Statistically, there is no argument about the Hall of Fame qualifications of Pete Rose. Even the most casual baseball fan is aware that “Charlie Hustle” is the all time hit king with 4,256 hits; a record that may never be broken. Rose also was a seventeen time All Star, and proved to be a clutch performer as evidenced by his three World Series Rings; including a World Series MVP. Sadly, as much as casual sports fans are aware of Rose’s on field accomplishments, many who have never turned their dial to ESPN knows his off field embarrassments.
A converted third baseman, Bucky Walters took the mound later in his career but once he did he made up for lost time. Walters would even win the MVP for his pitching prowess and was one of the rare hurlers who could be used often as a pinch hitter.
Considered by baseball historians to be the best Third Baseman of the Deadball Era, Heinie Groh quietly won two World Series Rings; one controversially with the Reds in 1919 and another with the Giants in 1922. It was in Cincinnati that Groh had his best seasons, where he twice led the National League in On Base Percentage and was a hit and run machine. He was also considered amongst the best defensive player at his position in his era. This has garnered Heinie Groh a second look from a lot of modern baseball pundits as though his traditional accumulative stats do not reflect a Hall of Fame baseball player, his Sabremetric ones paint a different possibility.
One of two things could happen when you play with a collection of superstars. Either you get lost in the shuffle or you become incorrectly elevated among them. Neither was the case for the Dave Concepcion who became nationally known playing along side Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench and Tony Perez, but deserved the attention that came with it.
The start of Vada Pinson’s career showed promise of a Hall of Fame career as he was a five tool baseball player. So just how does a player who had this much promise, still compile over 2,700 hits and yet have what was considered a journeyman career?