Jeff Bagwell was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this week, and it's a well-deserved honor.
Reading about Bagwell's election reminded me of his remarkable consistency and his delightful bent-legged batting stance. Bagwell was a bit underappreciated in his time, and that continued into his seven years on the Hall ballot. Here's what The Ringer's Michael Baumann wrote in his excellent piece on Bagwell and fellow inductees Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez:
[T]he electorate has long skewed toward a set of writers who are pro-tradition, puritanically anti-PED, and limited in their willingness and/or ability to grapple with sabermetrics.
That made Bagwell’s case hard from the start, because even as a power-hitting first baseman, he doesn’t have a traditional Hall of Fame profile. Bagwell’s 15-year career isn’t that long by Hall of Fame standards, so he wound up short of the traditional milestones with only 2,314 hits and 449 home runs, and his .297 career batting average is just below that nice round number. Bagwell never led the league in home runs and only led the league in RBIs once — in the strike-shortened 1994 season. Bagwell also never played in New York, Boston, or Los Angeles, never won a World Series, and only won a pennant in his last season, when an arthritic shoulder limited him to 39 games. Chris Burke had more memorable playoff moments as an Astro than Bagwell did.One thing I didn't see mentioned in the slew of articles about Bagwell is the fact that he only appeared in four All-Star Games. If you count up all the seasons in which he played in at least 60 games, Bagwell was an All-Star about 28 percent of the time. That seems low, right?
I figure a quick historical comparison is in order. How do Bagwell's All-Star appearances compare to his Hall of Fame peers?