Why Dave Parker should be in the Hall of Fame

With today being the Hall of Fame announcement for 2012, I thought I would make a case for a former Pirate who is now off the ballot and that’s Dave Parker. Parker was a seven-time All-Star who won the 1978 NL MVP and there were four other seasons in which he finished in the Top 5 of the MVP voting. Now just for the record, there are currently 23 Hall of Fame right fielders. Parker won three Gold Glove awards and although that isn’t a lot, it is more than some of the Hall of Famers who played right field. He also won the batting title in back to back seasons which only one Hall of Famer has done and that’s Roberto Clemente. Now let’s take a look at how his numbers compare to Hall of Fame right fielders. His career .290 average was better than Dave Winfield, Reggie Jackson, and Harry Hooper. His 2,712 hits were more than Harry Heilmann and Tommy McCarthy. He had 339 home runs which were more than Clemente, McCarthy, and Paul Waner. His 1,493 RBI’s were also more than Clemente, McCarthy, and Waner. Here’s a fact that stands out to me. He had more career doubles (526) than 18 of the 23 right field Hall of Famers including get this – Babe Ruth and Al Kaline. Parker I know didn’t do too much in the postseason or have a signature moment other than the outfield assist he had in the 1979 All-Star game, but it’s not like all of the Hall of Famers had great postseasons. I ultimately think that’s what hurt Parker’s chances of becoming a Hall of Famer in my opinion. The reality is that he was one of the best right fielders in baseball from the mid to late 70’s. He may not be looked at as a great hitter for Cooperstown, but he will always be looked at as one of the great hitters in Pittsburgh Pirates history and that’s something that needs no ballot.

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