What players who had HOF (or near HOF) careers but held on waaaaaaaay too long?

EstilEstil Posts: 5,667 ✭✭✭
edited June 25, 2019 9:10AM in Sports Talk

I'll start you off with this one:

Steve Carlton
Second in all time K's, first to win four Cy Youngs (72, 77, 80, 82), Triple Crown in 1972, 329 wins...good for HOF Class of '94. But boy he really really should've hung it up after 1984 or 1985. The Phillies clearly thought he was done after his injury plagued 1985 season and let him go fairly early in the 1986 season...but Steve wouldn't give up so easily. Okay I suppose I can't fault him for at least finishing out 1986 but in that year he had a meager nine wins, 120 K's (decent by most standards but certainly not what Steve was used to) and an embarrassing 5.10 ERA (he never did worse than 3.90), and ended up on three teams (Giants, White Sox were the others). So clearly he most definetly was finished after 1986 right? Nope, he tried to squeeze out another year with the Indians and Twins in 1987...good for a awful ERA of 5.74 along with a mere six wins and 91 strikeouts. Least he did get a third championship. But incredibly, he still tried to hang on in 1988! But he only managed four games and 9.2 innings before the Twins finally let him go. And really, if you look at his 1988 Fleer card he just plain looks terrible...like he knows he's finished but for whatever reason just can't accept it.

My best friend Jamiee (born 7/14/12) and my dearly departed Tweetie (6/15/05 - 8/18/12):

http://s650.photobucket.com/user/Estil/library

WISHLIST
1974 Topps set : 38, 46, 48, 78, 79, 102, 138, 143, 148, 151, 156, 193, 201, 210, 214, 223, 241, 243, 256, 264, 266, 268, 277, 289, 290, 316, 349, 367, 379, 391, 392, 398, 404, 405, 429, 435, 460, 466, 492, 504, 535, 552, 570, 577, 592, 603, 610, 614, 616, 633, 654, 655, 660
1997 Finest silver: 115, 135, 139, 145, 310
1995 Ultra Gold Medallion Sets: Golden Prospects, HR Kings, On-Base Leaders, Power Plus, RBI Kings, Rising Stars

Comments

  • stevekstevek Posts: 23,104 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Estil said:
    I'll start you off with this one:

    Steve Carlton
    Second in all time K's, first to win four Cy Youngs (72, 77, 80, 82), Triple Crown in 1972, 329 wins...good for HOF Class of '94. But boy he really really should've hung it up after 1984 or 1985. The Phillies clearly thought he was done after his injury plagued 1985 season and let him go fairly early in the 1986 season...but Steve wouldn't give up so easily. Okay I suppose I can't fault him for at least finishing out 1986 but in that year he had a meager nine wins, 120 K's (decent by most standards but certainly not what Steve was used to) and an embarrassing 5.10 ERA (he never did worse than 3.90), and ended up on three teams (Giants, White Sox were the others). So clearly he most definetly was finished after 1986 right? Nope, he tried to squeeze out another year with the Indians and Twins in 1987...good for a awful ERA of 5.74 along with a mere six wins and 91 strikeouts. Least he did get a third championship. But incredibly, he still tried to hang on in 1988! But he only managed four games and 9.2 innings before the Twins finally let him go. And really, if you look at his 1988 Fleer card he just plain looks terrible...like he knows he's finished but for whatever reason just can't accept it.

    I think sometimes it's the tenacity that helps a top athlete such as Carlton get to the highest level, can also cause someone such as this to continue on at the end of his career despite the hopelessness. And don't forget, as long as some MLB team owner is willing to pay him, then why not?

    Perhaps it's sort of like a thoroughbred race horse will try to keep running even with a broken leg.

  • thisistheshowthisistheshow Posts: 2,130 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Rickey Henderson

    Manny Ramirez

    Julio Franco

  • CoinstartledCoinstartled Posts: 9,188 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Barry Bonds

  • EstilEstil Posts: 5,667 ✭✭✭

    @thisistheshow said:
    Rickey Henderson

    Manny Ramirez

    Julio Franco

    Care to be more specific? Like when should they have stepped down? Did they desperately bounce from one team to another like Carlton did? Was there a clear decline in their stats yet they still tried to hang on? One thing I remember about Rickey Henderson he was with Oakland about 4-5 times!

    If the movie The Babe was any indication, it was definitely not fun to be Babe Ruth during 1935.

