Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? Ron Guidry

Claim to fame: Guidry was among the best pitchers of the 1970s and ’80s, going 170-91 with a 3.29 ERA in his 14-year career. Playing solely with the New York Yankees, Guidry won 20 games three times, took home five Gold Gloves, and swept the American League Cy Young Award in 1978 with his 25-3, 1.74 ERA season. His career was short by Cooperstown standards, with just six seasons with at least 30 starts, though Guidry made the most of his time: His home page on lists his 162-game averages as 17-9, a 3.29 ERA, nine complete games, and three shutouts.

Current Hall of Fame eligibility: The Hall of Fame announced on Monday that Guidry is among 12 candidates for the Veterans Committee to consider at the winter meetings in December. Guidry appeared on the Cooperstown ballot for the Baseball Writers Association of America from 1994 through 2002, never receiving more than 10 percent of the vote.

Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? Before I start, let me offer something to anyone reading from Baseball Think Factory expecting a column on Rafael Palmeiro. I announced in a forum discussion following my piece on Will Clark last week that I’d write about Palmeiro today, but that was before I knew the Veterans Committee would have an announcement. After reading it, I knew the Dirty Dozen would delay Palmeiro at least a week.

Besides Guidry, the 11 other candidates are:

  • Vida Blue
  • Dave Concepcion
  • Steve Garvey
  • Pat Gillick
  • Tommy John
  • Marvin Miller
  • Al Oliver
  • Ted Simmons
  • Rusty Staub
  • George Steinbrenner

Looking at the list, I think two men have a strong shot of getting in, whether it’s deserved or not: Steinbrenner, who died earlier this year and should get a boost in the sympathy vote; Garvey, for reasons I explained in June. Martin and Miller should get in, but probably won’t, at least not this year– they’re too polarizing of figures. I could possibly make a case for John, but I’ll hold off on that for now.

The accomplishment for Blue, Concepcion, Gillick, Oliver, and Staub is making the ballot. Same goes for Simmons, who’s revered in the baseball research community but hasn’t gotten his due elsewhere. It’s not to say these players are undeserving (in fact, I recently said I’d vote for Oliver) they just don’t seem like the best players not in Cooperstown. That may be because, under new rules, this election is strictly for those players, the press release notes, “whose most significant career impact was realized” between 1973 and 1989. It’s why Dick Allen, Gil Hodges, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Ron Santo, and many others are nowhere to be found on this ballot. The stipulation seems arbitrary and contrary to the committee’s official goal of helping overlooked players, but I’m not sure the old methods were better.

But if this is what it takes to get Guidry on the ballot, perhaps it’s okay. His short career could get him pushed aside amidst bigger names, which may have been what happened to him on the writers ballot, though Guidry’s career compares favorably to Dizzy Dean, Sandy Koufax, and Rube Waddell, other aces who shined briefly. Guidry’s also probably better than most Yankee pitchers in Cooperstown, for whatever that’s worth. His career WAR of 44.4 might seem unimpressive, but for pitchers this committee could have considered, only John (who played twice as long), Jerry Koosman, Steve Rogers, and Luis Tiant rank higher. I think Tiant deserves a nod too, but that’s for another time.

So Guidry has my vote. It will be interesting to see how many he gets.

Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? is a Tuesday feature here.

Others in this series: Al OliverAlbert BelleBert BlylevenCecil TravisChipper JonesDan QuisenberryDave ParkerDon Mattingly,Don NewcombeGeorge SteinbrennerJack MorrisJoe CarterJohn SmoltzKeith HernandezLarry WalkerMaury WillsMel HarderPete BrowningRocky ColavitoSteve GarveyThurman MunsonTim Raines, Will Clark

14 Replies to “Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? Ron Guidry”

  1. As much as I like Ron Guidry, he is not a hall of famer. Tommy John is just because he really had two careers(pre and post surgery), and his numbers speak volumes. Garvey makes me puke and I hope he never gets in. I would vote for Staub or Al Oliver before Garvey.

