Contest: Twenty-One Grains of Rice

So, I’ve been thinking about my problem with letting Jim Rice into the Hall of Fame. And I’ve been thinking about my book. The two have nothing to do with each other, which sounds like a good excuse for a contest.

Here’s the deal. Listed below are 21 outfielders who are or were at one point eligible for enshrinement in Cooperstown. All have played within the last 50 years and two are in the Hall of Fame.

Your task, should you decide to accept it, is to identify — in the comments — a) the two HOFers and b) all 21 players. The first person to do so correctly will receive a copy of the Ducksnorts 2009 Baseball Annual. Your bosses can thank me later for killing your productivity on a Friday.

I’ll give you a couple hints to help get you started: a) Three of these guys patrolled the same outfield together for many years. b) Two had sons who went onto become big-league outfielders.

Bonus question: How do you choose just two of these guys for the Hall of Fame without slapping a brand name on ‘em? Finally, to be absolutely clear, none of this is meant as a knock against Rice; it’s a knock against the people who voted him into an institution that should be held to the highest possible standards.

Twenty-One Outfielders, Two in the Hall of Fame
  Pos PA BA OBP SLG H HR RBI OPS+ WS WS/162
Statistics are courtesy of Baseball-Reference and The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.
A RF 10769 .279 .323 .482 2774 438 1591 119 340 20.96
B RF 10184 .290 .339 .471 2712 339 1493 121 327 21.48
C RF 11229 .279 .362 .431 2716 292 1466 124 358 19.65
D LF 9058 .298 .352 .502 2452 382 1451 128 282 21.86
E RF 10569 .272 .370 .470 2446 385 1384 127 347 21.57
F CF 9778 .303 .344 .451 2743 219 1326 121 305 20.86
G CF 9040 .265 .346 .469 2111 398 1266 121 294 21.84
H LF 6673 .295 .369 .564 1726 381 1239 143 245 25.78
I RF 8225 .267 .379 .476 1826 340 1180 137 316 25.67
J CF 7923 .283 .360 .484 1960 306 1111 129 280 23.03
K RF 8050 .287 .366 .489 2020 314 1092 137 325 26.49
L CF 7831 .318 .360 .477 2304 207 1085 124 281 25.53
M LF 8931 .284 .354 .420 2251 165 1077 120 313 21.54
N RF 8558 .282 .388 .436 2029 246 1065 132 302 23.49
O RF 7718 .277 .357 .445 1862 252 1043 124 277 23.51
P RF 8090 .268 .353 .471 1886 332 1024 129 302 26.45
Q CF 8246 .277 .343 .425 2020 193 1007 114 286 23.18
R CF 8133 .285 .347 .443 2087 199 976 123 296 23.88
S CF 8010 .250 .366 .436 1665 291 964 128 305 25.73
T RF 6879 .304 .353 .476 1917 220 947 131 245 23.68
U LF 7735 .271 .360 .404 1803 160 758 121 263 22.65

The position listed is the one most frequently played. The list is sorted by RBI in descending order because voting types seem to like RBI.

Leave your guesses in the comments. Use the format “letter designation in table, player name, HOF yes or no,” with each player on a separate line, e.g.:

A, Shawn Abner, no
B, Randell Byers, yes
C, Jerald Clark, no

Good luck!

Update: We have a winner. Congratulations to Lance Richardson, who will receive a copy of the book, due out in early March!

Check out the winning answers if you are so inclined. And feel free to let me know in the comments what mechanism dictates which of these guys “belong” in the Hall of Fame.

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17 Responses »

  1. a, andre dawson, no
    b, dave parker, no
    c, rusty staub, no
    d, jim rice, yes
    e, dwight evans, no
    f, al oliver, no
    g, dale murphy, no
    h, albert belle, no
    i, jack clark, no
    j, george hendrick, no
    k, reggie smith, no
    l, kirby puckett, yes
    m, jose cruz, no
    n, ken singleton, no
    o, bobby murcer, no
    p, bobby bonds, no
    q, amos otis, no
    r, cesar cedeno, no
    s, jimmy wynn, no
    t, tony oliva, no
    u, roy white, no

  2. also, how do you feel about david eckstein? I think I’m glad we could get a major league player for cheap and he seems like the Brian Giles of infielders from what I’ve read…

  3. A. Andre Dawson, no
    B. Dave Parker, no
    C. Rusty Staub, no
    D. Jim Rice, yes
    E. Dwight Evans, no
    F. Al Oliver, no
    G. Dale Murhy, no
    H. Albert Belle, no
    I. Jack Clark, no
    J. Fred Lynn, no
    K. Reggie Smith, no
    L. Kirby Puckett, yes
    M. Jose Cruz, no
    N. Ken Singleton, no
    O. Bobby Murcer, no
    P. Bobby Bonds, no
    Q. Amos Otis, no
    R. Cesar Cedeno, no
    S. Jimmy Wynn, no
    T. Tony Olive, no
    U. Roy White, no

  4. Hooray for me! Johnny Utah, replace former Padre Hendrick with former Padre Lynn, and you’d be the winner.

    According to Ken Rosenthal, my agent has entered into discussions with the Padres regarding the possibility of me starting at shortstop and batting leadoff in ’09. Unlike Michael Young, I will NEVER agree to play third base.

  5. Good job, Geoff.

    “Finally, to be absolutely clear, none of this is meant as a knock against Rice; it’s a knock against the people who voted him into an institution that should be held to the highest possible standards.”

    Spot on.