On January 26th, the National Baseball Hall of Fame will be announcing its newest (if any) inductees to be enshrined, should any of them clear the 75% threshold required to receive a plaque into the hallowed halls of Cooperstown. Baseball has one of the richest and most intriguing history’s in pop culture, thus a deeper look into its lore is one of my favorite things about my job. My all-time favorite athlete, for example, is Tom Glavine, whose path to Cy Young’s and the Hall of Fame was hitting his spots and hard work because he didn’t have the most natural ability in the world. Furthermore, his teammate John Smoltz, rode a flamethrower of a right arm to solidify his candidacy. Both are in the article’s feature photo alongside a third Hall of Fame teammate Greg Maddux.
Baseball had its dominant teams that waltzed their way into Cooperstown. The 1928 Yankees had nine players that have a plaque in Cooperstown (Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazerri, Earl Combes, Leo Durocher [enshrined as a manager, however], Stan Coveleski, Waite Hoyt, Babe Ruth, Herb Pennock and Bill Dickey). There are 54 inductees who played for one franchise throughout their entire career, such as Robin Yount (Brewers), Barry Larkin (Reds), Alan Trammell (Tigers), Edgar Martinez (Mariners) and Kirby Puckett (Twins). In fact, Derek Jeter spent his entire career as a Yankee and will take his place in the Hall of Fame in July.
Every avid fan knows the basics: Mariano Rivera’s 652, Cal Ripken’s 2632, Henry Aaron’s 755, among other numbers. The aura of Roberto Clemente hitting exactly 3,000 is well-documented. To make things a little more interesting, I’ve scoured the internet for an interesting statistic, first or last for each player enshrined in Cooperstown for their work as a player that spent a bulk of their time in Major League Baseball. Some of these feats may be over the course of a career or a single season, some may not even have anything to do with their play whatsoever. A lot of these come from sabr.org, the Baseball Hall’s biographies or excellent Twitter accounts that any stathead should follow such as Ryan Spaeder (@TheAceofSpaeder), Jeremy Frank (@MLBRandomStats) and Foolish Baseball (@FoolishBB). I’ll list each player in order of Hall of Fame class, most recent to earliest.
One Interesting Statistic For Each Hall of Fame Player
Larry Walker: Walker is one of the greatest hitters in MLB history. The epitome of cool, Walker did his initial press response to his enshrinement wearing a Spongebob Squarepants shirt, but is only the second Canadian to be enshrined into Cooperstown and will perhaps be the final player elected to play for the Montreal Expos. Interestingly enough, he is the first elected to have played for the Colorado Rockies, with whom he won his NL MVP with in 1997. Colorado’s thin air has been subject to controversy for many years. Contrary to popular belief, Larry Walker was a better player on the road in 1997 than he was at Coors Field. In three less games on the road, he slugged nine more homeruns than at home and was an overall more productive offensive player, posting a 1.176 OPS on the road. His home OPS was 1.169.
Ted Simmons: Ted Simmons, despite not garnering much support for the Hall of Fame for many years, was elected finally in a committee in December of 2019. Simmons, who played for the Cardinals, Brewers and Braves, is perhaps the most feared offensive catchers in MLB history. That’s right, his 188 intentional passes is the most for a catcher all-time. His presence in the lineup and box was on a different level not usually seen from a backstop.
Derek Jeter: Despite the difficulty to type his name without Bob Shepard’s voice in my head, it’s hard to find something fascinating for Derek Jeter because a player of his caliber that played in the biggest market at the highest level his entire career often has everything imaginable stated about him to even the most casual of sports fans. However, it’s in that regard where we’ve found something mind-blowing that really puts into perspective the dominance that Jeter helped guide the Yankees to: Jeter’s final game was the only game in his career where he played with the Yankees mathematically eliminated from contention for a championship.
Mariano Rivera: Jeter’s longtime teammate, Rivera is the game’s greatest closer. He’s the all-time saves leader, the very first unanimous selection from the baseball writers. This is a statistic that is often in a meme on Facebook, so it isn’t really understated, yet it’s just so incredible it can never not be shared: Mariano Rivera allowed 11 men to score an earned run on him in the playoffs in 141 innings of work. There have been 12 men to walk on the moon. More men have walked on the men than have scored on Mariano Rivera in the playoffs.
Mike Mussina: Also a longtime teammate of Jeter and Rivera, Mike Mussina was one of the smartest players of his generation. Much like those two, he also had his share of postseason dominance. As a member of the Orioles, Mussina once struck out 15 hitters over seven innings of work against the Indians in 1997, an LCS record.
Lee Smith: At the time of his retirement, Lee Smith all-time saves leader. One of the most celebrated relief arms of his time, the fielding aspect of his game doesn’t get enough credit. Smith’s 546 consecutive games without a fielder error is the NL record for a pitcher.
Harold Baines: The first year MLB player draft was instituted in 1965 with the first selection being Rick Monday. There have only been three number one overall selections to be enshrined into Cooperstown, the earliest #1 selectee to accomplish this was Harold Baines, who was drafted in 1977. The White Sox owner would tout him as a “future Hall of Famer” upon drafting him. Baines certainly delivered as he entered Cooperstown in 2019, fulfilling the prophecy.
Edgar Martinez: Edgar Martinez is the greatest Mariner to ever play the game and there’s a reason that the award for best designated hitter is named after him. The last player before him to accumulate at least a .312/.418/.515 slashline, which is Edgar’s career slashline, is Ted Williams.
Roy Halladay: The late-Roy Halladay missed out on so much coverage early in his career due to playing on some woeful Blue Jays teams. He certainly made up for it during his time in Philly, which included a postseason no-hitter. To put into perspective the volume of Halladay’s dominance as well as his control: Roy Halladay had five seasons of at least 200 strikeouts and less than 40 walks. No other pitcher in MLB history has more than three.
