Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hall of Fame Discussion, Curt Schilling and Kevin Brown


I was inspired to look into this a little further by a post by Reza at 8th Inning Weirdness who said if voters plan to cast a Hall of Fame ballot for Curt Schilling when he is eligible, they should do the same for Kevin Brown this year.

This caused quite a stir on twitter with some even questioning the candidacy of either being included. Before look into it further I had a general feeling that Curt Schilling was deserving and after digging deeper I think that Brown has a case as well.

The career numbers of both are remarkably similar with both pitching about 3,250 innings over 2 decades with an ERA+ that is nearly 30% better then average. Both had 6 all-star appearances and just missed on Cy Young awards.

Schilling peaked from 1997 to 2004 where he averaged a WAR of 5.8 and had an ERA+ of 142. Brown peaked from 1995 to 2000 where he averaged a WAR of 6.4 and had an ERA+ 159.

Curt Schilling:
Year W L W-L% ERA G GS CG SHO IP H ER HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
20 Seasons 216 146 .597 3.46 569 436 83 20 3261.0 2998 1253 347 711 3116 128 1.137 8.3 1.0 2.0 8.6 4.38
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/28/2010.

WAR 69.7, WAR/Season: 3.49, Best Seasons 7.3, 6.8, 6.4, 6.0, 6.0

Awards: Cy Young runner up 3 times with one additional top 5 finish. 6 All-Star appearances.

Kevin Brown:
Year W L W-L% ERA G GS CG SHO IP H ER HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
19 Seasons 211 144 .594 3.28 486 476 72 17 3256.1 3079 1185 208 901 2397 127 1.222 8.5 0.6 2.5 6.6 2.66
Generated 12/28/2010.

WAR: 64.8, WAR/Season: 3.41, Best Season 8.4, 7.5, 6.5, 6.4, 5.8

Awards: Cy Young runner up 1 time with one additional top 5 finish and 3 top 10 finishes (all at #6). 6 All-Star appearances.

After looking everything over the only thing that really sets these two players apart is that Schilling had 133 excellent post-season innings while Brown had 78 good innings and 3 really bad ones while playing in New York.

I remember the seasons that both of these pitchers played in the NL West and I have to say that I worried much more about Brown then Schilling. Brown was a nasty pitcher while Schilling was the second banana to Randy Johnson.

I think that is probably a key here, Schilling excelled in two large East Coast markets, Boston and Philadelphia. Brown had his best years on the West Coast and with the small time Florida Marlins and had 2 rather unimpressive seasons at the twilight of his career in New York where he made big time money but didn't live up to it.

To me both are deserving to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame but I doubt that Brown gets the call because the impression that he left on the East Coast media was one of a pitcher past his prime.

If you're on Twitter you should definitely follow the The Crazy Crabbers. If you're not you should really consider joining, lots of good stuff going on there.

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