The recent buzz about the Baseball Writers not electing anyone from their ballot into the Hall of Fame this summer has centered on recent retirees who should have been obvious first ballot elections but were left out. We all know the names: Bonds, Clemens, Piazza. All of these players probably being left out due to suspicions about alleged performance enhancing drug use during their careers.
Their day may eventually come. But what about a guy who was one of the most consistent pitchers of the 1980’s and early 1990’s but is still waiting for his call to the Hall? His name is Jack Morris, who spent most of his career with the Tigers but also pitched for the Twins, Blue Jays and Indians.
To me, it’s a crime this guy is not in the Hall. Did he have eye popping career numbers on the surface? No. But take a closer look at the stats and you will see that from 1979-1992 this guy was as good as any pitcher in baseball.
I think I know a Hall of Fame player when I see one. And Morris, to me, passes the eye test of someone who should be there because of the following career highlights.
Between ’79 and ’92 he won at least 14 games every season except for one, 1989. He was the number one starter on his team every season during this same period and won a not too shabby 254 career games with a 3.90 ERA. He was a five time all-star and four time World Series champion best remembered for pitching a brilliant 10-inning complete Game 7 clincher for the Twins in the ’91 World Series vs. Atlanta.
He has a similar ERA to and more career wins than Curt Schilling, who many say deserves a place in the Hall. So, even though arguments can be made through the surface numbers to keep Morris out, from where I’m sitting I see a pitcher who was one of the most durable and winning players of his time.
When I think of the period of the 80’s and early 90’s in baseball Jack Morris is one of the first names to come to mind. His career looks and feels like that of a Hall of Famer. For those reasons, I think he deserves a place in baseball’s national shrine. Hopefully, the baseball writers will one day see fit to agree.