Rogers Hornsby was the greatest of the great second baseman. It isn’t even close.

Johnny Evers was a good second baseman for the Chicago Cubs during their glory days, which ended more than 100 years ago.

Comparing Rogers Hornsby to Johnny Evers is analogous to comparing Albert Pujols to Adam LaRoche.

Hornsby was the National League MVP in 1925 and again in 1929. He won the Triple Crown in 1922 and again in 1925.

In 1924, Hornsby batted .424, which is a mark that will never be approached.

From 1920-1925, he was the National League batting champion, and from 1921-1925, his batting average was .402.

Hornsby’s .358 lifetime average is second only to that of baseball’s greatest player, Ty Cobb (.366).

Hornsby was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1942.

Evers played second base for the Chicago Cubs from 1902 until 1913. He was an integral part of the “greatest” double play combination in baseball history, Tinker to Evers to Chance.

In 1912, Evers took part in 71 double plays, which was the most in his career. In 1966, Bill Mazeroski set the record for second basemen when he took part in 161 double plays.

Following the 1913 season, Evers was traded to the Boston Braves where he helped Boston’s other team stage one of the greatest comebacks ever, as they went from last place, 15 games out on July 4, to win the 1914 pennant.

Evers batted .270, hit 12 home runs, had a .356 on base average, and slugged .334 for his career. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1946.

There appears to be an inconsistency.

Evers hit .270 when the league hit .262.

Hornsby hit .358 when the league hit .282.

Hornsby out-hit Evers by 88 points, out-homered him by 289 homer runs, had an on base average that was 78 points better, and out-slugged him by almost 250 points.

How can both be Hall of Famers?

The Hall of Fame, a private organization, states that “voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.” That’s it.

Since the player’s record is listed first, it probably carries the most weight. But if that is true, how can it be claimed that Evers’ playing record was worth of election to the Hall to Fame when it is so different from Hornsby’s?

Nothing is going to change. Rogers Hornsby, Napoleon Lajoie, Eddie Collins, Frankie Frisch, Charlie Gehringer, Jackie Robinson, Rod Carew and Joe Morgan are among the great second baseman. Johnny Evers is not.

Most of the players in the Hall of Fame deserve their recognition, but some do not.

The best solution is for fans to evaluate players for themselves and not accept unquestioningly what the “experts” decide. It’s okay to reject an “experts” conclusion.

Some cases are easy, such as Evers. Others are not because defensive skills extremely important, which is the rationale for including Mazeroski (who is in the same category as Evers) and Ozzie Smith.

Neither Don Sutton nor Early Wynn was close to Sandy Koufax with respect to ability, but both were 300-game winners, while Koufax retired at the age of 30.

Fred McGriff hit 493 home runs. If he had hit seven more, would that make him a Hall of Famer?

It’s not always easy to decide, but in some cases, that’s not the case.


Rogers Hornsby at Baseball Wiki

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