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Thread: Is George Foster worthy of the Hall of Fame?

  1. #31
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    Re: Is George Foster worthy of the Hall of Fame?

    Quote Originally Posted by macro View Post
    It hadn't occurred to me that George Foster hit more than 30 home runs in a season only twice in his career.
    Another fun fact. Roger Maris only did so 3 times. He's not in the hall of fame either.
    How, then, are those people of the future—who are taking steroids every day—going to look back on baseball players who used steroids? They're going to look back on them as pioneers. They're going to look back at it and say "So what?" - Bill James, Cooperstown and the 'Roids

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  3. #32
    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: Is George Foster worthy of the Hall of Fame?

    Foster was a very good player, arguably a top 30 left fielder. Unfortunately, top 30 doesn't get you in the Hall. Top 20 and you've got a borderline argument, ala Joe Gordon. Top 15 and you should be going in. But top 30 won't cut it.
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  4. #33
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    Re: Is George Foster worthy of the Hall of Fame?

    Had Foster done more to build his career stats in 1972-74, or continued to produce at something approaching his late-70s level through the mid-80s, we're looking at a Hall of Fame career.
    As it was, he was among the game's very best run producers and power hitters in his prime.
    His 1977 production seemed incredible, off the charts, at the time. It's a shame substance abusers two decades later would produce stats that have in a sense destroyed any perspective of what Foster accomplished that season.
    He wasn't the unanimous MVP that season. Greg Luzinski received significant support (I believe he drew nine first-place votes compared to Foster's 15), in large part because the Phillies won their division that season, while the Reds, coming off two consecutive championships, failed to advance to the post-season.
    An odd aside: The day Foster was named the 1977 MVP that November, an unusual series of events made me the person who broke that news to teammate Johnny Bench, at of all places a car dealership in Fort Wayne, Ind.
    Likely a more memorable experience for me than for Bench.

  5. #34
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Is George Foster worthy of the Hall of Fame?

    I admit that I likely do have some Reds bias here but I would vote for George Foster for the HOF. Sure he only had a few HOF years and you can't use his stat sheet to justify his induction but I look at the fact that he was the most dangerous hitter in a murder's row of sluggers--the Big Red Machine. He was what made the difference between a Reds team that struggled to win the NL West to a team that blew by the Dodgers and won back to back World Series. He's still the best hitter I've ever seen in a Reds uniform (with a close 2nd to Eric Davis). His importance to one of the best teams in MLB history is what puts him over the top in my mind.

    I don't understand why Joe Morgan gets in on the 1st ballot and George Foster can't get past 5%. It can be argued that Joe Morgan only had 5 or 6 HOF years (1972-77) and all the rest were quite ordinary for a 2B.

  6. #35
    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: Is George Foster worthy of the Hall of Fame?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Madden View Post
    I believe George Foster is one of the greatest sluggers in Reds history.

    I don't think he is worthy of the Hall Of Fame though.
    Precisely how I feel.

  7. #36
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    Re: Is George Foster worthy of the Hall of Fame?

    Its not the Hall of Very Good. Foster is a cut below great. No.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

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  8. #37
    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Is George Foster worthy of the Hall of Fame?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post

    I don't understand why Joe Morgan gets in on the 1st ballot and George Foster can't get past 5%. It can be argued that Joe Morgan only had 5 or 6 HOF years (1972-77) and all the rest were quite ordinary for a 2B.
    Morgan was one of the greatest fielders, baserunners and hitters of his generation. Foster for a period of 4 years was the most dominant hitter in the NL but that is it. He was not a base stealing threat and he was below average in the field. Morgan did have his best years with the bat from 72'-77' but while the other years weren't as steller he still was one of the premier base stealers and fielders during this time.

    Fosters career was a great one but IMO no way a HOF career . If Foster is worthy then you really have lowered the bar and opened the door for guys with similar careers like Greg Luzinski, Joe Adcock, Jack Clark, Albert Belle.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

  9. #38
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    Re: Is George Foster worthy of the Hall of Fame?

    It's not my desire to criticize George Foster. He was one of the game's greatest players in his prime, and I'll always appreciate the tremendous offense he brought to the Reds teams of his era.
    But as someone who saw him play, I have to say this.
    Had he been subjected to the kind of daily scrutiny that the Internet now allows — remember that Reds fans had no such forum in Foster's day — his defense would have come under fire on a Big Red Machine-era version of RedsZone, if such a thing had then existed.
    His great offense aside, his reluctance to approach fences at high speed, if necessary, in pursuit of fly balls resulted in griping on sports talk programs of that era. Perhaps it drew more attention because his immediate predecessor in left field had been especially aggressive in pursuing such catches.