Alan Trammell: As mentioned previously, Trammell is one of the 54 Hall of Fame inductees to have spent his entire career with one team. Over the 19 seasons spent with shortstop Lou Whitaker, the middle infield Tiger combination turned over 1,100 double plays together, the most in MLB history.
Trevor Hoffman: When you were visiting Petco Park and heard AC/DC’s Hell’s Bells, you could leave the dugout and head back into the tunnel because it was almost a formality the game was coming to a halt. Hoffman, who ended up becoming the first ever member of the 600 save club, had four consecutive seasons with 40 or more saves from 1998 to 2001. The first year of the stretch he finished second in Cy Young voting to fellow Hall of Famer Tom Glavine. This mark of consistency has only been matched by current Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel, who accomplished this from 2011-2014 with the Braves.
Vladimir Guerrero: Guerrero is one of the greatest hitters of his generation and his violent swing led to an eyepopping 449 homeruns. His legacy, however, is that he would swing at anything, no matter where it was located. Despite being the most notorious free swinger in MLB history, he never struck out 100 times in a single season.
Jack Morris: Jack Morris was one of the game’s premiere aces for a long time. In a time where wins were more prevalent than ever, he led the decade of the 1980s in winning decisions. But, he never took ample time off. Morris was tabbed his teams Opening Day starter for fourteen straight seasons, an MLB record, across tenures with the Tigers, Twins and Blue Jays.
Chipper Jones: The Atlanta Braves icon was one of the game’s premiere hitters and arguably its top switch hitter all-time. Despite players such as Pete Rose being the all-time hit leader Mickey Mantle having his unquestionable greatness, and players such as Eddie Murray being in the 3,000 hit club, Chipper is the only player to hit .300 as both a right-handed and left-handed batter over the course of his career in MLB history. Jones finished with a lifetime .303 average. As a lefty, he hit .304 across 2533 at bats and as a righty he hit .303 across 6451 at bats.
Jim Thome: There are many players in the Hall of Fame for their postseason accomplishments. For example, Bill Mazeroski made his reputation based off of his World Series winning walkoff homerun. Thome, though, has a weird spot in postseason lore. He is the only player to hit four homeruns in back-to-back postseason series, doing so in the 1998 ALCS and 1999 ALDS. For comparison, Randy Arozarena just broke the record for most homeruns in a single postseason and only reached four in the ALCS. Also, if we can admire that Bob Costas call “on the run is Bernie Williams, he’s a spectator though and this one is gone.” His second call: “it stayed up there for an eternity, but when it finally descended, it was gone.” Bob Costas was so good.
Ivan Rodriguez: Arguably the greatest catcher of all-time, Pudge was an incredible athlete and player on both sides of the ball. Pudge over the course of his career was a major offensive threat, winning the 1999 AL MVP award. In total, his 2844 hits is the most in MLB history by any player who played at minimum 50% of their career games as a catcher, the game’s most physically demanding position.
Jeff Bagwell: Jeff Bagwell is the greatest Houston Astro of all-time and one of the game’s top 1st Baseman of all-time. Despite only playing in 2150 games in a career cut short due to arthritis, Jeff Bagwell is the only first baseman in MLB history to have at least 400 homeruns and 200 stolen bases to his credit.
Tim Raines: Tim Raines never excelled in any one area, but he was good-to-great in all, a true five tool player. Underappreciated for the amount of bags he stole in an era with players such as Vince Coleman and Rickey Henderson, Raines was truly great at producing a bulk of the game. He is only player in the modern era to have at least 90 BB, 90 SB and 180 hits in a single season. The pop wasn’t quite where one would hope, but he made up for it in so many other ways. He finished top five in MVP voting for that 1983 season, behind Dale Murphy, teammate Andre Dawson, Michael Schmidt and Pedro Guerrero.
Mike Piazza: The earliest draft pick to enter the Hall of Fame is number one: Harold Baines, Ken Griffey Jr. and Chipper Jones. In the same year of Griffey’s enshrinement, the latest draft pick was enshrined. Mike Piazza, selected by the Dodgers 1,390th overall in 1988, was only selected because Tommy Lasorda owed Piazza’s father a favor. It worked out in the Dodgers favor in the end.
Ken Griffey Jr.: In the same vein as Piazza, we’ll be looking at the draft. It’s fascinating to think that the draft began in 1965 and up until 2016, hadn’t seen a single first overall pick selected. The first overall selection of the 1987 draft would become the first ever to be selected, as Ken Griffey Jr. tallied all but three of the votes in his first try on the ballot. Griffey rode the sweetest swing in MLB history as well as his enthralling crash or burn style of play to baseball immortality.
Randy Johnson: Known to fans for his signature mullet, he was the first true ace of both the Mariners and Diamondbacks and is perhaps the greatest pitcher in MLB history, statistically speaking. You can even read a fascinating write-up from Ryan Spaeder as to why he’s the greatest strikeout pitcher of all-time, ahead of Nolan Ryan. Incredibly, the statistic pulled from there is that Johson had 36 such games where he pitched to at least 10 Ks and zero BB. The only other pitcher at the time that article was published with at least 25 was Curt Schilling.
John Smoltz: One of the players featured in the header photo, Smoltz was arguably the most versatile pitcher of his generation. He won the 1996 Cy Young award as a starting pitcher but later became an elite closer. In a fascinating twist, his 200th career win was eleven years to the day of his 100th. It also came against his former long-time teammate Tom Glavine, who he had already spent fourteen of the sixteens seasons that they teamed together.
