"So many other reasons that I've been inducted in the Hall of Fame are long gone now. I no longer have a fastball, I no longer have a bad mullet, and my scowl is long gone. I'm so happy to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and be in the greatest fraternity of all time, and you the fans to share this great moment with me." - Randy Johnson
Many will call baseball boring. Others will call it a game from a bygone era. But when Hall of Fame weekend comes around every July, everyone puts those thoughts to bed and watches as legends earn their place in baseball history.
Though the Hall of Fame ballots are simply checking off a name, the process involved in picking who gets their vote is more complicated than one would think, especially in today's advanced stat era. But, the championship factor is unfortunately still prominent, as great to elite players will potentially lose votes if they never won a World Series.
Welcome to today's quiz, where we'll be looking at recent Hall of Famers to see if they've won a World Series ring as a player. To do this, we will be looking at every Hall of Famer inducted by the Baseball Writers' Association of America - NOT THE VETERAN'S COMMITTEE - since 1999 with the exception of George Brett, a 1999 inductee who won the 1985 World Series with the Kansas City Royals. Brett was joined by two other players in that class from the Veteran's Committee, both of whom are trickier answers for this quiz.
If you're confused about the difference between the Baseball Writers' Association of America and the Veteran's Committee, the easiest way to explain it is this: the BBWAA votes on players eligible in their first ten (formerly 15) years on the ballot, while the Veteran's Committee handles players who didn't make it in on those attempts. In other words, Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux are on this quiz, but Ron Santo and Joe Gordon aren't.
Grab your beat-up glove, a home-made bat, and a brand new pair of shoes because we're headed to Cooperstown...
We start our list off with a player that, maybe, is a bit overdue for the Hall of Fame. A product from the University of Hartford (go Hawks!), Bagwell is one of the many players on this list that spent their entire major league career with one team. Part of the Killer B's alongside Craig Biggio (more on him soon) and Lance Berkman, Bagwell was the 1994 National League MVP and a four-time All-Star. Does he have a World Series ring?
Finally inducted into the Hall of Fame on his tenth and final try, it's almost embarrassing how forgotten Raines' success can get because he was a similar player to Rickey Henderson. But, as many fans and analysts have noted in recent years, Raines was arguably a superior player to Henderson because of higher stealing percentages (Raines stole 808 of a possible 950 bases, good enough for 85 percent, while Raines stole 1,406 of a possible 1,741, only good for 80.75 percent). We'll save that conversation for another day, but does Raines have a World Series ring?
Where would you rank Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez among the greatest catchers of baseball history? For me, there is a serious case to put him in the top three alongside Johnny Bench and Yogi Berra (we're not counting Josh Gibson in that conversation because, unfortunately, he never played in the majors) and can you blame us? Whether it was for the Rangers, Marlins, Tigers, or even his final years in Washington, Pudge could dominate at and behind the plate...but we're not going to talk about his stint with the Yankees in 2008. Does Pudge have a championship under his belt?
Ken Griffey Jr.
Is there really anything to say about 'The Kid' that hasn't been written over the years? Seven years after his final game with the Seattle Mariners, Griffey is still talked about for his MVP seasons in the 1990s, his insane home runs, and his jaw-dropping catches in the outfield. Though injuries robbed him of becoming potentially the greatest player of all-time, Griffey played the game with enthusiasm and love even in the steroid era. Was Griffey ever able to win a World Series?
So if we're putting Ivan Rodriguez as a top three catcher alongside Yogi Berra and Johnny Bench, then Piazza definitely has to be part of the top five (as insane as this may sound, San Francisco's Buster Posey may already have a case for the final spot). Breaking into the league with the Los Angeles Dodgers after his godfather, Tommy Lasorda, took a chance on him, Piazza became best known for his time with the Mets, helping them to several playoff appearances and hitting a memorable home run after 9/11. Does Piazza have a championship?
Some will make the case that Randy Johnson, who finished his career with 303 wins, hung around too long so he could join that elite club. True, Johnson battled injuries in his final years and was a shell of the Cy Young form he'd been from 1990-2004, but The Big Unit still had his flashes of brilliance. Finishing his career with 4,875 strikeouts and six seasons with 300 or more punchouts, who would have imagined that he and NOT Roger Clemens would become the pitcher of that generation? Does Johnson have a championship?
