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Doc's First Ten Years: Goodenough?

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by user DNL

more "on the DL" opinions

To be eligible for election into the Baseball Hall of Fame, a player needs to play for only ten years. With Dwight Gooden off to the pokey, I wonder -- what if he had just called it quits after ten years? That is, pitched from 1984 to 1993, inclusive, and hung them up, citing either the wear and tear of averaging 210 IP per season, or the need to get away from a lifestyle that enables his cocaine use.

Consider his stats (below), his Cy Young, ROY, four All-Star appearances, and three other years in which he was in the top five in Cy voting.

Gooden's Stats, 1984-1993

<stats> Player=Dwight Gooden type=pitching columns=Year,W,L,CG,SO,IP,SO,ERA,WHIP years=1984,1985,1986,1987,1988,1989,1990,1991,1992,1993 extras=totals </stats>

He's probably not a Hall of Famer. The benchmark for short-career Hall of Famers suggests Doc needed 500 more strikeouts and to reduce the ERA a tad. (I realize that I'm comparing across eras.) Those "last" three years were simply average. It's close, though.

Just to make the comparison between Gooden and Koufax more stark:

  Gooden Koufax
Wins 154 165
Strikeouts 1,825 2,396
ERA 3.04 2.76
WHIP 1.16 1.11

Obviously, Koufax is better. (The above also includes his first two years, as a part-timer, but that cuts both ways.) But Koufax is in the upper-echelon. I guess the appropriate question, then, is: Is "approaching Koufax" good enough?


Wed 04/05/06, 8:08 am EST

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