This material is adapted from the book,
**BASEBALL’S
BEST: The TRUE Hall of Famers **by Michael Hoban, Ph.D. (booklocker.com,
June 2007).

**Who has a Shot at Hall of Fame Numbers?**

In this chapter,
we will take a look at the players who were still active at the end of 2006
and see which ones seem to have a realistic chance to reach the benchmarks
for Hall of Fame numbers according to the NEWS
monitor. We will look at the
position players first and then the pitchers.

**The Position Players**

** **

In order to establish
Hall of Fame numbers, a position player has to have played at least ten seasons
in the major leagues and have a NEWS score of
280. We will examine those players who seem to have a chance
to reach this important benchmark.

Keep in mind that
only eighty-two (82) position players in the 20^{th} century have
done this. That is a very exclusive
group. Of course, there are
eight position players who were active at the end of 2006 and who are already
members of that group – that is, they have already posted HOF
numbers. Here they
are. (The number beside the player’s name is his rank
compared to all the position players of the century.)

**CWS
CV
NEWS**

* 3. Barry
Bonds
LF
686
427
492*

*29. Gary
Sheffield
LF
402
305
329
*

*30. Craig
Biggio
2B
422
294
326
*

*31. Alex
Rodriguez
SS
340
317
323*

*32. Frank
Thomas
1B
383
301
322
*

*54. Ken Griffey
Jr
CF
367
278
300*

*59. Manny
Ramirez
LF
334
282
295*

*77. Mike
Piazza
C
320
273
285*

**Barry
Bonds** has the third best numbers of any position player of the
20^{th} century. And
there can be no question that he has the numbers for the Hall of
Fame. No one can predict the
effect of the steroids question on his
election. I hear two interesting
comments about his career. The
first is that he had HOF credentials before he was ever suspected of taking
steroids. The second is that
he would never have hit 73 home runs in one season or be challenging Hank
Aaron’s career home run record if he had not taken performance enhancement
substances. I happen to agree
with both of these statements. I
also believe that he will be elected to the Hall (but perhaps not on the
first ballot).

**Gary Sheffield
**was one of the biggest surprises of this analysis to
me. I knew he had some very
good seasons (he has been an All Star with five different teams) but I never
would have thought that he would emerge with numbers that put him into the
top 30 position players of the century.
I think the steroid question will affect him much more than Barry
Bonds. It is my view that there is no way that Sheffield, Rafael
Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa or a few others will ever get into the Hall unless Mark
McGwire is elected first – and who knows if that is ever going to
happen.**
**

** **

**Craig Biggio
**is the #5 best second baseman of the century behind only Eddie Collins,
Rogers Hornsby, Joe Morgan and Nap
Lajoie. He should be an easy
first round inductee into the Hall of Fame.

**Alex
Rodriguez** is the second best shortstop of the century after only Honus
Wagner. His Hall of Fame credentials
are already clearly established after just thirteen
seasons. The only question that remains is how many records he
may break before he is through. He
is already approaching 500 home runs and is still very much in his
prime.

**Frank
Thomas** is the third best first baseman of the century behind only Lou Gehrig
and Jimmie Foxx. I was somewhat
surprised by this. But there
is no doubt in my mind at this point that it is
true. I am assuming that he will be an easy first round inductee
into the Hall when his time comes.

**Ken Griffey
Jr**. has had a great eighteen year career (through
2006). Injuries have taken their
toll on him in recent years but there is no denying the numbers that he has
generated during his playing days.
He was clearly one of the best players of the 1990s and I cannot imagine
that he will have any trouble being elected to the Hall.

**Manny
Ramirez** is a somewhat eccentric baseball character but he gets away with
“being Manny” because everyone recognizes that he is one of the
best hitters of his generation. He
will probably have to wait through a few elections before making it to the
Hall but I think he will be inducted in due course.

**Mike
Piazza** is the third best catcher of the century behind only Yogi Berra
and Johnny Bench. His reputation
as the best-hitting catcher of all time should guarantee his election to
the Hall on the first ballot.

OK, these eight
players clearly have Hall of Fame
numbers. But are there other
active players who may be able to establish the numbers as well before their
careers are over? Let’s
have a look.