  10. #39
    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Is George Foster worthy of the Hall of Fame?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mainspark View Post
    His great offense aside, his reluctance to approach fences at high speed, if necessary, in pursuit of fly balls resulted in griping on sports talk programs of that era.

    I remember like yesterday Foster announcing to the press that he would no longer approach fences to catch fly balls. It was around 1980 and I will never forget the controversy it created and the seemingly hundreds of negative calls about Foster made to Bob Trumpy on WLW. Foster's comment was something along the lines of that he was paid to hit homeruns and not run into walls. It didn't go over to well with many of the Charley Hustle mindset.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

  11. #40
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    Re: Is George Foster worthy of the Hall of Fame?

    Quote Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
    Morgan was one of the greatest fielders, baserunners and hitters of his generation. Foster for a period of 4 years was the most dominant hitter in the NL but that is it. He was not a base stealing threat and he was below average in the field. Morgan did have his best years with the bat from 72'-77' but while the other years weren't as steller he still was one of the premier base stealers and fielders during this time.

    Fosters career was a great one but IMO no way a HOF career . If Foster is worthy then you really have lowered the bar and opened the door for guys with similar careers like Greg Luzinski, Joe Adcock, Jack Clark, Albert Belle.
    Guys with Plus OPS highlighted
    Code:
    CAREER
    1965-1971
    2B
    OPS vs. the league average displayed only--not a sorting criteria
    OBA vs. the league average displayed only--not a sorting criteria
    SLG vs. the league average displayed only--not a sorting criteria
    RUNS CREATED/GAME displayed only--not a sorting criteria
    TOTAL BASES displayed only--not a sorting criteria
    
    PLATE APPEARANCES               PA       OPS      OBA      SLG     RC/G      TB     
    1    Glenn Beckert              4451    -.036    -.004    -.032     4.00     1474   
    2    Joe Morgan                 3847     .058     .049     .010     5.88     1280   
    3    Cookie Rojas               3833    -.069    -.020    -.048     3.35     1180   
    4    Ron Hunt                   3507     .004     .044    -.040     4.61     1014   
    5    Davey Johnson              3440     .022     .012     .010     4.37     1183   
    6    Horace Clarke              3367    -.079    -.017    -.062     3.47      979   
    7    Bobby Knoop                3350    -.054    -.022    -.032     3.32     1047   
    8    Bill Mazeroski             3295    -.069    -.028    -.041     3.28     1047   
    9    Julian Javier              3217    -.061    -.030    -.031     3.49     1059   
    10   Mike Andrews               2874     .061     .044     .017     5.22      953   
    11   Felix Millan               2837    -.029    -.002    -.027     3.92      930   
    12   Dick Green                 2832    -.041    -.013    -.028     3.63      893   
    13   Dick McAuliffe             2830     .046     .024     .022     4.99      951   
    14   Tommy Helms                2757    -.091    -.036    -.055     2.98      853   
    15   Sandy Alomar Sr.           2576    -.119    -.032    -.087     3.20      699   
    16   Rod Carew                  2393     .072     .034     .038     5.10      903   
    17   Jim Lefebvre               2346    -.001    -.001     .000     4.26      806   
    18   Bernie Allen               2064    -.035    -.006    -.029     3.74      637   
    19   Tony Taylor                1645    -.020    -.004    -.016     4.05      563   
    20   Ken Boswell                1592    -.023     .000    -.023     3.94      515   
    21   Ted Sizemore               1558    -.043     .004    -.048     3.89      480   
    22   Tito Fuentes               1545    -.083    -.030    -.052     3.33      474   
    23   Gary Sutherland            1478    -.126    -.041    -.086     2.82      406   
    24   Pete Rose                  1457     .103     .044     .059     6.09      600   
    25   John Donaldson             1365    -.075    -.003    -.072     3.32      359

  12. #41
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    Re: Is George Foster worthy of the Hall of Fame?

    It's unfortunate that in Foster's later years he became a prodder and known as a subpar fielder. This is due to his announcement about running into walls and the issue that he sometimes refused to slide on the basepaths. But early on he was known as quite an athlete. He had a very good arm in LF as he showed in game 6 of the 1975 WS and in 1972 he scored the winning run in decisive game 5 vs the Pirates. In that game he was chosen as a pinch runner because he had above avg speed.

