Thursday, July 23, 2009

Browns Fans Yell FOUL BALL on Election for St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame

Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial, a unanimous choice of a committee of media members and sports figures, heads the first class of inductees into the new St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame.

President Greg Marecek announced the first inductees earlier this month. The remainder of the first class in the baseball category included Bob Gibson, Red Schoendienst, Ozzie Smith, Lou Brock, Yogi Berra and Whitey Herzog.

Additionally, four men will be inducted in a special "oldtimers" class. They are Cardinals Hall of Famers Rogers Hornsby, Joe Medwick and Frankie Frisch in the baseball category.

While all of the players elected in the first class of inductees are excellent players, it looks as if the media members and sports figures didn’t do a lot of homework in their selection when it comes to statistics. At first glance, the inductees look like they were voted in based on media popularity.

Where the homework really needs to be done is in the old timers category. St. Louis had two major league baseball teams for more than 50 years and both teams had outstanding players during this period. The St. Louis Browns were the predominant team during the first 25 years of the last century before the Cardinals took over the spotlight. One obvious oversight was the Browns best player – the equivalent of a Stan Musial or Albert Pujols. The shining star was George Sisler.

If the voters would have done their homework fully, they would have noticed the difference in performance of Sisler to Joe Medwick. Here’s how the two compared. (Click on photo to enlarge)

Games Played
Medwick 1984 – Sisler 2055

At Bats
Medwick 7,634 – Sisler 8,267

Medwick 2,471 – Sisler 2,812

Medwick 1,383 – Sisler 1,175

Batting Average
Medwick .324 – Sisler .340
Musial's lifetime average was .331

Slugging Average
Medwick .505 – Sisler .468

Stolen Bases
Medwick 42 – Sisler 375

Positions Played
Medwick OF – Sisler 1B, P

Years Played
Medwick 16 – Sisler 13

We don't mean to balk at the election, but it appears there was an error or perhaps just a fielder's choice. Maybe there were just too many players on the field. We don't want to kill the umpires or maybe this was just a rain delay with play to be resumed at a later date. Maybe George Sisler will be the player to be named later.

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