Monday, May 17, 2021

Passing Freddie Lindstrom

With a hit in yesterday's game, Andrew McCutchen has secured himself again as having more career hits than someone in the Hall of Fame.  

Cutch now sits at 1,748 career hits.

There are many players in the HOF that Cutch already has more individual career stats of like HR or Stolen Bases or RBI, but one thing for HOF players that was beating Cutch by a significant amount is the hit totals. 

Until now...

If you aren't familar with Freddie Lindstrom (because I wasn't until I randomly googled him) let me share with you some things I learned about Freddie Lindstrom

He is one of the Hall of Famers with the fewest number of hits in Cooperstown by a non-pitcher. 

As you can see the 3rd Baseman/Outfielder retired at the age of 30 after a 13 year career in the majors with the Giants, Pirates, Cubs, and Dodgers.

He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1933 along with 5 other future Hall of Famers (Arky Vaughan, Pie Traynor, Lloyd Waner, Paul Waner, and Waite Hoyt).
I have an auto of Pie Traynor
and Waite Hoyt
and Lil Poison, Lloyd Waner 

I am still on the hunt for an Arky Vaughan and Paul Waner auto.

Lindstrom played both 3rd Base in his career and Outfield.  Due to Hall of Famer, Pie Traynor being on the Pirates, Lindstrom was predominantly played in the Outfield along with the pair of Hall of Famer Waner Brothers (Paul and Lloyd).  Lindstrom finished his career with a 27.5WAR (lowest among all positional Hall of Famers) McCutchen currently has a 44.6WAR

Lindstrom finished his 13 year career with an OPS+ of only 110, meaning he was better than only 10% of the players from his era. McCutchen through his 13 season career is a 132 OPS+ player

In an era known for playing "small ball" and stealing bases, Freddie finished his career with 84 stolen bases and 77 caught stealing. That's good for only a 52% success rate. McCutchen's success rate is currently almost 72%.  He has the same amount of career caught stealing, but has 109 more successful stolen base attempts. 

I know it was a different era, but Lindstrom (who never played more than 150 games in his career) would have only struck out 31 times over an entire 162 game season. That is very impressive as he often times was one of the hardest guys to strike out. Alec Bohm, Rhys Hoskins, Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen, and JT Realmuto have all surpassed that total individually on the young season. Didi Gregorious and Brad Miller are both getting close to that total also so nearly every position player on the 2021 Philadelphia Phillies has already reached Lindstrom's season record in 40 games played. 

I am not sure if Andrew McCutchen will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player after his retirement. I think if he can accumulate another 4 seasons of 150+ hits per year he will have a very solid shot, but there are other great centerfielders that fell off the ballot early (Bernie Williams and Kenny Lofton immediately come to mind).  
Cutch was definitely one of the best hitters of the 2010s though, regardless of position played.

Do you think it's fair to compare Hall of Famers across different eras?  Would the All Time Greats be able to hit the pitchers on the mound and extreme use of shifting and bullpens of this era?  

Who are some players you think deserved a better shot at the Hall of Fame, but have already fallen off the ballots? 


  1. Wow, he kind of stunk at stealing bases. In his best season, he stole 15 while being gunned down 21 times.

    I don't think it's fair to compare, but still interesting to see how a player stacks up on numbers alone. Either way, I'm pulling for Cutch to be a HOFer.

  2. A. Not fair to compare.

    B. Dave Parker, Dick Allen, & Gil Hodges are three that come to mind.

  3. I actually have autos of Waite Hoyt and Lloyd Waner...well, I think I do, as I acquired them many years ago and really can't be sure they're authentic. Both on 1960 Fleer cards. But a Pie Traynor auto...WOW! When I was a kid he was always named as the greatest third baseman of all time, although that was probably heavily overrating him and it should have been Eddie Matthews. (Mike Schmidt was just starting out at the time.)

    Joe Posnanski calls Lindstrom "Better Than" Freddie Lindstrom, because whoever you think should be in the Hall of Fame, you can always say he was better than Freddie Lindstrom.

    Players who I think should be in the Hall: Luis Tiant, Dick Allen, Dwight Evans, Lou Whitaker, Keith Hernandez. I'm sure there are others but that would be a really good start.

  4. I try not to compare modern players with, really, anyone that played before that player was born. Each generation is so different. Players that should be in the HOF but aren't are Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens. No one else is in the same stratosphere with those there.