Jorge Posada in Danger of Falling Off Hall of Fame Ballot

Based on ballots made public, Posada, the stalwart catcher of four Yankees title teams, has not received the level of support he’ll need to stay in consideration for enshrinement.

Comments: 41

  1. Posada's high profile is due to his affiliation with the Yankees during a successful period. But I think that we have depreciated Hall of Fame qualification to the point where merely being above average puts you on the ballot, at least once.

    When considering whether a candidate from a dynasty team and organization should be on the ballot, I think we should ask the question "What if he had played his entire career with unsuccessful teams in small market cities. Would anyone have even paid any attention?"

    After all, I believe that membership in the Hall should be based on individual qualification, and not as a part of a successful team. If its the latter, there are dozens of players who should be in the Hall. Carl Furillo and Sal Maglie come to mind. Maglie lost five years of a brilliant career due to being banned from the major leagues for playing in the Mexican League. One of the few players to have played for all three New York teams in the pre-Mets era.

    Furillo, known as the Reading Rifle for his hard throwing, accurate arm in the Dodgers right field, hit .297 over his Dodger career, and was a member of seven NL championship teams.

    I would pick either before considering Posada.

  2. There is no shame in having an all-star caliber career.

  3. "But he was the primary catcher for four World Series winners, which should count for something."
    Why? By that logic every starting player and starting pitcher on the team should count, even the number one pinch hitter, You don't get into the HOF just because you were in the right place at the right time. You get there because you earned it no matter what time and place you played. And as nice a guy as Posada may have been, his numbers are not HOF worthy. And since it's obvious that's the overwhelming opinion of the voters, it's probably kinder to have him drop off now rather than get teased and disappointed for the next nine years. Jeter and Rivera are the only two from those Yankee teams worthy of the HOF and they'll both probably be first time inductees.

  4. The Baseball Hall of Fame has its own politics. For Yankee fans, seeing Posada's Number 20 retired and the plaque going up in Monument Park rates higher. Same with Number 51, my personal favorite from those years. Both men had talent that was exceeded only by their class.

  5. Posada is borderline and he'll be borderline in 10 years. The writers should vote him up or down now. This 10-year thing is a way to avoid making difficult decisions. And, by the way, any New York writer who doesn't vote him in should find a job elsewhere.

  6. Posada and Bernie Williams and Paul O'Neill and their Yankee peers have championships, what many Hall of Famers do not have. The team's success matters most, and Posada's teams were tremendous!! And while we're on the subject of tall greatness, Rivera was the only legit first ballot HoFer we've seen in NY since Ricky Henderson. Ok?

  7. The Hall of Fame has become a joke. The new statistics are meaningless to most fans. I like to talk baseball and I never hear anyone talking wins above replacement. It's a different game now. Players don't stay with one team. There are more teams, so the talent is diluted. I would guess it's more difficult, physically and mentally. Every move you make is recorder, analyzed, criticized. We know when players are taking drugs, get into trouble, do something stupid. To be honest, I don't think players care as much about the HOF. A big contract is much more important. Besides, if Gil Hodges doesn't belong in Cooperstown, it's just another tourist attraction.

  8. Jorge Posada will always be a Hall of Fame player in my mind, whether or not he ever is 'enshrined' in Cooperstown. The Yankees teams he played on were among the best ever in baseball, in large part because Posada helped to make them great. Posada exemplified great game -- and I won't forget him.

  9. Posada belongs in the Hall of Garvey (maybe) - that place where good but not great players go.

  10. Sorry, but not everybody gets into the Hall of Fame, even if he's a Yankee promoted in the New York Times.

  11. -- as a red sox fan all those years, if i could have plucked just one yankee off that roster, if i could have eliminated just one pinstriped tormenter from their lineup, it wouldn't have been jeter or rivera or anyone else -- it would have been posada -- he drove me nuts --

  12. Long time Yankee fan, season ticket holder during the Posada years...definitely not an All Star.

  13. Nice try Kepner, but homeboy Jorge isn't Hall material.

  14. I have to credit Andy Pettite and Mariano Rivera as cornerstones of those championship teams. Unless you aren't counting pitching as an important as any other aspect of the game. Or unless the authors aren't from NY and don't know who those players are.

  15. A Yankee since 1958, I watched Jorge along with some of his teammates win four World Series rings. Was Jorge an elite player, perhaps not, but his legacy is that of a Champion, Hall or no Hall.

  16. I'd vote for him. But I am prejudiced. He wasn't the greatest catcher I have seen, but, if making a team look like they could win every game, he was my backstop.

  17. Cases such as those of Mr Posada and Mr. Munson, and the high barrier to entry, are what make the baseball Hall of Fame the cathedral that it is. The rejections can seem unfair and certainly there are any number of seemingly qualified players who have been denied admission, yet that is what makes enshrinement worthy of the word. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, which is about as hard to get into as a public school.

  18. Except for Chubby Checker!!

  19. As a life long Yankee fan Jorge's contributions acknowledged and appreciated, but he was not a Hall of Fame worthy player. He was a good, solid journeyman.

