NSL HALL OF FAME MEMBERS INFO

GEORGE BRETT

15 Year NSL Career

Elected 2000, entered as a York First Capitol

Eight time All Star

Four time All League

Selected in the 1979 stocking Draft 4th Round

He received XX votes (XX needed)

 

George was the 4th round pick of the York First Capitols in the original 1979 stocking draft, and drafted to a club which already had Mike Schmidt at is 15 years.  His BB/K ratio is great- 683/749, but perhaps more impressive is his high rbi total of 1183.  One can argue that he was on a  great offensive club as the York First Caps were, but likewise there were lots of other guys in the lineup who got rbi as well.  Solid in every categoy and a true leader of some great Yok clubs.

 

He appeared in 8 All Star Games where he was 5 for 20 with 3 doubles.  In the post season he was 35 for 120 (.292).  He scored 13 post season runs and drove in 11 in his 31 games.  He had 10 doubnd a HR in those games, walking 3 times while striking out 12.  He had 5 post season SB.

 

His best year was likely 1981 when he batted a cool .352 with 34 doubles, 108 runs, and 83 rbi as well as stealing 16 bases and smacking 26 HR.  His best HR year was 1988 when he ripped 33, and he drove in more than 100 four separate seasons.  His 1980 year boasted 83 X base hits and 215 base knocks for a .334 batting average.  He left in style, batting .270 with 33 doubles in his final season of 1993.

 

GARY CARTER

15 Year NSL Career

Elected 2000, entered as a Green Mountain Canuck

Seven All Star Teams

Six All-League Teams

Selected in the 1979 Stocking Draft in the 10th round

He received 50 1/2 votes (50 needed)

 

Gary was the 10th round pick of the Green Mountain Canucks in the 1979 Stocking Draft.  Unlike other clubs of the era, Green Mountain didn't have a host of All-Stars, and Carter did a lot of his damage on his own.  He played his full 15 year career for the Canucks, and has his number retired by the franchise in 1994.  From his non-traditional offensive position, he smacked 266 career HR and drove in 971 runs.  His best season was 1986 when he hit 36 HR and drove in 124 for a playoff club.  He had a better year in HR in 1981 when he smoked 41, scored a career high 96 runs and drove in 114.  He batted over .300 twice, yet slipped in his final years.  But he was a true cornerstonce of the Canuck franchise for years.

 

He appeared in 7 All Star Games where he was 2 for 17 with a HR. He did have 3 All Star rbi.  In the post season, he aeared in 16 games, was 7 for 52, and had 5 doubles and 6 rbi.

 

A solid, if not spectacular performer for a club that really never had that much offense, Carter teamed with Barfield, Dawson, and others to give the Canucks their first tastes of glory with playoff appearances in 1983 and 1986, as well as a Championship Series appearance in 1989.  His 7 All Star appearances were consecutive, 1980-1986 as were his All League honors, 1981-1986.

 

CECIL COOPER

9 Year NSL Career

Elected 1994, entered as a Cleveland Hit-Man

Three All Star Teams

Three All-League Teams

Selected in the 1979 Stocking Draft 9th round

He received 65 1/2 votes (50 needed)

 

Cecil was the first ever member of the NSL Hall of Fame, being elected in 1994.  Although he had just 9 NSL campaigns, he made himself eligible with a .303 lifetime batting average on some incredibly potent Cleveland Hit-Men clubs.  In his 9 seasons, he put up huge numbers- 1376 base hits, 788 rbi, and 303 doubles just to name a few.  He flirted with .400 in 1981, going down to the wire before slipping to a .397 mark, the best ever in NSL league play at the time.  Interestingly, he sole 50 bases in his career and stroked 170 long balls.  In 1981 he was awarded the league MVP as the most valuable player in the league.

 

He appeared in 3 All Star games where he was 2 for 7 with 2 BB and 2 Ks.  He went to the playoffs with the Hit-Men for 5 straight years, where he batted .266 in 35 post season games.  He ripped 5 post season HR and drove in 17, scoring 17 times as well.

 

His best year was that MVP season of 1981 with the run at .400.  With 239 hits that year, he also pasted 45 doubles and drove in 121.  He was tops in the league in doubles the following year with 43, and was in the top 10 in rbi for 5 straight years, 1981-1985.  Of course, Cecil, thanks his friends- the rest of the Hit-Men teams of the early 1980s, as their offense was one of the best in the league..

