Carl Mays

Should Carl Mays Be in the Hall of Fame?

As I do my research, I’m taking note of guys who are in the Baseball Hall of Fame who have a case, guys who are in but probably shouldn’t be, and of course, guys who absolutely should be, starting with my thoughts on Carl Mays. Now when I think of the Hall of Fame I’m a fan of a bigger Hall of Fame and not just the obvious guys. Part of that is because baseball has been around for a really long time and it’s so easy for guys who were really good to just get completely forgotten.

Carl Mays
Credit: Library of Congress

Considering the Hall of Fame is a baseball museum first and foremost, it really should list baseball history. Because of that, I think very good players of their eras should at least be considered (especially if there’s something that added to their fame, Rabbit Maranville is one of my players I’ll use to justify this, but later because most haven’t heard of him I assume) and I also do believe cheaters (steroid uses especially) should be in because letting some in and leaving some out is just hypocritical. I also think the players banned for gambling should be let in for the same reason. There are some great ballplayers that aren’t in the museum of the sport and I don’t think it makes any sense, personally.

Carl Mays pitched for the Red Sox, Yankees, Reds, and Giants. He was kind of known for being a bit of a butthole and he had a reputation for throwing high and tight. This all culminated when he hit Ray Chapman in the head and ultimately killed him.

Carl Mays was a pitcher who had a 51.4 WAR, which isn’t too shabby as there are plenty of Hall of Famers who have worse (though it is easier for a pitcher to rack up WAR, especially in the age of pitcher’s going so many innings) so I can see not leaning on that alone. He had a career record of 207 wins and 126 losses with a career ERA of 2.92. He struck out 862 in 3021.1 innings and most importantly he won a Josh MVP in the 1918 World Series (with the potential for more, and more on what I mean by that later…)

I think what’s left him out of the Hall starts with the death of Ray Chapman. Mays has gotten a lot of crap for the death but the reality is the game always glorified throwing in and they didn’t wear helmets at the time. In some ways the accident was inevitable. But if you add to it, while his WAR is Hall of Fame-worthy, there aren’t too many other numbers that stand out.

207 wins would be considered impressive today (at least to those that value wins) and he really didn’t have many strikeouts. There just isn’t a lot that stands out with him in a traditional number sense (and really, I need more value to be applied to the Josh World Series MVP Award, like, c’mon the thing is prestigious.)

At the end of the day, I don’t really plan on making many arguments for or against a player’s case and I’m not going to do it with Mays but really I’m going to do a quick look at players who may have been overlooked and why.

Featured Image Credit: Library of Congress.

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