Craig Biggio: Craig Biggio was the posterchild for “get on base any way that you can.” To coincide with his 3060 career hits, he has more than 1,000 lifetime free passes. He was also a ball magnet. Craig Biggio was hit with 285 pitches over his career. Its his durability that makes this statistic insane as he only ever exited a game following a HBP one time and never even took the next game off.
Pedro Martinez: There have only been 23 perfect games in MLB history, but via the criteria through nine innings there could have been 24. In 1995, the Expos ace sent down 27 consecutive hitters before the Padres recorded a hit and gave up a double to Bip Roberts in the start of the tenth. The Expos did not score a run until the top of the tenth when Jeff Treadway’s two out base hit scored Shane Andrews. The Expos won the game, but Pedro ended up giving up a double in extras.
Frank Thomas: Frank Thomas may be the most underrated and complete hitter in baseball history. The 2-time MVP hit .300 lifetime, with 2468 hits, 521 homeruns and an astounding .974 lifetime OPS. He averaged 116 walks a season and less than 100 Ks per season. Following a double in his 149th plate appearance as a big leaguer ballplayer, Frank Thomas’ lifetime batting average was over .300. It’d never dip below that mark, despite playing for another eighteen seasons. He never finished a season with his lifetime OBP lower than .400.
Greg Maddux: There’s a meme that goes around every once in awhile about Greg Maddux and the 3-0 count. Greg Maddux had the most pinpoint control of any pitcher most have us have ever seen, but let’s clear the air about this statistic. The notion that “Greg Maddux faced 20,421 batters during his career and only 310 saw a 3–0 count. 177 of those were intentional walks,” is frankly not true. That said, the real statistic is absolutely phenomenal in itself. Only 153 of the players intentionally walked saw a 3-0 count. There are at least 312 recorded 3-o counts in Maddux’s career, including 1,165 unknown counts. With the way scoring was recorded when he played, we can’t definitely confirm that it’s only 312, but we can certainly confirm that it’s more than 310. Going with what we know, 310 and 153 is still incredibly absurd and Greg Maddux was unlike none other.
Tom Glavine: It’s apropos that he was enshrined in the same class as Maddux because you cannot discuss one and not the other. Glavine also had immaculate control. Tom Glavine threw 4,413 innings of work in the Major Leagues. He hit only 66 total batters. This statistic does make sense, considering Glavine lived on the edge, told you a changeup on the outside corner was coming, dot a beauty and you’d still lock-up. Him trying not to hit the most beloved Brave of the previous era while Cox is shouting at him to do so is always very enjoyable. “That would never happen folks…or would it?”
Deacon White: As we get into the weeds of the formative years of the sport, it’ll become a little bit more strenuous to find mind-blowing numbers, thus it gives us the opportunity to explore some fascinating firsts that most don’t know about. For example, White was the very first player to lead the National League in runs batted in.
Ron Santo: There’s so many great things that one could say about Ron Santo on the field alongside his larger than life heel-click. Yet, I’d like to look into his personal life a bit more. The number for Santo is 25: his life expectancy. Santo was diagnosed with Type 1 Juvenile diabetes at 18 years young in a time where much wasn’t known about the condition of diabetics. In addition to having a Hall of Fame worthy baseball career, Santo lived to see 60 years old.
Barry Larkin: Larkin attended Moeller High School, which is the same high school programed that played a pivotal role in producing talents such as Ken Griffey Jr. Despite the school’s rich history, it’s Larkin who has the highest career average in school history at .482.
Roberto Alomar: Alomar was a second generation ballplayer and son of Sandy Alomar. Sandy was an All-Star with the Angels and teamed with Ryan during his tenure in Anaheim. Ryan ended up teaching Robbie how to pitch at three years old. When Roberto Alomar reached the majors as a second baseman, his first major league hit was against Nolan Ryan. Alomar would 2724 hits in his time in the show.
Bert Blyleven: Bert Blyleven, a recent Minnesota Twins broadcaster, received his nod on his fourteenth try on the ballot. He had 287 major league victories, over 3,700 Ks and pitched a no-hitter. The All-Star hurler, who pitched for the Twins, Rangers, Pirates, Indians and Angels, was the very first player in MLB history of Dutch descent.
Andre Dawson: Another five-tool player, Dawson was one of baseball’s most exhilarating superstars across time spent with the Expos, Cubs, Red Sox and Marlins. Christened “The Hawk,” Dawson was one of the premiere sluggers of his era but he had the ability to impact the game in so many more facets. He was only the second player in MLB history to hit 400 career homeruns and steal 300 or more bases.
Jim Rice: Most well known as a real-life superhero, the 1978 AL MVP jumped off of the screen in the ’70s and ’80s. In 1983, he totaled 406 bases in a season. The only player since Rice to total at least 400 bases in a single season is Todd Helton, who has done so twice (405 in 2000, 402 in 2001).
Joe Gordon: One of the more underappreciated Yankees of all-time, the former MVP was the very first second baseman in MLB history to hit 20 or more homeruns in a single season. In an even more impressive feat, Gordon reached that plateau on seven separate occasions.
Rickey Henderson: Rickey Henderson is undoubtedly the greatest leadoff hitter of all-time. Just a walk or a bloop single was a triple with his unparalleled speed. That said, he had a lot more juice in that bat than most recall, and even set the leadoff homerun record at 36 longballs to start the game during his tenure with the Yankees, passing Bobby Bonds. He has not relinquished that record since. He retired at 81 leadoff homeruns. Per Ryan Spaeder, the Mariners only have 88 leadoff homeruns as a team and three of those belong to Henderson, one of which is shown above. Rickey being Rickey.
