Baseball Crank
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May 27, 2008
BASEBALL: Hall of Fame Trivia

11 Hall of Fame pitchers have had a season with an ERA of 5.00 or higher in enough innings to qualify for the ERA title. One of those did it twice in his career. Name him.

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Early Wynn. At age 22 and 28, no less. Whole list here.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:34 PM | Baseball 2008 | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

I give Warren Spahn a pass. He was 43, and with all those innings on his arm . . . .

Posted by: Magrooder at May 27, 2008 9:40 PM

So...other than Early, who's numbers are inexplicable by age (i.e. very early or late in his career) the only really 'prime' season on the list seems to be Eckersley - and wasn't he drunk during the first Reagan administration?

Posted by: bensdad00 at May 28, 2008 12:34 AM

Wow, as I scrolled down the list, I was amazed at how many times Eckersley showed up in the 4. 00 - 5.00 range.

Posted by: D at May 28, 2008 12:38 AM

"I was amazed at how many times Eckersley showed up in the 4. 00 - 5.00 range."

League context. Eck's the only HoF starter who debuted after 1966. (Yes, he was both starter and reliever, but the only other HoF pitchers of his era are Sutter and Gossage, both relievers - Eck started 361 games).

More here...

Posted by: Lyford at May 28, 2008 12:05 PM

Not sure when Seaver debuted ('65 or '66?) but his worst ERA was 4.03 in 1986, at age 41, in the AL; the same year Eckersley put up a 4.57 at age 31.

Eck's three other worst ERAs were at age 25, 26, and 28 ('80, '81, '83). I believe this is before the huge offensive era hit. And should have been prime years in Eck's career. Perhaps his career was "saved" by becoming a closer. Yes a great closer.

I didn't dig deeper to find Seaver's ERAs in '80-'83, but obviously they were lower. All of which makes me realize, wow, Seaver was great.

Posted by: FundadCt at May 28, 2008 4:58 PM

Eckersly really wasn't any kind of HOF pitcher as a starter. He had a few years that would look good in the middle of a typical HOF career, but so have hundreds of other guys. So it's not surprising he's all over that list.

Posted by: Jerry at May 28, 2008 7:32 PM

"Not sure when Seaver debuted ('65 or '66?) but his worst ERA was 4.03 in 1986, at age 41, in the AL; the same year Eckersley put up a 4.57 at age 31."

If you want to argue that Seaver was a better pitcher than Eckersley, it won't be with me.

"Perhaps his career was "saved" by becoming a closer. "

I don't think that there's any "perhaps" about it. But he was a better starter than some are giving him credit for. Through age 30, he was 145-117 (.553) with a 117 ERA+, which compares favorably, I suspect, with several Hall of Famers...

(A quick check suggests that he wasn't as good through 10 years as Dazzy Vance or Robin Roberts, but was better than Nolan Ryan, Early Wynn, Don Sutton or Red Ruffing. The memories of him as a closer have, I think, obscured how good a starter he was. There's no way of knowing what would have happened if he hadn't gone to the 'pen.)

Posted by: Lyford at May 29, 2008 1:47 PM

Eck really only had two "HOF-ish" seasons as a starter (OPS+ 125 or better, 15+ wins). Other than that, he was a middle-of-the-rotation guy at best.

Posted by: Jerry at May 29, 2008 3:28 PM

I certainly can look back at the Eck through some rose colored glasses (circa 1978) when he was a horse for the Sox. Perhaps if he had started game 163 (instead of having to win game 162) rather than Mike "0-2 lazy change-up to Bucky Dent" Torrez history would have been different.

Through the first 5 years of his career (beginning at age 20 no less) he was 77-50 with a 3.11 ERA, an ERA+ of 129. Three of those years were with distinctly average to bad Indian teams as well. The down side was he had logged between 186-269 innings every year and had 60 complete games in 155 career starts. The violent motion he had as a closer was the same he had as a starter. It was nearly inevitable that he was going to have arm and velocity issues for a few years. He got toasted before he was 25.

Posted by: jim at May 30, 2008 12:46 PM

Yeah, I agree that it's too bad Eck didn't start the Dent game. But you guys forget that his career as a starter went downhill as he took refuge in the booze. When he got clean, he re-invented himself as a closer.

Posted by: Russ Smith at May 30, 2008 4:13 PM

Yeah, I agree that it's too bad Eck didn't start the Dent game. But you guys forget that his career as a starter went downhill as he took refuge in the booze. When he got clean, he re-invented himself as a closer.

Posted by: Russ Smith at May 30, 2008 4:13 PM

Yeah, I agree that it's too bad Eck didn't start the Dent game. But you guys forget that his career as a starter went downhill as he took refuge in the booze. When he got clean, he re-invented himself as a closer.

Posted by: Russ Smith at May 30, 2008 4:13 PM

Ted Lyons had three seasons with an ERA above 4.85 - hes all over that list.

Posted by: me at June 5, 2008 10:31 AM
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