    My best friend Jamiee (born 7/14/12) and my dearly departed Tweetie (6/15/05 - 8/18/12):

    http://s650.photobucket.com/user/Estil/library

    WISHLIST
    1974 Topps set : 38, 46, 48, 78, 79, 102, 138, 143, 148, 151, 156, 193, 201, 210, 214, 223, 241, 243, 256, 264, 266, 268, 277, 289, 290, 316, 349, 367, 379, 391, 392, 398, 404, 405, 429, 435, 460, 466, 492, 504, 535, 552, 570, 577, 592, 603, 610, 614, 616, 633, 654, 655, 660
    1997 Finest silver: 115, 135, 139, 145, 310
    1995 Ultra Gold Medallion Sets: Golden Prospects, HR Kings, On-Base Leaders, Power Plus, RBI Kings, Rising Stars
  • thisistheshowthisistheshow Posts: 2,130 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Estil said:

    @thisistheshow said:
    Rickey Henderson

    Manny Ramirez

    Julio Franco

    Care to be more specific? Like when should they have stepped down? Did they desperately bounce from one team to another like Carlton did? Was there a clear decline in their stats yet they still tried to hang on? One thing I remember about Rickey Henderson he was with Oakland about 4-5 times!

    If the movie The Babe was any indication, it was definitely not fun to be Babe Ruth during 1935.

    I should have some time tonight. These were off the top of my head.

  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 19,979 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Willie Mays, Hank Aaron

  • LarkinCollectorLarkinCollector Posts: 6,868 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would say pretty much all of the greats hung on a bit too long.

  • TabeTabe Posts: 3,479 ✭✭✭
    edited June 25, 2019 2:22PM

    @Estil said:
    I'll start you off with this one:

    Steve Carlton
    Second in all time K's, first to win four Cy Youngs (72, 77, 80, 82), Triple Crown in 1972, 329 wins...good for HOF Class of '94. But boy he really really should've hung it up after 1984 or 1985. The Phillies clearly thought he was done after his injury plagued 1985 season and let him go fairly early in the 1986 season...but Steve wouldn't give up so easily. Okay I suppose I can't fault him for at least finishing out 1986 but in that year he had a meager nine wins, 120 K's (decent by most standards but certainly not what Steve was used to) and an embarrassing 5.10 ERA (he never did worse than 3.90), and ended up on three teams (Giants, White Sox were the others). So clearly he most definetly was finished after 1986 right? Nope, he tried to squeeze out another year with the Indians and Twins in 1987...good for a awful ERA of 5.74 along with a mere six wins and 91 strikeouts. Least he did get a third championship. But incredibly, he still tried to hang on in 1988! But he only managed four games and 9.2 innings before the Twins finally let him go. And really, if you look at his 1988 Fleer card he just plain looks terrible...like he knows he's finished but for whatever reason just can't accept it.

    Tough to fault Carlton for coming back in 1987. He pitched well down the stretch in 1986. He had 6 starts for Chicago in September and, other than one where he gave up 3 ER in 3-2/3 IP, he pitched well. Had a complete game, an 8-inning-no-runs start, etc. Ended up with a 3.69 ERA for Chicago.

  • TabeTabe Posts: 3,479 ✭✭✭

    @LarkinCollector said:
    I would say pretty much all of the greats hung on a bit too long.

    A couple that didn't both played in Boston:

    Ted Williams, 1960: .316 avg, 29 homers, OPS+ of 190 in 113 games
    David Ortiz, 2016: .315 avg, 38 homers OPS+ of 164 in 151 games

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 3,337 ✭✭✭✭

    Pete rose

  • EstilEstil Posts: 5,667 ✭✭✭

    @perkdog said:
    Willie Mays, Hank Aaron

    I think I remember hearing something about Willie really making a fool of himself in that 1973 post season in someway? Was pretty darn sad actually.

    My best friend Jamiee (born 7/14/12) and my dearly departed Tweetie (6/15/05 - 8/18/12):

    http://s650.photobucket.com/user/Estil/library

    WISHLIST
    1974 Topps set : 38, 46, 48, 78, 79, 102, 138, 143, 148, 151, 156, 193, 201, 210, 214, 223, 241, 243, 256, 264, 266, 268, 277, 289, 290, 316, 349, 367, 379, 391, 392, 398, 404, 405, 429, 435, 460, 466, 492, 504, 535, 552, 570, 577, 592, 603, 610, 614, 616, 633, 654, 655, 660
    1997 Finest silver: 115, 135, 139, 145, 310
    1995 Ultra Gold Medallion Sets: Golden Prospects, HR Kings, On-Base Leaders, Power Plus, RBI Kings, Rising Stars
  • EstilEstil Posts: 5,667 ✭✭✭

    @LarkinCollector said:
    I would say pretty much all of the greats hung on a bit too long.

