Mar 12, 2010
non-HOF Profile Derby #13: Buddy Bell
Next, a third baseman who's known for his glove, Buddy Bell(1972-1989)
Place on the WAR chart: : Below Harmon Killebrew and Ryne Sandberg, above Dave Winfield and Bobby Wallace.
Career Overview and Some Numbers:Played for Cleveland(72-78), Texas (79-85,89), Houston (88) and Cincinnati(85-88). Like many 3rd baseman, he's overlooked in the HOF debate. Could have been considered an elite 3rd baseman from 1977-1984. He was not an overpowering, imposing hitter, but he posted two seasons of >130 OPS+. He had one 20 HR season and one 100 RBI season. He was a 5 time all star, one tiem silver slugger and 6 time Gold Glove winner. The fielding stats back this award up. His range factor for his career was 3.19 (vs. a league range factor of 2.96). He also had enough fielding skill to hold his own at SS in 1979. Most similar career path is Brooks Robinson, most similar overall batting stats are BJ Surhoff and Julio Franco.
Best Season:1980: Hit .329/.379/.498 (142 OPS+) wtih 17 HR and 83 RBIs
The Final Numbers: Hit .279/.341/.406 (109 OPS+) with 201 HR, 1106 RBI, 1151 R and 836/776 BB/K ratio.
Why He Should be Remembered:A strong fielding third baseman who can basically be considered as a poorman's version of Brooks Robinson, though he was a better and more consistent hitter. He had a purportedly strong arm and toiled in cities with not exposure during the prime of his career. As I mentioned before, 3rd base is a severely underrepresented group in baseball halldom. The demands of the position are such that a great fielder with above average hitting stats is a great player.
HOF Balloting Performance:Received 1.7% of the vote in 1995.
Rookie Card:1973 Topps 31
Modern Cards:2004 Topps Fan Favorites Auto, 2003 Flair Greats Relic