Batting Average Defining Quality for Hall?
I thought that baseball fans were evolving and accepting the realization that "On Base Percentage" is more important than "Batting Average." And if the fans understood this, then the "Hall of Fame" voters surely would also.
Buster Olney was on baseball tonight sometime recently talking about whether or not 500 home runs is an automatic entry anymore. He doesn’t think it should be automatic induction anymore, as it seemed to be this way before. I agree. But when Jim Thome came up as the candidate, he wasn’t quite sure that Thome had accomplished enough to get in yet. I am not certain if this was Olney’s view, or his view of what the "Hall" voters think in their entirety. But Olney’s main argument was that Thome’s BA was .282 and that may not be good enough. Thome may have to tack on 50 or a 100 more homers to make it in according to what Olney thinks. Now regardless of it is Olney or the rest of the voters who think the .282 average should matter, it is ludicrous.
Judge Jim Thome by his .410 OBP, which falls in at 35th all time. Or judge him by his "Adjusted OPS," which is tied for the 34th best figure of all time. Just do not allow that .282 batting average to overshadow what he has actually done in his career.
And do not be fooled by his current "DH" status. He has played 339 games as a DH, but 1101 as a 1B, and has actually played more at 3B (492), then he has at the dreaded DH position in the Hall voters’ eyes.
I have not decided whether I think he deserves the votes to get in. But that .282 average should have little to do with it, comparatively speaking. It shouldn’t be irrelevant, but how many statistics should be looked at before "Batting Average?" That is my point.