A Quick Look at the Modern Era Ballot: The Yankees Against the Field – Part 2 (Post Season)
I have been doing a fair amount of research and writing on which of the former Yankees players might earn Hall-of-Fame induction through the Modern Baseball Era Ballot . In articles I have written, I have advocated for Thurman Munson and Tommy John’s inclusion and (unfortunately) against Don Mattingly’s (I wish it weren’t so).
The following is the full list of the players who are on the Modern Baseball Era Ballot for possible 2020 induction into Baseball’s Hall-of-Fame: Dwight Evans, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Thurman Munson, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons and Lou Whitaker. (Union head Marvin Miller is also there, but since he was not a player, I will absent him from this discussion.)
I decided to take a quick look at how the Yankees’ candidates fair against the field. This is just a quick look to see how some of the members of the voting committee might be thinking.
Of note, to start, Tommy John is the outlier. He’s the only pitcher on the ballot. We have two catchers (Thurman Munson and Ted Simmons), two first basemen (Steve Garvey and Don Mattingly), one second baseman (Lou Whitaker), and three outfielders (Dwight Evans, Dave Parker, and Dale Murphy).
Today we’re looking at some post season stats.
Winning isn’t everything, but it is something. Let’s see which of these players was most often on a championship ball club and which players performed the best in the post season.
Modern Era Ballot Players Ranked by Post Season Appearances (Number of Series Played)
Steve Garvey 11
Dave Parker 8
Dwight Evans/Thurman Munson 6
Ted Simmons/Lou Whitaker 3
Don Mattingly/Dale Murphy 1
Four of the players played in a significant number of post season series. Steve Garvey leads this list. When Steve Garvey played many assumed he was a certain Hall-of-Famer. He was often in the post season.
If playing on a winner matters, this helps the cases of Garvey, Dave Parker, Dwight Evans, and Thurman Munson.
Modern Era Ballot Players Ranked by World Series Appearances (and Won)
Steve Garvey 5 (1)
Thurman Munson/Dave Parker 3 (2)
Dwight Evans 2 (0)
Lou Whitaker 1 (1)
Ted Simmons 1 (0)
Don Mattingly/Dale Murphy 0
Steve Garvey appeared in five World Series. That is a significant number. His teams only won one World Series though (the 1981 Dodgers). Dave Parker was on two World Series champions, but he was only a star on one of those teams (the 1979 Pirates). Thurman Munson is the only player on the ballot to be a starter and contributing member of two World Series championship teams.
Modern Era Ballot Players Ranked by Post Season AVG/HR/RBI (Games)
Don Mattingly .417/1/6 (5)
Thurman Munson .357/3/22 (30)
Steve Garvey .338/11/31 (55)
Dale Murphy .273/0/0 (3)
Dwight Evans .239/4/19 (32)
Dave Parker .234/3/11 (30)
Lou Whitaker .201/1/1 (13)
Ted Simmons .186/3/8 (17)
Don Mattingly’s .417 average is impressive, but we discount it because he played in only three post season games. Of the players here, only two performed with excellence over time in the post season: Steve Garvey and Thurman Munson.
Conclusion: If voters use post season appearances and performance as indicators, then the only two players helped by those criteria overall are Steve Garvey and Thurman Munson.