 

 

DALE MURPHY

14 Year NSL Career

Elected 1999, entered as a member of the James Gang

Four All Star Teams

Two All-League Teams

Selected in the 1979 Stocking Draft 21st round

He received 55 votes (50 needed)

 

Despite not even appearing in a game for 2 of his 14 career NSL years, Dale impressed enough voters to be elected in to the Hall of Fame in 1999.  Brought up as a catcher by the James Gang, he was quickly moved to the OF and dh where he played the rest of his years.  The early James Gang clubs had loads of power, a few pitchers, and little else.  Murph often found himself on the outside as better cards took plate appearances away from him.  In 1983 he put that to rest though, and appeared in at least 141 games yearly the rest of his career.  In 1984 he was named the league MVP by batting .318 with a league high 41 HR, leading the Gang to a playoff appearance.  Despite a low career batting average (.254), his long ball total of 345 and 1014 rbi tell you the type of player he was.

 

Dale was an All-Star 4 times, yet didn’t notch a hit in 8 All-Star at bats.  He was better in post season play, batting .327 in 14 games with 2 HR and 6 rbi.  Despite getting to the post season 4 times, his team didn’t make the Championship Series once in his career.

 

Besides the MVP year of 1984, Dale had several other fine seasons.  In 1986 he batted .315 with 39 HR and 124 runs scored.  He led the league in runs in 1988 with a whopping 146, a year when he mashed 54 HR to lead the league and drove in 135.  For six years in a row (1984-9) he was in the top ten in HR, but of course the flip side of that was being in the top ten in strikeouts for 8 years running.  He was a prototype Gang player for the first decade of his NSL career, powerful, with lots of HR and lots of whiffs.  Interestingly, he scored 264 more runs than he drove in.  When the Gang was sold to outside interests, he was traded to the Northeast Kingdom Rat Pack where he completed his career.

 

JIM RICE

11 Year NSL Career

Elected 1997, entered as a York First Capitol

Four All Star Teams

Two All-League Teams

Selected in the 1979 Stocking Draft 1st round (#3 overall)

He received 55 votes (50 needed)

 

Jim Ed won election in to the Hall of Fame thanks to a stellar early career with a huge offensive club named the York First Capitols.  Jim smacked 281 HR in a 11 year career, all but one with the First Caps.  He was the third player ever elected to the NSL Hall of Fame and was the inaugural season’s first MVP (1979).  Then he mashed 38 long balls, scored 103, and drove in 111 for the league champions.  He had more than 20 HR for 9 straight seasons beginning in 1979.

 

Jim was a 4 time All Star and was 2 for 5 in the classic affairs.  He was a member of two All League teams and appeared in 21 post season contests.  In the post season he was 20 for 84 with 6 HR and 16 rbi.  He also scored 10 post season runs.

 

Rice was a member of a potent offensive club which had All Stars all up and down the lineup. Hence his offense wasn’t incredible when looked at along, but it meshed in perfectly with this high powered offense.  After that spectacular MVP season of 1979, he enjoyed a 121 rbi campaign in 1984 and 116 in 1980.  His 2nd best career HR total was 1984 when he notched 37.  He was the third overall pick in the original 1979 Stocking Draft and was in the top 5 in HR in five different seasons of his career.  His .278 batting average is pretty strong for a slugger as well.  He washed his last year at Gulf Breeze where he poled just a single HR in 186 at bats.

 

MIKE SCHMIDT

11 Year NSL Career

Elected 1996, entered as a York First Capitol

Six All Star Teams

Five All-League Teams

Selected in the 1979 Stocking Draft 8th round

He received 75 votes (50 needed)

 

Mike as the 2nd player ever to be enshrined in the NSL Hall of Fame with his election in 1996.  He smacked 346 career HR playing for one team only, the high powered York First Capitols.  He drove in 956 runs in his 11 year career.  His walk totals are amazing, with 813 over those 11 seasons, and that helped lead him to scoring 925 career runs.  His career started slowly with a .194 batting average and just 5 HR in 1979, but he then blossomed and averaged more than 36 HR over the next 9 seasons.  He fielded a tough position well with the exception of 1986 where he kicked 19.  But he meshed with fellow Hall of Famers Rice and Brett to form as potent an offense as our early years ever recorded.

 

His 6 All Star appearances led to a 4 for 19 performance with a double and HR, and just a lone rbi.  In the post season, he was 7 for 35 with 3 HR and 4 rbi, most of the post season appearances being early on in his career before he hit full stride.  He was a 5 time All League member also. 

