Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hall of Fame Spotlight - Joe Medwick

Plaque photo borrowed from www.baseballhall.org

Joe Medwick (b. 1911 - d. 1975) was a member of the legendary 'Gashouse Gang' Cardinals teams of the 1930s. I had never heard of him, so I thought this would be a good time to take a look at the player and see why he was elected to the Hall of Fame. Medwick was nicknamed 'Ducky Wucky' (yeah, you read that right) by the fans due to the way he waddled when he walked. Apparently, his teammates called him 'muscles' and didn't dare call him the other nickname. Good idea. Medwick played in the majors from 1932 to 1948 for the Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants and Braves. His career numbers are pretty decent: 2,471 hits, 205 home runs, 1,383 RBI and a .324 batting average.
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He was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Writer's Association in 1968 with 84.8% of the vote (his 9th ballot).
What makes him a Hall of Famer?
  • 1937 NL MVP
  • 1937 NL batting champ (.374)
  • Member of 1934 World Series Champion Cardinals
  • Led the league in hits in 1936 and 1937 (223, 237)
  • Led the league in RBI 3 times - 1936 (138), 1937 (154) and 1938 (122)
  • His career .324 average ranks 47th all-time
  • His 540 doubles rank 28th all-time
  • 10-time All Star (1934-1942, 1944)
  • Batted .300 or higher in 11 seasons (10-straight)

Should he be a Hall of Famer?

  • Gained election on his 9th ballot (84.8%)
  • Led the league in errors for outfielder in 1934 (14)
  • Didn't reach magic numbers of 3,000 hits or 500 home runs, but his career average of .324 is very good.
  • Has one of the worst nicknames I've seen (Ducky isn't bad, but Ducky Wucky is painful)

The Verdict?

Looking at his career numbers, yeah, ok, so Medwick didn't reach 3,000 hits or come close to 300 home runs, let alone 500. Oh well. We led the league in RBI, hits, average, doubles, triples, runs, on numerous occaisions. All-around, Medwick was a phenomenal hitter. I vote YES, Medwick should very much be a hall of famer.

Checking out Ebay, you can find a signed post card, index card or photo of Medwick averaging around $125 authenticated. I only saw one baseball and it was selling as a buy it now for $1,799.00.

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