Hall of Mags

Congratulations to Dave Magadan, who was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame. No, I never thought I’d use “Dave Magadan” and “Hall of Fame” in the same sentence either, but as Pete Abraham notes, Magadan’s college batting stats were otherworldly: a career .439 batting average and 188 RBI in 162 games. His plate patience must have made Magadan just impossible to pitch to at that level. (He also batted .323 as a minor leaguer).
Magadan’s value as a major leaguer was almost entirely in his impressive career .390 OBP, which ranks 99th all time. In 16 big league seasons, only once (his last) did he fall below a .360 on base percentage (for contrast, Don Mattingly’s career OBP was .358). Magadan didn’t do much else – he was slow, not much in the field either at third base or first, no power, and was often platooned (career 671 OPS against lefthanded pitchers is a major reason he never had 600 plate appearances in a season). His best year came at age 27 in 1990, when he took over Keith Hernandez’ job as the Mets first baseman, batted .328/.417/.457 and finished just 2 points short of leading the majors in batting (that distinction went to Eddie Murray, who batted .330 for the Dodgers, although Willie McGee won the NL batting title at .335 before being dealt to the A’s).

One thought on “Hall of Mags”

  1. As a major leaguer, Magadan was always one skill short of what it would take to be a really good player. If he’d been a decent third baseman or a really good first baseman, or had decent speed, or been able to hit 20 or so homers a year, he could habe been, if not a real star, an excellent player. As it was, he was a useful one – a poor man’s John Olerud (who really was a star even if people didn’t always realize it).

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