 

Mike was in the top 10 of the league in HR for 8 of 9 seasons from 1980-8 and accomplished the same thing in BB.  He drove in a league high 143 runs in 1981 while batting .292 and was first in both BB and K in 1984 with 120 and 154 respectively.  Schmidt also swiped 77 bases in his 11 year career.  He notched 313 doubles in those 11 seasons.  His most complete year may have been 1981, with a career best 47 HR, 143 rbi, while batting the aforementioned .292.

 

DAVE WINFIELD

17 Year NSL Career

Elected 2002, entered as a Cleveland Hit Man

Ten All Star Teams

Four All League Teams

Selected in the 1979 Stocking Draft 2nd round

He received 99 votes (50 needed)

 

Dave became the tenth player elected in to the NSL Hall of Fame with his election in 2002.  His steady play over 17 seasons earned him the honor, amassing 1500 rbi and blasting 429 HR over his career.  A life-long Cleveland Hit Man, Winfield was a 10 time All Star including 6 straight years from 1984-9.  He was originally selected in the 2nd round of the 1979 Stocking Draft and was the league MVP in 1980.  In 51 post season games he had 12 HR and 49 rbi, helping the Hit Men to three league titles over his career.

 

Dave’s MVP year included 161 rbi in 159 games for Cleveland, the first NSL club to hit over .300 for an entire season.  His best year in average was 1985 when he hit .322, and he twice hit 41 HR- in 1980 and 1983.  He played his first 11 years with less than 90 rbi just once (except the 1982 strike season).  With the exception of the injury year, he had double digit HR totals for all 15 years in his career.  He also stole 135 bases and made just 35 errors.

 

Winfield was elected to 4 All League teams in addition to his 10 All Stars.  The thing that stands out about him is his constant numbers over time, in the top 10 n rbi 7 times, top 10 in HR 7 times, and batting average over .290 7 times.  Although his final 2 years in the league skewed his numbers slightly (just .172 in 1994 with 14 rbi), his first 11 years were a true model of consistency on some very good Cleveland clubs.

 

ROBIN YOUNT

16 Year NSL Career

Elected 2001, entered as a Gulf Breeze Aardvark

Six All Star Teams

Three All League Teams

Selected in the 1979 Stocking Draft 5th round

He received 67.5 votes (50 needed)

 

Robin became the 8th member of the NSL Hall of Fame with his election in 2001, notching 67 ½ points, with 50 being needed for enshrinement.  Robin played 2.3 of his career with the Gulf Breeze Aardvarks where he enjoyed almost all of his success.  His career batting average of .274 is solid even when you include his final 4 seasons.  He anchored SS for the Breeze before a shoulder injury in 1984 forced him to the OF.  He had 2 seasons of 30+ SB and 92 career triples, when coupled with his defense proved him to be a complete player.  His best year was 1983 when he batted .316 with a league leading 16 triples.  He was 2nd in the league that year with 200 hits, 119 runs, and 47 doubles.  Ask Yount his favorite year, and he’ll likely reply 1981, when he again batted .316 leading the ‘varks to the playoffs where he batted .500 (10 for 20) with 6 runs.

 

Robin was elected to six All Star teams including 1981-5 inclusive.  He was a member of 3 All League teams.

 

He was selected with the 5th round pick of the Aardvarks in the original 1979 Stocking Draft.  In 1989 he was traded to Cleveland in a deal which sent Roger Clemens to the ‘varks.  He later travelled to New England, Creekside, and finally the Keystone Comanches to finish his career.  He was without a doubt the best SS in the league from 1979-1985.

 

NOLAN RYAN

15 Year NSL Career

Elected 2000, entered with all 6 team insignias which he played for on his cap.

Selected in the 1979 Stocking Draft 15th round

He received 52 votes (50 needed)

 

Nolan toiled for six different NSL franchises through his 15 seasons, and although he never won 20 games, he posted some mind-boggling numbers which make you look twice.  Consider that he won 194 games while losing just 146, and posting a career ERA of 3.91- incredible for the type of offensive dominant league we had.  He was the first pitcher to be enshrined in the NSL Hall of Fame and his 2453 career strikeouts were best ever at the time of his election.  But, he was never an All Star or All League, and never won a Cy Young award.  Yet as a postscript, the award is now named for him.  Ryan got into the Hall of Fame simply by posting numbers- every year.  Numbers that make you forget he was never a star, and numbers that make you wonder why he wasn’t.

