Ooh, This is Good
So I think this is just brilliant. Geoff Young, who writes the Padres blog Ducksnorts, has compiled a list of 21 outfielders that all put up careers within a relatively narrow band of performance output.
Two of the 21 players made the Hall of Fame but, as you will see if you just head on over there, there is little rhyme or reason when it comes to HOF enshrinement. The logic gymnastics performed by the electorate are always something to behold.
Anyway, so yeah, Jim Rice and Kirby Puckett are in and Reggie Smith and Dwight Evans and Jack Clark and Albert Belle and Jimmy Wynn are not. I am not saying that any of these players definitely deserve enshrinement (strike that, I do think Dewey belongs...and maybe Belle and Wynn), but the more interesting point is this: outfielders that hit pretty well are not in any way uncommon. Think about guys like Ellis Burks and Tim Salmon and Cliff Floyd and Moises Alou - this is the neighborhood Rice and Puckett take up residence in.
It's a nice neighborhood, but not as nice as the one where Brian Giles and Gary Sheffield and Reggie Jackson and Al Kaline live, and it sure as hell is not as nice as the Babe's and Barry Bonds and Teddy Ballgame's hood.
Rice and Puckett lend legitimacy to the Hall cases of dozens and dozens of outfielders on the outside looking into Cooperstown.