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Is Jamie Moyer a Hall of Famer?

Jul 15, 2010, 3:15 PM EDT

Ed Barkowitz of the Philadelphia Daily News writes today that Jamie Moyer is “entering the Hall of Fame conversation.”  The case is not a surprising one: wins and age. He’s lasted forever and thus he’s starting to get near big names in the win column, Barkowitz basically says, so that makes him a legitimate contender for Cooperstown.

I don’t think Moyer is a Hall of Famer (more below) but I actually think Berkowtiz’s wins rationale does Moyer’s case a bit of a disservice. Moyer’s famous longevity has done more than merely produce wins for himself. Longevity and durability is a value to a team in and of itself in that, the more often and more regularly he takes the hill, the better off the team is in terms of resource allocation and all of that kind of stuff.  I’m not a stat guy so I won’t risk mangling the statistical case, but know that Moyer’s longevity has provided an aggregate value to his employers that isn’t fully captured by merely reciting his win totals.

But no, I still don’t think it’s enough value to be considered a Hall of Famer. Maybe I’d consider using my (imaginary) vote for him if he did something truly unique like hung around until he was 50 and got his 300th win (at some point sentimentality and round numbers do affect me), but Moyer is really just the ultimate longevity-guy, and I don’t think I could ever vote for someone who never had even a short Hall of Fame peak.

I think that’s ultimately where the BBWAA will come down too. He’ll get some votes as thanks for being a good guy and a nice story, but he won’t get serious consideration.  Which isn’t to say he hasn’t been a heck of a pitcher — he has — just that he hasn’t really made himself worthy of enshrinement among the elites.

  1. BleedGreen - Jul 15, 2010 at 3:23 PM

    I say he absolutely is a hall of famer. anyone that sticks around that long, and is essentially just as good today as he was 10+ years ago, is a hall of famer.

  2. nps6724 - Jul 15, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    Except he isn’t as good as he was 10 years ago and 10 years ago he was only above-average. Has there ever been a point in Moyer’s career where he was one of the 15 best pitchers in baseball for more than a season here or there? No.

  3. andrewlw - Jul 15, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    If he had been successful in his 20’s then sure. Yes he has the longevity but outside of his age 25 season he really wasn’t good until 30.
    So he’s been pretty good if unspectacular from 30-47, if he had been pretty good but unspectacular from 20-37 no one would think twice about him.
    That being said if he does manage to stick around for a few more years and be successful I would think he deserves heavy consideration but not automatic acceptance.

  4. Jonny5 - Jul 15, 2010 at 3:42 PM

    As someone else said before me. He belongs in the Hall of Mediocre Longevity. As of now, but……
    If he hits 300 wins? By that time all the people who vote for these kinda things will be totally in love with him as he’ll be pumping that arm until he’s over 50, and he will at least get close to getting in. Do I think he’ll get to 300? No. I really hope he does though, “i’m rooting fer the old coot” (Charlie Manuel)

  5. ultimatecardinalwarrior - Jul 15, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    Craig I think you should have a vote. Your opinion is worth way more than someone like say Jay Mariotti (to use a punching bag as an example).

  6. Steve-0 - Jul 15, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    If he manages to hang around and be relatively effective until the age of 50 and as a result ends up with 300 wins he probably should get in for doing something that nobody in the history of Major League Baseball has ever done before. There has never been a player who has played until the age of 50 that wasn’t a publicity stunt and because of how unique it would be he would probably get bonus points for it. Should be interesting to see if he can outlast father time.

  7. DualLeads - Jul 15, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    He’s worthy for it along the same guidelines in which Pete Rose isn’t: Moyer had (has) a helluva great overall career, and has great character to boot.
    This should be a no-brainer.

  8. bigtrav425 - Jul 15, 2010 at 5:58 PM

    Not even close!…..he has never been in the top best 20 pitchers in baseball during his what 20 plus yrs? i could go on and on..has he been solid? Yes.more so later in his career but never early on.Good,solid Long career and a helluva guy! Wish there was more like him in the sports world but a Hall of Famer,sorry Jaimie not at all

  9. Cantankerous - Jul 15, 2010 at 6:13 PM

    Sadly, I can see sort of a Jack Morris-type scenario where he gets enough votes the first few years to stick around and then people start building a case to justify their votes, increasing his totals every year until he’s voted in his 14th or 15th year of eligibility.

  10. mrfloydpink - Jul 15, 2010 at 7:15 PM

    1. As we have just been reminded, the bar for being selected to the All-Star game is not all that high. Moyer has been an All-Star once.
    2. Moyer has appeared in the Cy Young balloting three times, with 4th place his highest finish.
    3. Moyer has a career ERA+ of 105.
    Thanks for playing, Jamie.

  11. Michael C - Jul 15, 2010 at 11:29 PM

    Let’s say the Phillies make it to the World Series and he pitches an 8 inning shutout in a crucial 7th game? Or due to an injury has to come out of the pen two days after pitching–does that change anyone’s opinion?

  12. gedge - Jul 16, 2010 at 12:32 AM

    Has he ever even been the best pitcher on his own team? He’s been an average left hander who has lasted a long time. What next, Jesse Orosco in the hall too because he could throw a ball when he was old?

  13. Ditto65 - Jul 16, 2010 at 7:58 AM

    If he had been doing these things over the last 20 some odd years – yes. One time – no.
    Stay Classy, HBT.

  14. john j pileggi - Jul 16, 2010 at 8:01 AM

    Moyer probably falles into the category of “terrific player”, but not Hall of Famer. Longevity in and of itself is an achievement, and his numbers and positive impact on his team are notable. A Hall of Famer is someone who dominates at his position, or who significantly contributes to a team(s)’ championship run more than once. Robin Yount and Paul Molitor are those kind of guys. Mr. Moyer is deserving of a great deal of praise and honors, but not the Hall of Fame. If he outs together an incredible run the next two years of 20+ wins, the analysis changes.

  15. Bill@TDS - Jul 16, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    he has never been in the top best 20 pitchers in baseball during his what 20 plus yrs? i could go on and on..
    Oh, anybody can go on and on if they don’t have to worry whether anything they’re saying is true. Moyer had several years that were easily top 20.
    I don’t think he’s a Hall of Famer either, but he did have that.

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