**Some Thoughts on Reaching HOF Numbers **

We will now look
at some active players who have not yet reached the 280 NEWS benchmark but
appear to have some chance of doing so.
In order to be realistic, we will look only at the players who satisfy
the following criteria:

1.
They
have already played eight full seasons in the major leagues (of 100 games
each).

2.
They
had at least 230 career win shares at the end of 2006.

I have chosen these
criteria because by the end of eight seasons a player should have begun to
establish his Hall of Fame credentials.
And if he does not have 230 NEWS by that time it is very unlikely
that he will reach 280 NEWS.

You will note that
the lowest CV (core value) among the eight players above is Mike Piazza’s
273. That means that Piazza
averaged better than 27 win shares for his ten best
seasons. If we consider 25 win
shares to represent an “All Star” season (which it does), you can
begin to appreciate how good those ten best seasons
were. Piazza had played fifteen
very good seasons through 2006 and had earned 320 career win
shares. With his CV of 273, he has a NEWS score of 285 –
just five points over the benchmark.
This gives you some idea of how difficult it is to reach this
pinnacle. So, we should not be too surprised if one of our favorite
active players does not seem to have a chance to do it.

If a position player
has a CV of 250, then he needs at least 370 career win shares to reach 280
NEWS. That is a lot of career
win shares. Note that four of
the eight players above do not yet have 370 CWS.

With a CV of 260,
the player needs 340 CWS to earn 280
NEWS. And so it
goes. It is fair to say that
to achieve HOF numbers is extremely difficult without a CV of at least
260. If you search the lists
in this book, you will find that only eight players have done
this. Dave Winfield has the highest score of this group –
a NEWS of 298 with a CV of 259 and 415 CWS.

I do want to mention
one exceptional player here who had not yet completed eight seasons by the
end of 2006. And that player
is **Albert
Pujols**. If there is any
close follower of baseball who does not think that Pujols is headed for the
Hall of Fame, then I do not know what he or she is
thinking. As of the end of 2006,
Albert had played in only six full
seasons. The lowest he has been
in the voting for the MVP during those seasons is
fourth. (He has been elected
MVP once, been second three times, third once and fourth
once.) Clearly, we are dealing
with a special player here. So,
how is he doing with his win
shares?

Over his six seasons,
Albert Pujols has earned 210 win shares.
That is an average of exactly 35 win shares per
season. If he could maintain that average for four more seasons,
then he would have a CV of 350. If
you check the lists in this book, you will find that only thirteen position
players in the 20^{th} century have such a core
value. Of those, Hank Aaron has the lowest at
356. Will Albert be able to
maintain such a pace? Nobody
knows for sure. I mention him
here (even though he has not played eight full seasons yet) because he is
(at this point) having an outstanding career and he should establish Hall
of Fame numbers easily.

**The Active Players with a Chance to Reach Hall of Fame
Numbers**

** **

As we examine the
numbers that a player has already posted, keep in mind that most players
will need to play at least eighteen seasons to really have a chance to post
HOF numbers. As an example,
let’s look at the numbers that Bernie Williams put up during his
career. I have chosen Bernie
because he was still active in 2006 but is apparently now
retired.

**CWS
CV
NEWS**

As you can see from
the numbers, Williams had a very solid sixteen year career with the
Yankees. He accumulated 311
career win shares and had a very respectable core value of
248. But his NEWS score of 264
fell short of the 280 benchmark.
Bernie is a good example of a very good, solid major league player
whose career fell just short of deserving recognition in
Cooperstown. If he had played
two more seasons, could he have made a NEWS score of
280? With a CV of 248, Bernie would need 376 career win shares
to do this. That would be 65
more win shares over two seasons.
Since he earned only 35 win shares over his last three seasons, this
would have been a near impossible task.

**The Four Active Players with the Best Chance of Reaching 280
News**

** **

**CWS
CV
NEWS**

*Jim
Thome
304
265
275
*

*Jason
Giambi
283
271
274
*

*Chipper
Jones
301
262
272
*

Derek Jeter 277 258 263

**Jim
Thome** has the highest NEWS score (275) of any active position player (other
than the eight above). He has
already played for sixteen seasons in the majors so his window of opportunity
could be closing. However, he
only needs 325 win shares with his CV of 265 to reach 280
NEWS. Which means he only needs
an additional 21 win shares in 2007 or subsequent years to accomplish
this. He had 25 win shares in
2006 so there is every indication he can achieve this
goal.