If there's any pitcher other than Clemens who has a legitimate case for 'pitcher of the 2000's', Pedro Martinez has already stepped up to take the applause. From 1993-2005, Martinez had a 2.72 ERA and a 2,853-661 K-BB ratio in 2,505 innings with the Dodgers, Expos, and Red Sox. A three-time Cy Young Award winner, Martinez dominated hitters en route to winning five ERA titles. But, before he retired following the 2009 season and a stint with the Philadelphia Phillies, did Martinez win a World Series?
An ex-teammate of Johnson's with the Houston Astros (does anyone remember when The Big Unit played in Houston?), Biggio joins Bagwell as part of the Killer B's; and while Biggio never had the recognition or popularity outside of Houston that Bagwell had, he was a productive second baseman, though him reaching the 3,000 hit club in 2007 is likely what sealed his spot in the Hall. Interestingly, eight of the ten players Baseball-Reference ranks him as being similar to are in the Hall of Fame, while Derek Jeter should be an instant inductee in 2020. Back on track, though, does Biggio have a ring?
Our third straight pitcher - don't let those insane offensive numbers from the steroid era fool you into thinking every pitcher had a 5.00 ERA - on this list, Smoltz is one of the few on here to excel as both a starter AND a closer. After undergoing Tommy John surgery, Smoltz slid into the closer role for a short time and excelled, but he'll forever be remembered as a Cy Young winning starter. But, does Smoltz have a World Series ring?
The second of the big three in Atlanta, we've raved about Maddux here on TheQuiz before, so everything that we've said applies. Arguably the greatest pitcher of all-time? Check. The pitcher of the 1990's? Check. A 300 game winner and a pitcher with over 3,000 strikeouts? Check. And yet, Maddux was inducted into the Hall of Fame with 'only' 97.2 percent, though I'm hoping the voter's reasoning was, "well, he'll get in anyway, so let's vote someone else." Does Maddux have a ring?
If John Smoltz has a World Series ring and Greg Maddux has a ring, basic logic should dictate that Tom Glavine - the third and final member of that Big Three - should have one, right? Well, let's think about this for a second, because Glavine spent a fair part of his career on some awful Mets teams - and, of course, the 2007 one that collapsed. With that said, does the 300 game winner have a World Series ring?
We're done with pitchers for a little bit, so those who love offense can start cheering. A member of the 500 home run club and a dangerous hitter with the White Sox, Athletics, and Blue Jays, some look down on Frank Thomas because he spent his entire career as a designated hitter, but how can you hate on this guy? We've said it before and we'll say it again: there are some players that, regardless of when or where they play, you have to respect regardless. Does Thomas have a ring?
The National League's 1995 Most Valuable Player, Larkin is best known for his son, Shane, playing in the NBA with the Brooklyn Nets. Before then, Larkin was just some random Hall of Fame shortstop, making 12 All-Star Games and totaling a 70.2 WAR for his career after being the fourth overall pick in the 1985 MLB Draft. Interestingly, only Ryne Sandberg, Joe Cronin, and Roberto Alomar are Hall of Famers on the similarity score list that Baseball-Reference has, though Alan Trammell should be in, while Jimmy Rollins and Michael Young will both have serious cases. Does Larkin have a ring?
A 12 time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winning second baseman for several teams, many will unfortunately remember Roberto Alomar for the John Hirshbeck incident back in 1996 when the former was with the Orioles. Hitting a nice, round .300 for his career, Alomar was always an efficient second baseman and was rewarded in 2011 with an induction into the Hall of Fame. But, does Alomar, who played for seven big league teams, have a World Series win on his resume?
After all of the games he's called and the fans he's circled for the Minnesota Twins and Fox Sports North, it can be easy to forget that Bert Blyleven was a pitcher in his prime, much less a Hall of Famer. Compiling a 95.3 WAR for his career, Blyleven recorded 3,701 strikeouts in 4,970 innings from 1970-1992, making his debut at only 19 years and 60 days. Imagine if that happened now and a manager had a 19 year old throwing 164 innings and starting 25 games at the big league level? Did Blyleven ever win a World Series?
Totaling a 64.5 WAR and eight Gold Gloves for his career, I can admittedly understand why voters were so hesitant on inducting him into the Hall of Fame. True, Dawson was an elite outfielder at his peak, but there were more 'meh' and 'solid' seasons than there were outstanding, MVP-worthy. With that said, we were all glad to see Dawson join the Hall of Fame in 2010, getting inducted with 77.8 percent of the vote. Did he ever win a World Series?