    Jim Brown and Barry Sanders are a couple of perfect examples of the opposite end of the spectrum.

    My best friend Jamiee (born 7/14/12) and my dearly departed Tweetie (6/15/05 - 8/18/12):

    http://s650.photobucket.com/user/Estil/library

    WISHLIST
    1974 Topps set : 38, 46, 48, 78, 79, 102, 138, 143, 148, 151, 156, 193, 201, 210, 214, 223, 241, 243, 256, 264, 266, 268, 277, 289, 290, 316, 349, 367, 379, 391, 392, 398, 404, 405, 429, 435, 460, 466, 492, 504, 535, 552, 570, 577, 592, 603, 610, 614, 616, 633, 654, 655, 660
    1997 Finest silver: 115, 135, 139, 145, 310
    1995 Ultra Gold Medallion Sets: Golden Prospects, HR Kings, On-Base Leaders, Power Plus, RBI Kings, Rising Stars
  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 19,979 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 25, 2019 2:46PM

    @Estil said:

    @LarkinCollector said:
    I would say pretty much all of the greats hung on a bit too long.

    Jim Brown and Barry Sanders are a couple of perfect examples of the opposite end of the spectrum.

    Calvin Johnson too

  • dallasactuarydallasactuary Posts: 2,653 ✭✭✭✭

    @Estil said:
    Care to be more specific? Like when should they have stepped down? Did they desperately bounce from one team to another like Carlton did?

    My standard for "too long" is sticking around after you've already had one full season, without injury, that is not just worse than you've been before, but actually bad. By that standard the only ones mentioned here who clearly hung around too long are Carlton and Henderson. Maybe Franco, too, but Franco was never all that good to begin with, so how can you tell?

    But how did we get this far into this topic without mentioning the all-time king of bouncing around from team to team putting up numbers that would make Marv Throneberry blush? For nine years - NINE YEARS! - Ichiro has been leaving a trail of pure stink behind him, and taking a roster spot that an actual baseball player would love to have.

    dallasactuary

    Official defender of Ron Santo
    Official defender of Bert Blyleven
    Official defender of Bill Mazeroski
    Jim Rice sucks
    Jack Morris sucks and blows simultaneously.
  • EstilEstil Posts: 5,667 ✭✭✭

    looking up Rickey's stats

    2000-2003, yikes!

    My best friend Jamiee (born 7/14/12) and my dearly departed Tweetie (6/15/05 - 8/18/12):

    http://s650.photobucket.com/user/Estil/library

    WISHLIST
    1974 Topps set : 38, 46, 48, 78, 79, 102, 138, 143, 148, 151, 156, 193, 201, 210, 214, 223, 241, 243, 256, 264, 266, 268, 277, 289, 290, 316, 349, 367, 379, 391, 392, 398, 404, 405, 429, 435, 460, 466, 492, 504, 535, 552, 570, 577, 592, 603, 610, 614, 616, 633, 654, 655, 660
    1997 Finest silver: 115, 135, 139, 145, 310
    1995 Ultra Gold Medallion Sets: Golden Prospects, HR Kings, On-Base Leaders, Power Plus, RBI Kings, Rising Stars
  • softparadesoftparade Posts: 8,548 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Tom Brady

    ISO 1978 Topps Baseball in NM-MT High Grade Raw
    3, 5, 34, 60, 100, 103, 153, 213, 240, 263, 279, 294, 302, 328, 347, 376, 389, 416, 443, 452, 466, 481, 487, 509, 534, 540, 554, 576, 579, 580, 581, 584, 606, 609, 622, 634, 642, 654, 673, 678, 682, 724


  • TabeTabe Posts: 3,479 ✭✭✭

    @softparade said:
    Tom Brady

    I don't care what he does this coming season. 50 touchdowns and another Super Bowl? Don't care. He should have retired after this latest win with his health intact.

  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 19,979 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Tabe said:

    @softparade said:
    Tom Brady

    I don't care what he does this coming season. 50 touchdowns and another Super Bowl? Don't care. He should have retired after this latest win with his health intact.

    I admit I agree with this. Gronk was smart to actually “Walk” away with the Money, Fame and most importantly his heath. I think Brady will give it one more solid run but at this point it’s pure greed to want more out of him.

