You’re familiar with the seven Hall of Fame players who have had their numbers retired by the Dodgers: Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Don Sutton, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale.
Who gets left out of the conversation?
Because he played in the era preceding uniform numbers, Zack Wheat too often is forgotten, even though he truly ranks with the all-time greats in franchise history. A similar fate befalls Dazzy Vance, who spent most of his career with no identifying digits on his back.
Who is the best Dodger not in the Hall of Fame? Gil Hodges, who missed election by one vote in 1993, obviously leaps to mind. Willie Davis combined sustained excellence with longevity. Nap Rucker only pitched 10 years but still ranks fifth all-time among Dodger pitchers in Wins Above Replacement. There’s also Orel Hershiser and Fernando Valenzuela, but as time passes, more and more people might simply say it’s Clayton Kershaw.
And who are the top Hall of Famers who wore the Dodger uniform, if even only a little bit? Babe Ruth, of course, if you’re counting his coaching days. Otherwise, there’s Rickey Henderson, whose 110.8 career WAR ranks 14th all-time, three spots ahead of Frank Robinson. Among pitchers, there’s Greg Maddux, followed by (gulp) Pedro Martinez, who figures to gain election this morning.
And Mike Piazza? With 62.2 percent of the Hall of Fame vote last year — 74 votes shy of election — the one-time Dodger catcher is nearing the peak of suspense regarding his 2015 fate.