Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hall of Fame Candidate: Sherman Lawton

Sherman Lawton has 701 home runs.  That puts him at #6 all time.  His whole major league is accounted for so there is no need for an imagination.  Of those 701 home runs he only hit 82 during seasons 1 and 2.  The 35 during season 2 were his lowest single season total until season 14 when he was no longer a full time player.  His hit total is fairly low at 2244.

 Unlike the argument against Benito Romero and Luis Johnson, Lawton played the majority of his career in pitcher friendly LA.  His overall career OPS is .959.  This includes roughly a seasons worth of stats (accumulated over 3 seasons) during which he had an ops under .800.

So why has he gotten so little support so far?  Last season, his first season on the ballot, he got no votes.  Is it the anti-1b bias?  About 2/3 of his career games were played at 1b.  About another 1/3 of his games were spent playing catcher, where he had an catchers era of 4.09, but that is Los Angeles with Donnie Brown and Luis Johnson among others.  He did throw out just under 19% of potential base stealers.  How did he make only one all-star game?  Ask Marc Christman.

So who is he comparable to?  I could not think of anyone.  There is no one who played so much catcher in his career and hit so many home runs.  To me he is one of a kind and there were few players I feared playing against as much as him.

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