  • softparadesoftparade Posts: 8,548 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I kid about Brady lol

    ISO 1978 Topps Baseball in NM-MT High Grade Raw
    3, 5, 34, 60, 100, 103, 153, 213, 240, 263, 279, 294, 302, 328, 347, 376, 389, 416, 443, 452, 466, 481, 487, 509, 534, 540, 554, 576, 579, 580, 581, 584, 606, 609, 622, 634, 642, 654, 673, 678, 682, 724


  • maplemanmapleman Posts: 862 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @perkdog said:
    Willie Mays, Hank Aaron

    Agreed on Mays. Aaron not so sure.

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 6,138 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Don't agree on Aaron or Mays.

    Carlton was still "good" in 1985, but dropped off pretty quickly. He did show a little promise with the CWS in '86 and the Twins gave him a try in '87 as a piece in a team that won the WS.

    I remember when the Twins acquired him, lots of talk of him being washed up. They were not expecting him to be a #1 starter by any means.

    I'll argue that most of the guys actually didn't "hang on" WAY to long, but became about average players for a couple of years before retiring. The looked bad because they were so good in their primes. Many were battling injuries too.

    My guy, Killebrew still managed to stay at 90 or above in OPS+ his last three years. Harmon (like many of these guys) was fighting not only age, but injury problems and felt if he could get healthy, could still be productive.

    Harmon had said he regretted going to KC for his final year. I'm thinking he was hoping to play regularly and get to 600 HR.

    VERY hard for me to criticize these guys for giving it a year or two to convince them to move on.

    It is/was sad to see it happen.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 28,037 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Warren Spahn tried to hang on for too. He probably thought that he could somehow pass Grover Cleveland Alexander and Christy Mathewson for lifetime wins, but he was too far over the hill.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible.
  • MLBdaysMLBdays Posts: 1,134 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 27, 2019 7:08AM

    Ron Hodges.... should never have gotten involved in the game...he started too young and held on too late. ~~~Sorry I had very low reading comp. scores as a child and its pestered me throughout adulthood..... Im holding on too long. Hodges not a HOF'er or anywhere close.

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 6,138 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones said:
    Warren Spahn tried to hang on for too. He probably thought that he could somehow pass Grover Cleveland Alexander and Christy Mathewson for lifetime wins, but he was too far over the hill.

    Agreed, but he was a little better than league average his final year.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • 3stars3stars Posts: 886 ✭✭✭✭

    Miguel Cabrera comes to mind...

    Previous transactions: Wondercoin
  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 6,138 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 27, 2019 8:01PM

    @3stars said:
    Miguel Cabrera comes to mind...

    Power really dropped off but could/can still hit for average.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • TabeTabe Posts: 3,479 ✭✭✭

    @JoeBanzai said:

    @3stars said:
    Miguel Cabrera comes to mind...

    Power really dropped off but could/can still hit for average.

    He's difficult to watch. Nearly immobile, 35lbs overweight (at least), can't even play 1B. Has a .383 SLG. He's completely finished as a player.

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 6,138 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Tabe said:

    @JoeBanzai said:

    @3stars said:
    Miguel Cabrera comes to mind...

    Power really dropped off but could/can still hit for average.

    He's difficult to watch. Nearly immobile, 35lbs overweight (at least), can't even play 1B. Has a .383 SLG. He's completely finished as a player.

    I won't argue. Getting old sucks. I would prolly hang on until released.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • daltexdaltex Posts: 438 ✭✭✭

    Can't blame players making eight figures for not walking away from their contracts.

    Babe Ruth was embarrassing with the Braves, but mercifully brief. Where do we list the players (Koufax) who were fine in their last seasons but couldn't physically play anymore?

  • MLBdaysMLBdays Posts: 1,134 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 28, 2019 7:25AM

    Rickey Henderson didn't do anybody any favors playing 25 years... I think he wanted to hit certain numbers b4 retirement... up and down with the Dodgers etc.... I saw him hit the last or second to last homer he ever hit at Chavez Ravine in '03 vs. the Cards I believe ... he was 3 homers shy of 300 but did eclipse 3000 hits and 1400 SB's..... age 44.

  • TabeTabe Posts: 3,479 ✭✭✭

    @JoeBanzai said:

    I won't argue. Getting old sucks. I would prolly hang on until released.

    Man, you pay me $31m a year, I'm gonna keep coming back, too.

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 6,138 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Tabe said:

    @JoeBanzai said:

    I won't argue. Getting old sucks. I would prolly hang on until released.

    Man, you pay me $31m a year, I'm gonna keep coming back, too.

