv at 11:51 PM on December 16, 2006

I watched jeff bagwell in the astrodome when he was Rookie Of The Year up to his departure at minute maid park.Good ballplayer, for sure. I use to get pissed at him alot because he always seemed to be swinging for the fence. Quiet guy, never got into any trouble. But i think he's borderline for the Hall of Fame. He might make it in if it's weak year when he is eligble for induction.

posted by texasred at 06:31 AM on December 17, 2006

You are eligable to be voted into the Hall of Fame five years after you retire (this wait was waived for Roberto Clemente but its a pretty firm rule). From there you are on the ballot for up to fifteen years until you are voted in (by being named on 75% of ballots) or left off (by being named on too few ballots, I want to say less than 10%). If a player is not voted in by the writers he has to wait another ten years or so to be voted on by the veterans commitee at which point you are pretty much a long shot at best. Each writer receiving a ballot can vote for anywhere from zero to ten players but they tend to be selective as a group with a Hall of Fame class of 1 to 3 being pretty common. Read here for more info on the Hall. Bagwell's numbers are very respectable by Hall standards and he is certainly helped by the fact that he was a generally classy guy

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 06:42 AM on December 17, 2006

I would like to thank Jeff Bagwell for representing the game of baseball in such a positive manner. He has always been a stand-up guy who respected the game and the fans, and I'm pleased to see that he continues to be part of the Houston organization. As a San Franciscan and long-time Giants fan I wish our childish, self-centered left fielder (who the Giants were dumb enough to resign) would have aquired some of the class exibited by Mr. Bagwell. Jeff, have a wonderful Holiday and the best of luck to you in your future endeavors.

posted by Alpine147 at 10:08 AM on December 17, 2006

But i think he's borderline for the Hall of Fame. Bagwell will get voted into the hall of fame on the first ballot. The numbers he's put up have him in the top 10 NL 1B in major league history. Just because he's played in a dead media market (for MLB) like Houston, people forget how dominating a hitter he's been. From 1994-2000, he was one of the most dangerous hitters in the NL. No, he'll get in without any problems. Unless, of course, someone wants to make spurious accusations about P.E.D. use because of some supposedly "interesting" physical changes his body has gone through since he joined the league. I mean, if you were that sort of person that uses silly things like photos to make those kind of judgments, I guess looking at his rookie photo and then a photo from later in his career, you might think something is amiss. But I'm sure no one really uses that as a way to accuse players of steroid use.

posted by grum@work at 10:36 AM on December 17, 2006

The Bill James HOF Predictor suggests he is in- 149 career points, where 130 is usually a lock.

posted by tieguy at 10:47 AM on December 17, 2006

I have been a long time Astro fan and have enjoyed these past 15 years with Bagwell and Biggio in the lineup every day. Thanks, Jeff. I think he has a great shot at the HOF. His numbers are good enough, he was a class act, never shied away from questions(post season avg.), stayed loyal with the Astros. I'd like to see Bags and Biggs go in together in Cooperstown, that would be a great moment for the Astros and baseball, TEAMMATES going in together. Has that ever happened???? Also, I am glad he is staying with the team.

posted by sauceysays at 11:03 AM on December 17, 2006

The thing is, if Bagwell had played for the 1916 St Louis Browns, he would've had a career .268/.372/.487, which seriously affects his HoF chances.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:33 AM on December 17, 2006

no doubt Bagwell is a HOF.even though he didn't reach that mythical milestone of 500 hr,his numbers are worthy.he did not stay around chasing the number,he just gave all he had for as long as he could.he is a stand up guy,(even though that probably doesn'y matter),and one of the best players in the last 16 years.I really don't know what the criterea is to get in,but if Bagwell doesn't fit,they may as well burn the place down.

posted by mars1 at 11:49 AM on December 17, 2006

Dr. John brings up an excellent point. I suggest that instead of even voting at all we create benchmark statistics and look exclusively at how a player would have performed if they had played their entire career for the 1916 Browns. Additionally Grum could be the commisioner of baseball and have the final say in such matters (if anyone missed the earlier link).