 

He pitched in a whopping 16 post season games winning 7, completing 5, and tossing a shutout.  His career 2.35 post season ERA tells you he was there when it counted most.  He likewise has 92 career strikeouts in the post season and allowed just 4 HR in his 111 career post season IP.

 

From 1980-1992, Ryan notched at least 10 wins (except the strike year of 1982).  His best mark was 19-5 in 1987 for the Hardwick A-Team, a team that came very close to winning it all.  He got 17 wins twice, once for the 1989 Vermont club- a team just coming into its own- and once for the 1981 Hit Men, a team that would dominate with his bats.  His career hits to IP ratio is great, and the Ks, of course, are awesome.  His career best 2.48 ERA in 1982 was 4th best in the league.  He was either 1st or 2nd in the league in strikeouts from 1989-1991.

 

ANDRE DAWSON

18 Year NSL Career

Elected 2003, entered as a Green Mountain Canuck

Seven All Star Teams

Five All-League Teams

Selected in the 1979 Stocking Draft 4th round

He received 90 1/2 votes (65 needed)

 

Andre became the 11th player elected to the NSL Hall of Fame with his election in 2003.  His 376 career HR were 2nd only to Dave Winfield at the time of his election, and 1284 rbi were 4th in the Hall.  Known as a money player, Dawson was a 7 time All Star including 4 in a row from 1981-1984, and was on 5 All League teams.  He was originally selected in the 4th round of the 1979 Stocking Draft.  He batted over .300 in 20 post season games.

 

Andre's best year for batting average was 1984 when he amassed 203 hits and batted .321, but his best power year was in 1988 for the Mentor Motorheads when he had 54 HR and drove in 162.  He played 9 years for the Canucks, including the beginning and the end of his career.  In his first 14 years in the league, he had double digit HR in all but one season, and drove in 100 runs 4 different times.  His 250 SB were tops in the Hall on his election day.

 

Dawson was a stud player for some awful clubs, including the early Canucks, which makes his record that much more outstanding.  Although his career was sidetracked to 6 different clubs in the middle, he'll always be remembered as a Green Mountain Canuck.

 

 

DON MATTINGLY

13 Year NSL Career

Elected 2003, entered as Lamoille County Fuzz

Six All Star Teams

Five All-League Teams

Selected in the 1984 Rookie Draft 2nd Round

MVP 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989

He received 67 votes (65 needed)

 

Don became the 12th player selected top the Hall of Fame with his election in 2003.  Although he had a relatively short career, he had the incredible distinction of winning 4 straight MVP awards from 1985-1988.  He was originally selected in the 2nd round of the 1984 Rookie Draft by the Lamoille County Fuzz.  In 32 post season games he had 9 HR and 34 rbi.

 

Don was lucky enough to be on one of the most potent offensive clubs in the mid-1980s, the Fuzz of Lamoille County.  He led the league in rbi 3 different times including a whopping 176 in 1986, when he also led the league with 47 HR.  Although he was only in the top ten two other times in HR, he had 7 years when he was in the top 10 in rbi- a true measure of the great offensive teams he played for.  Despite just a 14 year career, he drove in over 1000 runs (1319).  His career batting average was best in the Hall of Fame at the time of his election.

 

Mattingly was a 6 time All Star which included the 4 MVP years.  While he is the 12th player enshrined in our Hall of Fame, he will always stand out with the 4 straight MVP awards and all those rbi.  One must note that he was selected in the 2nd round of the 1984 Rookie Draft- yet put up Hall of Fame numbers despite being totally bypassed in the first round.  His final season he was peddled to the New England Elite, but the rest of his career (and rbi) were with the Fuzz.

 

EDDIE MURRAY

19 Year NSL Career

Elected 2004, entered as a Iron City Brewer

Seven All Star Teams

Six All-League Teams

Selected in the 1979 Stocking Draft 2nd round

He received 129 votes (65 needed)

 

Eddie became the 12th player elected into the NSL Hall of Fame with his election in 2004.  His 485 career HR was the most of any Hall of Fame player at the time of his election.  His 1713 career rbi were also the highest ever at election time.  Eddie was a 7 time All Star in a 7 straight season segment, 1981-7.  He was also a six time All League team member.  He was originally selected in the 2nd round of the 1979 Stocking Draft by the Iron City Brewers.

