Author Topic: Remembering Virginia players on the HOF ballot  (Read 406 times)

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Offline yuda

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Remembering Virginia players on the HOF ballot
« on: December 20, 2016, 05:13:47 AM »
I thought it would be fun to post what I can remember about the 27 players on the HOF ballot who played for Virginia. Here's the first batch.

Tomas Chavez

Chavez was a very good center fielder (though he never won any hardware) and an absolute on-base machine. In his prime you could count on him for a .400 OBP minimum, and he got on base at a rate as high as .476 one year - still 7th all time. He had a bit of gap power, usually good for 20-30 doubles, and a few triples and home runs. The on-base abilities plus his speed led to a lot of runs scored (as many as 139).

He had the misfortune of playing in Virginia during mostly dry years in the 30s and early 40s (though we made the playoffs a couple of times just before he was traded). We sent him to Pennsylvania for Alejandro Melendez (who is also on this list).

I voted yes.

Steve Davis

Brought over from Tennessee in a package to play OF/1B and mash lefties. His performance was disappointing and he didn’t get on the field much in Virginia, but he nevertheless won two rings.

No for HOF.

Paul Johnson

A poor man’s Tomas Chavez, he took over for Chavez after the trade mentioned above.  Realized the team wasn’t going anywhere and sent him to Tennessee for Juan Garcia, who is still on the team.

No for HOF.

Andrew Jones

Jones is one of those players who was very good for a very long time. The fact that he did it behind the plate probably elevates him to greatness. Always good for 30-ish doubles and 20-ish HR, plus a solid OBP. After his age-28 season, I figured he probably didn’t have much left in the tank and sent him to Minnesota for Chang-bum Park. He proceeded to be their starting catcher for 12 more years.

Yes to the HOF.

Johnny Kapaun

Came over from Tennessee with Steve Davis in 2049. By that point, he was already below average as a SS… but he kept moving down the defensive spectrum for us while getting on base 40% of the time. Played a solid 2B for a championsihp team, and then hung on into his 40s playing 1B… though by that time his only real offensive skill was the OBP.

Yes to the HOF.

Hippo Leal

Top defensive infielder (won awards at SS and 3B) who appeared to be coming into his prime just as we were needing to rebuild, so I shipped him to PA with Ratchet Monroe for a few guys who didn’t pan out and a bunch of picks, one of whom became Bartolo Sandoval (he’ll be on the ballot in a couple of years). He never quite equaled his breakout season for Chappy, but Chappy definitely won the trade in terms of cool names.

No for HOF

Akihiro Matsubara

Brought over from KS for Barrett Rowe, Matsubara was maybe the best CF the NPBL has seen from 2048-52 (after which he was average, and then had to move to a corner OF spot). Between the defense and his solid offensive production, we missed him from the lineup when injured every bit as much as we did Stone Nichols.

I voted yes.

Alejandro Melendez

The key piece in return for Chavez, Melendez mostly found himself limited to platoon duty in a crowded Grays OF in the 50s (see also: Akihiro Matsubara, Stone Nichols, and others). He was a good contributor on two championship teams, but falls short of greatness for me.

No for HOF

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more to come later

Offline Y0DA55

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Re: Remembering Virginia players on the HOF ballot
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2016, 06:26:56 AM »
I love this idea... and would totally steal it if/when I have the time.

Offline yuda

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Re: Remembering Virginia players on the HOF ballot
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2016, 02:45:27 PM »
Next batch!


Gonzalo Molina

Brought over late in his career to mash lefties, Molina did just that for us, hitting 283/411/480 in his time as a Gray. Ultimately his declining defense forced him off the field, then to the minors. He did manage a curtain call at 42 in 2060 after not having been in the majors since 2057.

No for the HOF

Ratchet Monroe

Monroe played second base and banged doubles for us for a decade (he hit 64 in 2040, which was a record at the time). After a couple of really good years in his early 20s, he had 15 years of, more or less, adequacy… first in Virginia, then Pennsylvania.

No for the hall.

Hideki Nakada

Brought over mid-season in 2051 to try to fill a gaping whole at first base, Nakada was never great but did the job for a few seasons. Not sure he was worth the first-round pick we gave up for him, though.

No for the Hall.

Stone Nichols

Nichols battered NPBL pitching for the better part of a decade, and then basically fell off a cliff heading into his age-34 season, especially defensively. Still, he won 6 Bacon Awards and 2 Matthews Awards.

Yes for induction.

Chang-bum Park

Came over from Minnesota in exchange for Andrew Jones, and a couple of seasons later he was starting behind the plate. Consistently put up an OBP around 370+ and SLG around 480. Made 8 all-star teams. We played him a couple of years at 1B to try to keep his bat in the lineup more regularly, but it was always easier to find a tolerable 1B than a tolerable alternate C so he mostly caught. Then at the end of his career, moved back to 1B.

Yes for the Hall.

Tony Perez

Traded to get him from Massachusetts in 2048, Perez was a longtime utility player — what I call a “four-corners guy” (1B, 3B, LF, RF). His on-base ability and general gap power made him a great option off the bench. His lack of home-run power made him a poor option to start at those positions. He did make one all-star team when pressed into the lineup in 2051, but whenever he was starting regularly, I took that as a sign to make a trade (like for Nakada, above). But absolutely a guy I loved having on the team.

