‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ – Robin Yount VS Paul Molitor

‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ – Robin Yount VS Paul Molitor

This will be the first time that I put two guys ‘into the cage’ that were teammates for the better part of their careers.

But you know what, the debate between Paul Molitor and Robin Yount is a solid one!!  Very solid…

Here is a side-by-side look at their numbers:

Robin Yount Paul Molitor
Seasons 20 21
Games 2856 2683
Hits 3142 3319
200 Hit Seasons 1 4
150-199 Hit Seasons 10 9
Batting Average 0.285 0.306
.300 Seasons 6 12
Batting Titles 0 0
On-Base % 0.342 0.369
Doubles 583 605
Home Runs 251 234
Stolen Bases 271 504
Runs Scored 1632 1782
RBI 1406 1307
100-RBI Seasons 3 2
All-Star 3 7
Gold Glove 1 0
Silver Slugger 3 4
ROY 0 0
MVP 2 0
Postseasons 2 3
WS Titles 0 1

My major takeaways from the resumes:

  • Molitor has roughly 170 more hits than Yount, and he did that in roughly 170 less games
  • Molitor wins the 200-hit race 4 to 1
  • Yount’s career BA of .285 is much lower than what I expected
  • Molitor having 2X as many .300 seasons
  • On-base %, doubles, and home runs are very close
  • RBI and runs scored are very close
  • Robin Yount was only a 3X All-Star???

Wow, this looks very one-sided, doesn’t it??  Hell, if it was not for Yount’s 2 MVP titles, I am not sure that there is even a debate.  Let me first say that I am shocked that Robin Yount was only an All-Star three times during his career – like Fergie Jenkins (which also seems to be a crime).  Also, I am very surprised that Yount is just a career .285 hitter – not sure why I thought he was closer to .310-.315…

Anyways, we all know what the MVP Award means and how important that is on an elite player’s resume.  Robin Yount hauled in two of those awards, while Molitor was hardly ever a consideration (2nd place to a Unanimous Frank Thomas in 1993).

After laying all of their numbers out in front of me, and really trying to examine which player was better, everything points to me selecting Paul Molitor.  But, I am getting hung up on the MVP voting – he was barely recognized as a great player during his career and Yount was tagged with the MVP title on two occasions.  Still, Molitor’s numbers are better in almost every category.  And for me, Molitor also has that ‘Shining Moment’ from the 1993 World Series when he put the Blue Jays on his back and won the MVP Award in front of a national audience.

Taking it all into consideration, I am going with Paul Molitor.  He gets my vote.  The numbers, while close in many important offensive categories, favor him.  And that ’93 World Series is one that I still recall vividly 20 years later.  No disrespect meant to Yount, but I don’t have a single, precise play or game in which I go to when I recall watching his career.  With Molitor, I do!!


What do you think?  Who would you pick?  Let’s go!!!

15 responses to “‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ – Robin Yount VS Paul Molitor

  1. Brian, you got it right. Yount is lucky to have two MVP awards. The MVP award that Yount won in 1989 could have easily gone to Ruben Sierra. Yount was a great ballplayer, but Molitor is a notch or two above him, IMHO.

  2. Both were great players. Molitor was a better hitter, but you gotta give Yount some extra credit over Molitor because of his defense (playing both SS and CF). I hear what you are saying about the MVP awards, but let me put your mind at ease. Yount was in the top 10 in MVP voting twice (the 2 years he won) and received votes in 7 different seasons. Molitor was in the top 10 4 times and garnered votes in 9 different seasons. Molitor might not have won an MVP, but he was in the conversation plenty.

    My vote, Paul Molitor.

  3. I vote Molitor. He was so consistent and always a great guy to have in the clubhouse. A great baserunner and he always came up in clutch situation. A world series mvp. Both are HOFers in my book, but if I had to chose one, its Molly.

    • Zebulon- Thanks for the vote!

      Molitor 4, Yount 0

    • I agree it’s molitor, but i disagree why: he was not consistent because he was so injury prone, and not a clubhouse guy because of his early cocaine problem. in fact, i suspect he was never an MVP due to voter’s drug memories. i think his consecutive game hitting streak is historic and respected but i think his late career DH role is not.

  4. Being a Brewer fan, I got to watch both of those players while I was growing up. In Milwaukee, Molitor’s main problem was injuries. When he was on the field, he earned the nickname of Igniter. Both were solid players. Yount went from being an MVP caliber shortstop to being an MVP caliber center fielder. But in the end, Molitor’s career numbers and his World Series success gives him an edge over Yount.

  5. I say Molitor too. No real good reason why, so similar in what they did. But, Molitor brought more of an element of speed to the base paths. I always felt he was underrated. I think of all of the 3,000 hit club members he perhaps did it the most quietly. I don’t remember him being heralded for it as much as other players of his generation. Certainly less than Boggs, Gwynn, and Brett.

    • Charley- I’m with you. The fact that he is never mentioned when talking about the greatest hitters in the sport, kind of like Jeter now, yet he had more hits than the guys that racked up batting titles is very impressive!

      Molitor 6, Yount 0

  6. Wait… I’m still scratching my head over the fact that Yount was only a 3x all-star. What the heck?

  7. Blame the 3x all-star selection on Ripken at SS and Puckett at CF.

    • Charley- You nailed it!! +1

      Fergie Jenkins got the same treatment while pitching with the Cubs – just 3 All-Star selections is ridiculous. But, he was throwing in the league at the same time as Ryan, Seaver, Carlton, and Marichal…

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