Joe Posnanski of Sports Illustrated wrote an article on those players who got between 15 and 20 votes in their first of eligibility for Hall of Fame consideration. “One-and-done” he calls them. Good enough to get more than a few votes but not enough to remain on the ballot for subsequent year.
It’s a list littered with players who were more than fair, in my opinion. Players like Lou Whitaker, Joe Carter, Ted Simmons (you’ll get a lot of arguments from Cardinals fans on this, I know), Rusty Staub, and Al Oliver.
One player on the list who I saw a lot growing up was thirdbaseman Bill Madlock. ‘Maddog’ has some interesting stats in way. Posnanski makes the point that eleven players have won four or more batting titles. Of those, ten are in the Hall of Fame. Bill Madlock is not. That said, I get the sense Posnanski wasn’t necessarily bemoaning Madlock’s omission from the Hall.
Madlock had a career .305 batting average to go along with his four batting titles. While he had that going for him, his stats look good-but-not-great otherwise. Bill Madlock usually hit the double digits in homeruns but never passed the 20 mark for a season. His highest was 19 in 1982 for the Pirates. Not much of a doubles hitter either from the looks of it. He passed 30 only twice.
He had decent speed also sometimes hitting double digits in stolen bases. Only once though did he pass 20 when he stole 32 this time in a split season in 1979 between the Pirates and Giants.
In essence, Maddog earned his paycheck by winning batting crowns.