The Bizarro Hall of Fame was a series I ran on my old blog, One More Dying Quail, in 2007. It consists of players who appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot but did not receive any votes.
Mike suggested I bring those old posts over to Bus Leagues. I liked the idea, so for the next few months, we’ll re-run a couple each week in addition to our regular content. For the most part, they will be unedited and un-updated, although I’ll make a few minor changes (removing mentions of YouTube videos, for example) from time to time as needed.
Rick Burleson – A four-time All-Star with the Red Sox and Angels, Burleson played on the losing side in two of the most memorable series in recent postseason history: he was the starting shortstop for the Red Sox in the classic 1975 World Series and an extra infielder/designated hitter for the Angels team that folded in staggering fashion in the 1986 ALCS.
Cecil Cooper – Another member of the 1975 Boston Red Sox team that came within a game of winning the World Series, Cooper blossomed after being traded to Milwaukee in the winter of 1976. He earned five All-Star nods, three Silver Sluggers, two Gold Gloves and the 1983 Roberto Clemente Award in eleven seasons with the Brewers. Those were his only two major league teams, but he easily could have been a Cardinal: St. Louis took him from Boston in the 1970 Rule V draft, but returned him before the start of the 1971 season.
Gary Matthews – Most young fans know him in passing as Gary Jr.’s dad, but “Sarge” was a successful major leaguer in his own right, racking up over 200 homeruns and 2,000 hits in a sixteen-year major league career. The National League Rookie of the Year for San Francisco in 1973, he won the NLCS Most Valuable Player award ten years later with a .429 average and three homeruns in Philadelphia’s four game sweep of Los Angeles.
Hal McRae – McRae played the last fifteen of his nineteen-year career in Kansas City, then managed the team for another four years in the early 1990s. He played in three All-Star games and thirteen postseason series, finally winning a World Series with the Royals in 1985, but he will be forever known in the baseball world for a classic rant that took place after a game in 1993.
Darrell Porter – The fourth overall pick in the 1970 amateur draft, Porter won the NLCS and World Series MVP awards in 1982, the second player to take home both in the same postseason and one of only six overall to do so (the others, in order: Willie Stargell, Orel Hershiser, Livan Hernandez, Cole Hamels, and David Freese). The Cardinals win in the Fall Classic that year earNed Porter his only championship ring in three tries.