Former Reds Vada Pinson and Bucky Walters are on the ballot for Hall of Fame consideration by the Veterans Committee. Pinson is on the post-1943 ballot, and Walters is on the pre-1943 ballot.

MLB.com on Pinson:

Pinson’s best years came in Cincinnati, where he hit a career-high .343 as a 22-year-old in 1961 and helped the Reds win a National League championship. His best all-around year was 1963, when he led the NL with 204 hits and 14 triples. He also batted .313 with 22 home runs, 27 steals and a career-best 106 RBIs.

Over his first five full seasons, Pinson batted .310 and averaged 108 runs, 37 doubles, 20 home runs and 26 steals. He also won a Gold Glove in 1961 and was part of two All-Star teams in 1959-60.

The success was sometimes intermingled with controversy. In 1962, Pinson was involved in an altercation with a Cincinnati newspaper writer that led to a court hearing. He also reportedly clashed frequently with the Reds’ front office, especially after friend and future Hall of Famer Frank Robinson was traded to Orioles in 1966.

Pinson may have been a five-tool ballplayer, but he had the misfortune of poor timing that limited him to just one World Series appearance. He was traded to the Cardinals from Cincinnati two years before the Big Red Machine took off. He arrived in St. Louis the season after it was in the World Series.

Only two eligible players — Rickey Henderson and Andre Dawson — have more career hits than Pinson and aren’t in the Hall. This is Henderson’s first year of eligibity.

…and on Walters:

Bucky Walters reluctantly agreed to make the transition from third baseman to pitcher in 1934. For more than a decade thereafter, it was the hitters who were reluctant to step into the box against Walters.

A change of positions paved the way for Walters to rack up 198 wins over 16 seasons and finish his Major League career with a 3.30 ERA. Although he didn’t become a full-time pitcher until he was 27, Walters built a resume that could propel him into the Hall of Fame. …

Walters, who died at 82 on April 20, 1991, became a pitcher at the urging of Phillies manager Jimmy Wilson, who had become enamored with Walters’ strong arm while throwing from third base. Walters pitched for the Phils for 3 1/2 seasons before he was traded to the Reds. In Cincinnati, Walters burst into prominence and was an ace on two pennant-winning clubs in 1939 and 1940.

In ’39, Walters went 27-11 with a 2.29 ERA over 319 innings. He was the National League’s MVP and the fun didn’t end until the Yankees swept the Reds in the World Series. With Walters having another sensational year in ’40, Cincinnati came back to win it all.

Walters went 22-10 with a 2.48 ERA and delivered a two-hit shutout in Game 6 of the World Series against the Tigers, setting the stage for a Game 7 celebration.

Over his 11-year tenure with the Reds, Walters compiled a 2.93 ERA. He played for the Boston Braves and the Boston Red Sox in addition to the Phillies and Reds. Walters was a six-time All-Star who worked over 300 innings for three years in a row from 1939-1941.

4 Responses

  1. Matt B.

    OT, but Hal McCoy is reporting Homer Bailey has been traded for Dye, and the deal will be announced this week.

  2. Mark in CC

    Pinson also had the poor timing to have played in the same era as Mays, Aaron, F. Robinson, Clemete, and Brock. His talents were really overshadowed.

  3. pinson343

    I saw in a fan’s comments on the mlb.com article that Bill James called Pinson the greatest CF not in the Hall. Interesting.