Rich Gossage: I recently revisited Gossage’s record-contract from ’77, but we’re going to 1991 for this feat. In a 5-4 Rangers victory over Boston, Gossage collected his first save since 1989. It was his 308th career save of 310 total. Fascinatingly enough, the winning pitcher was Nolan Ryan. It was Nolan’s 308th career victory.
Cal Ripken Jr.: Cal Ripken is the most durable player in sports. The legendary shortstop compiled a well-documented 2,632 games that surpassed the “Iron Horse” Lou Gehrig’s 2,130 games as most consecutive games played. Yet, he played in a time where there was a designated hitter to help rest his body. Amazingly enough, he didn’t do such a thing. From June of 1982 to September 1987, Cal Ripken Jr. played 8,243 consecutive innings in the field.
Tony Gwynn: In his career against Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz, Gwynn amassed 101 hits with a .387 batting average. His OPS was over .900 and they only K’d him three times, twice was from Glavine. Greg Maddux has been quoted by saying “if a pitcher can change speeds, every hitter is helpless by human vision…except for that [word redacted] Tony Gwynn.”
Bruce Sutter: Most dominant closers are moved to the bullpen at some point after not working out as a starter. The most recent example being the Royals moving Wade Davis to relief after acquiring him from the Rays in the James Shields deal, though it’s not a new concept. Rivera started ten games in 1995 for the Yankees. Dennis Eckersley and John Smoltz were top of the line starters when they made their move to the back end of the ballgame. Sutter’s enshrinement really showed the evolution of relief specialization as he was the first pitcher to be elected without ever having started a ballgame. Trevor Hoffman has since become the rare second.
Ryne Sandberg: The “Ryno” came up in a time where the offensive prowess of a middle infielder was strictly a bonus and not a given asset to a ballclub. Ryne Sandberg changed the game and what was expected from a second baseman, as the first second baseman to ever hit 30 or more homeruns in consecutive seasons.
Wade Boggs: Wade Boggs might have the best hand-eye coordination the game has ever seen. From June 9th, 1985 to June 6th, 1986, Wade Boggs hit .401 over a 162 game span, or the equivalent to a full season in MLB. In 1988, his .476 OBP was higher than Ty Cobb’s OBP in any of Cobb’s three .400 AVG seasons.
Paul Molitor: Paul Molitor aged like a wine in route to garnering over 3,000 hits. At forty years young, he became the oldest player to lead the league in hits with 225 in 1996. He hit .341 in 161 games that season, his first of three as a Twin.
Dennis Eckersley: Dennis Eckersley is known to most as one of the greatest closers in MLB history, but he had a successful career as a starting pitcher prior to being managed by current White Sox manager Tony La Russa, while playing for the Indians, Red Sox and Cubs. He is the only pitcher in MLB history with 100 saves (20 of the shutout variety) and 100 complete games. He finished with exactly 100 complete games and 390 saves.
Eddie Murray: Eddie Murray was an incredible hitter. The list of players with at least 500 homeruns and 3000 hits to their name is short. He posted an .836 OPS in 21 seasons. Yet, he has one of the more headscratching distinctions in MLB history: the only player to lead baseball in average yet not win a batting crown. No, seriously. You can read about it here.
Gary Carter: Catching is arguably the most physically and mentally taxing position in sports and it takes a special kind of player to deal with the ebbs and flows of the position. Gary Carter was put right into it and delivered. He had only caught six games at any level prior to being drafted by the Expos.
Ozzie Smith: Ozzie Smith wasn’t known for his bat. He was a very light-hitting shortstop who popped off of the screen thanks to a backflip and potentially the best defense in baseball history. Despite a pedestrian 28 homeruns and .666 OPS, it’s a statistic from his offense that blows my mind. He never struck out more than fifty times in a single campaign.
Dave Winfield: Winfield may have been the best athlete in baseball history. Dave Winfield is the only athlete to be drafted in four different sports leagues. Winfield, drafted by the Padres, was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Hawks and Utah Stars.
Bill Mazeroski: In 1960, the Pirates played a dominant Yankees ballclub that had ten MVP awards spread out throughout its lineup. In a 9-9 tie in game seven, it was Bill Mazeroski who sent the Steel City into a frenzy. This is the first and only homerun in World Series history that ended the series.
Kirby Puckett: Kirby Puckett was only the second player in MLB history to record 2000 hits in first ten career calendar years at the major league level.
Bid McPhee: From age 22-35, he never used a glove. When he did at 36, he set the record for fielding percentage by a second baseman. 6552 putouts are most by a second baseman ever.
Tony Perez: Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh opened in 1970 and was home to the Pirates for thirty seasons. The very first homerun hit was by a Cincinnati Red, Tony Perez of the Big Red Machine.
Carlton Fisk: Fisk, who had the legendary fair-wave homerun in the 1975 homerun that’s now famous for the scene in Good Will Hunting, hit 351 homeruns. That’s the most for any American League backstop.
Nolan Ryan: Nolan Ryan had one of the liveliest arms in baseball history and pitched in the Majors for 27 years injury free. His incredible longevity obviously compiles some pretty gaudy career totals. If a pitcher struck out 300 batters for the first 19 years of his career, he’d need another season to surpass Nolan Ryan’s record for most Ks by a pitcher.
Orlando Cepeda: Cepeda was the first foreign-born player to lead the league in homeruns in the modern era.
Robin Yount: Many players have been nicknamed the kid. Currently, shortstop Willy Adames of the Tampa Bay Rays has the moniker. Most notably, Ken Griffey Jr. made it most well-known. The most apropos to be nicknamed The Kid is somebody who shared and won an MVP at the same position those two played (shortstop and centerfield). Robin Yount played in 242 games as a teenager, the most in MLB history.
