Will the Rockies Go Down as a Great Trivia Question

A couple weeks back, I spitballed the idea of has there ever been a World Series participant who didn’t wind up with a Hall of Famer in their dugout? I went through the history of the modern game (1903-present), with the help of baseballreference.com, and found only a few potential teams that could fit this description.

Two teams that did make the World Series, the 1945 Cubs and the 1944 Browns, are the guaranteed answers at this point. It is hard to look through their lineups and find 2 worse teams that played in World Series history. The reason they even made it this far was that so many of MLB’s top players during 44 and 45 were serving their country in WWII. So let’s put an asterisk* on these 2 teams, exclude them from our list and see what other World Series clubs might fit this description.

The first club that I could find without a current Hall of Fame player is the 1984 Tigers. Hopefully, the travesty which is Alan Trammell not being part of the Hall will be rectified, but for now the only person in the dugout for this team who is in Cooperstown is Sparky Anderson. There is still an outside chance that Jack Morris will make it, as well, but I’m going to include Sparky, so they pass the test. One interesting note about them is the 1984 Tigers were arguably the best team of the decade, as only the 1986 Mets won more games and outside of the Red Sox tripping all over themselves, the Mets wouldn’t have even won that Series.

The next team on this list is the 1989 San Francisco Giants. I suspect that during the next few years, they will go off the list, as Goose Gossage is catching steam with the voters. The 14th best first baseman according to Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (2001) was the leader of this team, Will Clark. Clark is right there with Don Mattingly, just barely out of reach of the Hall.

A lot of teams during the 1990’s don’t have a current Hall of Famer, but it is just a matter of time for most of them, as the Maddux, Glavine, Alomar, Larkin, and Sheffield inductions which happen in the future will guarantee. The only one possible question mark is the 1993 Phillies, but I suspect that the big game dynamics of Curt Schilling will get him a plaque in upstate New York.

So if Gossage and Schilling make it to Cooperstown that means that every World Series team during the game’s first century will have one player or manager on it’s roster. Looking at this decade, all the teams so far seem to have 1 future Hall of Famer, with only 2 exceptions.

The 2002 Anaheim Angels are a team with some possibilities, but no guarantees so far. Troy Glaus is on pace to hit over 500 homeruns, but his low average and constant injury issues make him a real question mark. Now this one is scary, but at the age of 35, Garrett Anderson has 2205 hits. If he makes it to 3000, you know they will vote him in, despite his incredibly dubious career. The 2002 Angel that I believe is the best bet for Cooperstown is Francisco Rodriguez, as he is on pace to break all records for a closer. While betting on a 25 year-old closer for this type of immortality is very risky, but of the currently active only Rivera, Hoffman, Smoltz, and maybe Wagner are better bets at this point.

So now we come to the 2007 Rockies. Sure their roster is filled with a lot of young, promising players, so who can really know, but let’s speculate. On the surface, Todd Helton would seem to be a slamdunk, but his home/away splits are so wildly disparate that he’s going to have to reach 3000 hits and keep his Road OPS around where it is at to get my coveted HOF vote. I would put this at a less than a 30% chance of happening. Considering the time period and home park factors, I rate Will Clark and Don Mattingly over Helton, but he has time to change this perspective. Troy Tulowitzski is off to a great beginning, but his splits are pretty shocking, showing a major Coors Field effect.

So we come down to the 2002 Angels and 2007 Rockies being the 2 World Series teams* without a pretty clear-cut current or future Hall of Fame member(s). According to my standards, managers are eligible. I’ve got to take Mike Scioscia over Clint Hurdle in that particular futures game, as if Scioscia wins a couple more championships, he probably will make it in. (Let’s say if a certain free agent was to join the team, don’t you think this might help his chances.) It will take quite awhile until we know how these will ultimately play out, but my bet is on Rockies being the first team to hold this dubious destinction, when we look back 25 years from now.

18 thoughts on “Will the Rockies Go Down as a Great Trivia Question

  1. 2.  The Rockies a a personal trivia answer for me. “Most non competitive World Series loser I’ve ever witnessed”

    Not for one inning of this series did I think they might win a single game. That includes the innings they led. And I went in with high hopes.

  2. 3.  Eric, A man named Tom Lasorda keeps them eligible according to my rules for the question.

    Mattpat11. I agree wholeheartedly. The starting staff was the worst one I’ve ever seen represent a team in the World Series. I was surprised the Rockies didn’t hit better in games 3 and 4, as their splits show them to be better than they showed there. I won’t pull out the bad for baseball deal, but I hope the NL represents a bit better in 2008 than the Rockies and D-backs.

