Womack: La Russa says Jim Edmonds should be in the Hall of Fame

From SABR member Graham Womack at The Sporting News on March 15, 2016:

Jim Edmonds received just 2.5 percent of the Hall of Fame vote from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America this year, which means he can’t be considered by the writers in future elections and won’t be eligible again for Cooperstown until 2026 when the Expansion Era Committee can take up his case.

The former Angels and Cardinals centerfielder never won an MVP and finished with 393 home runs, a .284 batting average, and 60.3 WAR, all stats that might have painted him as good but not legendary and doomed him with the notoriously fickle BBWAA. Edmonds is far more impressive upon closer inspection, which is the case with many overlooked candidates from Dwight Evans to Ted Simmons to Bobby Grich.

To his manager on the Cardinals Tony La Russa, Edmonds belongs in Cooperstown. The Hall of Fame manager, inducted in 2014, didn’t hold back in his praise for Edmonds when contacted by Sporting News.

“I think no matter how you measure him, whether it’s through analytical data or just scouts who observed him or his career record, especially what he did in clutch moments, yes, I definitely think he’s an outstanding candidate,” La Russa said.

“He just took great pride in his defense,” La Russa said. “Nobody plays defense like he did with that concentration, a lot of of anticipation. He would work before the game to see what our game plan was so he knew what the pitch was. He was always kind of leaning in that direction. That’s why he made so many impossible catches, because he got great jumps.”

Read the full article here: http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb-news/4698483-jim-edmonds-baseball-hall-of-fame-election-tony-la-russa

Originally published: March 15, 2016. Last Updated: March 15, 2016.