Put Dave Concepcion in the National Baseball Hall of Fame!
Last updated: Sunday December 28, 2014.
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Wikipedia entry for Dave Concepcion.
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This website is dedicated to making a case for Dave Concepcion to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. An anchor of the Big Red Machine of the 1970's (and member of the Cincinnati Reds' Hall of Fame and Museum), Davey hasn't gotten nearly the attention of some of his other colleagues (e.g. Pete Rose). However, when compared to an obvious HOF'er, one will note that Davey does quite well. He was almost as good a fielder (within 3/1000ths of Ozzie on fielding), and actually had a better batting average and hit for more power than the Wizard. It is true that Davey doesn't have as many Gold Gloves (five to Ozzie's 13). However, one will also note that their careers overlapped by 11 seasons (1978-1988 inclusive), when many of Ozzie's Gold Gloves were won, so it seems unfair that he's being penalized for that. By the "premier player of his era at position" criteria (i.e. the 70's up until Ozzie came in 1978), Davey belongs in, especially in a world where Carlton Fisk (huh?!? in what era was he the best catcher?) got in. When asked in this who was not in the Hall who should be, the Wizard himself said "...Concepcion." In another interview posted on the Official David Concepcion Website, English version (this site seems to be non-functional now), Ozzie's statement (translated back into English from Spanish): "I think that David Concepcion deserves to be in Cooperstown ". I'd think Ozzie might know something about shortstops.
The Reds have already spoken and have retired Dave Concepcion's Number 13 in a ceremony on August 25, 2007.
Here's some others' opinion on the matter:
One of my attempts to push this issue previously (and its outcome), in the form of a letter to Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated.
With the Hall of Fame inductions on July 28, I thought I'd ask your
opinion about Dave Concepcion, who I feel is an underrated member of the Big Red
Machine. Concepcion's fielding percentage (.972) compares favorably with Ozzie
Smith's (.978), and his batting average was slightly better than Ozzie's (.267
vs. .262). Davey also won five Gold Gloves (to Smith's 13). The only knock I can
see against Concepcion is that he may have benefited from being on those
dominant Reds teams. Still, I find it hard to name a better shortstop for the
decade of the '70's. Your opinion?
--Dave Salisbury, Kettering, Ohio
I like Concepcion a lot, but he's no Hall of Famer. Do you realize while playing on The Big Red Machine he scored 80 runs in a season only once? Plus, he led the league in fielding percentage only once. (Larry Bowa did so six times. If you put Concepcion in, Bowa has to go in, too.) Offensively, Davey rates similarly to Ozzie, but Smith's defense was so extraordinary that he separated himself from all others. I hate excluding steady players such as Concepcion, but you have to draw the line somewhere and I believe when it comes to the Hall you err on the side of keeping it elite.
Agreed on fielding percentage, but one also has to recall that Bowa wouldn't get to grounders that Concepcion regularly played. Further, Mr. Humprheys' paper (noted above) actually suggests that Bowa would probably rate as "poor" in fielding, due to his limited range. Smith and Concepcion were rated as "excellent" in that study. Hence I don't know that I buy the "Bowa was as good so he'd have to get in too" argument. There's a clear difference between Concepcion and Bowa, IMHO.
Let's take a look at the stats comparing Davey to Ozzie (and for argument's sake Larry Bowa)...
Bowa's fielding percentage is indeed higher, but again there's the concern about limited range noted above. His batting average is roughly comparable, but he lags behind Davey in slugging, walks, RBI, and home runs. Actually, take away walks (gee Ozzie had a good eye) and Davey looks pretty good offensively against Ozzie, too.
|Dave Concepcion, Cincinnati Reds, 1970-1988|
|Ozzie Smith, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1996|
|Larry Bowa, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, 1970-1985|
Runs Batted In
All stats from www.mlb.com. Email comments or questions (or suggestions for improvement) to Dave Salisbury.