Hall Of Fame Debate: Making The Case For Jack Morris
I will reserve my vote until the end of this post, but I thought that the best way to kick off this new series would be to take the guy that was the closest to Hall of Fame election in 2012, let’s call him the ‘next guy in line’.
That player in Jack Morris, 18-year veteran and former starting pitcher for the Tigers, Twins ,Blue Jays, and Indians.
Morris collected 382 votes for election into the Hall of Fame on his 13th ballot in 2012. He received 66.7% of the votes cast, falling 8.3% short of the needed 75% for enshrinement at Cooperstown.
First, let’s get to the stat that everyone talks about first when mentioning Morris’ name – Most wins in the decade of the 1980’s. While this is a very nice way to complement a player’s performance, it also usually means that he is one of very few that played for the entire decade (kind of like Mark Grace having the most hits in the 1990’s (didn’t bode well for his HOF eligibility as he is no longer on the ballot)).
Morris’ numbers are solid – 527 starts with a 254-186 record. Morris recorded 20 or more wins on three occassions and 15-19 wins nine times. He has a career ERA of .390 with 2,478 strikeouts (league leader in 1983 with 232). He threw 175 complete games and 28 shutouts during his career. Morris’ K:9 inning ratio is 5.9:1.00 and his K:Walk ratio is 1.78:1.00. In 3,824 innings of work, Morris allowed 3,567 hits and 1,815 runs scored against him.
As for accolades, Morris was named as an All-Star five times. He also finished in the Top Five for the Cy Young Award on five occasions as well.
As for post-season play, this may be where Morris stands out the most. He competed in three World Series match-ups and won all three times – 1984, 1991, 1992. All three titles came with different teams too. Morris has a post-season record of 7-4, with a 4-2 World Series record. He was the MVP of the 1991 World Series in which he went 2-0 against the mighty Atlanta Braves.
So, is Jack Morris a Hall of Famer?
My answer is ‘NO‘. He was a fine pitcher, and the ace of his rotation for the majority of his career. I would put him in a place in which he was compared to the likes of Mike Mussina and Curt Schilling, two other very fine pitchers that will/should get consideration for Hall of Fame entry but might not get elected. Ultimately, I think that the Hall of Fame should be reserved for the elite players to have played the sport, and I don’t see Morris in the same light as I see Bob Gibson, Jim Palmer, Juan Marichal, and other starting pitchers with similar tenures in the sport.
What about you? If you had a vote, would Jack Morris get yours? Let me know.
Thanks for reading.