George Brett: Tied for the most postseason triples of all-time at five in only 184 plate appearances, more than 100 less plate appearances than Rafael Furcal (also five) and 500 less plate appearances than Derek Jeter (also five). Furcal has 285 plate appearances, Jeter 734.
Larry Doby: Jackie Robinson is one of the most pivotal figures in American sports, having been the first to truly begin the integration process in sports. His counterpart in the American League was Larry Doby, who was the very first person of color to play in the AL.
George Davis: George Davis: Ranks top 100 all-time in hits, doubles, triples, RBI.
Don Sutton: Longevity is hard to come by in a starting pitcher often times, but Sutton’s longevity is unprecedented. He went 756 turns in the starting rotation without missing a start.
Phil Niekro: Much like Sutton, Niekro was the model of consistency and durability. He was over the age of forty for his last 141 career victories. 141 is the most wins after the pitchers fortieth birthday in MLB history.
Nellie Fox: In over 10,000 trips to the plate, he only K’d 216 times.
Jim Bunning: The Kentucky GOP Senator had nine children in total. On Fathers Day in 1964. It was the ninth perfect game in MLB history.
Richie Ashburn: Richie Ashburn is a player who got in primarily on his stellar glovework. Six of the top ten single seasons of outfield putouts were Richie Ashburn seasons.
Mike Schmidt: Also known for his glove, Schmidt was a human vacuum at third base. Yet, his bat was just as incredible. He got on base at a .380 clip and hit 548 homeruns. Mike Schmidt is the only player to hit a homerun in four consecutive at bats twice. This includes a four homerun game, then a three homerun game followed by a homerun the next day.
Vic Willis: Vic Willis threw 388 career complete games.
Steve Carlton: Carlton once accounted for almost 50% of a ballclubs wins, posting 27 victories on a Phillies team that won less than sixty games. He posted a 1.97 ERA that season.
Phil Rizzuto: No player has ever been on base more times in the Fall Classic.
Reggie Jackson: In the 1977 World Series, he became the only player to hit three homeruns on three straight pitches in a World Series game. Mr. October was born.
Tom Seaver: There’s so much that can be said about a man as terrific as Tom Seaver that his greatness goes so underappreciated. To me, he’s the greatest pitcher of all-time. In a fascinating twist, he is the highest voted starting pitcher by the BBWAA ballots in Hall of Fame history, showing the even the body of journalists agree on how truly indelible the mark was that he left.
Hal Newhouser: Back-to-back MVP awards have been done by many great position players. Barry Bonds, Jimmie Foxx, Miguel Cabrera, Roger Maris, Frank Thomas, Albert Pujols, amongn others. However, Newhouser is the only pitcher to win back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards.
Rollie Fingers: Rollie Fingers was the very first closer to ever reach the 300-save plateau.
Tony Lazzeri: He is the only player to complete a natural cycle with a grand slam.
Gaylord Perry: Max Scherzer joined rarified air in 2016 when he won his second Cy Young, becoming just the sixth pitcher to win the Cy Young award in both the AL and NL. The first pitcher to accomplish this? Gaylord Perry, having been awarded the honor with the Indians in 1972 and Padres in 1978.
Ferguson Jenkins: A power pitcher, Jenkins had excellent control not seen for pitchers with his kind of filth. He was the first pitcher in MLB history to retire with at least 3,000 Ks and less than 1,000 BB.
Rod Carew: If Rod Carew had 96 more at bats in 1977 and went hitless in all of them, he still would’ve led MLB in batting average that season.
Jim Palmer: Jim Palmer had 3,948 innings of work on his arm. He did not give up a grand slam in any of them.
Joe Morgan: Joe Morgan had at least fifty extra base hits, fifty stolen bases and 100 walks in four different seasons, an unmatched display of power, speed and eye. No other player in MLB history has one such season.
Carl Yastrzemski: It takes 24,901 miles to circumvent the Earth. Carl Yastrzemski played 24,683 innings in the field. For roughly every mile it takes to circumvent the earth, he has one inning in the field.
Red Schoendienst: In 1950, Red went 320 consecutive chances without an error.
Johnny Bench: Bench was drafted 36th overall in the 1965 first year player draft at 17 years old. He was the very first Hall of Famer to ever be drafted by an MLB club.
Wille Stargell: In the history of Forbes Field, 18 balls were hit out of the stadium entirely. Willie Stargell was responsible for more than a third (seven) of them.
Jim Hunter: Jim Hunter is the only pitcher of the modern era to reach 200 wins by the age of 30.
Billy Williams: During the first four years with Leo Durocher, he batted third in every game all but four times, three of those games were in pinch fashion.
Willie McCovey: McCovey’s 22 seasons at first base is most in baseball history.
Ernie Lombardi: Very few catchers have won a batting crown, even fewer have won multiple. Ernie Lombardi was the first to win more than one, winning his first with the Reds in 1938 and second with the Braves in 1942.
Bobby Doerr: Bobby Doerr was the slickest second baseman of his time. He once went 414 chances without an error up the middle.
Lou Brock: Lou’s the most celebrated base stealer of his time, as you can see him set the then-stolen base record above. His brightest star shined in October, though. Lou Brock is the only player to steal seven bases in a single World Series, doing so twice.
Enos Slaughter: Slaughter hit .276 his rookie year. It’d be the lowest average of his career.
Hoyt Wilhelm: After his 40th birthday, he posted a 1.92 ERA with 99 saves across 361 games with the White Sox.
Arky Vaughan: In 6,622 at bats, Arky only K’d 276 times.
Rick Ferrell: Once caught an all-knuckleball rotation.
Luis Aparicio: Aparicio led the league in stolen bases nine years in a row. No other player has ever led the league in steals more than six in a row.
