Sherry Magee for 2008 HOF

Sherry Magee for 2008 HOF


Who he is

Sherry Magee spent sixteen seasons in the major leagues, beginning his career in 1904 and ending it in 1919. He spent his prime seasons playing for the Philadelphia Phillies. During the first ten years of his career he was considered the second greatest offensive star in the National League, behind only the incomparable Honus Wagner.

Previous Voting

Magee has received votes on seven previous ballots, in 1937 – 1939, 1942, 1945, 1950 and 1951. The highest percentage that he’s ever garnered has been 1%. This season he is part of the veteran’s committee pre-1943 ballot.

From my personal perspective, I’d rather have a player that was at or near the top eschalon for 10 years than an occasional all-star that held on for 15+ to collect his milestone numbers.

Era & Stats

Magee played in the deadball era, known as such due to the overall lack of offensive stats and power numbers. Before the death of Ray Chapman in the World Series of 1920, it wouldn’t be considered rare if only two or three baseball’s were used during an entire game. Add in the dirt factor that the balls collect, along with ball “bruising”, the allowance of spitballs, scuff balls, etc and low light situations towards the end of games and its not difficult to see why hitting was down.

The deadball era itself goes a long way in explaining the lack of milestone stats for Sherry Magee. 2169 hits, 83 HR, 1176 RBI. On the surface this makes it hardly worth having an HOF conversation about Magee. But when we look closer at his league rankings we see that he was one of the top hitters of his time.

Top 10 rankings during his career

Batting Average 6 times

On-Base % 5 Times

Slugging Percentage 11 Times (10 times in 11 seasons)

OPS 8 Times

Total Bases 9 Times

Runs 7 Times

Doubles 9 Times

Triples 9 Times

Home Runs 7 Times

RBI 9 Times

Sherry’s career OPS+ is 136. The only player in the NL during this time that posted more top ten rankings is Honus Wagner.


Using two hall of fame metric tests created by Bill James, the Black-Ink and Gray-Ink Tests, Magee scores well-above the average HOF player. In Black-Ink he scores 35 (42nd all-time) and in Gray-Ink he scores 210 (33rd all-time). These metrics are based upon league rankings. Magee ranks higher in one or both of these systems over strong HOF inductees such as Paul Molitor, George Brett, George Sisler, and even Joe Dimaggio.

Whether the veteran’s committee will give Magee the time of day remains to be seen. For over ten years Sherry Magee was the #2 offensive force in the National League. Sherry Magee should be elected into the MLB hall of fame.

More from Matthias Koster
Movies: Save The Tiger Baseball Speech
I re-watched Save the Tiger the other week and I was once...
Read More
3 replies on “Sherry Magee for 2008 HOF”
  1. says: L.A. TARONE

    Sherry Magee was indeed a great player — maybe the best all around player of his era. The problem was he was likely dishonest. His name surfaced in connection with numerous Hal Chase fixes. How involved he actually was isn’t completely clear, but he certainly had the same “guilty knowledge” that has kept Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver (who should be in HOF) out. In Weaver’s case, he knew about the 1919 WS fix, told the Sox about it, but was ignored and paid for it — dearly and unfairly. Magee was very hot headed, he fought with fans, teammates, the press, anybody. He played on that 1919 Reds team that beat the crooked Sox and was alleged to have known about the fix and made money on it. Oddly, he later tried umpiring after his career ended. No question about his talent — he was among the best players of his era. But he’s gotten so few HOF votes because of questions of his honesty.

Comments are closed.