Rick Reuschel • RHP

45th in JAWS (70.0 career/43.8 peak/56.9 JAWS)

Teams: Cubs 1972-81, ’83-84 • Yankees 1981 • Pirates 1985-87 •Giants 1987-91
Stats: 214-191 • 3.37 ERA • 114 ERA+ • 3,548.1 IP • 2,015 SO
Rankings: 6x top 5 WAR • 6x top 10 IP • 5x top 10 K • 3x All-Star • 3x top 3 BB/9 • 3x top 10 ERA
Voting: BBWAA 1997 (1st, 0.4%)

In his time, almost nobody thought of “Big Daddy” in a Cooperstown context, but the portly 6´3˝ righty showed impressive staying power during his 19-year career and stacks up well in light of WAR. He spent most of his first dozen seasons with the Cubs, his strong run prevention under heavy workloads often going unnoticed amid mediocre won-loss records — he was 135-127 during his Chicago years — though a 20-10 1977 season did get some attention; he led the NL with 9.4 WAR and finished third in the Cy Young voting. A brief foray to the Yankees resulted in a trip to the 1981 World Series and a torn rotator cuff that cost him all of 1982 and most of ’83-84, but he resurfaced as a strong starter in Pittsburgh and then San Francisco, helping the Giants to two playoff appearances and the 1989 World Series in his age-40 season. BBWAA voters almost completely ignored him, and he’s unlikely to break through via committee, but he’s 32nd in career WAR, ahead of many no-doubt Hall of Famers.

Tommy John • LHP • Candidate

83rd in JAWS (62.0 career/34.7 peak/48.4 JAWS)

Teams: Indians 1963 • White Sox 1964-71 • Dodgers 1972-74, ’76-78 • Yankees 1979-82, ’86-89 • Angels 1982-85 • A’s 1985
Stats: 288-231 • 3.34  ERA • 111 ERA+ • 4,710.1 IP • 2,245 SO
Rankings: 6x top 5 ERA • 6x top 10 W • 4x All-Star • 4x top 10 WAR • 4x top 10 IP
All-time: 8th GS • 20th IP • 26th SHO
Voting: BBWAA 2009 (15th, 31.7%)

John pitched more seasons in the majors than anyone except Nolan Ryan. That’s thanks to his role as the recipient of the most famous sports medicine procedure of all time, the elbow ligament replacement surgery performed by Dr. Frank Jobe in 1974 that is now named for John. His biggest years came after the surgery; from 1977-81, he placed in the top five in Cy Young voting three times, won 20 or more games three times and pitched in three World Series for the Dodgers and Yankees, though all on the losing side. Despite that modest peak, he’s more a compiler than a star. A groundballer who didn’t miss many bats (just 4.3 K/9), he had just four seasons of 5.0 WAR, and never led his league in any triple crown category. While he came close to 300 wins, he surpasses only Don Sutton’s peak WAR and Early Wynn’s career WAR among the 24 members of the 300 win club. Given that he topped out at 31.7% of the vote, you’d have to apply an extremely large bonus for the surgery to make the case that he merits enshrinement. Considered on the 2011 and 2014 Expansion Era Committee ballots, he’s up again in 2018, but the Hall’s decision to honor him in tandem with Dr. Jobe in 2013 may be as close as he ever gets.