The Three Wise (?) Men

They tell me great minds think alike. A cynic might point out that so did Curly, Larry, and Moe. Back last week Bill over at The On Deck Circle (see blogroll to the right) posted his list of 50 Hall of Famers who just had to be there. I put up my own list. Then I noted that SportsPhD (also on the blogroll at right) weighed in with his list. So I decided to see just how much agreement there was between we three “wise” men. Turns out there’s quite a lot of it. Below are three lists. The first lists, by primary position, the men who show up on all three lists. The second list consists of those who showed up on two lists (without reference to which two lists). Obviously, the final list is of those players who showed up on only one list.


On all three lists:

1B: Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig

2B: Eddie Collins, Charlie Gehringer, Rogers Hornsby, Napoleon LaJoie, Joe Morgan, Jackie Robinson

SS: Cal Ripken, Honus Wagner

3B: Geroge Brett, Eddie Mathews, Mike Schmidt

LF: Rickey Henderson, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski

CF: Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Duke Snider, Tris Speaker

RF: Hank Aaron, Mel Ott, Frank Robinson, Babe Ruth

C: Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra

P: Grover Cleveland Alexander, Bob Feller, Lefty Grove, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Tom Seaver, Warren Spahn, Cy Young (a total of 37 names)


Appearing on two lists:

Arky Vaughan (SS), Wade Boggs (3B), Roberto Clemente (RF), Al Kaline (RF), SandyKoufax (P), Nolan Ryan (P), and Negro Leaguers Oscar Charleston, Martin DiHigo, Josh Gibson, and Stachel Paige (a total of 9 names)


Appearing on only one list:

1B Harmon Killebrew, Willie McCovey, Eddie Murray

2B: Rod Carew

SS: Robin Yount

RF: Tony Gwynn, Reggie Jackson, Paul Waner

C: Roy Campanella, Gary Carter, Carlton Fisk

P. Steve Carlton, Bob Gibson, Carl Hubbell, Kid Nichols, Phil Niekro

Negro Leagues: JohnHenry Lloyd, Turkey Stearnes (for a total of 18 names)

It makes for a total of only 64 names for 50 slots. We agree 74% of the time and 2 of the 3 of us agree on 92% of the players. Not bad agreement, right? How wise it is remains another question.



3 Responses to “The Three Wise (?) Men”

  1. William Miller Says:

    What amazes me from these final tallies of the three of us is that each of us agree on the same six second basemen. Without going back and looking, I think the three first baseman that appear on only one list were all mine. Perhaps Gehrig and Foxx set such a high standard that even hitting 500 career homers, or being the second-best switch-hitter of all time isn’t enough to break into this elite group.
    Thanks for compiling this list,

  2. sportsphd Says:

    The common group is definitely the top tier of my list. I like each of my solo guys, but Yount, for example, was the last one to make my list. To Bill’s point about second basemen, I tried to emphasize guys that played the most important defensive positions, with only moderate success. That next tier of first basemen, Murray, McCovey, Mize, Killebrew, and non-HOF guys like Thomas and Bagwell, all fell into a similar clump for me. For that reason, I ditched them all. Not sure if that is fair, but it is what happened to me.

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