Stats as Shiny as Stars: Blaseball Hall of Fame Week 4
Hosted by SIBR, written by BNN Staff et al.
Halexandrey ‘Hex’ Walton is a favourite of a few fanbases, having played in Yellowstone, Los Angeli, Charleston, and Tokyo (and Yellowstone again). It is the second of those, the Unlimited Tacos, where Hex had the best seasons of their career. Walton Feedbacked to the Infinite Cities in exchange for Wyatt Glover on Season 5, Day 98, and took their place at the top of the Tacos Lineup, where they would stay until a Blessing recruited them to the Shoe Thieves in the Season 15 elections.
Hex struggled at first in LA, but found their groove in Season 10 as a consistent lead-off hitter who could get on base regularly (although, like most Tacos, they are an absolute nincompoop on the basepaths). This began a run of very good production, with 5 consecutive seasons of an OPS+ above 100, with the offensive-heavy environs of Season 11 Wild Low providing the best year of Hex’s career. That season, they made the most of Divisional Walk In The Park lead the League in walks with 98, good for just under one a game and 16 higher than second place, as well as an OPS+ of 135 – a brilliant season that earned Hex a place in the All-Time Tacos.
Unfortunately, a Consumer attack in the Season 14 Internet Series spelled the beginning of the end for Hex as a productive player. a good season in Shoe Thieves colours was excepted as they moved from LA to Charleston to Tokyo before returning to Yellowstone, where they would be Shadowed on a ‘wimdy’ before being alternated.
Hex was a brilliant lead-off hitter for those Tacos sides that came so close to their first titles, but that pursuit of greatness took its toll and they were never the same player again. I love Hex, and they’ll always be a fan favourite for me and many others, but their Hall of Fame candidacy is flimsy at best.
Thomas Dracaena hit a ground out to Edric Tosser.
Thomas Dracaena scored the first fractional run in known ILB History, via a stolen base with An Actual Airplane.
Thomas Dracaena killed the economy.
These are but three facets to the lynchpin of the New York Millennials’ Lineup. Thomas Dracaena is a player of many accolades throughout their 24 Season Career as a lifelong Millennial, one of only three players to spend all 24 of their Seasons with us. Our definitely normal human who isn’t a vampire has carried the franchise on their back, as the fevered chants of “DRAC ATTACK” echo throughout New York, New York Arena, Arena. With a career wOBA of 0.335, Thomas Dracaena more often than not excelled. An early Discipline Era star, Thomas Dracaena experienced career highs in both major Eras (182.58 OPS+ in Season 3; 179.28 OPS+ in Season 18) with a staggering career 0.884 OPS, career 140 wRC+, career WhAT_PA of 3.1. Drac also procured the 9th most career hits at 2478, 5th most career home runs at 553, and 10th most runs scored at 1339.2. The fact that Thomas Dracaena has managed to avoid so much tragedy themself over 24 seasons (barring a lone Consumer attack) AND perform so well is a feat itself.
Despite the many (often hilarious and very unlucky) tragedies befalling New York, Thomas Dracaena is something of a symbol of carrying on despite everything. I can’t think of a more deserving candidate for the Hall of Fame than someone who keeps at it, and thrives despite the world falling around them.
I will Fly the Avo for Thomas Dracaena, and I hope you will too.
Let’s compare Snyder Briggs to some of the other pitchers on the ballot.
For those who still might be concerned with Snyder’s Underhanded status, I compared HR/9 and ERA- between all eligible pitchers. SIBR researcher Sproutella helped refine the search down, and I defined a “good season” window as being less than 100 ERA- and less than 1 HR/9. Of all the pitchers on the ballot this week, Snyder Briggs has the most of these seasons— 12 seasons out of 22 that we have stats for where Snyder had a better-than-average ERA and gave up less than a home run per game. The next closest is Cornelius Games with 10 such seasons. Granted, a lot of the pitchers on this ballot have not pitched for as long as Snyder and Cornelius have, but I still think reaching this mark in half of your pitched seasons should be something that is recognized.
Looking for more anecdotal evidence to vote for Snyder? From Season 17, day 72 to Season 24, day 57, the Choux had a Fax Machine. It was the most used Fax Machine in the League, Faxing pitchers over 30 times. It even Faxed pitchers like Cornelius Games, Gunther O’Brian, Alejandro Leaf, and Inky Rutledge. But you know who never got Faxed for all of that time? Snyder Briggs. The only long term pitcher in the Shoe Thieves rotation to not get Faxed at all. This shows how steady of a pitcher Snyder was, even before they got their Underhanded item.
