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Dave Parker thinks he should be in the Hall of Fame

Jul 26, 2011, 10:59 AM EDT

Dave Parker smoking

Via BTF comes a story from the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel in which former Pirate Dave Parker says that, in his humble opinion, he should be in the Hall of Fame. He’s said this before, of course.  He’s one of the more active retired players when it comes to that sort of thing.

And whenever he says it, I say the same thing: Parker’s prime was nice, but it was far too short to carry a peak-heavy, Sandy Koufax-style Hall of Fame candidacy.  And then, after that awesome short peak, drugs and weight problems put him in the wilderness for a good five or six years, then he had a brief, but overrated blip with the Cincinnati Reds, and then he tailed off like most older players do, going form town to town, up and down the dial.

If that hadn’t happened — if he had kept himself in shape and off the blow during what should have been the prime of his career — sure, we’d be having a different conversation right now. But it didn’t go down like that.  As a result, Parker had less overall career value than Jim Rice did, and Jim Rice shouldn’t have made the Hall of Fame himself.

Sorry, Dave. Buy a ticket.

  1. halladaysbiceps - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    Is he smoking a fattie in that picture?

    • jwbiii - Jul 26, 2011 at 10:32 PM

      I don’t think so, but I’m not sure that Grant Jackson isn’t.

  2. hcf95688 - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    “…going form town to town, up and down the dial”.

    Nice WKRP reference.

    The Cobra was a hell of a player. HOFer? Probably not, for the reasons mentioned in the article. Now that Bert Bly is in, the guy who should really get more love is Dale Murphy, in my opinion.

    • paperlions - Jul 26, 2011 at 1:02 PM

      Murphy is pretty much in the same boat, though for different reasons. He had 6 good to great seasons and pretty much nothing else.

  3. theonlynolan - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    Al Oliver, his teammate with the Pirates, actually has a more interesting case for enshrinement. I don’t think he has the career value to warrant admission but he did win 4 batting titles in an era where that was what people around the game were focusing on.

    • The Common Man - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:25 AM

      When we went to a game at the old Metrodome, Bill and I were talking about the Hall of Fame for some reason. The guy behind us tapped us on the shoulder and drunkenly told us, “You know who should be in the Hall of Fame? Al Oliver.” That notion has never stopped being funny to us. Thank you for allowing me to relive that hilarious moment.

      But no, seriously, just stop it.

      • dan1111 - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:57 AM

        Oliver had an OPS+ of 121 over a long career. A good chunk of that was playing center field.

        While I agree that he’s not a Hall of Famer, he’s not the worst player to argue for.

      • skipperxc - Jul 26, 2011 at 12:27 PM

        A cursory examination of Fangraphs seems to indicate that a good comp for Al Oliver is, of all people, Johnny Damon minus the steals (apologies to any Pirates fans whose sensibilities this offends, Al Oliver is before my time). So an amusing exercise but ultimately not worthy of enshrinement.

  4. theonlynolan - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Ignore my last comment I’m obviously confused. I’m on vacation and I’m going off of memory. I’m a fool. My bad.

  5. theonlynolan - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    Haha I was confusing my “we are family” pirates. Bill Madlock won 4 batting titles although he doesn’t deserve induction either so I’m really just digging myself a bigger hole.

  6. RK - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    He should get in based solely on his performance in the NES classic RBI Baseball 2. The entire A’s lineup was unstoppable.

    • b7p19 - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:48 AM

      Seconded, as well as Madlock for his performance in RBI Baseball 1. HR every time as a pinch hitter.

    • gammagammahey - Jul 26, 2011 at 1:35 PM

      If that were the criteria for enshrinement, Bo Jackson should have a whole wing of the Football HOF for his performance in Tecmo Bowl.

      • fquaye149 - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:29 PM

        Tecmo Bowl schmecmo bowl. Let’s be serious for a second and consider the HOF cases for Tony Armas, Gary Pettis, and Bret Saberhagen. Three of the all time great RBIers

  7. koufaxmitzvah - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    When I was a kid, every Dodger’s game began with a montage clip that ended with Dave Parker bowling Steve Yeager over at the plate. Big Dave comes running around third, lowers his shoulders, and knocks Yeager in a somersault. Yeager, who wore glasses (not goggles) behind the plate, is bleeding in the face as he shows the ump the ball to record the out.

    That being said, I like Al Oliver. He had an awesome APBA card.

  8. Old Gator - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    Parker should hire Bert Blyleven’s publicity agent – Bert Blyleven. I hear he specializes in kvetching marginal candidates into the hall.

    • paperlions - Jul 26, 2011 at 1:12 PM

      Totally agree, any guy that is 13th in pitcher WAR, 5th in strikeouts, had 242 complete games (active leader has 64), and 60 complete-game shutouts (9th overall, one less than Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver) has no business being in the HOF.

