Johnny Evers ranks as one of the Hall of Fame’s most curious choices. Arriving to the Majors in 1902 with the Chicago Cubs, Evers was known as “The Crab,” partly for his crafty defensive play and partly for his surly disposition. As Captain of the World Champion Boston Braves, he won an MVP in 1914, albeit with some of the lowest numbers in MVP history (.279/1/40). In fact, he never once led in any offensive statistical category, and only led in fielding percentage once. With a lifetime batting average of .270 and a lifetime fielding percentage of .955, it is relatively certain that had he not been one of the subjects of Franklin Pierce Adam’s “Baseball’s Sad Lexicon-Tinker to Evers to Chance,” he would not be in the Hall today.
Evers and his partners in the Chicago Cubs infield, Frank Chance and Joe Tinker, were elected into the Hall together in 1946, along with eight others chosen by the Veterans’Committee.
September 18, 2010