  2. And let’s not forget that Guidry also had one of the best seasons any pitcher ever had. I think “longevity is overrated. I doubt any pitchers palying today (because of changes in the game) will ever win 20 three times. And very arguably, Guidry’s career was shortened by Billy Martin, who generally misused pitchers. He overworked Guidry

  3. Guidry was one of the most feared pitchers in the AL from 1977 to 1986. He had the numbers to win three Cy Youngs ( and won one more than Nolan Ryan who was in the AL until 1981 and one of his contemporaries ), and had a phenomenal winning percentage, to me Guidry gets in. The best players during that 10 yr era were Schmidt , Rice, Reggie Jackson, Parker, Carew, Guidry, Carlton and Goose Gossage. Ask the hitters of that era and they will tell you the three pitchers they most feared were Guidry, Ryan and Carlton.

  4. Ron Guidry absolutely belongs in the Hall! He has extremely similar career numbers to Koufax. He had the greatest season of all time, he fielded his position with tremendous athletic ability and had he not gotten injured would have put up even greater stats and possibly played 3 or 4 more seasons

  5. Ron should have been elected already. His stats show how great he was. He was a big game pitcher & his fielding was tremendous. He has been an ambassador for this great game since he retired. JUST PUT HIM IN.

  6. I watched Ron Guidry as a kid. Despite the family being from Texas, I was a Johnny Bench, hence Cincinnati Reds fan, from the time I could first keep up with and understand the game to any degree. It was when Bench retired that I switched to the local team, the Texas Rangers. Anyway, I always dreaded seeing Ron Guidry on the mound anytime a team I liked faced the Yankees (which was pretty much any team playing the Yankees lol). The sad thing about the HoF, is that stats are overrated and the obvious impact the player had on the game at the time they played is often lost. Ron Guidry, Edgar Martinez, and others are on my list of players who belong and my respect for the HoF won’t return until players like them are put in.

  7. Guidy y Glavine se parecían mucho fuero sobre cargados pr sus dirigentes y fueron leales a sus equipo eso también debe tenerse reconsideración a la hora de votar.

  8. It would be a travesty if Ron Guidry doesn’t get into the hall of fame. I was living in Louisiana during his pitching days. He represented southwest Louisiana incredibly well. The years he did pitch were incredible, and greatly deserves to be in the baseball hall of fame.

  9. I Hated everything about the Yankees in the 70’s and 80’s. But Yes! Ron Guidry is a Hall of Fame Pitcher and visitors to the Hall should see the Louisiana Lightning bust. Absolutely dominated hitters and had one of best seasons ever on record. Yankees don’t win WS without him. Make room for him.

  10. Ronald beyond a doubt belongs in the Hall of Fame. Yankees wasted his talent for (7) years in the minor leagues, which could have potentially added 105-140 additional wins and numerous strike-outs, golden gloves, Cy Young and MVP’s. He was the “Ace” of the Yankees for 8-10 years, which meant he pitched against the best of every opponent team. He “completed” an extreme amount of games and had the speed of the mound of a cougar. He was inducted into the “most prestigious” wall of fame as a Yankee and also had his number retired, so in my opinion, he is a Hall of Famer for the Yankees and that’s more prestigious then the Baseball Hall of Fame who are voted by people who pick favorites, not Great Players.

  11. Ron Guidry definetely belongs in the Hallof Fame. His stats are slightly better than Don Sutton, who is in the Hall, and very close to Sandy Koufax. I was in my 20’s and 30’s when Guidry pitched for 14 years, all with the Yankees (no, I’m not a Yankees fan) and the best hitters in the 70’s and 80’s invariably cited Guidry, Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton as the pitchers they feared most. To the voters for induction into the Hall, please do the right thing and vote “Louisiana Lightning” into the Hall of Fame.

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