Forgotten Player of the Moment: CHRIS HOILES
(by Phil Rippa) – Originally published (10/6/2010)
Hall of Fames always tend to be comical, each in their own special way. Baseball’s is the best and for the most part everyone who should be in is in (Again – I said SHOULD. Poor poor Bert Blyleven). You could probably spend more time arguing about the fringe guys who got in that didn’t deserve it then those that aren’t in. And, of course, you could spend decades talking about the idiotic logic and general douchiness of baseball writers. I WOULD NEVER VOTE FOR A CHEATER!!! EXCEPT GAYLORD PERRY!!! AND EVERYONE WHO TOOK GREENIES!!! Pro Football’s Hall of Fame is basically whoever was nice to Dr. Z and Peter King as long as they aren’t a kicker/punter. Basketball lets anyone and everyone in. You had more than one double double in your career? HALL OF FAMER!!!
Now, you also get your fringe Hall of Fames which might not real be Hall of Fames. God, please never bring up the WWE Hall of Fame to Dave Meltzer or you will regret it for the rest of your life. Heck, for that matter don’t mention the College Football Hall of Fame to Meltzer either unless you want the ass-backwards list of guys who played ball and wrestled and might have also liked MMA and Roller Derby. I brought up the Polish Hall of Fame in the Kelly Tripucka FPOTM and it seems like every state and University has a version of a Hall of Fame to call their own. But one Hall of Fame seems to stand out above the rest for sheer humor. And it’s all due to one man – Chris Hoiles: Member of the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame.
If you poke are the internet long enough, you will realize that it appears that Hoiles is a member of the Orioles Hall of Fame because he hit two grand slams in one game (August 14, 1998 against the Cleveland Indians if you are scoring at home). Other than that… yeah. No All-Star games. Not very good behind the plate. Well to be fair, in 1993, Hoiles hit out of his freaking mind – .310/.416/.585 which works out to a 162 OPS+. Of course, that was a contract year and the only time Hoiles ever had more than 500 plate appearances. Ed did point out though that comparing Hoiles to other catchers from Baltimore, especially say Rick Dempsey, and he is freaking Mike Piazza. Of course, Mike Piazza never was platooned with Greg Zaun and Lenny Webster.
Hoiles can also still hang his hat on being on the Top 500 All-Time Home Run Hitters list. His 151 dingers puts him at spot #435 along with Carney Lansford, Ray Boone and Jim Fregosi. I guess if you throw out all the guys who did roids, maybe he could crack the 420s.
Here is the deal – Hoiles is beloved by the Orioles fan base. Good guy. Played his entire career there (Hoiles was originally drafted by the Tigers but he was traded to the Os before making the bigs in the deal that netted the Tigers Fred Lynn). Since he was a catcher, he automatically had to be SCRAPPY~! But at some point sentimentality needs to take a back seat to reality. I mean I would stick my tongue down Scott Brosius or Stephane Matteau’s throat but I am not going to be NEW YORK HALL OF FAMERS!!!! (Okay – maybe Brosius and Matteau should be. DAMMIT HEART! STOP CONFUSING ME!!!!) And I so would like to believe that Boston Red Sox fans aren’t going to put Dave Roberts in any sort of Red Sox Shrine (Ooof… definitely just threw up in my mouth over that thought.)
Anyway, all of these guys, you could argue, helped deliver something to a fan base – they were key components of championship teams. So it says something about the Orioles franchise that they are putting folks like Hoiles and Gregg Olsen and Brady Anderson (clearly showing they don’t care about PEDs, so maybe I like their voters better than the regular votes) in just because they had one big year. And how did they all get in before Harold Baines (who was inducted last year). Or it could say something about the nature of Hall of Fames. Whose knows? All I know is that if the dude who wrote what amounts to TWO knockoff Chris Hoiles Forgotten Player of the Moments is going to be pissed if he ever sees this.