Cincinnati Reds former great Dave Parker strikes out on Hall of Fame entry

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Despite two decades of dominance Cincinnati Reds right fielder doesn’t earn enough Hall of Fame votes.

His nickname was the Cobra for his ability to strike quickly, but former Cincinnati Reds right fielder Dave Parker isn’t going to Cooperstown.  When the 16-member Modern Baseball Era Committee met only former Detroit Tigers Jack Morris and Alan Trammell earned the necessary 12 votes for induction.  This year the Modern Era Committee looked at players who contributed from 1970-87.

The complete list that the Modern Era Committee considered was Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Marvin Miller, Morris, Dale Murphy, Ted Simmons, Luis Tiant and Trammell.  Parker compares favorably to this group with 339 homer runs and 1,493 RBIs.  Parker’s career highlight was capturing the National League MVP Award in 1978.

Parker made the All-Star team seven times in his 19 year career.  He also received votes for MVP during eight different seasons, including finishing second in the National League in 1985 with the Reds.  With the Pittsburgh Pirates Parker won three Gold Gloves in a row 1977-79.

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Later in his time with the Reds, Parker won his first two Silver Slugger awards.  He also won one with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1990 as a DH.  1991 was Parker’s last season playing baseball.

Comparing Cincinnati Reds great Dave Parker with players currently on the Hall of Fame ballot doesn’t help his case.

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Three times in Parker’s career he led the NL in total bases.  He also led all of baseball with an OPS+ of 166 in his MVP season of 1978.  His career 121 OPS+, however, is only good enough for thirteenth on the list with those currently on the Hall of Fame ballot, just behind former Reds’ third baseman Scott Rolen, whose defense makes him an interesting case.

His 2,712 hits, however, are much more competitive.  That would rank him fifth on the current ballot behind three first time nominees and the controversial Barry Bonds.

Chipper Jones and Omar Vizquel are strong potential first ballot Hall of Famers.

With 1,493 RBIs Parker just sneaks into the top ten.  He is seventh, however, on games played.  Voters tend to view this negatively as RBIs are often a function of opportunity.

His .339 OBP is tied with Carlos Lee for seventeenth and third worst among position players.  That is a stat that is gaining more importance by the day.  His .290 batting average ties Jeff Kent for eighth.

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Parker is an icon here in Cincinnati.  He grew up just up the hill from Crosley Field and carried the Reds through the difficult post-Big Red Machine Era.  Hopefully, that counts for something with the Hall of Fame voters at some point.