Tuesday, January 17, 2017

#48 Bill Freehan - Detroit Tigers - Why is he not in the Hall of Fame?

 I am not wild about turning this blog into an advocate forum for action. Debatable discussions distract from what the mission statement of my blog is which is to honor the 1967 Topps baseball card set.

However, I do ask the question with an impartial attitude. Why is Bill Freehan not in many discussions when it comes to being included in the Hall of Fame?

Perhaps his career batting average of .262 is a handicap when talking HOF but his 11 All Star appearances should make up for that. Maybe the era of heavy hitting and talented fielding catchers short changed Freehan when it comes to HOF honors. Whatever the reason. I do wonder. He had a tremendous career that maybe ended a little too soon at the age of 34.

Freehan made numerous appearances on Topps cards. He was well featured and for good reason with the All Star appearances. His cards are good for collecting if you want star cards that are not priced into orbit. Examples of these cards in the 1950's were Minnie Minoso, Bobby Thomson Ted Kluszewski and Gil Hodges. Bill Freehan is an example for the 1960's. There's more of course but I'll cover them when they come up.

As for the card, it's clearly a Spring Training photo. It features a good pose instead of a dull head and shoulders photo. The striking color of the letters works well with the green turning yellow grass field in the background. I wonder if the color of the field in most of the photos featuring Tiger players inspired the use of the purple letters.

The signature is somewhat obscured by the grass background. The back of the card isn't shy about the real reason Freehan was a regular all star. His career fielding percentage of. 993 and 38% caught stealing pct is still impressive. Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk and Gary Carter didn't manage career averages as high as Freehan did with those two stats. All three are in the Hall of Fame by the way.

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