**Jason
Giambi** has played for only twelve seasons but he already has an impressive
CV of 271. With that CV, he
only needs a total of 307 career win shares to reach 280
NEWS. Since he already has 283 CWS, he needs a total of only
24 more win shares and he posted 46 win shares over the past two
seasons. With a good chunk of
his career still ahead of him, Giambi should wind up well above a NEWS score
of 280. Of course, in his case,
getting into the Hall of Fame may be more difficult since he has a cloud
of “steroid suspicion” hanging over him

**Chipper
Jones** had 301 win shares and a CV of 262 after the 2006
season. And he had played for
only thirteen seasons. If his
CV stays the same, he needs a total of 334 win shares to reach 280 NEWS –
just 33 more than he has at present.
He had 22 win shares in 2006 – so he should have no trouble getting
those 33 over the next few seasons (and probably many
more). He should easily end
his career with HOF numbers.

**Derek
Jeter** has a core value after 2006 of 258 – a point at which a 280
NEWS score is possible if he plays long
enough. If he does not improve
that CV, then he needs a total of 346 career win
shares. He now has 277 meaning
that he needs 69 more win shares.
But he has only played for twelve seasons and he earned an impressive
32 win shares in 2006. If Jeter
plays for four more seasons and averages 18 win shares per season, he will
achieve a 280 NEWS score. There
appears to be no question that he should be able
to earn considerably more than
the 346 career win shares that he needs.
Cooperstown certainly seems to be in his future.

In terms of achieving
Hall of Fame numbers (at least 280 NEWS), I would award each of the four
players above a grade of**
A = they should definitely achieve
HOF numbers.**

Now what about Sammy
Sosa who is playing again in 2007?
Is it possible that someone could hit 600 home runs and not have HOF
numbers? (I assume that he will
reach 600 home runs and then retire after
2007.) Here are his
numbers.

**CWS
CV
NEWS**

*Sammy
Sosa
313
255
270
*

**Sammy
Sosa** had played for seventeen seasons and had earned 313 career win shares
through 2006. His core
value was 255 and he had a NEWS score of
270. With that CV, he would
need 355 career win shares to reach a NEWS score of
280. Which means that he needs
42 more win shares to reach the mark.
There is no way that he can do that in the 2007 season
alone. It is not even clear
that he can do it in two seasons (he would need to average 21 each
season). So it appears that
Sosa may not achieve HOF numbers.
If he does reach 600 home runs, it will be interesting to see how
the BBWAA treats him on his first Hall of Fame
ballot. Not well, I think.
**A grade of
C = possible
but a long shot to reach HOF
numbers.**

**Three Players with a NEWS score above 250**

Look at the numbers
for these three players. Do
any of them have a realistic chance to post HOF numbers?

**CWS
CV
NEWS**

Jeff Kent 313 252 267

*Jim
Edmonds
274
250
256
*

Carlos Delgado 262 248 252

**Jeff
Kent** had played fifteen seasons through
2006. Given a CV of 252, he would need 364 career win shares
to reach 280 NEWS. Which means
that he would need a total of 51 more win
shares. In the past two seasons,
he has earned 46 win shares and in the past three,
68. Can he play for three more
seasons (eighteen seasons in all) and continue to earn win shares at the
same rate? It is
possible. A grade of
**C = possible but a long shot**.

**Jim
Edmonds** has played for fourteen
seasons. With a CV of 250, he
would need 370 win shares to reach HOF
numbers. That is 96 more than
he has at present. Over the
past five seasons, he has earned 120 win
shares. If he can play for five
more seasons (nineteen seasons in all) at the same level, he could do
it. So, it is possible but very
unlikely.
**D = very little chance to reach HOF
numbers**.

**Carlos
Delgado** had also played for fourteen seasons through
2006. He would need 114 more
win shares to reach a NEWS score of 280 (with a CV of
248). He has earned 125 win
shares over the past five seasons.
So, like Jim Edmonds, if he can play five more seasons at a comparable
level, he could reach HOF numbers.
But that is not too likely.

**D = very little chance.**

**Three Other Players Worth Watching**

Here are three players
with a NEWS score in the 240s.
What are their chances of establishing Hall of Fame
numbers?