      • paperlions - Jul 26, 2011 at 1:50 PM

        So….that is 3 people with their sarcasm filter on and 4 with it off?

  9. capeporpoise - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    Audio may no longer exist, but the way Bob Prince used to announce the Cobra’s plate appearances always left no doubt that some serious damage was soon to occur – which seemed to happen more often than not.

  10. florida76 - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    At his peak, Dave Parker was superior to Jim Rice, and many other players currently in Cooperstown, no question. He was a five tool player, who also played well in the world championship season of 1979. Rice Of course, the drug use was damaging in the early 80s, and Parker would have undoubtedly been in Cooperstown by now without that mistake.

    Parker did rebound in Cincinnati, and finished only 288 hits shy of 3000. Probably made a mistake in leaving Milwaukee late in his career after another good season for California.

    Al Oliver is another borderline case, he finished just short of 3000 hits himself, after an excellent career.

  11. kingjoe1 - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Sure Dave, get in line, lets start by standing behind Carlos Delgado

    • fquaye149 - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:32 PM

      Delgado and Parker were two completely different players. Last I checked, Delgado was never an All World outfielder, and Parker never had 10 straight excellent seasons.

  12. Chipmaker - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    The Hall’s voters have been obstinate in casting votes for players known, accused, or even just vaguely suspected of hanging around such others, of using chemistry to play a bit better. They cannot possibly look favorably upon someone who used chemistry to play worse.

    Not if they were consistent anyway, which has never been a standard of any Hall electorate.

    But they did get it right with Cobra — 15 years, never even hinted at getting enough support, and he’s off. Though there’s always the circus of the Veterans Committee.

  13. SmackSaw - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    His arm belongs in the Hall Of Fame.

  14. jabberwock3 - Jul 26, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    Is this a new trend or what? Players talking about how they should be in their particular sports’ hall of fame? Seems to me that if a guy has to talk up his own stats to those who judge, he probably doesn’t have much of a case. Dave Parker? Are you serious? That MUST be a fattie.

    • fquaye149 - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:34 PM

      No. It’s not even close to a new trend, unless you consider Ralph Kiner, Ken Keltner and tons of other players from decidedly “old” times “new players”

  15. Mark Armour - Jul 26, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    I don’t blame the guy for wanting to be in the Hall of Fame, or even for thinking he should be. He was a hell of a player with a pile of trophies and two rings. Watching the ceremony on Sunday, I was struck by how those HOFers on stage were treated. I’d want to be up there too.

    I am sure Parker wishes he had gone to the movies all those nights in the early 1980s instead of doing lines. I don’t have a moral problem here–it has been suggested that half of all major league players were at least casual users, and the percentage in the rest of society (among people with money) was higher than that. I went to many parties in the 1980s where coke was everywhere. There are many coke users in the Hall of Fame, some that we know about (Molitor) and several that we do not. Most of the guys from the 1980s likely at least tried it.

    That said, Parker has five years in the middle of his career where he did not help his teams. That is the truth. He recovered a bit in his mid-30s, but at that point he was just a hitter–he had lost all the other tools that made him Dave Parker.

    He had a fine career, and I hope that he finds some peace with all the good things he accomplished.

  16. Detroit Michael - Jul 26, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    Al Oliver’s career WAR on Fangraphs is 50.2. Other retired outfielders (1901 – 2011) with similar WAR totals are Ralph Kiner, Lou Brock, Bobby Veach, George Burns, Ken Singleton, Ben Chapman, Heinie Manush, and Kirby Puckett. Four of his eight comparables are in the Hall. He’s in a gray area where without a ton of peak value or World Series exploits, one tends to be left outside of the Hall. Using fWAR as a metric, Oliver fares better than I would have guessed, not that I’d clamor for him to be in the Hall.

    Dave Parker would be in the Hall of Fame if cocaine use didn’t blow (pun intended) a huge hole in the middle of his career, as Craig said. I wouldn’t cut Parker a lot of slack either.

  17. ml3939 - Jul 26, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    What about Albert Belle as a HOF player? He has the unfortunate reputation as one of the biggest a-holes ever but has more impressive numbers than a guy like Ralph Kiner.

    • Detroit Michael - Jul 27, 2011 at 9:37 AM

      Belle had a nice peak, but his career was short and the peak wasn’t so great to offset that. fWAR (which I quoted above your post) is below Kiner and Oliver. Plus he had enough off-the-field baggage that no one is cutting him a break.

      • ml3939 - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:40 AM

        Al Oliver had over 3000 more plate appearances than Belle and his WAR is less than 2 points higher. I will take the quality over the quantity.

  18. stairwayto7 - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    Parker got paid big in Pittsburgh back then then tanked it! Don’t he remember he had to wear a hardhat in the outfield due to fans throwign batteries at him? Parker was an overpaid fat whale and no way does he sniff the HOF..only sniffs coke!

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