Don Drysdale: The only player from the 1965 World Champion Dodgers to hit .300 that season, despite being their ace.
Pee Wee Reese: Reese would have thrived in any era of this game due to not only his power, but his eye and the way he made adjustments. Pee Wee is still the Dodgers all-time leader in walks.
Harmon Killebrew: Harmon Killebrew hit 573 homeruns. That total is far and away the most by any player born in Idaho. The next most has more than 500 less than Killebrew does.
Brooks Robinson: Brooks Robinson has played more games at the hot corner than any other player in MLB history.
Juan Marichal: Juan Marichal pitched 244 complete games in 471 games, which makes up more than 50% of his career games.
George Kell: George Kell struck out just 38 times in his 1088 career at bats.
Travis Jackson: Travis Jackson hit .300 or higher at six different points in his career, topping at at .339 in 1930.
Frank Robinson: Mookie Betts finished second in NL MVP voting in 2020. Had he won, considering he won the AL MVP as a Red Sox player in 2018, would’ve been the second player to win the MVP in both leagues. But alas, it was not meant to be, as Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman took home the honors. Frank Robinson is still the only player to ever accomplish this feat. Robinson won the NL MVP in 1961 with the Reds, before they traded him to Baltimore in one of the most scrutinized deals in baseball history. In his first season as an Oriole in 1966, he won the AL MVP.
Henry Aaron: If you take away all of Hammerin’ Hank’s 755 homeruns, Aaron would still have more than 3000 hits.
Johnny Mize: In 1947, Miz hit 51 homeruns. He struck out only 42 times. For comparison, in the most recent full season, Pete Alonso hit 53 homeruns while Eugenio Suarez hit 49 and Jorge Soler 48. Alonso K’d 183 times, Suarez 189 and Soler 178.
Bob Gibson: In nine World Series starts, Cardinals relief pitchers pitched just one total inning of relief for Gibson.
Duke Snider: Nobody in the decade of the 1950s slugged more homeruns.
Chuck Klein: Klein was the first National League ballplayer with a four homerun game in the modern era.
Al Kaline: Kaline hit .340 at 20 years old to win his first batting championship, becoming the youngest player to do so. Nationals Juan Soto came close in the shortened 2020 season, hitting .351 in his age 21 seasons.
Addie Joss: Addie Joss posted the lowest lifetime WHIP in MLB history of players with at least 800 IP. This means that Joss gave up fewer walks and hits per nine innings pitched than anything other pitcher with at least 800 MLB innings.
Willie Mays: Willie Mays was the first person of color to captain a Major League Baseball team.
Hack Wilson: In 1930, Hack Wilson drove in 191 runs. That’s the most RBI in a single season.
Eddie Mathews: Eddie Mathews hit 370 homeruns before his 30th birthday.
Amos Rusie: Amos Rusie is the youngest player to have hurled a no-hitter, doing so at a mere 20 years of age.
Joe Sewell: Sewell struckout in just 0.014% of his career plate appearances. With 8,333 plate apperances, he went down on strikes 114 times. For comparison, he walked 842 times.
Ernie Banks: Ernie Banks hit 200 homeruns as both a first baseman and shortstop. He is the only player to hit 200 homeruns from two positions in the lineup card.
Freddie Lindstrom: Freddie Lindstrom once collected nine hits in a doubleheader.
Robin Roberts: Robin Roberts pitched a complete game in eight consecutive starts to end the 1952 season, including a game against the Braves in which he pitched 17 innings.
Roger Connor: 138 was Connor’s career homerun total. Connor held the homerun record when Babe Ruth broke it.
Bob Lemon: Bob Lemon hit the second most homeruns from a pitcher all-time.
Ralph Kiner: Kiner hit a homerun in four straight at bats on two separate occasions.
Billy Herman: Herman holds the record for most putouts in a single season by an NL 2nd Baseman.
Earl Averill: Earl Averill was the first player to hit four homeruns in one day in the modern era.
Sam Thompson: Thompson was the first player to hit 20 homeruns and steal 20 bases in a single season.
Whitey Ford: Ford’s 2.75 career ERA is the lowest of the live-ball era.
Jim Bottomley: Bottomley drove in 12 runs in a single game.
Mickey Mantle: Mickey Mantle was the youngest player to hit a postseason slam until 2018 when Ronald Acuna Jr. hit one against the Dodgers. Yet, he is still the youngest to hit one in the World Series. It is one of a record eighteen World Series homeruns.
Mickey Welch: Mickey Welch is the only pitcher to strike out nine hitters in order to start a ballgame.
Monte Irvin: Irvin, Willie Mays and Hank Thompson were the first all black outfield.
Warren Spahn: Spahn hit 35 homeruns, the most for any NL pitcher of all-time. His 363 wins are still most all-time for a southpaw.
High Pockets Kelly: George Kelly was the first player to hit seven homeruns over a stretch of six or less games.
Roberto Clemente: Clemente doubled in his final career at bat to reach the 3,000 career hit threshold. He’s the only player to finish his career with exactly the magic number. He passed away at 38 in a tragic plane crash while delivering aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Ross Youngs: Youngs was the very first player to record two hits in a single inning in the World Series.
Yogi Berra: Berra played in 75 World Series games.
Early Wynn: Wynn pitched in four different decades.
Lefty Gomez: Gomez is the only pitcher in World Series history with a minimum of six wins and a maximum of zero losses.
Sandy Koufax: Koufax pitched two games on short rest in the 1965 World Series. The first, in Game Five on three days rest, pitched a shutout. The second, Game 7 on two days rest, pitched another shutout.
Dave Bancroft: Once had 984 chances in a season where he did not commit an error, most in a single season all time.