**CWS
CV
NEWS**

Bobby Abreu 249 249 249

Brian Giles 249 242 244

Vladimir Guerrero 243 243 243

**Bobby
Abreu** has played eleven seasons in the major leagues but only nine full
seasons. For those nine seasons
(1998-2006), he has averaged 27 win shares per
season. If he can do that for
one more season, he will have a CV of
270. And there is no reason
to think that he will not do this (he had 27 win shares in
2006). With that CV, he would
need a total of 310 career win shares to post a 280 NEWS
score. That means he would need
only 61 more win shares to reach HOF
numbers. With many more years
to go in his career, he should have no trouble doing
that. Give him a **B =
a good chance to post HOF numbers.**

**Brian
Giles** has played twelve seasons in the
majors. Ten of those were full seasons so his CV of 242 is based
on ten full seasons (unlike Bobby Abreu above whose present CV is based on
only nine full season plus one partial
season). In his last eight seasons,
he has averaged 27 win shares per
season. So there is every reason
to believe that he will improve his CV and also post the career win shares
to enable him to reach HOF numbers.
His grade would be a **B = a
good chance to post the numbers**.

**Vladimir
Guerrero** is similar to Bobby Abreu in that he has played eleven seasons but
only nine have been full seasons.
For his nine full seasons (1998-2006), he has averaged 26 win shares
per season. He should easily
be able to get his CV into the 260-270 range (at
least). And with many more seasons
ahead of him, he should have no trouble establishing HOF
numbers. A grade
of
**B = a good chance to post the
numbers.**

Three Other Players with Some Chance

These three players
have NEWS scores in the 230s with many more years to
play.

**CWS
CV
NEWS**

Scott Rolen 235 233 234

Todd Helton 230 230 230

Andruw Jones 232 229 230

**Scott
Rolen** has played in eleven major league seasons but only in nine full
seasons. For the nine full seasons,
he has averaged 25 win shares. One
more season like that and his CV will be
250. With that CV, he would
need a total of 370 career win shares to post a NEWS score of
280. Which means he would need
135 more win shares. Can he
average 20 win shares for seven more
seasons? It is possible but
difficult. Give him a grade
of **C= possible but a long
shot.**

** **

**Todd
Helton** is in a situation similar to Rolen in that he has played in ten
seasons but only nine full seasons.
And his average for the nine seasons is identical to Rolen, 25 win
shares. So, he would also need
at least one season of 25 win shares to reach a CV of 250 and 140 more win
shares to reach 370 for HOF numbers.
Can he do it? Yes, but
it will not be easy.
**C = possible but a long shot.**

**Andruw
Jones** has only played in eleven seasons but he has ten full seasons behind
him. His win shares numbers
are so close to Rolen and Helton that I think it is fair to grade him in
the same way.
**C = possible to reach HOF numbers
but a long shot.**

** **

** **

These are the only
active position players who have completed eight full seasons and have 230
win shares - who I believe have a shot at posting HOF numbers (a NEWS score
of 280). If I have inadvertently
left out someone, I apologize in advance.

There is one other
active player who I will mention because I feel that he will eventually be
inducted into the Hall of Fame even though he probably will not achieve HOF
numbers. I am speaking of Ivan
Rodriguez who has a reputation as an outstanding defensive catcher and a
good hitter.

**CWS
CV
NEWS**

*Ivan
Rodriguez
296
225
243
*

**Ivan
Rodriguez**
had played in sixteen major league seasons by the end of
2006. With a CV of 225, he would
need 445 career win shares to make a NEWS score of
280. Of course, he is not going
to be able to do that. But,
as we saw in Chapter 14, Pudge is the #11 best catcher of the century (and
he could move up from there). And
only four catchers have ever posted a NEWS score of 280 (Yogi Berra, Johnny
Bench, Mike Piazza and Gary Carter).
So, I do believe he may make it into the Hall despite not having HOF
numbers.

**The
Pitchers**

** **

In order to establish
Hall of Fame numbers, a pitcher has to play at least ten seasons and satisfy
one of the following criteria:

1.
A
NEWS score of 235.

2.
A
NEWS score of 150 with less than 1700 innings pitched (for relief
pitchers).

3.
300
career win shares.

We will examine
those players who seem to have a chance to reach one of these
benchmarks.

Only thirty-five
(35) pitchers in the 20^{th} century have achieved a NEWS score of
235. And only four others have
earned 300 CWS. As for relief
pitchers, only five have earned 150 win shares in 1700 innings (and two of
those are in the Hall, Bruce Sutter and Rollie Fingers).

**Active Pitchers who already have Hall of Fame
Numbers**

At the end of the
2006 season, there were five active pitchers who had already earned Hall
of Fame numbers. Here are the
top three.