  3. 5.  I have a soft spot for the Rockies for a similar reason, actually. I used to perform in Tucson every March, so I could catch the White Sox spring training. After one show, Denny Neagle and Greg Norton came up to me and bought a bunch of t-shirts I was selling to give to their team. The impetus behind it was they said the following:

    Front of shirt- Help Save the Planet
    Back of shirt- Recycle white trash

    Neagle thought Larry Walker was completely white trash, (he loved the guy, it was a ball-busting, clubhouse move, my guess) so he wanted to get it for him and bunch of the other guys to wear under their uni’s.

    Neagle was great talking to him for awhile after the show and I always felt badly for how he ended up being booted out the league.

    Hey, this story should be on Bad Altitude, huh?

    My consistent shots at the NL were that they produced an inferior product all year to the AL. Outside of Brandon Webb, I didn’t see one starter in the NLCS that I thought could win more than 30% of the time versus who the AL playoff teams would offer up. I do think Ubaldo Jimenz has a chance to be in the above 50% class, but he had pitched so few games that I didn’t rate him any higher than Jon Lester.

    I wanted the Rockies to do well against the Red Sox, as I root for low salary cap teams to do well. Having watched the NL playoffs this year, I just didn’t see any of the teams doing well against the AL, except for maybe the Phils, as if their offense and veteran bullpen would have gotten hot…of course this didn’t occur.

  4. 7.  Compare them to the top 1b of the era he played in. I haven’t done the research, but I’m guessing his away numbers would put him behind quite a few first baseman of the past 20 years. He will be judged against them and it will hurt him, similar to how Trammell has been hurt.

  5. 8.  Add the 2005 White Sox to your list. Unless you’re a big Bobby Jenks fan (and actually, I am, too), no one even comes close to HOF material.

    Remember: They traded for Thome — a borderline HOFer at best — AFTER winning the Series.

  6. 11.  Damn you HSS. After all that research, I really dropped that one and on my own team. Here’s where I’m at on the 2005 White Sox. Frank Thomas is definitely a HOF, but he wasn’t on the playoff roster, as he was hurt. I think Buehrle will be a HOF, as he already has 107 wins at the age of 28. I would guess with his pitching command and absence of injuries during his career so far, i wouldn’t be surprised if he winds up with the most wins of any pitcher during his era. Kind of a Don Sutton-like career, where he doesn’t win a Cy Young, but is consistently a top 10 pitcher in his league for 18 years. The no-hitter and world championship help him on his quest.

    No way on Jenks. His pitching style, his body frame, his personal history…I would be surprised if he is a closer in the league for 5 more years.

    A couple more seasons of play on the level that he has and Thome is an absolute lock. He already has 507 homers, a career OPS of .974 and his splits are pretty close, unlike Helton. If you hit over 550 homers and have not a whiff of a steroid issue in your past (see Wayne Hagen for Helton), there is no way you are out. Also, the guy is universally loved around the league by players and reporters.

    So throw the 2005 White Sox into the argument, right there with the rockies. Let’s check back in 20 years and see what happened. I don’t think Helton will make it, but we will see.

  7. 12.  Helton is too old. He’ll never make 3000 hits. My point about his away splits not sucking were just that: they don’t suck. I didn’t mean to say they were HoF numbers. But .295 BA isn’t too shabby for a 1B. (It’s 32 pts higher than Big Mac, whose dick everyone around here likes to suck. Mac’s career OBP is the same as Helton’s away. Mac is a joke and his entry into the HoF must be denied, or it sullies everyone who has ever played–unless we stick him in a special exhibit, the Hall of Freaks, with Eddie Gaedel and a few other one-trick ponies. 1600 hits? C’mon. Shizzweak.)

    Buehrle will have to win 15 games a year for the next ten years in a row to even start to enter the HoF discussion.

  8. 13.  If he wins 15 games over the next 12 years, he is in the hall of fame. It will be the most wins of any pitcher during his era. Reaching 275 in wins will be like making 300 for the modern day starter, with the game being more specialized. I just don’t see anyone else from his generation having as good of chance to reach 275, as all the other pitchers have had injury problems or have higher stress arm angles.

  9. 14.  Scott, I know you loves yourself a Buehrle-man, but let’s not forget Johan. Sure, he’s 14 wins behind at the same age (blame the middle relief years) but he sure seems healthy (thank the middle relief years). And if he ends up signing a beyond healthy contract with a team that wins games, particularly one in the NL where he will be a giant among DH-less men, he should be able to out-win Buehrle.

  10. 16.  Santana is the Pedro of his generation. I would suspect that he will pass Mark in victories sometime around 2011. I believe Santana will be a first ballot guy, but I just have this feeling that he will have a Pedro-like later career. I see Buehrle doing the Glavine/Moyer deal where he just keeps plugging away with 15 wins until he is 42. At this point it is all a hunch.

  11. 17.  How is this for a trivia question:
    Q:What was the only team to be involved in three sweeps in one postseason?

    A: The 2007 Colorado Rockies

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