 

Murray’s best years were early in his career including 1984 when he smacked 40 HR (2nd best in the league) and led the league with 130 rbi.  He also led the league in rbi in 1982 with 84 (strike year) and was in the top 10 in rbi five other times in his career.  He walked more than a thousand times in his career, once again the highest total at the time of his election.  He amassed 511 doubles and 1407 runs in his career, and finished with 2745 hits.

 

Everyday Eddie was a solid player for several NSL clubs, but his best years were with the Iron City Brewers in his early years.  The Brewers became the Northeast Kingdom Rat Pack and he appeared for 6 seasons with both of these teams, although they were the same franchise.  He played in 53 post season games with 37 rbi.

e of that was being in the top ten in strikeouts for 8 years running.  He was a prototype Gang player for the first decade of his NSL career, powerful, with lots of HR and lots of whiffs.  Interestingly, he scored 264 more runs than he drove in.  When the Gang was sold to outside interests, he was traded to the Northeast Kingdom Rat Pack where he completed his career.

 

 

PAUL MOLITOR

21 Year NSL Career

Elected 2004, entered as a Cleveland Hit-Man

Ten All Star Teams

Five All-League Teams

Selected in the 1979 Stocking Draft-10th Round

He received 87 1/2 votes (65 needed)

 

Paul's play in 21 NSL seasons earned him a Hall of Fame selection in 2004.  He became the 3rd Hit Man to enter the Hall, joining teammates Dave Winfield and Cecil Cooper. Molitor enjoyed playing in 45 career post season games thanks to the great offensive Cleveland teams he was on.  He was a ten time All Star including 6 of the 7 years from 1988-1994, and a 5 time All League team member.

 

Paul batted higher than .300 for seven straight years in the late 80's to early 90's including a career and league best .335 in 1989.  He led the league in rbi in 1992 with 145 and led the league in hits 3 times, 1992, 1993, and 1994.  A serious leg injury cost him all of 1985, but soon after he began his roughly 10 years of unparalleled production.  His career batting average stands at an even .300, he had almost 900 extra base hits, and stole nearly 40 bases.

 

Molitor was a career Cleveland Hit-Man although that almost didn't happen as he was selected in the 1999 Expansion Draft, later being traded back to Cleveland in the same off season.  He coupled with Winfield and Cooper to lead the team to 3 titles in our early years for a team which was unquestionably the best in our first decade.  His numbers in most every category across the board may be hard to reach, as he displayed power, speed, and on base pct. throughout his wonderful career.

 

LEE SMITH

16 Year NSL Career

Elected 2005, entered as a Parker City Cub

Five All Star Teams

Four All League Teams

Selected in the 1982 Rookie Draft 2nd round

He received 71 votes (65 needed)

 

Lee became the 2nd player in NSL history to enter the Hall of Fame on his 2nd ballot.  Originally, he fell just short of election in 2004, but gathered enough support for the 2005 election to be enshrined.  He was originally selected in the 2nd round of the 1982 Rookie Draft by the Parker City Cubs. 

 

Lee played his entire career with the Cubs and was remarkably free of injuries, pitching in more than 50 games in 4 different years.  He was the career save leader at the time of his election with 371.  He led the league in saves for 4 straight years, from 1984-7 and saved more than 30 games 7 different times, including 37 in his final season. 

 

Although occasionally relegated to s et up role in years when there might have been better grades on the club, he was the primary closer for 12 of his 16 seasons with the Cubs.  He saved the 1992 All Star Game and appeared in 4 other All Star games as well.  He was also on 4 All League teams.  Although he got to the playoffs 4 times, he saved just one post season game in 11 appearances.

 

 

KIRBY PUCKETT

12 Year NSL Career

Elected 2007, entered as a Parker City Cub

Seven All Star Teams

Six All-League Teams

Selected in the 1985 Rookie Draft 2nd Round

He received 76 votes (65 needed)

 

Kirby was originally selected in the 2nd round of the 1985 Rookie Draft by the Parker City Cubs.  Although he played for just a dozen seasons, he was a career long Cub.  Puckett was named to 7 All Star teams and 6 All League teams.  He won the batting title in 1990 with a .329 average, and also led the league in hits in 1993 with 202.  He finished in the top 10 in hits and batting average 5 times in his career.  His numbers might be a little short when compared to other Hall of Famers, but injuries cut short his career and his 12 years were filled with big numbers.  400 doubles is impressive in just 12 years and he was also in the top 10 in rbi twice.  He had a .303 career batting average and had 108 stolen bases.