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 11:49 AM on December 17, 2006

As a Cardinals fan I watched Bagwell a lot (he used to kill us). he should get in the hof, probably not on the first ballot although like many other special honors that has been badly diluted (Ozzie Smith, a first ballot guy: not if his name had been Harold Smith). Bags hit for average and power, ran well and played good defense until his body began to betray him. He'll get in and he should.

posted by rchugh at 01:18 PM on December 17, 2006

Ozzie Smith, a first ballot guy: not if his name had been Harold Smith I have no idea what you mean by that. Are you suggesting that "Ozzie" is a first ballot name and "Harold" isn't?

posted by grum@work at 03:07 PM on December 17, 2006

There is an interesting comment at Baseball Think Factory about whether Jeff Bagwell is the best 1B in National League history.

posted by grum@work at 03:39 PM on December 17, 2006

Jay Jaffe, who has a pretty good Hall of Fame prediction tool, suggests Bagwell rates as the third best 1B in history. In the end-of-career retrospectives floating around out there, I haven't seen a whole lot written about Bagwell's and Biggio's role in ousting manager Larry Dierker.

posted by holden at 04:46 PM on December 17, 2006

Bagwell is the greatest Astro in the history of the Houston Astros. I tip my cap to a man with such class and dedication as Jeff gave to the organization. It is wrong what the organization did to him last year. If it wasn't for Bags and Biggio, the Astros would still be half filling the Astrodome. Congratulations to the man, Jeffery Bagwell.

posted by dmontez1392 at 05:33 PM on December 17, 2006

I would love to see Jeff and Craig get in the same year...but Biggio will probably play at least a couple more years. The general baseball climate on steroid use will have to parse itself out before we know which guys are going to get in. If the wind blows one way, Bagwell might have to wait a few extra years as Sosa and McGwire take their place...

posted by vito90 at 07:00 PM on December 17, 2006

It sucks to see these guys I grew up watching falling by the wayside.

posted by sportingo at 06:10 AM on December 18, 2006

Bagwell should be an automatic, but there are some surprising weaknesses on an otherwise stellar resume: 1) became injury-prone at the peak of his career -- kept getting hit by pitches on the wrist and developed a nagging shoulder issue 2) arguably his best year, and his only MVP season, was 1994 -- a bad year to peak. Just ask the Expos. 3) incredibly, he was only an All-Star four times 4) .226/.354/.321 in 33 post-season games with 2 HRs and 13 RBIs. And no rings. And some serious disappearing acts in his first three series (all losses). Big time blech. Bagwell is the greatest Astro in the history of the Houston Astros. That's saying something, considering it's a team that had Nolan Ryan for a pretty good spell. I'm not disputing it, but it's a strong statement.

posted by BullpenPro at 06:29 PM on December 18, 2006

Red Sox fans have to rue the Larry Anderson for Bagwell trade. As an aside, (or grumbait, if you will), I wonder what Bags' numbers may have looked like had he spent his career playing at Fenway instead of the cavernous Astrodome?

posted by mjkredliner at 09:43 AM on December 19, 2006

I was waiting to see that name pop up. On the plus side, he was a funny guy. Hooray!

posted by yerfatma at 09:53 AM on December 19, 2006

As an aside, (or grumbait, if you will), I wonder what Bags' numbers may have looked like had he spent his career playing at Fenway instead of the cavernous Astrodome? Sadly, the feature on Baseball Reference has been put behind the pay-wall. I'm going to be getting a subscription to BR-PI sometime after Xmas, so maybe I'll remember to post some interesting comparisons at that time.

posted by grum@work at 10:51 AM on December 19, 2006

Thanks grum. That was the reason I didn't do it myself, and I figured you were already a subscriber. Your willingness to provide stats is much appreciated.

posted by mjkredliner at 12:11 PM on December 19, 2006

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.