  20. Journeyman? He only played for the Yankees, journeyman go from team to team.

  21. Hey Kevin. Before you comment check your dictionary.
    Journeyman definition:
    1. a worker or sports player who is reliable but not outstanding.
    "a solid journeyman professional"

  22. C'mon, he's just not a HOF player. Incidentally, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens do not belong in the HOF either.

  23. This article is about Posada, but also highlights the modern attempt to change the focus on statistics. None of those mentioned include BA, RBIs, or HRs. I learned almost nothing about him statistically.

  24. The problem is that the voters do not have an agreed standard, one easily digested and that allows for comparisons, of fielding. It is half the game, but we have a hodgepodge of range factors and Total Zone Total Fielding Runs [Saved] Above Average (!?!?), but the data behind them is pretty squishy. Offense has hard numbers like OBA, slugging percentage, RBIs, HRs, so that is what people focus upon. It is a failure of the analysts, and those players who work hard at their defense pay a price for it.

  25. I'm a Yankees fan. Before even considering Posada for the Hall of Fame - which I think is a stretch - two words....Albert Belle.

  26. Jorge,was an underrated catcher for everyone but Yankee Fans.When no one could buy a hit and a hit was desperately needed Jorge got it.If decency was required to get into the hall, Jorge would get in hands down. He may not have been a great Catcher, but as a Catcher he made the Yankees great, for that alone he deserves to enter the Hall of Fame.

  27. The Hall of Very Good sounds about right. Seriously, it's ludicrous even to suggest that the very good Posada has a place among baseball's immortals. Ivan Rodriguez would had it not been for his reputed steroids use.

  28. Can we expect a Bernie Williams article next? Posada was a very good player, but the distance between him and Piazza shows us that Posada isn't a Hall of Famer.

  29. Kepner's article and even more, the comments posted thus far, illustrate the folly we constantly engage in when we try to evaluate a player's greatness independent of the team they played on. No scientist would try to do something like this in their research, they'd be laughed out of the scientific community. So no, player statistics alone, regardless of the ones used, are not unbiased, objective indicators of greatness, independent of the teams they played on. And yes, the comment of Red Sox fan rls that Posada above all who tormented him and his team was the one Yankee he would choose to have eliminated, if he could, yes, that perspective, if widely held, should matter in making selections to the HOF. I agree with rls. When I think of the domination of those Yankee teams, Posada was absolutely one of the principal linchpins in that domination. Of course, that should matter, even if it can't be summed up in some magical number dripping in profundity. Stop trying to be overly scientific about electing players to the Hall. It's absurd.

  30. If Posada played anywhere but New York City, you would not even run this article.

  31. I always loved Posada. Let's face it- he is not HOF material.

  32. Most players could only dream of having the fine career that Posada had. However, I do not believe that he is worthy of the Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame and retired numbers should, to me at least, be reserved for the very greatest of the great.

  33. I'm a Red Sox fan. Jorge Posada was a thorn in every Boston fan's side for his entire career. He was a true grinder with an always-dangerous bat, and by all accounts he called a good game for his staff. I always admired his focused approach, and winced every time he'd hit the double that I secretly knew was coming but was praying aloud that it wouldn't. Still--is he a Hall Of Fame catcher? Unfortunately, I'd have to say no; but he certainly belongs in the Yankees Hall of Fame.

  34. He doesn't deserve to be in the Hall Of Fame. He was a great Yankee but not a super star player. I won't feel sorry for him if he doesn't make it either. He had a Hall Of Fame paycheck!

  35. Great article. Clearly stated and with precise arguments.
    Tyler Kepner is a very solid writer and the NYTimes Sports
    section may have some of the best writing in the newspaper.

  36. Posada was a fine catcher, but hardly HOF material. It's crazy the way that former Yankees get so much hype just because they played in NY. Alan Trammell had a terrific career at shortstop in Detroit that was in many ways the equal of Derek Jeter's (with the exception that he won "only" one World Series), but he never received any serious consideration for the HOF. If Trammell had played in NY, he'd be in the Hall for sure. If Jeter had played in Detroit, well, let's just that his election might not be a sure thing.

  37. I've been a yankee fan since the mid sixties. Posada was a very very good hitter but a middling fielder who did not handle pitchers well. He was slow even for the standards of a catchers. He was a good overall player but not HOF material. If he is trending at 5% now, he'll never make it to 75%.

  38. Good, solid player on some very good teams. Not a HOF player.

  39. Probably one of the reasons for the dearth of catchers in the HOF is that there are no objective measures for one of the most important aspects of what they do: calling pitchers. This is obviously far more important than ability to catch runners stealing or preventing passed balls.
    We have little apart from anecdotal evidence to judge the positive or negative aspects of a catcher's ability to call a game.

  40. He doesn't even belong in the Hall of Fame conversation.

  41. Not even close to HOF status, even the watered down versions that have permitted entry to the underserved, such as a rizzuto or a sutton, while leaving out the likes of a kent, or an an albert belle - real players playing real positions instead of fake players like molitor - who got half his hits as a DH - or the current fascination with a steroid using DH in beantown.