Randy Johnson is the only player to enter the Hall of Fame wearing a Diamondbacks hat, and that’s a situation which is not likely to change any time in the near future. [Bonus point if you can name the other player voted into Cooperstown to have played for the Diamondbacks. Answer at the end] But in previous years, we have at least had a selection of players with Diamondbacks connections to talk about. Last year, for example, there were seven in total, though only one of those received more than a couple of votes, with the rest failing to qualify. This time round, however, there is just one new D-back on the ballot, along with the one carried forward from 2020. But let’s discuss... at least the new one.
Yeah, I’m not going to get into this. I will say he came closer last year than ever. getting mentioned on 70% of ballots, and needing only another twenty to qualify. Events since - which, I repeat, we are not going to get into - probably mean it won’t be this year. The Hall of Fame tracker currently has him at 74.8%, right on the cusp of the necessary 75%. But this does typically over-estimate numbers, due to its reliance on those who publicly declare ballots. Last year, for example, it had Schilling at 73.7%, 3.7% higher than he eventually received. If the same applies, he’ll fall short. Next year would be his last on the ballot; I think he’ll make it in, but let’s just say, forgetting his Twitter password wouldn’t hurt...
The only new name is Haren, who had a solid 13-year career in the majors. Were he to make it, there would be an interesting discussion over which cap he would have on. Dan spent three seasons apiece with the D-backs, Angels and Athletics, and his numbers with each were impressively consistent:
- Arizona: 37-26, 3.56 ERA, 87 starts
- Oakland: 43-34, 3.64 ERA. 102 starts
- Los Angeles: 33-27, 3.52 ERA, 78 starts
In terms of bWAR, we got the best of him, Haren being worth 13.1 wins, compared to 11.4 for the Athletics, and a surprisingly-low 6.5 with the Angels. However, we did pay rather more for his services than Oakland. Being in the National League (which used to let pitchers hit - kids, ask your parents!), we also got the best of Dan’s competence at the plate. There, he was considerably better than the average pitcher, being worth 2 bWAR as a hitter over his 229 plate-appearances. Over three years here, his line was .265/.285/.382 for a .667 OPS. That’s basically indistinguishable from Chris Owings, who had a .669 OPS with Arizona, in over 2,100 PA.
He was an All-Star with Arizona in both 2008 and 2009. The latter was likely his best season, making 33 starts with a 3.14 ERA and coming fifth in the Cy Young voting that year. [Which sounds a lot better than the equally-true statement, “He got one third-place mention.”] Both times, he led the league in strikeout to walk ratio; in 2009, Haren struck out 223 while walking only 38, a career-high ratio of 5.87. His WHIP of just a hair above one (1.003) was also the best in the NL. But overall, it’s hard to make a case for Haren being among the greatest of all time. That fifth-place was his highest Cy Young finish. and he only had two seasons worth five or more bWAR.
The tracker still hasn’t seen Haren mentioned on a ballot, and it seems almost inevitable that he’ll be one and done, and might well be part of the nil points contingent. Finally, taking a quick look at the 2022 ballot, Diamondback names which might potentially join Schilling are not much of a crop either. Javier Lopez and Michael Bourn are the only couple of players who seem to have much of a shot, on a quick glance at possible contenders. We’ll see if anyone is elected this year: right now, the tracker suggests we could be induction-less for the first time since 2013.
The player in the Hall of Fame, besides the Big Unit, to have pulled on a D-backs jersey, is... second-baseman Roberto Alomar, who appeared in 38 games for the 2004 team. He was inducted in 2011, with a Blue Jays cap on his plaque.