Chick Hafey: Hafey was the first hitter to get a basehit in the MLB All-Star game.
Joe Kelley: Kelley hit .300 in eleven consecutive seasons.
Jake Beckley: Beckley was the first player to hit three homeruns in a game.
Satchel Paige: Much like Wynn, Paige pitched in four different decades.
Harry Hooper: Hooper was only the second player to hit two homeruns in a single World Series game.
Rube Marquad: Marquad won 19 consecutive decisions to begin the 1912 season.
Jesse Haines: Haines pitched over 300 innings in his rookie year.
Earle Combes: Combes scored 17 runs in 16 World Series games.
Lou Bourdeau: Lou Bourdeau was the first player to win an MVP while managing the ballclub.
Stan Musial: Most players play better at home than on the road. Not Stan Musial, however. Stan “The Man” (sorry, Becky Lynch, this is the original “The Man”) had 1,815 hits on the road as well as 1,815 hits at home.
Stan Coveleski: Coveleski threw a complete game five hitter in three separate World Series outings in 1920.
Waite Hoyt: In 1921, Hoyt became the very first pitcher to allow two hits or less in a World Series complete game.
Roy Campanella: Campanella was the first catcher in NL history to win multiple MVP awards.
Joe Medwick: Despite how long ago Medwick played, he is still the most recent player to win an NL Batting Triple Crown.
Goose Goslin: Goslin’s 32 homeruns in old Yankee Stadium is most all-time by a visiting player.
Kiki Cuyler: Cuyler hit .336 across an eight season span.
Lloyd Waner: Only three seasons over the course of Waner’s eighteen year career did he K more than 15 times.
Red Ruffing: In 1931, Red Ruffing led the Yankees in both pitching wins and batting average.
Ted Williams: If Ted Williams had 1307 more at bats and struck out in all of them, he’d still have more career walks than strike outs.
Heine Manush: In 1926, Babe Ruth needed a batting crown to win the Triple Crown. He lost the batting championship by six points. Heine Manush was who defeated the Great Bambino.
John Ward: In 1878, he won 47 games. The next season, he threw the second perfect game of all-time.
Pud Galvin: Pud Galvin pitched 143 complete games over a stretch of two seasons.
Red Faber: For Red Faber’s first win with a Major League club, he beat his own team, as ridiculous as that sounds. You can read all about it here.
Luke Appling: Appling’s .388 single season BA is the highest by a modern shortstop.
Tim Keefe: Tim Keefe started 68 games in a season. He completed all 68.
Burleigh Grimes: Grimes once threw over 330 innings in a single season.
John Clarkson: Clarkson won 209 games over a span of five seasons.
Eppa Rixey: In 1921, Rixey allowed just one homerun in over 300 innings of work.
Elmer Flick: Flick was the oldest living player to ever be elected into Cooperstown at 87.
Sam Rice: Rice’s 12 singles in the 1925 World Series is the most singles in a single World Series.
Edd Roush: Roush hit .346 across a five season span.
Bob Feller: Feller fanned 17 hitters in a single game his rookie year, setting a rookie record. Even more impressive, this was done in a game where players rarely struck out.
Jackie Robinson: Jackie Robinson is baseball’s biggest legend off of the field for the biggest reason imaginable, yet he was also great on it. In ten seasons, he walked 44 more times than struck out.
Billy Hamilton: Billy Hamilton stole 213 bases in his first 156 career games.
Max Carey: Carey stole 50 or more bases in six separate seasons.
Zack Wheat: In an excellent model of consistency, Wheat had three seasons of at least 200 hits in his mid-30s.
Sam Crawford: Sam Crawford was the only player ever signed to two teams at one time. He had simultaneous contracts to play for the Reds and Tigers in 1902. Tigers and Reds fought legal battle for rights to Crawford.
Hank Greenberg: Hank Greenberg was the first player to win an MVP at two different positions. He won his first MVP as a first baseman in 1935 and second as a left fielder in 1940.
Joe Cronin: The Red Sox traded a quarter of a million dollars for Cronin, a record for cash considerations at the time.
Ray Schalk: Schalk set a record of thirty stolen bases as a catcher in the modern era in 1916. The record stood until 1982 when John Wathan of the Royals swiped 36 bags.
Joe DiMaggio: Everybody knows that Joe DiMaggio had a 56-game hitting streak. Something that most don’t know, though, is that in the minor leagues DiMaggio had a 61 game hitting streak.
Gabby Hartnett: Hartnett was the very first catcher to launch 20 dingers in a season.
Ted Lyons: In 1939, Ted Lyons pitched 42 consecutive innings without surrendering a walk.
Dazzy Vance: Vance once led MLB in Ks in seven consecutive seasons.
Home Run Baker: Baker hit two game winning homeruns in the 1911 World Series, both off of future Hall of Famers (Rube Marquad, Christy Mathewson).
Bill Dickey: Bill Dickey won fourteen World Championships with the Yankee organization.
Bill Terry: The last player to hit .400 or higher in a single season in the National League is Terry.
Rabbit Maranville: Maranville hit a walkoff homerun while hungover on August 6th 1914 gave the Boston Braves their 23rd win in 28 games, a then-record.
Al Simmons: Simmons hit .358 over his first nine seasons.
Chief Bender: Bender pitched 29 complete games in his rookie season.
Bobby Wallace: Wallace has the dubious distinction of playing in the most seasons of any player to never appear in a World Series at 25.
Dizzy Dean: In 1934, Dean won 30 games.
Paul Waner: Paul and his brother Lloyd had 5611 total hits, the most by any brother combination in MLB history.
Harry Heilmann: Heilmann had a string of luck in odd years, winning a batting title all but one of the odd years of the Roarin’ ’20s: 1921, 1923, 1925 and 1927.