    Here's a question for everyone what WOULDN'T you do for 31 mil?

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • EstilEstil Posts: 5,667 ✭✭✭

    @daltex said:
    Can't blame players making eight figures for not walking away from their contracts.

    Babe Ruth was embarrassing with the Braves, but mercifully brief. Where do we list the players (Koufax) who were fine in their last seasons but couldn't physically play anymore?

    I sort of thought that was covered already...just like how a few years ago I did a draft steals topic because I thought the topic of draft busts was overdone.

    My best friend Jamiee (born 7/14/12) and my dearly departed Tweetie (6/15/05 - 8/18/12):

    http://s650.photobucket.com/user/Estil/library

    WISHLIST
    1974 Topps set : 38, 46, 48, 78, 79, 102, 138, 143, 148, 151, 156, 193, 201, 210, 214, 223, 241, 243, 256, 264, 266, 268, 277, 289, 290, 316, 349, 367, 379, 391, 392, 398, 404, 405, 429, 435, 460, 466, 492, 504, 535, 552, 570, 577, 592, 603, 610, 614, 616, 633, 654, 655, 660
    1997 Finest silver: 115, 135, 139, 145, 310
    1995 Ultra Gold Medallion Sets: Golden Prospects, HR Kings, On-Base Leaders, Power Plus, RBI Kings, Rising Stars
  • EstilEstil Posts: 5,667 ✭✭✭

    @softparade said:
    Tom Brady

    But he just won another Super Bowl and his Patriots made four of the last five SBs (hee hee I love teasing my Bostonian wife about that and saying how most all football fans outside of NE hate the Patriots...and how her Red Sox (they're now up to four titles since 2004 and are second highest payroll behind the Evil Empire) are now "Evil Empire Lite" and that all the other MLB fanbases are sick of all Yanks/BoSox all the time).

    But seriously, don't stop while you're hot, right? On that note, didn't Dan Marino have a really really embarrassing last game of his career? :(

    My best friend Jamiee (born 7/14/12) and my dearly departed Tweetie (6/15/05 - 8/18/12):

    http://s650.photobucket.com/user/Estil/library

    WISHLIST
    1974 Topps set : 38, 46, 48, 78, 79, 102, 138, 143, 148, 151, 156, 193, 201, 210, 214, 223, 241, 243, 256, 264, 266, 268, 277, 289, 290, 316, 349, 367, 379, 391, 392, 398, 404, 405, 429, 435, 460, 466, 492, 504, 535, 552, 570, 577, 592, 603, 610, 614, 616, 633, 654, 655, 660
    1997 Finest silver: 115, 135, 139, 145, 310
    1995 Ultra Gold Medallion Sets: Golden Prospects, HR Kings, On-Base Leaders, Power Plus, RBI Kings, Rising Stars
  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 28,037 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In his last year with the Yankees, Alex Rodriguez could still hit home runs but very little else. His batting average was barely above .200. The Yankees management put him out of his misery.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible.
  • tunahead08tunahead08 Posts: 1,055 ✭✭✭

    Cal Ripken could have hung it up a year or 2 earlier, and I say that as a Ripken fan and collector

  • larryallen73larryallen73 Posts: 5,950 ✭✭✭

    Minnie Minoso.

    (J/K)

  • EstilEstil Posts: 5,667 ✭✭✭

    @tunahead08 said:
    Cal Ripken could have hung it up a year or 2 earlier, and I say that as a Ripken fan and collector

    He did in fact choose to end The Streak at the end of the 1998 because he wanted to do so on his own terms while he still could. Shoot even in his last season he became (I think) the only player to get All-Star Game MVP in two different decades!

    My best friend Jamiee (born 7/14/12) and my dearly departed Tweetie (6/15/05 - 8/18/12):

    http://s650.photobucket.com/user/Estil/library

    WISHLIST
    1974 Topps set : 38, 46, 48, 78, 79, 102, 138, 143, 148, 151, 156, 193, 201, 210, 214, 223, 241, 243, 256, 264, 266, 268, 277, 289, 290, 316, 349, 367, 379, 391, 392, 398, 404, 405, 429, 435, 460, 466, 492, 504, 535, 552, 570, 577, 592, 603, 610, 614, 616, 633, 654, 655, 660
    1997 Finest silver: 115, 135, 139, 145, 310
    1995 Ultra Gold Medallion Sets: Golden Prospects, HR Kings, On-Base Leaders, Power Plus, RBI Kings, Rising Stars
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