The Hall of Altuves

With so much debate swirling about this year's Hall of Fame balloting, I thought I'd take a shot at making my own Hall. Welcome to the Hall of Altuves. We'll take a look at some of the best players in baseball history who were listed at no more than Jose Altuve's height of 5'5". I'll list the top position players and pitchers, then we'll open it up for a vote. Unlike the real Hall of Fame, there are no BBWAA members with hidden agendas standing in the way of who the fans want to see in out Hall.

1) Willie (Wee Willie) Keeler - RF

Wee Willie (.98 Altuves) is a member of the actual HOF (1939), so he has to be a favorite here. Over 19 seasons, Keller had a lifetime batting average of .341 (14th all-time), twice leading the league, and he hit .424 in 1897 with the original Baltimore Orioles franchise. He led the league in hits three times, all during a four season span, and finished his career with 2932 hits, while striking out just 136 times (yes, different era). That's a 63.2 at bat per strikeout ratio, best ever. He his said to have used a 30 inch bat (.46 Altuves), the shortest ever swung in major league baseball.

2) Rabbit Maranville - SS

Like Keller, Rabbit (1 Altuve) is also a member of the HOF (1954). Maranville's career stretched from 1912 to 1935 and was built on defense. He was able to accumulate 2605 hits, but only had a .258 lifetime batting average. He is 19th all-time in triples, with 177. His defense reputation was such, though, that he was able to garner MVP votes in 8 different seasons, including a second place finish in 1914. He has more career assists and more putouts at shortstop than another player.

3) Topsy Hartsel - LF

Hartsel (1 Altuve) played 14 seasons, mostly with the Philadelphia Athletics in the upstart American League. He was on OBP machine, before OBP was cool. He led the league in walks five times and OBP twice, finishing with a lifetime OBP of .384 while hitting just .276. He also led the league in steals and runs once.

4) Freddie (The Flea) Patek - SS

Freddie (1 Altuve spent 14 years in the majors, stealing 385 bases while hitting .242. He was a three time All-Star and finished 6th in MVP voting in 1971. He led the league in triples and stolen bases one time each.

5) Eddie Gaedel - PH

Eddie (.66 Altuves) finished his career (1 PA) with a lifetime 1.000 OBP. No discussion of the shortest players in baseball is complete without him.

6) Bobby Mathews - RHP

Mathews (1 Altuve) pitched for 15 seasons, from 1871-1887. He finished his career with a 297-248 record and a 2.86 ERA. He twice led the league in shutouts, once in innings pitched, three times in strikeouts, and four times in K/9. He also led the league in losses once, hits and earned runs allowed twice, home runs allowed once (with 8 in 516 innings), walks twice, and wild pitches three times. He's 25th all-time in wins. He is the winning-est pitcher not in the Hall of Fame, and is claimed to be one of the first to master a curveball (thrown underhanded, as was the custom at the time).

7) Larry Corcoran - RHP

Larry (.97 Altuves), who at least once in his career alternated throwing arms during a game, played for just 8 seasons, mostly with the Cubs. He had a career record of 177-89, leading the league in wins in 1881 and winning percentage, WIP, and ERA in 1882. His rookie season, he led the league in strikeouts, K/9, and walks. In 1884, he allowed 10% of the entire leagues home runs that season, giving up 35 of 321 total (including his Cubs, who hit 142 that year). He held the all-time record for no-hitters, with three, until Sandy Koufax threw his fourth in 1964. He's also credited with creating pitch signals, as he would switch his wad of tobacco from one cheek to the other to indicate to his catcher what he was going to throw. His career was cut short by a dead arm in 1885 and he was out of baseball after 1887.

8) Lee Viau - RHP

Viau (.98 Altuves) pitched just five seasons, accumulating a 83-77 record with a 3.33 ERA.

9) Connie Marrero - RHP

Connie (1 Altuve) also pitched just five seasons (from the ages of 39-43!), all for the Washington Senators. He put together a 39-40 record along with a 3.67 ERA. He was an All-Star in 1951 and finished 34th in MVP voting in 1952.

Not surprisingly, there aren't that many players in baseball's history that "measure up" here, so let's go ahead and take it to a vote. Vote for as many players as you like!

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  1. C'mon, what about Albie Pearson?

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