Snyder Briggs is not a flashy name on this list, but it’s one that you should vote for.
Silvia Rugrat is an original Mexico City Wild Wing who pitched every season of the Discipline and Expansion Eras. In the early Discipline Era they were a bona fide star. In season 3, the first we have complete records for, they had the second lowest ERA in the League (behind only Dunlap Figueroa), the most Quality Starts (16 in 19 games), and a top 10 walk percentage. Having plied their trade for so long (and on some short Wild Wings rotations), it is only natural to see them on the career leaderboards for Innings Pitched (5th) and Strikeouts (3rd), but the most remarkable thing about Silvia Rugrat is their consistency. Only once in 24 seasons have they posted an ERA above 5.00, and in half the seasons we have data for, their ERA is below 4.00. If you only consider players who have never been Underhanded, Silvia is a top-20 pitcher all-time by WhAT.
Silvia Rugrat is by a number of measures one of the best pitchers Blaseball has ever seen. You just didn’t see them because they were standing in Burke’s shadow.
The Incineration replacement for Workman Gloom, Commissioner Vapor has quietly become one of the all-time greats of Blaseball without anyone seeming to notice. After accidentally sending Parker III into an existential crisis due to having the name “Commissioner,” Vapor became a staple of the Canada Moist Talkers’ Lineup, on the team for two of their rings, before being pulled by the Spies (someone confessed to being too tired to notice they weren’t voting for Targeted Evolution until after the deed had already been done.) A later Magnification made the already terrifyingly good Vapor even more valuable. Vapor also survived two Expansion Era Consumer attacks and was still really, really good even afterwards (thanks, parties).
They were already putting up great stats for every single season of their existence other than their first one. The true brilliance is there too: seven seasons with an OPS+ over 150, eight seasons with a WhAT over 5, and eleven seasons with a wRC+ over 150.
And the peaks, the peaks! Highest OPS+ of 196 and wRC+ of 194 in Season 18, and a WhAT that reached 9.6 at its highest point.
If you prefer your stats the old-fashioned way, we can talk about their OBP always greater than 0.3 even since the very beginning, six seasons with an OPS over 1, nine seasons with a BA over .300….
Oh, and during the Semicentennial, Vapor batted in a Magnified solo home run that put the Rising Stars ahead by two runs… just before the sun exploded. The Coin declared the game to be a draw despite CV having just untied the game, blatantly ignoring said runs. A personal snub by a god has to count for something, right?
You might hear a lot of buzz this week about Thomas Dracaena as a Hall of Fame Candidate. That’s great! You should! Hell, they’ll get my vote. What if I told you, though, there’s a hitter on this ballot with a lot less fanfare that’s probably more productive?
Let me tell you about Loubert Ji-Eun, a hitter who joined the Ohio Worms upon the incineration of Augusta Chadwell. Chadwell became a legend in Worms lore, but Lou – affectionately known as “DJ Solid” – became a legend on the blaseball diamond. Loubert has quietly been one of the better batters in the league ever since they hatched. With the exception of Season 23, when their OPS+ was 99.6 (100 being league average), they’ve been an above- average hitter every year. Season 15 is arguably their best, with an OPS+ of 176 and wRC+ of 168. Paula Turnip, inducted last ballot, only has one season better than that. Of the top ten hitting seasons between the two, Ji-Eun has seven of them, despite a shorter career.
I brought up Thomas Dracaena at the start, a player I fully expect to get inducted. They have a career OPS+ of 140. Loubert Ji-Eun’s is 142. On average, they’ve been a more productive hitter than Thomas Dracaena. That says a lot to me. They’re also a standout baserunner, with a career BsR of 63.7. Can I draw the Paula Turnip comparison again? Paula is noted for being a great base stealer (shout out to the ‘Stalk Market’). They only had a career BsR of 54.7, despite 3500 more plate appearances, and not playing in the crime- heavy prime years of Don Mitchell and Collins Melon.
So why is Loubert Ji-Eun not a shoo-in? Market matters, in my opinion. If they were on a team with a bigger fanbase, they’d be generating the buzz they deserve. They also suffer slightly from not being the best batter in Worms history. Vessalius Sundae probably grabs that honour, and madcap possum Scratch Deleuze has an argument as well. But who did the Worms trust to Magnify, in a decision that saw major success to the tune of a championship finals run in Season 23? DJ Solid. Loubert Ji-Eun deserves a spot on your ballot. They’ve certainly got a spot on mine.
–Benjamin Rees, Patronus
the mike townsend quintilogy, by the garages