With the Baseball Hall of Fame balloting upon us, the player whose name will once again get a lot of buzz is Andre Dawson. Last year Dawson received 67% of the vote, falling a tad-short of the required 75%. Over the past few years we’ve heard many good reasons why Dawson, aka “The Hawk”, deserves to be enshrined in Cooperstown.
Personally, I believe his career numbers and his philanthropy off the field are reasons enough for his induction, but if the BBWAA aren’t yet convinced then maybe putting one statistic in perspective may be the last hurdle they need to clear.
We’ve all heard of these “milestone clubs” that automatically put players in the Hall of Fame. Two of the most famous are the 3000-hit club and the 300-win club. However, there are some clubs that don’t get much attention but if we study them closely—they too can mean automatic enshrinement. And what I like about these clubs is that they manifest themselves directly from the voting patterns of the voters. In other words, every player who has accomplished the feat has been elected to the Hall of Fame.
One of these exclusive clubs is the 2700-400 Club (2700 hits, 400 home runs). Every single eligible player in major league history that has accomplished these two milestones is in the Hall of Fame, except, you guessed it, Andre Dawson.
The chart below demonstrates my above point:Notes: Ken Griffey, Jr. is the only active player who has achieved the milestone and it is safe to say he’s a future Hall of Famer. Barry Bonds and Rafael Palmeiro are not yet eligible for the Hall of Fame. In their cases it’s safe to say that if the dark cloud of the steroids scandal wasn’t hanging over their heads, they too would be sure-fire Hall of Famers.
So as we can see from the iconic names on this exclusive list, 2700-400 is not any easy milestone to achieve.
To further prove my point—let’s look into the future to see which active players are approaching 2700 hits and 400 home runs. The chart below shows all the active players with at least 1700 hits and 250 home runs. I highlighted in yellow the players I believe have a realistic chance or even an outside chance at 2700-400. But of course, everyone can make their own determinations.
Notes: As we can see, I only highlighted the 8 players that I believe have a realistic or outside chance of achieving the milestone. And what do they all have in common? They are all potential future Hall of Famers.
So the point is, 2700-400 are sure-proof numbers for Hall of Fame induction. 12 of the 15 retired players that have achieved the milestone are in the Hall of Fame. But remember, Palmeiro and Bonds are not yet eligible. So Dawson is the only eligible player not yet in. As for active players-- it’s safe to say, the ones who will reach the milestone are all going to be Hall of Fame worthy.
So my message to the BBWAA:
Study the 2700-400 Club. Once you see the names on the list, you’ll realize how special it is. Once you look at the active players, you’ll realize only the future Hall of Famers will enter the club because it’s a club only reachable by Hall of Famers.
Andre Dawson is a member of this club.
Stats and charts courtesy of baseball-reference.com