Bob’s Keltner List – Wally Schang

I’m not going to do a full Keltner List for Wally Schang, because the answer to most questions is “No”. But for the questions that don’t have a simple “No” answer:

3. Was he the best at his position?
He was an okay defensive catcher who was known more for his bat. But he probably was the best all-around catcher of his era until Hartnett showed up in the mid-’20s.

4. Did he have an impact on a number of pennant races?
Let’s see: the starting catcher on the ’13 & ’14 As; the ’18 Red Sox; the ’21, ’22 & ’23 Yankees; and the backup to Cochrane on the ’30 As. I’d say he had some impact.

5. Was he good enough that he could continue to play regularly past his prime?
From age 36 to 41 he caught 82, 75, 82, 85, 36 and 30 games, and would pinch hit 10-20 times (except that last season)

7. Are most of the players with comparable stats in the Hall?
As a catcher, his stats are pretty unique. When he retired he had more Win Shares than any other catcher. Most players from his era who have comparable Linear Weights is in the Hall.

8.Does he meet HOF standards?
No, but catchers rarely do

9. Is he the best at his position not in the Hall?
No, of course not. Not counting active or recently retired catchers, just looking at who the VetCom has to look at, he’s behind IMO Simmons, Torre and Deacon White, but about even with Freehan and Munson. He might be the best of his era not in, Schang or George Burns, I suppose.

I’m not sure I’d go overboard lobbying for Schang – there are others more deserving of my advocacy. BJames has him ranked as the 20th best catcher and that’s with a large timeline penalty. I THINK I think he’s deserving, but he’s right on the cusp – with about 50 other guys, some who are in and some who aren’t.

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