It’s that time of year again; the time of year each of you breathlessly await my take on the Veteran’s Committee vote for the Hall of Fame. So as not a disappoint a loyal (?) following here’s the beginning of this year’s take on the ballot. I’m starting with pitchers, of which there are two on the ballot. And a committee member is limited for voting for five nominees (and can vote for any number lower, including none).
Wes Ferrell is the better of the Ferrell brothers who played baseball in the 1930s. Rick, the brother, is in the Hall and that should make Wes an easy choice, but of course it doesn’t or he’d already be enshrined. He played from 1927 through 1941 mostly with Cleveland and the Red Sox (with late career trips to New York, Brooklyn, DC, and the Braves). He amassed 193 wins and 128 losses (for a .601 winning percentage. His ERA was 4.04 (ERA+ 116). His WHIP is 1.481 with a pitching WAR of 48.8. He walked more than he struck out (1040 to 985) and gave up more hits (2845) than he had innings pitched (2623). By way of compensation, he was a good hitter, going .280/.351/.446/.797 for a triple slash line and an OPS+ of 100 (hitting WAR 12.8). He had 38 home runs and 208 RBIs.
Bucky Walters started Major League Baseball life as a third baseman with the Phillies. He wasn’t bad, but by 1934 he was heading to the mound where he eventually became a fulltime pitcher. In 1938 he was traded to Cincinnati and became the team ace. He led the Reds to both the 1939 and 1940 World Series getting two wins in the 1940 victory over Detroit (and the 1939 National League MVP Award). He stayed around through 1948, then had a four inning stint with the Braves in 1950 to polish off his career. He went 198-160 for a .553 winning percentage. His ERA was 3.30 with an ERA+ of 116. His WHIP was 1.750 with a pitching WAR of 46.4. He walked 1121 men while striking out 1107 and gave up 2990 hits in 3105 innings. As a hitter his triple slash line is .243/.286/.344/.630 (OPS+ of 69) with 23 home runs and 234 RBIs (and 7.8 WAR). Because he spent several years as an infielder, his fielding numbers are significant (at least for the first few years). He committed 39 errors in 1271 innings and 204 chances as an infielder.
Neither man is a terrible choice for the Hall of Fame, but as I’ve only got five votes I think I’ll pass on both this time.