So...The Hawk didn't get in again. There were 543 ballots cast and Dawson received 358 -- good for 65.9%. 50 votes shy of the required 75%. Personally, I think Hawk should be in, but I can understand some of the arguments against him (his low career OBP, his relatively short career). However...I don't get the Lee Smith snub at all.
Jheri Curl Hall of Fame? Absolutely. Baseball Hall of Fame? Not yet.
What accentuates the snub is that Goose Gossage -- a very good closer in his own right -- was the only player on the ballot to be elected this year. Goose received 231 more votes than Smith.
Let's compare the two, shall we?
Smith -- 478
Gossage -- 310
Smith saved 168 more games than Gossage and pitched four fewer seasons than him.
Smith -- 3.03
Gossage -- 3.01
Essentially the same.
Career WHIP (walks and hits allowed per inning pitched):
Smith -- 1.25
Gossage -- 1.23
Again -- pretty much the same.
How about strikeouts per 9/IP?
Smith -- 8.73K per 9/IP
Gossage -- 7.47K per 9/IP
Big Lee has the edge.
Smith -- 7
Gossage -- 9
Edge to Gossage.
So what's the deal? The deal, of course, is the postseason. Gossage has a huge edge not only in appearances, but in stats.
Gossage went 5-3 with a 2.87 ERA and 8 saves in 8 postseason series (including 3 World Series (Serieses?)).
Smith? Well...Smith pitched in the the postseason twice and it wasn't so pretty. 0-2 with a 8.44 ERA and 1 save.
I'm afraid this is going to be the story with other Cubs as well. Lack of postseason appearances and/or success is going to hurt their legacy. But, c'mon. Is it Smith's fault (or Dawson's or Santo's) that he pitched for a whole lot of crappy Cubs teams?
Let Big Lee into the Hall. Until Hoffman broke his record, he was the all-time saves leader for quite a while (I don't want to look up the actual length of time, but trust me -- it was for a while). Lee's stats compare quite favorably to Gossage's, and often trump them. Three crappy games in the playoffs shouldn't carry more weight than an entire career of excellence.
Feel free to weigh in and tell me why I'm wrong.
Also...please stop by The Brickyard and say hello.