**CWS
CV
NEWS**

*Roger
Clemens
432
260
303*

*Greg
Maddux
383
246
280
*

*Randy
Johnson
305
230
249*

**Roger
Clemens**
continues to “unretire” each year and to pitch
effectively. At the end of 2006,
he had pitched for twenty-three seasons, had won 348 games and had received
seven Cy Young awards. His NEWS
score of 303 ranks him as the #5 pitcher of the
century. If any active player
is a lock for the Hall of Fame, it is Clemens.

**Greg
Maddux**
has pitched for twenty-one seasons, has won 336 games and has garnered four
Cy Young awards. His NEWS score
of 280 places him as the #9 pitcher of the
century. It seems remarkable
to me to have two of the top ten pitchers of the century still pitching at
the present time. There should
be no question about his Hall of Fame credentials.

**Randy Johnson
**has
pitched for nineteen seasons, has won 281 games and five Cy Yound
awards. His NEWS score of 249
ranks him among the top 25 pitchers of the century (at
#23). While not quite as impressive
as Clemens and Maddux, Randy’s numbers should guarantee his place in
the Hall.

As mentioned in a previous chapter, Tom Glavine has already earned
300 win shares and HOF numbers.

**CWS
CV
NEWS**

*Tom
Glavine
303
203
228
*

**Tom
Glavine** had pitched for twenty seasons by the end of
2006. He had won 290 games and
been awarded two Cy Young awards.
He has a good chance to reach the 300 win mark in 2007 and add to
his credentials. But with 300
win shares already in place, I feel that he has clearly earned his place
in the Hall of Fame.

The fifth active
pitcher who has already established HOF numbers is Mariano
Rivera.

**CWS
CV
NEWS**

**Mariano
Rivera** is possibly the greatest pure reliever of all
time. As I pointed out in a
previous chapter, there is no other reliever with less than 1700 innings
pitched who comes close to his NEWS score of
173. (Bruce Sutter and Lee Smith
both have 164 – but that is a significant
gap.) I do believe that he will
have no trouble being elected to the Hall.

These are the five
active pitchers who have already earned Hall of Fame numbers according to
the NEWS monitor. But are there
any other starting pitchers or relievers who seem to have a chance to post
the numbers?

**Starting Pitchers who may have a Chance at Hall of Fame
Numbers**

There appear to
be only four other active starting pitchers who have completed at least eight
seasons who have any chance at all of recording a NEWS score of 235 or 300
win shares (unless I have missed
someone). Here they
are.

** **

**CWS
CV
NEWS**

** **

Pedro Martinez 249 206 217

Curt Schilling 242 191 204

*Mike
Mussina
248
184
200
*

** **

If you look at the
lists of pitchers in this book who have posted a NEWS score of 235, you will
note that the lowest CV was that of Hall of Famer Ted Lyons at
210. He recorded a NEWS score
of 236 but he also had 312 career win
shares. (Clemens, Maddux and
Johnson each has a CV of 230 or
greater.) None of these four pitchers has a CV of 210 so their chance
of reaching 235 NEWS is slim at best.
But what about 300 win shares?
Could they do that?

**Pedro
Martinez** probably has the best shot among these pitchers of reaching HOF
numbers. At the end of 2006,
he had pitched for fifteen seasons, had won three Cy Young awards and had
a CV of 206. With that CV, he
would need 322 career win shares to reach a NEWS score of 235 – or 73
more than he has at present. If
he pitches for five more seasons (which is possible), he would need to average
15 win shares per season to reach 322.
He has earned 82 win shares over the past five seasons, so this target
is possible – but by no means is it going to be
easy. Of course, he only needs
51 more win shares to reach 300 - which is definitely within
range. Give Pedro a grade of
**A = should definitely achieve HOF numbers.**

**John
Smoltz** has pitched for eighteen seasons and has won one Cy Young
award. With a CV of 185, he
is not going to reach a NEWS score of
235. But he does have 272 win
shares so far in his career – meaning he needs only 28 more to reach
300. In the past two seasons
(since he returned to his starting role), he has earned 34 win
shares. So, it is reasonable
to say that he can reach 300 in the next two
seasons. Give him a grade of
**B = a good chance to post HOF
numbers.**

** **

**Curt
Schilling** has pitched for nineteen
seasons. With a CV of 191, he
would need 367 win shares to reach a NEWS score of 235 – and that is
not going to happen. But what
about 300 win shares? He needs
58 more win shares to reach 300. Over the past four seasons, he has earned 55 win
shares. At the age of 40, can
he earn 58 more win shares? It
is possible, but very unlikely.
**D = very little chance to reach HOF
numbers**.

