Put Dave Concepcion in the National Baseball Hall of Fame!

Last updated: Thursday December 18, 2008.


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RECENT NEWS:  Balloting for the HOF is coming up.  Dave is in his 15th and final year on the ballot.

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), 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. 

Overall
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

 

Offense                                
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG AVG
Dave Concepcion 2488 8723 993 2326 389 48 101 950 3114 736 1186 321 109 0.322 0.357 0.267
Ozzie Smith 2573 9396 1257 2460 402 69 28 793 3084 1072 589 580 148 0.337 0.328 0.262
Larry Bowa 2247 8418 987 2191 262 99 15 525 2696 474 569 318 105 0.300 0.320 0.260
                               
Defense                                
G TC PO A E DP FPCT GG                
Dave Concepcion 2499 11595 4245 7024 326 1390 0.972 5                
Ozzie Smith 2511 12905 4249 8375 281 1590 0.978 13                
Larry Bowa 2227 10398 3323 6864 211 1267 0.980 2                

Abbreviations

Offense
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
TB
BB
SO
SB
CS
OBP
SLG
AVG

Games
At Bats
Runs
Hits
Doubles
Triples
Home Runs
Runs Batted In
Total Bases
Walks
Strike Outs
Stolen Bases
Caught Stealing
On-Base Percentage
Slugging Percentage
Batting Average
Defense
TC
PO
A
E
DP
FPCT
GG

Total Chances
Put Outs
Assists
Errors
Double Plays
Fielding Percentage
Gold Gloves

All stats from www.mlb.com. Email comments or questions (or suggestions for improvement) to Dave Salisbury