Did you know that Jim Rice is the only player in Major League history to record over 200 hits and 39 home runs for three consecutive seasons? If you get the time, look at the players' official Hall of Fame pages because they have some really fascinating stats. Nearly a full decade after his 2009 induction into the Hall of Fame, people still seem a bit torn about if Rice deserves a spot. Me personally, I'm fine with it, but leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Did Rice ever win a World Series?
Despite Rice being a power hitter and Rickey Henderson being known more for stolen bases, the two actually have a lot in common. For example, they both played in the 1970's and 1980's! Oh, and they both played for the Red Sox at one point. But while it took time for Rice to make the Hall of Fame, Henderson - the self-proclaimed 'Greatest of All Time' - had no problems getting in on his first time. The stolen base king with 1,406, Henderson was the 1985 American League MVP and added 3,055 hits and a record 2,295 runs...but does he have a ring?
Rich 'Goose' Gossage
A teammate of Henderson's in Oakland during the 1992 season, I would have used a picture of Goose Gossage from his playing days, but the unwritten rules dictate I can't. Oh, and I'd speak more about his fantastic career, especially when he was with the New York Yankees from 1978-89, but those unwritten rules popped up again. Sorry, but old man Goose has ordered I respect the game and not say much other than asking if he's won a World Series.
Is Tony Gwynn the greatest hitter of all-time? The man has a hell of a case, especially when you watch his highlights and realize he really didn't look like a baseball player. Short and stout, Gwynn looked more like a running back than he did a player who nearly hit .400 in a single season and ranks nineteenth on the all-time hit list (though, being limited to 107 games in his final two seasons definitely held him back). Did Gwynn ever win a World Series?
Cal Ripken Jr.
Four spots ahead of Gwynn on the all-time hit list is the Iron Man himself, Cal Ripken. Best known for playing 2,632 consecutive games (!), Ripken was a two-time American League MVP and a 19-time All-Star, spending his entire career with the Baltimore Orioles. Totaling a 95.5 WAR for his career, we can only hope that the eight voters who left Ripken off their ballots in 2007 knew Ripken was a shoe-in anyway. Did Ripken ever win a World Series?
Maybe the most unknown player on this list because he was a career reliever for the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, and Atlanta Braves, there remains debate on if Bruce Sutter should be in the Hall of Fame. True, he has the accolades with a 1979 National League Cy Young Award and six All-Star Games in addition to three saves, but Baseball-Reference says he compares best to Doug Jones, Tom Henke, and Jeff Montgomery. Those guys aren't really Hall of Famers, but Sutter got the benefit of the doubt in 2006 and when looking over his career, did voters see a World Series win?
If Gwynn was the National League's best hitter of the modern era, then there has to be a serious case made for Wade Boggs and the Junior Circuit. Recording 3,010 hits over his career with the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and Tampa Bay Devil Rays - also known as the stint fans try to forget about - Boggs wowed fans with a sweet swing, clutch bats, and a heavy alcohol tolerance. But, did Boggs ever win a World Series?
Formerly the Philadelphia Phillies' manager from 2013-15, I think we can all agree that Ryne Sandberg's playing career was much more successful than his stint on the bench. Slashing .285/.344/.452 for his career with a 67.5 WAR, Sandberg played all but his rookie year in Chicago from 1981-97. Though he ranks a bit below some of the game's all-time greats, it only took Ryne two tries to make it into the Hall. Did he ever have a try at the World Series?
When it comes to closers and the Hall of Fame, I can understand why voters are hesitant to mark them down - and it has nothing to do with the Mariano Rivera effect. But when you have someone like Dennis Eckersley who was a fantastic starter for the first half of his career (from 1975 to 1986, Eckersley averaged a 3.8 WAR per season with the Indians, Red Sox, and Cubs) before becoming an All-Star closer with the Oakland Athletics, it makes sense. Wining the 1992 American League Cy Young and Most Valuable Player (go look up the results to see why that was a mistake), did 'Eck' also win a World Series?