** **

**Mike Mussina
**had pitched for sixteen seasons by the end of
2006. His only chance for HOF
numbers is to reach 300 win shares.
He has 248 so he would need 52
more. By coincidence, over the
past four seasons, he has earned exactly 52 win
shares. At the age of 38, can
he pitch well enough for four more seasons to reach the 300
mark? It would be a long shot.
**C = possible to reach HOF numbers
but a long shot.**

** **

** **

**The Relief Pitchers**

** **

Are there any relief
pitchers who seem to have a chance to record a NEWS score of 150 with fewer
than 1700 innings pitched? As
I mentioned above, only five pitchers have ever done this and Mariano Rivera
has the best numbers of this group.
It appears that two active relievers may have a shot at doing
this. Here they
are.

** **

**CWS
CV
NEWS**

** **

Billy Wagner 141 140 140

** **

**Billy Wagner
**had pitched for twelve seasons at the end of 2006 and had 141 win
shares. With a CV of 140, he
would need 180 career win shares to reach a NEWS score of 150 – meaning
that he needs 40 more win shares.
He is 35 years old and should have a number of good years
left. He has earned 42 win shares
over his past three seasons. So,
it appears that he should be able to reach
180.
**B = a good chance to post HOF numbers.**

** **

**Trevor Hoffman
**has pitched for fourteen seasons and is 39 years
old. With a CV of 133, he would
need a total of 201 win shares to reach a NEWS score of
150. That means he needs 43
more win shares. Over the past
three seasons, he has earned 36 win
shares. Can he pitch for four
more seasons in an effective manner?
Who knows? But it is
a long shot at best. **C = possible
to reach HOF numbers but a long shot.**

** **

** **

**Summary**

** **

**1. The Active Players
who already have Hall of Fame Numbers**

** **

**CWS
CV
NEWS**

*Barry
Bonds
686
427
492*

*Gary
Sheffield
402
305
329
*

*Craig
Biggio
422
294
326
*

*Alex
Rodriguez
340
317
323*

*Frank
Thomas
383
301
322
*

*Ken Griffey
Jr
367
278
300*

*Manny
Ramirez
334
282
295*

*Mike
Piazza
320
273
285*

* *

*Roger
Clemens
432
260
303*

*Greg
Maddux
383
246
280
*

*Randy
Johnson
305
230
249*

*Tom
Glavine
303
203
228
*

**2. The Active Players with some Chance to Achieve Hall of
Fame Numbers**

*A players = an excellent
chance to post HOF numbers.*

* *

**CWS
CV
NEWS**

*Jim
Thome
304
265
275
*

*Jason
Giambi
283
271
274
*

*Chipper
Jones
301
262
272
*

Derek Jeter 277 258 263

Pedro Martinez 249 206 217

*B players = a good chance
to post HOF numbers.*

* *

Bobby Abreu 249 249 249

Brian Giles 249 242 244

Vladimir Guerrero 243 243 243

Billy Wagner 141 140 140

* *

*C players = possible to
reach HOF numbers but a long shot.*

* *

*Sammy
Sosa
313
255
270
*

Jeff Kent 313 252 267

Scott Rolen 235 233 234

Todd Helton 230 230 230

Andruw Jones 232 229 230

*Mike
Mussina
248
184
200
*

* *

*D players = very little
chance to reach HOF numbers. *

* *

*Jim
Edmonds
274
250
256
*

Carlos Delgado 262 248 252

Curt Schilling 242 191 204

* *

* *

* *

Michael Hoban, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus (mathematics) of the City University of New York. Professor Hoban has been a baseball fan for over 60 years and a serious baseball analyst for the past ten years (he is a member of SABR - Society for American Baseball Research). He has previously written two books devoted to the task of ranking players.

1.
**Baseball’s
Complete Players
(**McFarland:
2000) was an attempt to put the numbers together (both offensive and defensive)
to see who were baseball’s best all-around players at each
position.

2.
**Fielder’s
Choice: Baseball’s Best Shortstops
**(Booklocker: 2003) was an attempt to rank the shortstops by defensive
skills and then by overall excellence.

* *