Glaucoma cut Kirby’s career far too short, as he retired at age 35.  There is little doubt that had he continued for 6-7 more years in the league he would have easily amassed 3000 hits.  He was 19 for 64 in 16 career post season games with 12 rbi.  Interestingly, Puckett was elected in his final year of eligibility- the first NSL player not to go in on his 1st or 2nd ballot.  He jettisoned from 34 votes in 2006 to 76 in 2007.  He becomes the 16th member of the NSL Hall of Fame.  Not bad for an all too brief 12 year career.

 

WADE BOGGS

18 Year NSL Career

Elected 2006, entered as a Green Mountain Canuck

Eleven All-Star

Four Time All-League

Selected in the 1983 Rookie Draft 1st Round (#6 pick)

He received 108 ½ votes (65 needed)

Wade was originally selected by the Green Mountain Canucks in the 1983 Rookie Draft with the 6th overall pick.  He played for the Canucks for seven years before being traded to New England for 3 years, St.City/Derby for 4 years, East York for 2 years, and finally Indiana for 2 years.

He fell just short of 3000 hits with 2910, but posted a career batting average of .322.  At the time of this writing, his average is 3rd highest in the league overall, his 2910 hits are 3rd, and his 575 doubles 2nd.  His top season was 1986 when he batted .390 with 253 hits.  For 5 years in a row (1985-1989) he finished in the top two in the league for batting average.

The twilight years of his career were nothing like the beginning, and he finished with the expansion Indiana Imperials.  He still was able to bat .300 in his final year at the age of 42.  Wade will always be best known for the 9 straight All-Star teams he made from 1984-92.  His career mark of 1182 walks is 5th best on the all time list as OBP was obviously his forte.  He led the league in doubles in both 1990 and 1991 with 48 and 54 respectively.

 

RICKEY HENDERSON

24 Year NSL Career

Elected 2009, entered as a Lamoille County Fuzz

Five All Star Teams

Three All-League Teams

Selected in the 1980 Rookie Draft- 2nd round

He received 69 votes (65 needed)

 

In 1980 Henderson was selected by Ohio in the 2nd round of the Rookie Draft.  You must understand in our early days we spent so much time trying to get a complete staff of B starters and 3-4 A relievers that we often overlooked offense.  At this time, Rickey was just a loud mouth speedster (see Vince Coleman, Gary Pettis, Juan Pierre) with one huge exception.  He’d take a walk.  OBP wasn’t even a number in 1980 and Henderson did little in his rookie year (22 BB in 81 games) to give the impression this would be his game.  But he “got it”, and in 1981 walked 109 times- in fact leading to 11 times in the next 15 years being in the top 10 in BB.  Of course these BB (and the 11s) allowed him to steal- and that he did.  He led the league in SB 7 years and was 2nd in 4.  He also led the league in CS, but only 4 times.  His career marks of 1531 SB and 1891 BB will not be broken anytime soon, and the stolen base mark might hang in there forever.

 

Rickey’s longevity (24 seasons) in the league may have padded some numbers, but the walks and SB totals are more than impressive.  He was an All Star 5 times and on three All League teams.  Ohio became Lamoille County in 1984 and Rickey spent his first 16 years with this franchise, before one year with the Giants of East Hardwick and a final 7 years with Gulf Breeze.  He retired after the 2003 season.

 

His career best in SB was 121 in 1983 (CS stats weren’t kept until 1984), and his best walk total was 1990 with 127.  You can look a long way but likely never find a better lead off hitter than Henderson.  He dominated the base paths like no other and with 2764 hits and 2162 runs, may have the top spot in a lot of categories for a very long time.

 

TONY GWYNN

20 Year NSL Career

Elected 2008, entered as a Cleveland Hit Man

Thirteen All Star Teams

Eleven All League Teams

Selected in the 1983 Rookie Draft 3rd round

He received 114.5 votes (65 needed)

 

This man has a resume you just cannot underestimate.  Thirteen All Star teams in a 20 year career is one thing, but 11 All League teams in the same span- simply incredible.  Few knew that Gwynn was actually selected by the Gulf Breeze Aardvarks, and after a pair of seasons worked his way to Cleveland, where he played for 17 of his final 18 seasons.  Just look at his career batting average- .338 which is tops on the board.  3112 hits!  Not only that, but he swiped 331 bases and notched 1265 rbi.  It is true that he played on some huge offensive teams in Cleveland, but no matter how good the offense, you have to hit the ball well to bat .338.  1475 runs scored and 524 doubles are other numbers that jump off the page.