No for the Hall.

Barrett Rowe

Rowe was guy that I picked up in the contraction draft and had really high hopes for, but wound up sending to Kansas early on for Matsubara (see first post). I think I got the better of the deal in the end, though Rowe had a nice career.

No for the Hall.

Leonardo Suarez

A person favorite, Suarez had a nice peak from 2038-43, and really crushed the ball for a couple years in there. But he turned into a pumpkin when he turned 30, especially in the field, and wound up in the minors for a couple of years and then released. I always liked that Pennsylvania picked him up at 38 as a free agent and he helped push them into the playoffs with some great pinch hit appearances.

Yes for the HOF, but this one’s probably a homer vote.

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Up next: pitchers

Offline yuda

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Re: Remembering Virginia players on the HOF ballot
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2016, 10:51:21 AM »
Let's finish this up for this year!

Ricardo Acevedo

Ah, Richard Acevedo. I traded for him (at a pretty heavy price - a full draft plus two good prospects) mid-year in 2040 when New Mexico decided to blow it up. He was crazy good down the stretch for us in 2040 (9-3, 1.36), won the Yim in 2041, and was downright cartoonish in 2042 (4 walks in 241 innings). We wound up sending him to Nevada in a rebuild before the 2045 season.

While out there, his endurance dipped a bit (it had slid in Virginia too) and he moved to the bullpen. He became a very good closer, and then a few years later we brought him back to Virginia for what I thought was a couple of years in the pen (in the end it was an 8 1/2 year stint). He won a couple of Ramos awards (my personal favorite season was 52 saves and 1.32 ERA while walking 1 in 88 1/3 innings in 2054), then in 2055, at age 42, we had enough injuries that he moved from the closer role to starting mid-season. Wound up 14-5, 2.15, with 17 saves. My campaign to get him voted in for both the Yim and Ramos awards, though, fell short.

The end finally came in 2057 (his age-44 season) a couple of days before his 45th birthday when he tore his UCL. He opted to retire rather than rehab from Tommy John surgery. His ratings at that point were good enough that I’m confident he could have pitched until 50 if he’d stayed healthy.

Big time yes for the hall.

Chad Barnes

I don’t remember how we acquired Chad Barnes, but I do recall that his emergence as a starting pitcher was something of a surprise - he shifted to the rotation to fill in for injuries in 2039 and wound up going 22-4, 2.79 in 28 starts (37 appearances). He was probably never that good again, but he was usually a solid #3 or #4 pitcher. Had a couple of nice years in California later, too.

No for the hall.

Doodles Colbert


Doodles was part of our impressive rotation for the two championships in 50 and 53. His peak — roughly 2050-55 — he went 118-36, 2.64 with two Yim awards. Unfortunately, he tore his rotator cuff in 2056, and he was never the same pitcher after (though he had some nice moments).

Yes for the HOF.

Cody Crowther

Cody Crowther had a so-so cup of coffee in 2049, and then burst onto the scene in 2050, going 23-5, 2.02 and winning both the Horizon and Yim awards, as well as a ring. He regressed a bit in 2051, and then I managed to flip him for Dan Brandon. In the long run Crowther never matched his magical 2050 (though he had good years) and Brandon never lived up to his potential (though he started at SS for years).

No for the hall.

Chilly Gomez

I have close to no recollection of Gomez being a Gray, though I vaguely recall trading him to New Jersey. I do remember Chappy drafting him #1 overall and him not panning out as a starting pitcher.

No for the Hall.

Donald Howell

Howell was a solid left-handed control pitcher who was a good #3 on a good team for years, and racked up 240 wins. But he was never the best pitcher on the team and was rarely the second best. He did manage to go 18-0 one year (though I’m pretty sure we lost some of his no-decisions).

No for the Hall.

It’s interesting to me that I seem to put more value in Colbert’s high peak followed by years of being below average than I do in Howell’s quiet 20 years of mostly being an above-average but not great pitcher.

Jorge Lorenzo

I definitely remember trading Lorenzo to New Jersey — flipped him during his first season as my closer. He had some very nice years after we moved him.

No for the Hall.

Alley Cat Monroe

Monroe basically had only one or two good seasons for us. He always struggled with his command, but made up for it by striking players out and limiting home runs. By the end of his career he was walking more than he struck out (152 vs 122 in 2045) and really giving up the long ball — so he barely pitched in his 30s.

No for the Hall

Luis Polanco

Polanco initially looked like he’d been rushed to the majors, but a year in the pen at 23 (in 2050) got him back on track. He became dominant for a decade, including a 19-1, 1.80 performance to win the Yim in 2053 (he won another later in New Jersey, and probably had a strong case once or twice other years).

Yes to the Hall.

Dave Ramey

Dave Ramey was one of the guys we got back when we traded Acevedo to Nevada. They wound up in the same rotation for a while later on. Ramey was a solid guy, usually my #4 pitcher. Struggled in the playoffs (7-5, 4.30) though he had a good year or two.

No for the Hall.

Shoichi Yoshimura

Yoshimura only got a September callup before he was included in the trade for Johnny Kapaun. Don’t really remember much though I recall finding him a hard guy to give up. Solid career.

No for the HOF.