Sunday, January 20, 2013

2013 HOF Candidates

The 2013 Hall of Fame Candidates have been announced.

New to the ballot is third baseman Mahatma Russell.  He began his career as a singles hitting defensive specialist, but developed power as he matured.  In 1995 he hit .331 with 28 homers and 100 RBI, winning the MVP award.  He repeated as MVP with even better numbers, a .337 average, 27 homers, and a .447 OBP in the strike shortened 1996 season.  On defense, he won 8 gold gloves.  Mahatma returned to Denver in 2010 for his 21st season, and passed the 3000 hit mark.  Russell is the greatest third baseman to ever play in APBA, holding position records for homeruns (439), RBI (1713), hits (3006), walks (1570), runs (1670), doubles (606) and gold gloves (8).

Sammy Swopa hit 445 homeruns, including 6 seasons of 40 or more.  In 1999 he became one of 6 players to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in a season.  In 2003 Sammy hit 49 homers, drove in 147 runs, and won the Superior League MVP award.  A fine defender, Sammy won 4 gold glove awards.  Sammy did not have a long career, fading in his 30's and retiring at age 35.

Bob Zygyk and Leon Wolf had great years with the Utes, and for other teams after 1998.  Zygyk played in a record 10 world series.  In 1997 Zygyk led the league in batting (.354) and RBI (123).  A platoon player in his years with Utah, Wolf hit as high as .382 in limited playing time.  Given a chance to play every day later in his career, Wolf won back to back batting titles at ages 33 and 34 with averages of .357 and .344.  In 2007, Leon won another batting title at age 39 (.322).

John Conner had 2875 hits, and had his best season in 2001 (.314-34-132) as Springfield won their only world series.  Vern Terrell also played for that team, hitting 30 homers and driving in 120, on the way to 408 career homers.

Hal Tobin caught for 18 seasons and was regarded as a fine defensive catcher.  He won a gold glove and hit 238 homers, including 29 in 1999.

David Lefevre won 19 games 4 times in his career, and 252 overall.  He is a 4 time winner of the Cy Young award.  His Cy seasons were 1995 (15-4, 1.58), 1999 (17-8, 3.01, 239 strikeouts), 2002 (19-7, 3.27), and 2006 (19-8, 3.40).  He pitched his entire career for the Miami Stars.

Stuart Coppolla has almost identical career record to Lefevre (250-162).  He won 20 games in 1995, and 19 3 other times.  He won the 2004 Cy Young award (19-4, 2.65) and has 3 world series rings.

Jake Decker and Randy Wagner rank 5th and 6th on the all time saves list. As a rookie Decker pitched 138 innings and struck out 158, numbers that will likely never be seen again by a reliever.  He saved 35 games and posted a 2.09 ERA.  Wagner saved 51 games for the 1999 Snow Sox, helping the team to 95 wins and their last playoff appearance.

Drummond Peltier completed and won every game he ever started.

In addition, Yoda is up for consideration as a manager, and general lifetime achievment.  His record is 1029-938 over 13 seasons.  Yoda managed the 1994 Rugrat world championship team.  He later managed the 2001 Florida Penguins, and led them to 95 wins and a world series loss to Springfield.  As a player, Yoda played so long ago that numbers are not available.  He was a shortstop whose best skill was drawing walks due to his tiny strike zone.

All the candidates can be found here:


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