    The comparison to guys like Luzinski, Clark and Belle is interesting. To me what sets Foster apart is that he contributed to a great team in baseball history. If not for his contributions, the BRM never would have been known as great. That's something few other sluggers have on their resume. IMO, that kind of contribution is what got Tony Perez into the Hall.

  13. #42
    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Is George Foster worthy of the Hall of Fame?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post

    To me what sets Foster apart is that he contributed to a great team in baseball history. If not for his contributions, the BRM never would have been known as great.
    There is no question Foster played a major part in the great teams of 75' and 76' but if you went thru baseball history you could find many players who filled the role Foster did. Roger Maris is a perfect example, had he not played the part he did on the 61' Yankees then they never would have achieved the greatness that they did, but few baseball historians will give the nod to Maris for the HOF. Gil Hodges is a player similar to Foster that played a major part on the great Brooklyn teams of the 50's but even with his superior stats to Foster, he has also not achieved induction either.

    The HOF to me is a place where membership should be for the very elite who have ever played the game. While a special nod should be given to Foster for playing the part that he did on the BRM, the reality is it isn't enough to make up for his stats that are well below HOF standards.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

  14. #43
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Is George Foster worthy of the Hall of Fame?

    I don't believe that George Foster belongs in Cooperstown, but a comparison to another contemporary, a leftfielder, may be of interest.
    Jim Rice is expected to be inducted into the HOF in a few weeks. An initial comparsion between Rice and Foster clearly favors Rice, who pretty much leads Foster across the board: 382 HRs to 348; 1423 RBI to 1239; 1249 runs to 986; a .298 average to .274; a .352 OBP to .338; and a .502 SLG to .480 (Rice also has a healthy lead in grounding into double plays--315 to 196).
    However, while Foster played much of his career with a good home park for hitters with Riverfront Stadium, Rice had Fenway Park has his home park for his entire career, and Fenway was a terrific hitters park.
    BaseballReference.com has a Stats Neutralizer that purports to "neutralize" statistics for ballpark effects and eras, based upon an historical average of 715 runs per team. Using the Stats Neutralizer for Rice and Foster gives them much more comparable career numbers. In HRs, Rice's lead narrows to 378-370; RBI are closer at 1474-1390; runs are closer at 1264-1102; Rice has a narrow lead in average, .290-.282; and Foster actually leads in OBP, .347-.343, and in SLG, .492-.489.
    Rice and Foster each won one MVP award. Rice was an eight time All Star and Foster had five All Star selections. Rice had three HR titles, while Foster had two. Rice lead the league in RBI twice while Foster lead in RBI three times. Rice lead the league in slugging twice, Foster once. Rice lead the league in total bases four times and in hits once, while Foster lead the league in total bases once, OPS once, and runs once.
    Foster played from 1969 through 1986, while Rice played from 1974 through 1989.
    As I stated, I don't believe Foster should be in the Hall of Fame. I now wonder if Rice should be there either.
    Last edited by RedsBaron; 12-31-2008 at 10:40 AM. Reason: typo
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  15. #44
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    Re: Is George Foster worthy of the Hall of Fame?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBaron View Post
    I now wonder if Rice should be there either.
    If I had a vote I doubt if I would vote for Rice but he is no question close. I guess the big problem I have with players like Rice and Foster is they were very one dimensional in that they were great hitters and that was it. Had they won a few Gold Gloves or even had the reputation of being good fielders then I would be more inclined to vote for them. The only way I want to see a one dimensional player like this make the HOF is if their stats were so incredible that you had no choice but to put them in. The standard for making the HOF is 3,000 hits or 500 HR's. I would have no problem seeing Foster or Rice make the HOF had they achieved these feats but since they didn't IMO their isn't enough in the other parts of their careers to push them over the edge for induction.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

  16. #45
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    Re: Is George Foster worthy of the Hall of Fame?

    Quote Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
    There is no question Foster played a major part in the great teams of 75' and 76' but if you went thru baseball history you could find many players who filled the role Foster did. Roger Maris is a perfect example, had he not played the part he did on the 61' Yankees then they never would have achieved the greatness that they did, but few baseball historians will give the nod to Maris for the HOF. Gil Hodges is a player similar to Foster that played a major part on the great Brooklyn teams of the 50's but even with his superior stats to Foster, he has also not achieved induction either.

    The HOF to me is a place where membership should be for the very elite who have ever played the game. While a special nod should be given to Foster for playing the part that he did on the BRM, the reality is it isn't enough to make up for his stats that are well below HOF standards.
    Yeah, I see your point but keep in mind guys like Maris got a lot more consideration for the Hall than Foster did. Foster's paltry 5% is a little weak IMO.


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