Jimmie Foxx: At the time of his retirement, Foxx had more lifetime homeruns than any other right handed batter in MLB history.
Mel Ott: Ott is the youngest player to reach the 100 HR plateau at only 22 years of age. For comparison, current Braves superstar Ronald Acuna just completed his age 22 season and he only has 81, although there were 100 less games in the 2020 season for him to reach the achievement.
Charlie Gehringer: Gehringer played in every inning of the first six All-Star games.
Kid Nichols: Nichols was only 30 when he won his 300th game. That’s an average of ten wins per year for all of the first thirty years of his life.
Mordecai Brown: Three is the number for Mordecai Brown. Brown only had only three fingers.
Herb Pennock: Pennock won two games as well as saved a game in the Yankees first World Series win.
Pie Traynor: Traynor was the very first third baseman elected into the Hall of Fame. There are still only 17 third basemen enshrined, the lowest of any of the nine positions on the diamond. In the coming years, though, players such as Adrian Beltre and Scott Rolen look to make that number higher.
Carl Hubbell: Once K’d five straight Hall of Famers in the 1934 All-Star game. Ruth, Gehrig, Foxx, Simmons, Cronin.
Frank Frisch: His 641 assists is most in a single season by a second baseman.
Mickey Cochrane: Cochrane is the only AL player to have won the MVP awarded by the league and by the BBWAA.
Lefty Grove: Grove won nine ERA championships.
Jesse Burkett: Burkett hit .309 as a pitcher. The team was so impressed with his offensive prowess they moved him to a full-time outfielder and he waltzed into the Hall of Fame.
Jack Chesbro: Jack Chesbro once won 41 games in a single season.
Joe McGinnity: McGinnity pitched in two games in one day on five different occasions.
Johnny Evers: Evers hit .438 in the 1914 World Series.
Frank Chance: Chance won MLB record 116 games as a player manager in 1906.
Tommy McCarthy: McCarthy is the only player in the Hall of Fame to have played in the Union Association.
Eddie Plank: Plank completed 410 games over his career. That’s the most by a southpaw.
Ed Walsh: Ed Walsh has the lowest career ERA in MLB history (1.82).
Rube Waddell: In 1903 and 1904, Waddell posted back-to-back seasons with 300 Ks.
Joe Tinker: Joe Tinker may be the most slept on defensive shortstop of all-time, posting the fifth best defensive WAR across any position in MLB history.
Dan Brouthers: Brouthers hit the fourth most homeruns among players active in the nineteenth century.
Jim O’Rourke: O’Rourke once scored 68 runs in 61 games.
Roger Bresnahan: Bresnahan changed the game, especially in regard to innovating his position, in many ways, including when it comes to equipment. Bresnahan was the very first catcher to wear shin guards.
Hugh Duffy: Duffy once hit .440 in a single season.
Hughie Jennings: Jennings was hit 287 times in his career, an all-time record.
Ed Delahanty: Delahanty is one of only two players to hit four homeruns in a game and lose, the other being Braves Bob Horner.
Jimmy Collins: Jimmy Collins has the most at bats in a single World Series (36 in 1903).
Fred Clarke: Clarke was a player manager in 1902 when the Pirates lost only 36 games.
King Kelly: King Kelly once stole six bases in a single game.
Rogers Hornsby: The first ever player to win a triple crown.
Lou Gehrig: Lou Gehrig’s famous “Luckiest Man” speech is perhaps the most iconic speech in sports history. You can relive all of it here. That having been said, Gehrig was the first player to ever have his number retired.
George Sisler: Sisler was the first player to ever win an MVP award.
Cap Anson: Anson was a player/manager in part of 23 seasons.
Willie Keeler: Keeler had eight consecutive seasons of 200 or more hits.
Buck Ewing: Buck Ewing was the first player to win a homerun title while batting primarily leadoff.
Hoss Radbourn: Radbourn won 310 games in just 11 seasons.
Eddie Collins: Collins is one of only five players in MLB history with a .400 OBP and more than 500 steals.
Grover Cleveland Alexander: Alexander was the very first pitcher ever to lead all three triple crown categories in back-to-back seasons.
Nap Lajoie: Nap hit .426 in 1901. No player in the modern era has hit for a higher single season average.
Tris Speaker: Had a season where he had three different hit streaks that consisted of 20 or more games.
Cy Young: Cy Young has the most wins in MLB history (511).
Babe Ruth: Babe Ruth has the highest WAR all-time by BBRef measurements (182.5).
Christy Mathewson: Mathewson is the only pitcher to throw three complete game shutouts in a single World Series, doing so in 1905.
Walter Johnson: Johnson was the first pitcher to win two AL Triple Crown awards.
Ty Cobb: The only baseball player with a Soundgarden song in his honor, if Ty Cobb had another 2523 at bats and made an out in all of them, he still would have had a lifetime .300 batting average.
Honus Wagner: Honus Wagner’s T206 tobacco card sold for a record $3.12M. That’s more than Wagner made in his entire career as a player. There’s a reason why David Apolskis got grand larceny for stealing it in Prison Break.
If you’re still reading this, tweet me @TheJameus or like me on Facebook here and let me know what you’re favorite thing from here was. MLB announces the results for the 2021 Hall of Fame voting at 6 EST tonight on MLB Network. For those who follow Ryan Thibadoux’s ballot tracker, it seems as if there won’t be any new inductees this year. Andruw Jones, Scott Rolen, Todd Helton and Billy Wagner are all projected to receive major boosts, which will hopefully solidify their case down the road. All four are certainly on par for the Hall of Fame. If anybody is elected, PSE will have coverage on it.