Remington: Remembering Bill Terry and Elmer Flick

From Alex Remington at FanGraphs on January 9, 2014:

The Hall of Fame has three new members today. On this day in history, two other members of the Hall of Fame passed away, Bill Terry in 1989 and Elmer Flick in 1971. So much has been written in recent days about the best players not in the Hall of Fame and the worst players in the Hall of Fame that it’s worth remembering two men who were neither.

Terry and Flick finished with 56-57 WAR in a little more than a decade of play. Judging by today’s standards, that seemed like fine work, if hardly extraordinary. The writers of their day mostly agreed. They finally allowed Bill Terry to enter the hall in 1954, in his 14th year on the ballot. The Veterans Committee finally decided in 1963 in order to induct Flick, whose last season was 1910, 26 years before the first Hall of Fame class.

Terry and Flick represent a number of things mostly missing from our annual Hall of Fame debate. First, the fact that hope springs eternal: no matter how long a player has waited, the Hall may call. It’s undoubtedly true that recent Veterans Committees have shown very little interest in electing players, unlike Veterans Committees of the past, but trends in Veterans Committees tend to run in cycles.

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Originally published: January 9, 2014. Last Updated: January 9, 2014.