clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Percival = Hall of Fame?

A bit of an odd topic, but one I have been considering for the past few weeks. Assuming Percival is healthy enough to play next season and will resume the closer's role there is a possibility that he could reach seventh and perhaps sixth on the all-time saves list. Currently he ranks eighth with 351, Jeff Reardon is seventh with 367, Billy Wagner sixth with 385, and the only closer not named Rollie Fingers within the top 10 list to be in the hall of fame, Dennis Eckersley, ranks fifth with 390.

Naturally there's more to being a hall of famer than save totals otherwise Lee Smith and Reardon should be in the hall of fame, no debate. As it stands three active pitchers are higher than Percy in saves; Trevor Hoffman who leads everyone, ever, by nearly 100 saves, Mariano Rivera who should pass Smith for second all-time by season's end, and Wagner. Percival is tied for the second oldest of the group with Rivera while Wagner is two years younger.

I'll assume Hoffman and Rivera are locks, that puts three of the top 10 savers in the hall of fame. Percival's career may outlive Hoffman's, although that's not a given, and likely will be shorter than Rivera/Wagner, which leaves him in an awkward position. The hall's committee doesn't tend to vote relievers, and compounding the matter is that John Franco may join Cooperstown before Percival has a chance to be eligible.

That would put three (Hoffman, Rivera, Franco) of the top five into Cooperstown - assuming Wagner actually passes Eckersley - and potentially four of five if Wagner were to be inducted at a later date. There is almost zero chance Percival could join the top five. He would need to match this season's saves total and get twelve more after that just to match Eckersley, who, by the also did some neat stuff as a starter.

Sure, voters look at other inconsequential stuff, like world series rings (Luis Sojo, reservation for Cooperstown please) which Percival has two of, but was only active for one, and his other numbers that don't really matter - only to those voters - aren't enough to push him over the top.

Nice player, good guy, but Percival's likely not heading for enshrinement five years after retirement.