 

There were so many great career years that it’s hard to pick out one.  But he batted .392 in 1988 for the Hit Men and .390 in 1985.  In 85, he had a whopping 234 hits- his high water mark.  1998 was also stellar with 212 base knocks and he even whacked 21 HR that year, driving in 94.  But his career best in rbi was 1987 when he had 112.  His final 2 years might have dragged him down a small amount, but the numbers are still there and strong.

 

Gwynn amassed the 2nd most votes in Hall of Fame history at the time of his induction, easily surpassing the 65 he needed for enshrinement.  It is incredible to think that this hitting machine was passed over by every NSL franchise through the first two rounds of the 1983 Rookie Draft.  He even walked more than he struck out.  A student of hitting for sure, and likely the best we’ll see for a good long while.

 

CAL RIPKEN, JR

20 Year NSL Career

Elected 2008, entered as a Parker City Cub

Nine All Star Teams

Seven All League Teams

Selected in the 1983 Rookie Draft- 1st round (#1 overall)

He received 76 votes (65 needed)

 

The #1 overall pick in the 1983 Rookie Draft, Cal was an immensely popular superstar who did everything right, appearing in a whopping 2938 games over his career and blasting double digit HR in all but 1 of his 20 seasons.  Best known for his Iron Man streak of consecutive games, his manager Jack Chalfant figured that streak as 2067.  He was the Rookie of the Year in 1983 as he struck out quite a bit that year, but did post 22 long balls with 74 rbi.  But starting in 1984 an incredible run began, and that season would turn out to be his best overall, batting .308 with 27 HR and 106 rbi.  Once again, the Cubs were not an offensive machine as some of our early 80s and 90s clubs were, and the fact that Ripken had more than 100 rbi 6 times was a credit to his performance.

 

Ripken was on nine All Star teams as well as seven All League teams.  He was popular, yet played a position which not many other offensive stars did- SS then later 3B.  His fielding was excellent in managing these two positions and the fact that he contributed so much offensively was more than a bonus.  He missed just 36 games in his first 17 years in the league- I’m not sure that will ever be possible again.

 

Looking at Cal’s numbers, one sees remarkable consistency in the HR totals and a relatively low number of strikeouts until the latter stages of his career.  He was also the overall leader in doubles in 1984 with 56 and at bats in 1994 (630).  But he was also patient as 924 BB in the 20 years shows.  He appeared in 35 post season games without much success yet he did homer 5 times and drove in 11. A career Parker City Cub- he had a spectacular career.

 

JEFF BAGWELL

15 Year NSL Career

Elected 2012, entered as a Parker City Cub

Seven All Star Teams

Four All League Teams

Selected in the 1992 Rookie Draft- 1st round (#1 overall)

He received 69 votes (65 needed)

 

The #1 overall pick in the 1992 Rookie Draft, Bagwell was on Parker City for his entire career- and moved with the franchise when it went to Johnson in 2003.  He was the league MVP in 1995 when he had 33 HR and 106 rbi, batting .411 yet only in 105 games.  He played in 162 games 4 times and 3 other times with more than 156.  418 HR is nice but Bagwell’s walk to strikeout ratio was excellent for a power hitter, his best walk total in 2000 with 140.  He amassed more than 900 extra base hits and had a career batting average of .300.  He scored more than he drove in (1443-1366) and delivered 2266 hits over his career, even stealing 106 bases. 

 

“Bags” was a seven time All Star including 6 straight from 1998-2003.  He also was on 4 All League teams.  He appeared in 15 playoff games for the franchise over the years- but the team was never able to get out of the first round in those seasons.  He was 17 for 51 in the post season with 3 HR and 10 rbi. 

 

The Cubs had some rough going in the time frame that Bagwell was on the team, yet he was a solid fixture at 1st base for the club over his time there.  He missed just 19 games in the 1998-2002 span and was in the top 10 in walks for 7 straight years from 1997-2003.  His best HR year was 1998 when he blasted 51, yet he was never in the top ten in strikeouts.  The storybook 1995 season netted him the MVP, and the batting average was best ever at the time of his induction (.411).  The high water mark for rbi was 129 in 1998, which is more of a reflection of the teams he played on than his production.