Saturday, December 6, 2008
2009 Hall of Fame Candidate - Dan Plesac
Here's one of the pitfalls of the Hall of Fame ballot. Only when voting for the Hall can a pitcher who played well for 18 years in over 1000 games all of a sudden become a punchline. Dan Plesac? In the Hall of Fame?? Harrumph! Take that wretch away and throw him in the stocks for daring to compare himself to Royalty! Poor Dan. A mere mortal knocking on the door of the Immortals. He didn't even knock himself, it's just the rules - 10 years in the league, five years after you retire, someone knocks for you. We all know Dan's not getting in, and might not even get a single vote, but that doesn't mean he wasn't a good player, even when he took over the LOOGY role the second half of his career. Here's the stats:
Games pitched: 1064
Innings pitched: 1072
Career ERA: 3.64 (League ERA: 4.24)
Solid career, he was a good closer for a few years and then became a solid set up guy. In 12 of his 18 seasons his ERA was better than the league average. His strikeout/walk ratio was about 2.5 to 21 and his WHIP wasn't too bad. Dan was a solid player that could contribute to any team in the league. Not a Hall of Famer, but that's ok.
Dan does illustrate one thing about this year's Hall class... Just how badly Lee Smith is getting slighted. It is damn hard to be a closer. Dan Plesac was one of the hot young closers in the league in the late '80s, saving 124 games in 5 years from '86-90. He then flamed out, was even used as a starter by Milwaukee and only had 34 saves the rest of his career. Dan managed to become a solid set up guy though and went on to have a long career unlike many other closers who flamed out early. Lee Smith was a lights out, slam the door guy for fourteen straight seasons. Lee will get his own post though. Dan, you had a good career and it looks like you've picked up with a broadcasting gig. Good job Dan. Try to strive for that Ford Frick award in your new job.
Prediction: Sadly, no votes for Dan.
Rookie card: 1986 Topps Traded, among others.
This card: 2001 Topps