We're in the home stretch now, so make sure to brush up on your knowledge so you get these right. Currently managing in Minnesota, Molitor was a seven-time All-Star who totaled 3,319 hits and a 75.4 WAR from 1978 to 1998 with the Brewers, Blue Jays, and Twins. Inducted into the Hall of Fame with 85.2 percent of the vote in 2004, I'm personally intrigued that of all the players he compares to on Baseball-Reference, the most similar is former Red Sox and Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon. Interesting! Damon has a ring, but what about Molitor?
One of the few players on this list who is no longer with us - rest in peace, Gary - 'The Kid' has a serious case for that top five list we mentioned earlier. Personally, I may be a bit more biased towards Posey because of the recency factor, but Carter was an excellent catcher from 1974-92 with the Expos, Mets, Giants, and Dodgers who totaled a 69.9 WAR and 2,092 hits. Before calling it quits, was Carter able to win a World Series?
Of all the players on this list, few had better power and more consistency than one Eddie Clarence Murray. Nicknamed 'Steady Eddie', Murray broke into the league with the Orioles in 1977 and played for five teams, including a return stint to Baltimore as a 40 year old in 1996. Currently the lowest ranking member of the 500 club home run club with 504, Murray also is in the 3,000 hit club and had a 1,516-1,333 K-BB ratio for his career. Did Steady Eddie ever win a World Series?
The greatest shortstop of all-time? Well, Honus Wagner still has that title. The greatest defensive shortstop of all-time? How can one argue against The Wizard of Oz, who dazzled with brilliant plays en route to winning 13 Gold Gloves and totaling a career 43.4 defensive WAR. Smith was no slouch on offense either, recording 2,460 hits and having a 1,072-589 K-BB ratio; not bad, given that he played most of his career in the early days of the Steroid Era. Smith did all of that, but did he win a ring?
The other player on this list who is sadly no longer with us, Puckett also had one of the shortest careers, only playing from 1984 to 1995 - but, had he not been drilled in the eye with a pitch, Puckett likely had another three or four good years in the tank. Slashing .318/.360/.477 for his career with 2,304 hits, Puckett won six Gold Gloves and totaled a 50.9 WAR as a lifelong member with the Minnesota Twins. Was Puckett ever a World Series champion?
Officially, Baseball-Reference lists Dave Winfield's nickname as 'Winy', but it's hard for me to think of him and not remember George Steinbrenner's famous monkier for the Hall of Famer: 'Mr. May' because, unfortunately for the Boss, Winfield was not Reggie Jackson in the postseason. Still, Winfield was a hell of a player, totaling a 63.8 WAR and 3,110 hits in his career with the Padres, Yankees, Angels, Blue Jays, Twins, and Indians. Did Winfield ever win a title with those teams?
In a career that saw him total a 68.3 WAR, 2,356 hits, 376 home runs, and make 11 All-Star Games, Carlton Fisk had plenty of highlights...but none bigger than his walk-off home run in the 1975 World Series. How did Fisk feel about that, you ask? Look at this quote. "It's funny. Some people remember that a lot more than I do. I remember certain parts of it, and if everybody who mentioned that to me had been to the game who said they were at the game, there'd be 800,000 people at that game, I think." Did Fisk help the Red Sox to a win - or, any World Series for that matter?
The father of ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez, I won't blame any of you for forgetting that Antansio 'Tony' Perez is in the Hall of Fame; he's one of those guys that unfortunately gets lost in the history of the Big Red Machine and the 1970s. Totaling a 53.9 WAR and 2,732 hits in a 22 year career with the Reds, Expos, Red Sox, and Phillies, Perez is among the most influential Cubans in American history - and that's not hyperbole, either. Was the seven-time All-Star ever able to win a World Series?
Is Nolan Ryan the most overrated pitcher in baseball history? Well, there's certainly a case as people look only at the 5,714 strikeouts - which, in defense, should be revered and respected. Worth 81.8 WAR for his career, Nolan was inducted into the Hall of Fame on his first attempt in 1999, being named on 491 of 497 ballots after a career that saw him win 324 games...but lose 292 as well. Kill the win! An eight-time All-Star, did Ryan win a World Series?
A two-time American League MVP, how did Yount only get 77.5 percent on his first year; granted, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999 on that first attempt, but I'd have expected the voters to give him at least 82 or 83 percent. The co-leader of the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers team alongside Paul Molitor that won the American League, Yount was a three-time All-Star and a member of the 3,000 hit club with 3,142 upon retirement. Did Yount win a World Series?