Tag Archives: Albert Belle

Hall Of Fame Debate: Judging The Career Of Albert Belle

Hall Of Fame Debate: Judging The Career Of Albert Belle

You may recall that when I debuted ‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ a few months ago that my first post in the series was titled ‘Gimme Five’.

Essentially, what I asked for was for the readers of this blog to give me the names of five players that were eligible for Hall of Fame induction that had yet to be enshrined but were worthy.  Well, I took all of the names received and made a giant list to use as inspiration for the series.

The list is lengthy, and while this series has  been running for a few months now, I have yet to really make a dent in it.  So, hopefully you are liking the series and enjoying spending some time with ’30-YOC’ on Thursday nights.

This week, we are going to discuss the career of Albert Belle.  His major league career may have lasted just 12 seasons, but the numbers are impossible to ignore.

Belle finished his career with a .295 batting average.  He collected 1,726 hits in 12 seasons, including 389 doubles, triples, and 381 home runs.  He scored 974 runs during his playing days, and was responsible for 1,239 RBI.

Belle was a 5-time All-Star and 5-time Silver Slugger Award winner.  He finished in the Top 8 for the MVP award five times, including a runner-up finish in 1995.

Belle made it to the postseason twice in his career, 1995 and 1996.  In ’95, he played in the World Series but his Indians team lost to the Braves in six games.

Albert Belle

Belle’s run production was unreal.  Not only was he able to consistently deliver the long-ball, but he also drove in runs at an accelerated pace.

In 12 seasons, Belle hit between 30-39 home runs five times, 40-49 homers twice, and hit 50 home runs (league leader) in 1995.  Belle drove in 100 or more runs in nine straight seasons, from 1992-2000, including a career high of 148 RBI in 1996.  Belle led the American League in RBI at the end of the 1993, 1995, and 1996 seasons.  In total, Belle had eight 30/100 seasons.

And now for some Hall of Fame comparisons….

Dave Winfield’s single-season high in home runs was 37 – Albert Belle tied or topped that five times.

Jim Rice had three 30/100 seasons – Albert Belle did it eight times.

Mike Schmidt retired with a .267 batting average, with just one season of .300 or better – Belle left the game with a .295 batting average and four seasons of .300 or better.

Cal Ripken Jr collected 100 or more RBI in 4 of his 21 major league seasons.  Belle did that in nine of his twelve big league campaigns.

Andre Dawson amassed 4,787 total bases in 21 big league seasons – good for a 227.9 per season average.  Belle collected 3,330 in 12 seasons, good for an average of 277.5.

Now, I am not saying that Albert Belle is better than any of these players; I am simply trying to compare what he did to some other notable Hall of Fame outfielders from a similar era.  He left the game after the 2000 baseball season when he was just 33-years old.

Belle’s numbers stack up well, and there is no telling what his career numbers would have looked like had he played closer to the age of 40 than 30.

Is he Hall of Fame worthy?  I don’t believe so.  And I would not give him my vote.  But, what he accomplished on the baseball diamond cannot be ignored.  In a compact span of years, Belle accomplished feats similar to those of Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, and Albert Pujols – just the company alone has to make you think a bit about his place in baseball history, doesn’t it?

What do you think?  Would you cast a vote for Albert Belle?

Gavel

Did You Know…

Albert Belle led the major leagues with the most RBI during the decade of the 1990s.  His tally?  1,099!!

Did You Know…

The first major league player to be paid $100,000 was Hank Greenberg in 1947.  The first to be paid $10 million was Albert Belle in 1997.

greenberg

Belle

**factoid courtesy of ‘Armchair Reader – Grand Slam Baseball’

My take – What a difference 50 years makes, huh?  If anyone wants to make me an offer to play for $100,000 I am accepting all offers…  🙂

Ticket Stub #6 – White Sox vs. Indians – 4/14/1990

 This game was my 2nd Chicago White Sox game at the original Comiskey Park.

Chicago White Sox 9 – Cleveland Indians 4

This was just the 4th game of the 1990 season, so the batting averages for these guys is based on roughly 10-12 at bats.

Cleveland Indians AB R H RBI BB SO BA Notes
James 3 0 0 0 1 0 0.000  
Browne 4 0 0 0 0 2 0.200  
Brookens 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000  
Maldanado 2 0 1 0 1 0 0.500  
Belle 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.000  
Snyder 4 1 1 0 0 0 0.333  
Hernandez 3 0 0 0 0 1 0.182  
Baerga 1 0 1 0 0 0 1.000  
James 4 0 1 0 0 0 0.182  
Jacoby 4 1 2 2 0 0 0.333 HR
Alomar, Jr. 3 1 1 0 0 0 0.250  
Skinner 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.000  
Santana 4 1 1 2 0 0 0.222 HR
                 
Chicago White Sox AB R H RBI   SO BA Notes
Sosa 4 2 2 1 1 0 0.286 (2) triples
Fletcher 4 2 1 1 0 2 0.091  
Calderon 3 1 2 2 0 0 0.308  
Gallagher 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.000  
Kittle 4 0 2 1 1 0 0.200  
Boston 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000  
Fisk 5 1 3 1 0 0 0.438  
Martinez 4 2 1 1 1 0 0.067  
Ventura 3 0 0 0 0 0 0.200  
Johnson 4 0 2 2 0 0 0.357  
Guillen 4 1 2 0 0 0 0.300  

The White Sox tested Sammy Sosa as their leadoff hitter in 1990.  It’s kind of funny to look back and think of Sammy as a contact hitter and base stealing player now after his 600+ home run career.

Notable stars playing in this game were – Albert Belle, Keith Hernandez, Sandy Alomar, Jr., Sammy Sosa, Ron Kittle, Carlton Fisk, Robin Ventura, and Ozzie Guillen.

Hall of Fame players – Carlton Fisk, Sammy Sosa(?)